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PHOTO: Shonnery Pettit, Dr. Ashley Garling and Traci Briscoe

Center for Child Protection’s Play Bingo Dazzles

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Haley Plotkin

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.

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...

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

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.

THE STYLE: Lynn Wyatt arrived with sons Bradford, Trey and his wife the Honorable Mervin Wyatt-Ras (Member of the Aruba...

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Photo: The Mughal Heart Diamond Fantasy Gift

It’s almost the holidays and if you grew up in Texas, or even if you just arrived, you very likely know about Neiman Marcus’ The Christmas Book. It’s become legendary after all these years. 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...

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...

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It’s that time again. It’s time to get inspired to find hidden treasures at The Settlement Home for Children’s 46th Annual Garage & Estate Sale. On November 5-7, the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Road, in Austin), is the place to be. We love that the sale is a uniquely Austin tradition that provides an opportunity to shop tens of thousands of items at truly bargain prices. While ranging from jewelry to furniture to tools, there’s something for everyone! The best part, that we likely love most, is that every dollar raised goes to support the families and children The Settlement Home for Children serves.

The Settlement Home for Children, a Texas mainstay, is a licensed nonprofit organization that serves individuals who have experienced severe emotional trauma, abuse, and neglect. They provide 24-hour care to help children in foster care access the materials and support needed to restore and preserve a permanent sense of well-being. Our mission is to promote healing and growth in children, young adults, and families by providing a continuum of care, support,...

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Are you as much of a podcast fan as we are? Have you ever wished there was a one-stop listening venue for the best podcasts?

Look no further, thanks to the recent launch of Austin-based Hot Pie Media. The top-drawer talent in Hot Pie’s stable is staggering, including hosts like Academy AwardÒ and Tony AwardÒ -winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, award-winning actor Chris Noth (“Sex and the City”), Emmy AwardÒ -winning actor Judge Reinhold, (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Beverly Hills Cop”) and Steppenwolf founder John Kay (known for the Rock anthems: “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride”). Whew.

With daily original podcasts, music shows, and specials...and with a powerhouse team of media industry professionals at the helm, the on-demand network creates diverse and all-encompassing content on over 30 platforms with an impressive list of celebrity hosts. So, the Hot Pie Media Network allows podcast creators to do what they do best: create, and Hot Pie Media does what it does best: produce, manage, distribute, promote, and monetize content. Hot Pie Media covers...

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PHOTO: Rose Betty Williams, Jerry Gatlin and Susan Auhler

We love that the Austin Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine of America recently hosted the 21st annual Grand Assemblage and Enthronement Dinner at the Hotel Granduca Austin. Upon arrival, the members, happy to see each other after months of separation due to Covid, enjoyed lively conversation and a champagne reception in the veranda and outdoor patio with passed hors d’oeuvres.

A plated dinner prepared by Executive Chef Collin Kaskel followed in the Salone Ducale ballroom with wines especially chosen to complement each of the five courses. The wines served, all rated 92 and above, included a 2010 Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs Brut, a 2016 Simonnet Febvre Chablis Les Presuses Grand Cru, a 2019 Chene Bleu Rose, a 2016 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone Occidental, a 2016 Argiano Solengo Super Tuscan and Graham’s 20-year-old Tawny.

Toasts to KOV camaraderie echoed throughout the ballroom as the members watched a slide show of past KOV events that was produced by Austin...

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PHOTO: Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta

There’s no secret that the Met Gala is the toughest ticket in town. Since it’s invitation-only, we wanted to share how the festivities shaped up last night to inspire your own fall dressing, with a bird’s eye look at the event...

With the cancellation of the event in 2021, due to the pandemic, plans have been in the works for its comeback. Part 1, last night, was centered around this year’s exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. The second part, slated for next May, when it usually occurs, is sure to be a showstopper.

The hosts of this year’s event, media stars Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Billie Eilish, didn’t disappoint with their Tik Tock Generation P.O.V. An energetically youthful swagger throughout the event’s red carpet was palpable.

In fact, we’ve all come to expect opulent, extravagant fashion, really, costumes, at this Oscars for the fashion crowd, yet this year is special due to the pent-up demand of all-out glamour due to COVID-19. Were there any surprises?...

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The Houston Polo Club was the perfect setting recently for the fifth annual Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes event benefiting Bo’s Place. The green fields and the polo horses watching from their stalls made this year’s event extra special after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic. With social distancing protocol in place, over 250 supporters were excited to be dressed in their finest attire to watch and celebrate the running of the Kentucky Derby.

The fabulous hats and beautiful dresses, made for perfect people watching as tables were scattered under many tents. Guests socialized throughout the grounds, sipping traditional mint juleps and nibling on lite bites. Puppy Pals, a racing wall raffle, and purchasing a rose for a friend kept the crowd busy until post time. Multiple large screens gave all the guests a perfect view to watch the race. As the race got close to the finish line, many people started standing and cheering at their tables to see Medina Spirit win the race.

Mary Beth Staine, the executive director of Bo’s Place, said, “Bo’s Place helps...

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Recently, in this exclusive interview, we caught up with superstar choreographer and founder of ISHIDA, Brett Ishida, on her point of view toward contemporary dance. The upcoming performances in her latest work, Faraway, so close, happen in Austin August 13–14 at Dell Fine Arts Center at St. Andrew’s and in Houston August 19–21 at MATCH Midtown Arts & Theater Center. At IshidaDance.org

By Lance Avery Morgan Photography courtesy of ISHIDA

LANCE AVERY MORGAN: What is the significance of contemporary dance as the world begins to recover from the pandemic–what are the healing aspects it can offer to your audience?

BRETT ISHIDA: Over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece, citizens attended Greek tragedy; it was one’s civic duty. These plays informed society of its moral code. The performances were cathartic and the personal narratives portrayed connected to audiences...

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We love the performing arts, don’t you? Recently, after spearheading a $3M renovation of Austin’s largest theater, Executive & Artistic Director Bob Bursey announced his first curated season of music, dance, theater, and performance for Texas Performing Arts on the UT campus. A dozen live productions will mark its 40th Anniversary season in 2021-2022 and it offers an array of choices...there will be something for just about everyone.

The performance lineup includes established and emerging artists, revivals and new works, long-time favorites and first-time visits. The season brings the city a survey of current developments and leading voices in the performing arts in America today. In fact, audiences will see some of the highest examples of artistic excellence.

The 40th season of performances will take place in Texas Performing Arts’ newly renovated Bass Concert Hall, the intimate McCullough Theater, and at other locations on the University of Texas campus and around Austin. The 40th season is one of Texas Performing Arts’ anchor series for 2021-22. It joins...

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We love a Jet-Set excursion, don’t you? Look no further. The American Friends of Versailles, founded by Amarillo, Texas native Catharine Hamilton, and under the exceptional, gracious guidance of Princesse Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, invites you to a spectacular benefit trip to Vienna and Prague to take place from October 2–10, 2021.

The Princess curated this one-of-a-kind, benefit tour filled with illuminating visits to must-see sites, as well as uncommon entrees to impressive private locales, via invitations from her family and friends. It promises to be a very moving time together. There may be slight edits to this itinerary including surprise, wonderful additions in this exclusive opportunity.

The hotel reservation deadline is June 11th for the first deposit, due to the demand for fall travel and five-star hotels. This opportunity is $20,000 per person (with appx. a $9,500 tax deductible portion). If you are unable to subscribe, kindly know donations of any size are greatly appreciated. For more information, you can email...

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(In photo: Molly Fletcher, Mary Lou Retton and Diane Paddison. Photo courtesy of 4word)

Virtual Gala Features Mary Lou Retton And Molly Fletcher

THE SETTING: Virtual events, as we all know by now, can be just as meaningful and create as much of an impact as live galas. Recently, over 400 guests from across the globe attended the 4word Virtual Gala to celebrate the Dallas organization’s 10-year history, as well as to participate in a stimulating conversation between two legends, OlympicÒ gymnast Mary Lou Retton and former-celebrity-sports-agent-turned-business-coach, Molly Fletcher. The virtual fundraiser benefited 4word’s mission to help women in the workplace reach their God-given potential with confidence.

International in its reach, guests tuned in from as far as Korea...and as nearby as the multi-media studios of The Slate in Dallas. Whether wearing floor-length gowns or pajamas and slippers, guests participated from the comfort of their own homes, bidding on silent auction items and continuing...

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We love supporting so many causes around the state, don't you? To support the cause that the Miss Texas Organization, Texas Cares For Children, learn more about their Toyota and Honda raffle. Hurry, to purchase your tickets and win...

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We love a live action play or musical, don’t you? With theater, it has indeed shape-shifted, like the rest of the world...due to the pandemic. The future is bright, though, according to the University of Texas’s Bass Hall and Texas Performing Arts’ Executive Director, Bob Bursey, who weighs in with his point of view on the performing arts.

LAM: Bob, thanks for your time to connect about theater. Why is Bass Concert Hall at UT such a special place for performances, in your opinion?

BB: It’s the largest theater in Austin, and for 40 years has been the Austin home for top artists and productions from around the world. The scale of it is breathtaking, and that allows artists to go big.

LAM: The show must go on. That in mind, with the pandemic, how has TPA adapted and pivoted with its online presence and a new exhibit like Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop?

BB: We’re staying true to our purpose of connecting people with creativity, especially in these times. We’ve...

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If you’re looking for your next perfect boot this winter, look no further. You want one that fits well, and that will last. Fear not. To the rescue is celebrity entrepreneur Rande Gerber, who has teamed with Nolan Walsh of Thursday Boots to create Thursday Casamoto, a superior boot at $235. Yes, $235.

Available at ThursdayBoots.com, the sleek new footwear comes in two colors, black and café racer brown, so why not have both? It all started because Gerber always seeks the best in everything (think Casamigos Tequila & Mezcal, which he founded with pals George Clooney and Michael Meldman).

“When I can’t find the best, I create it, which is how after over 700 ‘sample’ bottles, Casamigos was born. And because I’m always creating for myself, I never compromise or settle for anything less than perfect,” shares Rande Gerber. He continues by saying, “When my friends at Thursday Boot asked me to partner with them to design the ultimate boot, I took all my favorite boots and combined those details into the Casamoto. Made with the...

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Of course, it’s the season to love what you give...and love what you receive, too. Here are some of our favorite new gifting ideas from our team to inspire gift-giving for the men in your life....

UNTUCK YOURSELF

The best shirt fit for men these days? Look no further than UNTUCKit tailored shirts that fit as well as a custom-fit shirt that just might rival the custom fit that even Saville Row could offer. In a slew of colors and patterns, it’s our go-to new favorite thing to don. Prices vary from $65-109. At UNTUCKit.com.

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

With this handcrafted solid oak dartboard cabinet, what gent wouldn’t want a regulation size dartboard and a dozen darts to create his own pub-like vibe? The rustic barn style doors look great closed when the game’s over. Plus, you can personalize it for the stylish finishing touch. $329. At WineEnthusiast.com.

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Through its characteristic creativity and tremendous cultural presence in the city, the Austin Symphony Orchestra continues to deliver their full year of music and musical education even while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. But, to do so requires the support of the community, and you. How great is that?

So, why not join the Symphony for a virtual concert, Rule of Three, preceded by the launch of their special Play On program where you'll also learn about their commitment to keep symphonic music alive and accessible to a broader audience than ever before.

What are you waiting for? To purchase tickets, donate to help the organization Play On, and/or sponsor their virtual fundraiser below, go to https://my.austinsymphony.org/ruleofthree and https://my.austinsymphony.org/donate/q/playon. And, to make a pledge, or process payment through another channel, please contact Marilyn Willson, Development Director at...

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If it seems like a household brand name by now, there’s a reason for that. For over 30 years, Murad's Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum, created by Dr. Howard Murad and his team, has been the trusted remedy for those in need of a dark spot correcting treatment. But this past September, we said goodbye to the cult favorite, and hello to the Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum that is taking its place.

This is exciting to us. Why? Murad’s new skincare launch is important because the new scientifically driven serum features patented Resorcinol Technology, a first to market, exclusive technology that effectively corrects the look of current and future dark spots – without any hydroquinone or medical prescription.

Bringing more benefits and efficacy than the original dark spot serum, the new Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum has an evolved formulation, surpassing clinical results and consumer expectations, reinforcing Murad as the true...

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During the hectic holidays, we all need a little help. With COVID-19, we can all use a little more support...and we’ve discovered Prep To Your Door that’s just the healthy remedy. They are an Austin-based meal delivery service that prepares and delivers plant-based, gluten-free, organic meals in sustainable packaging. How cool is that?

You can choose the number of meals to receive every week from a menu of six options and their team does all the prep work using primarily locally sourced produce. Then, voilà...they drop the meals off at your home or office once a week in mason jars that will be picked up the following week to be cleaned and reused. Prep To Your Door (PTYD) clients, referred to as “Prepsters,” can order 5, 10, 15 or 20 seasonal meals per week–perfect for an individual or a family of any size.

We love that the weekly menu that includes two entrees, two salads, a breakfast and a soup, is completely customizable, and can be modified, skipped or cancelled at any time with no...

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We love that La Perla, the leading Italian luxury brand, has opened a chic, new boutique at 47 Highland Park Village in Dallas. It will be your new go-to destination for quality gifts for the women in your life. It launched with an impressive design debut that provides a luxury experience for the La Perla customer. The new boutique houses a wide selection of La Perla's latest Spring/Summer 2020 collections, ranging from underwear and pajamas to swimwear and beachwear, alongside a preview of the Fall/Winter 2020 collections and the signature Maison and Petit Macramè collections.

“The Dallas boutique adds another destination in La Perla’s network of stores, and we look forward to expanding the La Perla experience to our new and existing customers in the Midwest within the historic Highland Park Village,” shared Morgan P. Richardson, Brand President of The Americas. “The store feature the brand’s iconic lingerie and sleepwear and adapts to consumer preferences while offering personalized experiences.”

The décor is as glam as its lingerie. Set within 730 square feet, a...

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