It’s been a little over two years since I got the chance to write about the elegant NorthPark Ambassadors Dinner. It’s always a beautiful evening at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. This go around (slightly delayed from its original date in February) was a wonderful celebration for all who attended.
The 2022 Ambassadors are 15 high-profile individuals (and some couples) that have been named by NorthPark Center as part of its mission to support important local nonprofits. Since launching in 2017, this program has raised key funding as well as awareness for more than 40 charities in social and health services and the arts. Throughout their tenure, the Ambassadors will host charitable initiatives at the shopping mecca which annually welcomes 26 million visitors.
I made a beeline upon arriving for the cocktail hour when I saw one of my favorite people, Jan Showers, who is supporting Dwell With Dignity this year. Jan shared with me that she and her husband, Jim Showers (who was with her that evening) were soon heading to Paris. We soon were all seated in the glass-enclosed room adjacent to the outdoor patio for the evening’s agenda: a gourmet Mansion Restaurant dinner (I’m always pleased when I can have some of their legendary tortilla soup), musical entertainment from Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Young Musicians program, and news about this year’s NorthPark Ambassadors.
I’m sure the two other speakers, Kimberly Whitman (another of the 15 total Ambassadors whose charity is Children’s Health) and Nancy Nasher, that night would definitely agree the star at the microphone that evening was Tristan Whitfield, an inspirational orator who is attending Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center. He was the first-place winner of the 30th MLK Jr. Oratory Competition which allows students to research and write a speech reflecting on where our country is when it comes to the “dream” Dr. King was referring to in his 1963 speech.
The other Ambassadors that Whitman introduced during her remarks and the charities they are supporting are: Jennifer Dix and Dallas CASA (this decision was inspired by her late mother-in-law, Penny Dix, who was a dedicated Dallas CASA volunteer for decades; Susan Farris and Crystal Charity Ball (an organization she joined in 2009); Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson and the American Cancer Society (the duo has joined forces to co-chair the 2022 Cattle Baron’s Ball); Gunjan and Anurag Jain and North Texas Food Bank; Babe Laufenberg and the Luke Laufenberg “Fight” Scholarship Fund at the University of Texas El Paso; Dr. Nimesh Patel who was standing in for his wife Bina Palnitkar Patel, who is supporting Methodist Health System Foundation; Janelle Pinnell and Vogel Alcove; Quincy Roberts and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Amanda Dillard Shufeldt and Children’s Cancer Fund; and Michelle and Jason Witten and the Salvation Army.
Others gathered that beautiful evening included Kathleen LaValle, CEO of Dallas CASA; Sanjay Hathiramani, Dolce & Gabbana’s vice president of marketing and customer relations; collector (and Janelle Pinnell’s husband) Alden Pinnell; and Christina Cavalier from the Salvation Army.