The weather was tailor-made for an outdoor lunch on Wednesday, April 18, and Room To Grow Co-Chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Sanger and Andrea Weber along with NorthPark Co-Chairs Kristen Gibbins and Andrea Nayfa took full advantage of it. Among the sculptures in the shaded Neiman Marcus Courtyard at NorthPark Center, the ladies were joined by more than 200 of their pals to hear Kim Schlegel Whitman chat with Harper’s Bazaar‘s Avril Graham on what trends lay ahead. Here’s a report from the field:
Co-Chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Singer and Andrea Weber, with NorthPark Center Co-Chairs Andrea Nayfa and Kristen Gibbins, were joined by more than 220 attendees at the second annual Room to Grow Luncheon and Fashion Presentation on Wednesday, April 18, at 11:00 a.m. at NorthPark Center in the Neiman Marcus Courtyard. Proceeds from the event benefited Dec My Room, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children who are hospitalized for a prolonged period of time.
Guests arrived and mingled as they sipped wine and enjoyed signature sweets from Sugarfina. Partygoers began bidding on an exclusive silent auction item for a 3-night La Petite stay at the award-winning Cal-A-Vie Health Spa, or purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win one of 15 fabulous prizes, including $200 in NorthPark Gold and a gold VIP valet card courtesy of NorthPark Center, a pink Valentino rockstud quilted leather wallet/bag on chain donated by Neiman Marcus, a 3-night San Diego weekend at Monarch Beach Resort & The Pendry, two tickets for Kenny Chesney’s May 19 concert at AT&T Stadium, a four-course dinner for eight in your home created by Parigi Chef and owner Janice Provost and more.
At the appointed time, attendees like Jennifer Swift, Holly Davis, Lisa Ogle, Cindy Stager, Melissa Sherrill, Kathryn Henry, Daniella Giglio and Jessica Baldwin took their places as the luncheon co-chairs briefly welcomed all and thanked them for their support of the Room to Grow Luncheon benefiting Dec My Room. They also recognized this year’s sponsors, host committee members and generous in-kind donors. Patrons then enjoyed lunch of chicken Marbella with stone fruit relish served with tender bibb lettuce, arugula, frisee with hearts of palm and cucumber drizzled with lemon Dijon vinaigrette, and a gazpacho shooter.
Dec My Room’s Dallas Director Karen Michlewicz took the podium and welcomed Dec My Room’s Founder and CEO Susan Plank in from Houston, before adding her gratitude to sponsors, attendees, event co-chairs, NorthPark Center and Neiman Marcus NorthPark. She also shared the important services that Dec My Room provides in partnership with Children’s Health by helping “to create a healing place” for children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time.
Diane McGinnis, LCSW and social worker in the center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health, then accepted the 2018 Celebrate Flight award on behalf of all of the social workers that provide such critical support to the patients and their families for the duration of their care. The hospital social workers also introduce the mission of Dec My Room to patient families and as well, have the opportunity to see first-hand how Dec My Room transforms patient’s rooms and subsequently their overall mental approach to their upcoming treatments.
On behalf of her colleagues, Diane shared a few memorable installations, including one for an 8-year-old girl, whose room was transformed by volunteers into an underwater fantasyland of mermaids. A highlight was the mermaid slip-on sack that the little girl wore until she left the hospital. Or the magical moment when a volunteer decorated a 17-year-old boy’s room with aviation-themed posters and camo colors, because he dreamed of becoming a pilot in the armed forces. Diane commented that the patient’s parents often say they haven’t seen their child this happy or excited since their diagnosis, and that they feel so special that strangers make such an extraordinary effort to personalize a room just for them.
Then it was time to talk fashion as Harper’s Bazaar Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor Avril Graham and Southern Living Editor-at-Large and NorthPark Ambassador Kimberly Schlegel Whitman took the stage to dish about the upcoming royal wedding, which Avril will be covering, and the season’s “must have” clothing, accessories and makeup from Neiman Marcus. Models sported the latest trends featuring brights, statement sleeves, floral dresses, stripes, logo bags, rainbow jewelry, the pointed-toe shoe, soft-tint lenses and sparkle and glitter glam lips and lids.
After an announcement of the lucky raffle winners, posh patrons progressed to the second level of Neiman Marcus for desserts and champagne. As a thank you, each guest was gifted take-home treats from Sugarfina, the newest issue of Harper’s Bazaar and a swag bag filled with goodies from Cos Bar, SoulCycle, Crown Control Jewelry, Outdoor Voices, drybar, MiniLuxe, Sawyer Collection and more.