illustration by Kenneth Fallin

The Scene: April 2010

Not long before the annual Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show, the event patrons gathered to high-five each other at Tavia and Clark Hunt’s cozy mansion in Highland Park. Everything for the luncheon was on schedule, and there were great hopes of busting previous records. But co-chair Rainey Fogiel was concerned that forecasters were calling for snow in the coming days. Ah, but the big event was a week away, and those weather folk are always wrong. Right?

For once the sky readers were right, and the great blizzard of Snow-Ten started its descent on Dallas the morning of the event. Rainey and her co-chair, daughter Natalie Fogiel, declared the event was on, and 800 answered with their presence. They arrived en masse and were met by umbrella-toting valets who looked like a casting call for a Travelers insurance commercial.

Jenna Alexander, wearing a Barbie-doll pink fur and clutching her Louis Vuitton purse, said: “No problem getting here. I had a driver.” Amy Stainback and Cathy McKnight made it despite the nonstop snowfall: “We came with a friend from Boston.”

And though the Stanley Korshak fashions were dazzling under the direction of Jan Strimple, the real fashion plates were the guests, some of whom were pleased to have an excuse to wear their furs. PETA wouldn’t have been pleased. Even the little Cavalier Spaniel escorting models looked a bit apprehensive.
Despite the record-setting blizzard, the annual luncheon went off almost without a hitch. The hitch was getting a ride home. Guests looked like they were in a scene from March of the Penguins as they huddled together, waiting for their transportation.

But by the time the very last driver had picked up the Ladies Who Limo, Rainey and Natalie patted each other on the back for raising more than $400,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of North Texas, thanks to Nancy C. Rogers. She provided $75,000 underwriting for the event. And she woke up the morning of the luncheon worrying that they might not make their goal, so she pledged another $25,000. Shellshocked but still with her wits about her, Rainey asked Nancy if she would also throw in the necklace she was wearing. Rainey says, “She looked at me and thought about it for two split seconds—and gave me a big NO!”

Nancy may be gorgeous, but she’s not dumb.

photography by Jeanne Prejean