Pin on Pinterest
Stephanie Stollenwerck and Danielle Baker at Patron Party

Community Partners of Dallas (CPD) celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Chick Lit Luncheon presented by Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel, on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Hilton Anatole.  With record-breaking attendance of over 1100 attendees, the annual fundraiser, benefiting CPD, featured keynote speaker Tim Gunn, best selling author andEmmy-winning co-host and mentor of Lifetime’s Project Runway.

The celebration began on the evening of Thursday, March 31 at a reception hosted by Forty Five Ten and honorary chair Brian Bolke.  Over 100 Chick Lit Luncheon sponsors and supporters, including Kristi Hoyl, Chick Lit Luncheon chair, mingled over cocktails and light bites as they shopped Forty Five Ten’s beautiful collections, with 10% of sales benefiting CPD.   Luncheon keynote speaker Tim Gunn quietly arrived and immediately immersed himself in the crowd, greeting patrons and posing for photos.  

Paige McDaniel, president and CEO of Community Partners of Dallas, gathered the crowd in the boutique’s “T Room” to thank the evening’s host and to recognize the many sponsors in attendance, before welcoming Mr. Gunn to Dallas.  She then shared a client story with the crowd, highlighting the importance of all the funds raised by the Chick Lit Luncheon.

On Friday, April 1, attendees arrived for a pre-luncheon reception in the Anatole’s Atrium, while select sponsors were treated to a special VIP reception with Mr. Gunn in a nearby ballroom.  At the appointed time, luncheon-goers moved upstairs to the Imperial Ballroom for the much-anticipated luncheon. 

As guests took their seats, chairman Kristi Hoyl welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support of the tenth annual Chick Lit Luncheon.  Reverend Elizabeth Moseley followed with the invocation, before luncheon-goers enjoyed a delicious lunch of Mediterranean chicken salad featuring sliced grilled breast of chicken, red and yellow grape tomatoes, orzo with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, currants and capers and lemon Dijon vinaigrette with fresh basil.

CPD president and CEO, Paige McDaniel then took the stage as the attendees enjoyed their dessert of  a “Happy Birthday” strawberry cupcake with berry gelee and fresh berries.  Ms. McDaniel added her thanks to all for ten years of the Chick Lit Luncheon and for their ongoing support as CPD celebrates 27 years of helping hundreds of thousands of abused and neglected children. 

She credited the luncheon’s success to the hard work of chair Kristi Hoyl, honorary chair Brian Bolke and underwriting co-chairs Cindy Stager and Jill Tananbaum, as well as presenting sponsors, Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel.  She then recognized from the stage this year’s Partners for Children Award recipient, long-time volunteer and supporter Jill C. Bee, for her ongoing commitment to the philanthropic needs of our community and years of service meeting the needs of abused and neglected children, followed by Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel with a special tenth anniversary Champions of Hope Award for their unwavering commitment to Community Partners of Dallas and the children they serve. 

McDaniel then shared with Tim Gunn that everyone had been anxiously awaiting his arrival, but that had been worried about “what to wear?”

“So, I know we’re all wondering the same thing right now; who are you wearing today?  As soon as we announced that Tim Gunn was our speaker, every friend of mine said ‘gosh, what are we going to wear?’,” remarked McDaniel.  “I bet salespeople all over Dallas have heard many dressing room lamentations as the ladies who lunch were shopping to impress Tim.   Tim, I hope you felt our pain all the way to New York City as we agonized over our outfits!”

McDaniel then went on to wittily share her own fashion transformations over the years, showing slides of her personal style in middle school, before circling back around to the importance of the services provided by CPD and how through the organization’s many programs, including providing brand new clothes, it too transforms the lives of the children it serves every day.

Ms. McDaniel then asked the audience to consider making an additional contribution to help fund items such as cribs, car seats, coats and emergency duffle bags filled with clothing, hygiene products, a toy and more. 

Honorary chair Brian Bolke followed to introduce the featured luncheon speaker, Tim Gunn.  Gunn is widely known for his role as co-host and mentor on Lifetime’s Project Runway, but he is also the Honorary Chair of Fashion Design  at Parsons and author of four best-selling books:  Tim Gunn:  A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style; Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work; Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible:  The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet and Tim Gunn:  The Natty Professor:  A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating and Making it Work!

As Gunn took the stage, he addressed McDaniel and told her, “Paige, you’re the most beautiful person in the room,” to a roar of applause as all in attendance agreed.  He then sat down with local author, lifestyle expert and one of Dallas’ style icons Kimberly Schlegel Whitman for a much-anticipated conversation. 

Answering questions from how he became an author, his famous catchphrase “Make it work!,” and his TEACH  (Truth-telling, Empathy, Asking, Cheerleading and Hoping for the best) philosophy, to sharing stories from prior seasons of Project Runway and other personal recollections, Gunn completely enraptured the crowd with his thoughtful, funny and sometimes irreverent responses.  Kristi Hoyl then returned to the stage to ask questions on behalf of the audience.  A favorite was his response to the question “what current trend has to go?” in which he answered quickly, “leggings worn as pants,” and went on to share his philosophy on this popular trend, “which is probably not going away soon.”  

As the celebration came to a close, guests received a favor bag with the latest issues of PaperCity and The Park Cities News, Mary Kay eye makeup remover and black mascara, smart phone power bank, CPD nail file, Forty Five Ten beauty book and ERDOS at Home catalog and cosmetic bag courtesy of Paper Affair with the option for complimentary monogramming.

For more information, visit

About Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn is the Emmy-winning co-host and mentor for Lifetime’s Project Runway, where he also serves as one of the show’s producers. He and co-host Heidi Klum won the 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program, nabbing the award after his first nomination. In addition to his television prowess, he served as Fashion Dean at Fifth & Pacific, where he was responsible for attracting, retaining and developing the creative talent within the portfolio of brands.

Prior to his office at Fifth & Pacific, he was the Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. Gunn served as a member of the administration and faculty at Parsons School of Design for 29 years and has a rich and deep history with the institution. In August 2000, Gunn was appointed Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons with the charge of retooling and invigorating the curriculum for the 21st century. Under his direction, the department was repositioned as the indisputable leader in fashion design education in America and as one of only a handful of leading programs in the world. Upon leaving Parsons, Gunn received the title of Honorary Chair of Fashion Design at the school. In addition, Liz Claiborne, Inc. endowed a scholarship in his name.

Gunn has lectured widely on fashion and lifestyle design and, especially, Parsons’ profound role in putting America on the global design map. His interviews have appeared in a wide range of publications, from Newsweek and The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly and Martha Stewart Living, as well as Women’s Wear Daily, Fortune and Fast Company. In 2009 he delivered the keynote at Harvard Business School’s Conference on Luxury Retail in 2009. He has also covered the red carpet at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight, and he co-hosted the Official Oscar Red Carpet Pre-Show in 2009 and 2011 for ABC. Tim is also the executive producer and star of Project Runway: Under the Gunn, the newest of the Runway franchise on Lifetime.

Gunn is also a New York Times best-selling author penning Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work, and Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet. Tim released his fourth book, Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work! in Spring 2015.

He has written articles for Elle, Seventeen, People, US Weekly and Fortune and has a monthly feature in People Style Watch and Marie Claire. The now 61 year-old was named one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2006. Finally, Marvel comics made him a superhero in their 2009 revival of Models, Inc. with a special feature, “Loaded Gunn,” in which he dons the Iron Man armor to fight crimes against fashion.

About Community Partners of Dallas

Since 1989, Community Partners of Dallas has ensured safety and restored dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing crucial resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.  Community Partners of Dallas provides items such as winter coats, diapers and formula, holiday gifts, school uniforms, personal hygiene products, food and more,  to send the abused children in our community the message that someone does care.  Please visit for more information.

Recognize 15645 Views