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Luncheon co-chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Singer and Andrea Weber with Dallas executive director Karen Michlewicz

Co-chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Singer, and Andrea Weber, with NorthPark Center 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 Janice Provost, chef and owner of Parigi, and more.  

 

At the appointed time, attendees took their places as the luncheon co-chairs briefly welcomed all and thanked them for their support of the Room to Grow Luncheonbenefiting 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.  

 

Karen Michlewicz, Dec My Room’s Dallas director, 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 Flightaward 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 Avril Graham, Harper’s BAZAARExecutive Fashion and Beauty Editor, and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Southern LivingEditor-at-Large and NorthPark Ambassador, 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 BAZAARand a swag bag filled with goodies from Cos Bar, SoulCycle, Crown Control Jewelry, Outdoor Voices, drybar, MiniLuxe, Sawyer Collection and more.

 

For more information about Dec My Room, visit DecMyRoom.org.

 

About Dec My Room

Founded 11 years ago In Houston and now with an affiliate in Dallas,Dec My Room helps “tocreate a healing place” for children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time. Dec My Room volunteers personalize the hospital room upon their arrival with items that complement the special likes and interests of the individual patient. These items are for them to enjoy during their stay and take home when they leave. Dec My Room is a unique and innovative charitable program whose efforts help improve the attitudes of patients and their healing process. 

 

About Avril Graham

Harper’s BAZAARExecutive Fashion and Beauty Editor Avril Graham has been with BAZAARfor many years—setting the must-have trends and styles season after season for millions of fashion and beauty-obsessed BAZAARreaders. Avril is widely considered an authority in all things style, as she has been sitting front row at the world’s most exclusive shows and has attended some of fashion’s most glamorous events during her illustrious career. You may have also seen Avril’s coverage of the royal wedding on some of TV’s most watched shows and networks, including NBC’s The TODAY Showand the E! Network.

 

About Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman is a TV host, author, blogger, lifestyle expert, and Editor-at-Large of Southern Livingmagazine. She has a talent for making the ordinary extraordinary and has taken her original and clever take on parties and created an entrepreneurial empire.  She is a contributor to NBC’s The TODAYShowand the author of eight books on entertaining including her most recent, Parties Around a Punch Bowl.Sheenjoys leading NorthPark Center’s Luxury Ambassador Program and serving as their fashion and lifestyle expert. Kimberly is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with an honors degree in art history and resides in Dallas with her husband, two children and giant schnauzer puppy.

 

About NorthPark Center

NorthPark Centeris the finest shopping experience and the preeminent shopping center in the Southwest with more than 230 stores and restaurants, including more than 60 market exclusives. Anchored by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Dillard’s, NorthPark Center offers an unparalleled collection of luxury boutiques set amid internationally acclaimed 20th and 21st century art, award-winning architecture and extraordinary landscaping, as well as a 1.4-acre garden, CenterPark, and a state-of-the-art movie theatre, AMC NorthPark 15. NorthPark Center surpassed $1.2 billion in sales in 2017 and consistently ranks as one of the top five performing shopping centers in the United States. NorthPark Center is North Texas’ number one tourist destination and is conveniently located five miles from downtown Dallas and 35 miles from Fort Worth.

 

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