LES FEMMES DU MONDE: DEDICATED TO SERVING DALLAS
Les Femmes du Monde is celebrating its Golden Anniversary of dedicating a half-century of service to Dallas. Since its beginning in 1961, Les Femmes du Monde has donated more than $2 million to the Dallas Council on World Affairs, now called World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, and more than $670,000 to Children’s Medical Center.
We invite you to be part of our 50-year tradition. For spring 2013 we are taking a nostalgic tour through Les Femmes of decades past. Our first luncheon on March 1 honored Les Femmes' first two presidents, Helen Storey, 1961, and Dr. Joanne Stroud, 1962, as well as 1961 members Billie Leigh Rippey and Jean Roberts. Our second luncheon of the spring will be a recreation of the three decades of fashion shows and annual sales at Exchange Park. And in May we will celebrate Les Femmes' 1980s decade with a Nancy Reagan luncheon. Summer will bring us up to the Millennium planning our Diamond Gala and Honorary Woman of the Year Extravaganza which will be held in October. We will honor not only the 2013 Honorary Woman of the Year, but all Women of the Year since we lunched our honors program in 1986. The 2012 honoree was Dr. Gail Thomas, President and CEO of The Trinity Trust Foundation. Proceeds were presented in November at our Annual Meeting and divided equally between our two beneficiaries: World Affairs Council International Education Program and Children's Medical Center Healthcare Organization Child Life Program.
LES FEMMES NANCY REAGAN LUNCHEON AT NEIMAN MARCUS NORTHPARK'S VIP REUBEN ROOM ON MAY 24
A personal telephone call from former First Lady Nancy Reagan at her home in California was the exciting surprise of Les Femmes du Monde's Nancy Reagan Luncheon on Friday, May 24 in the Reuben VIP Room at Neiman Marcus NorthPark, which was chaired by Judy Kirkley. She presented Mrs. Reagan's White House Social Secretary Linda Faulkner, who gave a talk entitled "Backstage at the White House,"
All of Les Femmes events benefit Children's Medical Center, which was represented by development director Kyra Barnett, as well as the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Mrs. Reagan's call came into the cell phone of the event's Honorary Chairman, Billie Leigh Rippey, just returned from Washington D.C. and met with one of Mrs. Reagan's good friends, who arranged for Mrs. Reagan to make the call. In accordance with the event’s theme, many of the 80 guests and patrons wore "Reagan red."
Neiman Marcus NorthPark’s 3rd floor VIP room is named for store manager Malcolm Reuben. He had the elegant space decorated with handbags and shoes and jewelry in the display cases. NM's Visual Department also prepared striking flower bowls full of deep red roses, carrying out the red Reagan theme.
Linda Faulkner gave a fascinating account of her experiences, how she was accepted for the position, and some of the glamorous events she planned including the dinner dance honoring Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Among those in Linda's audience were her own mother, Ann Faulkner, and the very first President of Les Femmes du Monde, Helen Storey, one of the founders in 1961.
Nancy Smith, 2013 President, announced that four chairmen have accepted to lead Les Femmes' annual major benefit, the Woman of the Year, which will celebrate the organization's 50th anniversary on October 17 at Dallas Country Club. The chairmen are Olive Coe, Faye Gould, Marilyn Klepak and Therese Rourk, and both Marilyn and Therese attended the luncheon while Olive and Faye were traveling and unable to be there.
Other Les Femmes members and officers who worked to make the event at Neiman Marcus a success were Sue John, treasurer; Barbara Gary, vice president and director of public relations and photography; and Cathy Linder and Mary Lee Cox assisting Judy Kirkley at check-in. Members were encouraged to sign up for the Woman of the Year committee, which will host the announcement party in June, where the annual yearbook will be distributed under the direction of Past President Connie Rhoades.
Neiman Marcus also provided table favors which included samples of La Mer cream and Jo Malone perfume, an extra gracious touch to an opulent event befitting the elegance of the White House during the Reagan era in Washington.
Les Femmes du Monde Honored Women of the Dallas Diplomatic Corps at the World Affairs Council of Dallas Fort Worth Event on March 18
Contacts: Sue John, 214-526-0007 and 214-802-8028
Barbara Gary, 214-543-4550
The women of the Dallas Diplomatic Corps--the Honorary Consuls of Spain, Luxembourg, Belize, Sweden, Norway, Canada and South Africa--were honored at the 2013 World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth reception on March 18. The event was presented by the Council, directed by Jim Falk, assisted by Whitney Schneider. Les Femmes du Monde was founded in 1961 as a benefit support group for the Council, which was originally called the Dallas Council on World Affairs. Now the Council is one of the two Les Femmes' beneficiaries, the other being the Children's Medical Center which was represented by Kyra Barnett.
The women diplomats were presented honorary memberships in Les Femmes du Monde by 2013 president Nancy Smith Becker. To delight all attending, including Les Femmes new members who also were honored, Jim Falk made dessert crepes of fruit and whipped cream. He even wore a chef's hat and bistro apron and explained that as a young man he lived in Paris.
The event was planned by Les Femmes World Affairs Council liaison Sharon Knowles. Barbara Gary presented a selection of pictures from Les Femmes' previous springtime event, the Founders Luncheon at the Old Warsaw.
The diplomats included: Mrs. Rosaline C. Tench (Belize, Associate); The Honorable Janet Kafka (Honorary Consul, Spain); The Honorable Joyce P. Capper (Honorary Consul, Luxembourg): Mrs. Cheryl Unis Mansour (Associate, Norway): The Honorable Helen Giddings (Honorary Consul, South Africa): The Honorable Ann-Katherine Klintmalm (Vice Consul, Sweden); The Honorable Paula Caldwell St-Onge (Canada).
Les Femmes du Monde
Benefiting World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas
Children’s Medical Center
Contacts: Sue John, 214-526-0007 and 214-802-8028
Barbara Gary, 214-543-4550
LES FEMMES DU MONDE HONORED ITS FIRST TWO PRESIDENTS HELEN STOREY AND DR. JOANNE STROUD BILBY AT THE FOUNDERS’ LUNCHEON ON FRIDAY, MARCH 1 AT THE OLD WARSAW RESTAURANT
One of the greatest reunions of Dallas’ women civic leaders took place on March 1 at the Old Warsaw restaurant when Les Femmes du Monde honored its first two Presidents: Helen Storey, 1961, and Dr. Joanne Stroud Bilby, 1962, and 1961 members Jean Roberts and Billie Leigh Rippey.
Val Imm Bashour, 1960’s Dallas Times Herald society columnist, gave a talk about her reminiscences of that glamorous era of Dallas history and the early days of Les Femmes du Monde.
Guests of Helen Storey attending the luncheon included: Nancy Lemmon, Ruth Ann Montgomery, Gloria Hammack, Beverly Lide, Nancy Dedman, Sis Miller, Tony Frankford Brinker, Kerbey Clark, Martha Ann Schneider, Margaret Crow, Jane Smith, Ann Faulkner, Jean White, Mary Jane Manning, and Rosemary Brinegar.
In addition, Margaret (Mrs. Spencer) Brown and her two daughters attended from Waco.
The Old Warsaw luncheon was chaired by Les Femmes Vice President Barbara Gary and Treasurer Sue John, with the help of Les Femmes 2013 President Nancy Smith Becker.
More than 100 members and their guests attended.
The Old Warsaw was originally located on Cedar Springs near Oak Lawn and was the premier Dallas restaurant of the 1960s. It moved to its present location, across from the Crescent, 2610 Maple Ave. (between Cedar Springs Rd. & McKinney Ave.).
Les Femmes du Monde was established in 1961, the first year of the Kennedy Administration, and focused on reselling fashions to benefit the Dallas Council on World Affairs, now called World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas. A second beneficiary was added three decades later, the Children’s Medical Center.
Mrs. Storey and Dr. Stroud Bilby gave remarks about the early days of Les Femmes du Monde, and Dr. Stroud was wearing a red jacket that she bought at a Femmes du Monde sale. World Affairs Council director Jim Falk explained how Les Femmes has helped the World Council's efforts to bring international programs to Dallas, and Children’s Medical Center representatives Suzanne Harrison and Sheila Long each explained how Les Femmes benefited children hospitalized at the center. Jim Falk presented each of the four honorees special World Council scarves, and Children's Medical gave each of them a framed picture made by a child at the center.
HISTORY OF LES FEMMES DU MONDE
The Dallas Council on World Affairs had been bringing international leaders to Dallas for a decade when the decision was made to form a ladies' support group. On June 14, 1961, Gen. Robert J. Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Dallas Council on World Affairs, hosted a luncheon at the City Club for 20 prominent young women. He proposed that they form a special fund-raising committee to be called Les Femmes du Monde Committee.Those members who attended the Inaugural Luncheon were:
Mrs. Charles P. Storey
Mrs. Walter Pharr
Mrs. Vera Hartt Martin
Mrs. Ethan B. Stroud Jr.
Mrs. Robert G. Storey Jr.
Mrs. Joe Lambert
Mrs. Betty Forsling Harris
Mrs. W. L. Perryman Jr.
Mrs. N. B. Clinch
Mrs. Harold F. Volk
Mrs. Carl Ragan
Mrs. Alex Camp
Mrs. Nancy Wynne
Miss Joan Reeves
Mrs. Dale Davis Pitt
Mrs. William Shadrach
Mrs. Edwin J. Foscue
Mrs. Clint Murchison Jr.
Mrs. Ruth Ascarelli
Mrs. John Baskett
Members of the press who attended the organizational luncheon included: Val Imm of the Dallas Times Herald; Ann Draper of the Dallas Morning News; Kay Cobelle; Julie Benell of WFAA-TV, Peggie Mazziotta of the Dallas Times Herald and Miss Doris Jacoby of the Dallas Morning News.
Gen. Smith opened the meeting by describing the segments of the Dallas Council: the Women’s Group, the Dallas Committee for Foreign Visitors and the Young Executives Group. He described the recent Conference on Religion and Freedom and its worldwide recognition – several of the conference’s addresses had been broadcast on “Voice of America.” He explained that the Council hosted study clubs as well as large events to which world leaders were presented. And he stressed that the Dallas Council on World Affairs is “our Council” and needed funding to maintain its budget of about $50,000 per year.
Mrs. Charles Storey described her own participation and her husband’s in the Council’s activities. She said their lives had been “greatly enriched by their experiences.” Mrs. Pharr told of a similar group in Los Angeles and recommended that Mrs. Storey be appointed chairman and that Mrs. Pharr would agree to be co-chairman.
The Kennedy administration had just begun, with interest in fashion at a peak following that year's Presidential Inauguration, so the new committee decided to present an annual one-day Benefit Sale of clothing and boutique items, consisting of donations from their own closets, with all proceeds benefiting the Dallas Council of World Affairs.
In 1987, Les Femmes became its own nonprofit organization, and in 1995 Children's Medical Center Child Life Program was added as a second beneficiary. Les Femmes continued its Benefit Sale at Exchange Park through 2001.
Since then, Les Femmes du Monde has presented monthly civic and educational programs monthly during the spring. In the fall and winter is the annual Woman of the Year benefit, Victory Luncheon and Dixie Marshall’s annual Christmas Party.
LES FEMMES DU MONDE’S FIRST PRESIDENT HELEN STOREY:
Helen Hanks Stephen Storey was born in Helena, Arkansas, and was a member of Chi Omega at Randolph Macon University, Old Miss and SMU. She married attorney Charles Porter Storey in 1950. During their 68 years of marriage, they had three sons, “all good men,” as she describes them. She and her husband shared programs such as the Foreign Students Program at SMU Law School and the Dallas Council on World Affairs. She served on the board of Junior League of Dallas, as docent of the Dallas Museum of Art and is a member of the Dallas Woman’s Club.
LES FEMMES DU MONDE SECOND PRESIDENT DR. JOANNE STROUD BILBY: Dr. Stroud was one of the six Founders of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture which was established in November 1980 as a nonprofit organization, along with Drs. Donald Cowan, Louise Cowan, James Hillman, Robert Sardello, and 2012 Woman of the Year Dr. Gail Thomas. All six had been colleagues at the University of Dallas. The Founding Fellows integrated the study of humanities into discussions about shaping the modern city of Dallas. They offered programs in education, psychology, civic virtues and city planning. Dr. Stroud continues to direct the Institute's Publications, and she and Dr. Gail Thomas serve as advisors and teachers in programs in psychology and culture.
1961 MEMBER JEAN ROBERTS: Jean Roberts was a founding board member of the Dallas Council on World Affairs as well as of the Dallas Arboretum, Old City Park and the Crow Museum of Asian Art. She is a member of the Dallas Symphony Association and the Dallas Museum of Art. For 63 years, she has been married to Robert Roberts, one of the Founders of Dallas Council on World Affairs and an executive of Procter & Gamble. The Library of Congress recently interviewed him about his World War II experiences. She had her own advertising and public relations firm and was editor of Scene Magazine.
1961 MEMBER BILLIE LEIGH RIPPEY: 2006 Woman of the Year Billie Leigh Rippey has taken leadership roles across the spectrum of Dallas. She founded the Rita Hayworth Gala for Alzheimers Disease Research, the Dallas Cotillion, and has been recognized for her contributions to the mission of the American Red Cross and the Tiffany Circle program. She received the Uma Award of the Red Cross at the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leadership Summit.