Society / The Seen

Rita Wilson Headlines a Cozy and Candid Chick Lit Luncheon

Inside the Popular Fundraiser for Community Partners of Dallas

BY // 04.02.24
photography Tamytha Cameron, Celeste Cass and Nate Rehlander

The annual Dallas Chick Lit Luncheon always delivers a fun, frothy atmosphere. But beyond the sea of floral textiles and generous pours of Chardonnay, the 1,000-plus attendees represent the city’s famously generous spirit. Community Partners of Dallas’ biggest fundraiser raises crucial reserves for children in need, helped in great part by the 2024 luncheon’s featured speaker, actress, singer-songwriter, and producer Rita Wilson.

Co-chaired by Cathy James and Lisa Ogle, along with honorary chair Christine McKenny, the 18th annual Chick Lit Luncheon welcomed more than 1,000 guests to the Hilton Anatole on Friday, March 22. Several VIPs arrived early to meet and snag a photo with Wilson, and several more kicked off the festivities with a pre-luncheon champagne hour in the airy Trinity Ballroom foyer, where a raffle ticket table offers everything from a Dolce and Gabbana bag from Neiman Marcus to a trip to Paris.

Christy Houser and Amanda Ward
Christi Houser and Amanda Ward making their way to the 2024 Chick Lit Luncheon.

As guests settled into their seats for their Greek salad, Community Partners of Dallas CEO Joanna Clarke presented the 2024 Paige McDaniel Partners for Children Award to Capital for Kids founders Dawn Blankenship, Eliot Raffkind, and Reid Walker. Clarke then went on to highlight CPD’s own necessary work for abused and neglected children. After a poignant video showcasing the nonprofit’s ongoing impact in the community, lunch goers were quick to pull up donation card QR codes, gifting everything from $10 to $10,000. 

Wilson and three-time Emmy Award winning journalist Laura Harris (of NBC5) took their place on a cozily set stage (a lovely Chick Lit touch) to talk about the multi-hyphenate’s career successes (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), struggles (constantly being asked about her marriage), and gathering the courage to take risks. Wilson’s candidness matched the warmth of the setting.

DJ Lucy Wrubel and NBC5’s Laura Harris
DJ Lucy Wrubel and NBC5’s Laura Harris

“We get these messages as children that we can’t do things like become artists or dancers and they stick with us because we’re impressionable. I realized that thing for me was singing,” Wilson shared about her pivot into a music career. She recent recorded an album of duets with Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, and Josh Groban.

The conversation concluded with a lightening round of questions. What is Rita Wilson reading? Raymond Carver’s short stories. What is the best part of being a mom? Learning from your children. What designer would Wilson wear wear for the rest of her life?  “Spanks!” she passionately proclaimed.

Elizabeth Anthony

Swipe
ASSAEL
OLYMPIA LE-TAN
EMILY P. WHEELER
EMILY P. WHEELER
MARIA OLIVER
KATHERINE JETTER
MEREDITH YOUNG
LEIGH MAXWELL
MEREDITH YOUNG
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1

Save the date for the 19th annual Chick Lit Luncheon, hosted on March 28, 2025.

Visit Dallas' premier open-air shopping and dining destination.

Highland Park Village Shop Now

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X