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Mary Brinegar, President and CEO, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Kay Weeks, 2020-2021president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, could not have asked for a more perfect day as she presided over the Women’s Council’s last general membership meeting and luncheon of the 2020-2021 year themed A Royal Finale honoring Mary Brinegar, President and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society (DABS), with the 2021 Founders Award and featuring the most entertaining former Royal Chef, Darren McGrady.
“Our Annual Meeting was at capacity in A Tasteful Place at the Dallas Arboretum as we honored Mary Brinegar with the Founders Award,” Kay said. “She has brought world acclaim to the Arboretum and has served as such a positive role model for us all. Sarah Jo Hardin received the Leadership Award and Sharon Ballew was the recipient of the Service Award. Our thanks to Sarah Jo Hardin for securing our dynamic speaker and to Mari Epperson and Marcy Jones for creating such a beautiful luncheon!”
The chic crowd gathered early in anticipation of the announcements and applauded the chairs, honorees and award recipients throughout the presentations. This supportive close-knit group has known Mary Brinegar throughout her years of support of the Women’s Council as a loyal supporter and cheerleader for the Women’s Council since 1996 when she first joined the Dallas Arboretum. Since then, she, together with the board and Arboretum staff, has raised over $100 million for capital improvements, including new buildings, gardens and the renovation of the DeGolyer and Camp homes on the property. The Arboretum currently has over 400,000 members and is expected to draw over one million visitors this year alone.

McGrady, former chef for Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II and five U.S. Presidents, charmed everyone with his reflections of past escapades with Prince William and Prince Harry as young children, as well as his personal and heartfelt respect for Princess Diana. Currently, he is the owner of Eating Royally in Dallas and is the author of two cookbooks. He has recently launched a Signature Seasonings line and has become a prominent YouTube influencer.
Membership in the Women’s Council is open to the public and includes many benefits such as invitations to events in private homes, special events at the Arboretum with private access, general membership meetings and more. Everyone is encouraged to join! Learn more at the Women’s Council website at

Photos by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

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