JUST IN: Milestones Luncheon To Celebrate JLD’s Centennial Year With Novakov Gals, Former 1st Lady And A Community Leader
In addition to the Snell and Layton ladies, another mother-daughter combo will team up for a major fundraising event in 2022. Isabell Novakov Higginbotham will chair the Junior League of Dallas’ Centennial Milestone Luncheon with her mom Lydia Novakov serving as sustaining chair.
While the Milestone Luncheon is not 100 years old, the Junior League of Dallas is and the JLD-ers are celebrating this anniversary throughout the year.
To commemorate the occasion they have announced that former first lady Laura Bush will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award “for her excellence in voluntarism and community leadership.”
While living in Midland, she was “an active member of the Junior League of Midland for more than 15 years… when Mrs. Bush move to Dallas in 1989, she maintained her Sustainer status and supported the Junior League of Dallas.”
Also being recognized as Sustainer of the Year at the luncheon on Thursday, April 21, at the Hilton Anatole will be former Dallas City Councilperson Veletta Forsythe Lill, who “credits the JLD for giving her leadership skills that have served her throughout her life — from non-profit board service and budgets to the critical issues facing our city.”
In addition to presently serving as Dallas Historical Society chair, Veletta has “helped shape the growth of the Dallas Arts District, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Klyde Warren Park, Nasher Sculpture Center, Moody Performance Hall, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and many more.”
Thursday night seemed like any other night. The summer heat was bringing out the mosquitoes. Folks were checking out for vacations. The Mavericks were making news with the departure of Donny Nelson and Rick Carlisle. Ah, but Friday was just hours away and for some it was going to be a holiday thanks to President Joe Biden’s making June 19 a federal holiday.
But at MySweetCharity world headquarters, all hell broke loose. But it wasn’t just MSC that was effected. Websites throughout the area were gut punched.
It wasn’t due to being hacked by some foreign interloper holding us hostage via ransomware. Nope, it was due to a a major server system throwing a whopper of a temper tantrum.
And talk about a perfect storm! To make things even worse, our IT wizard behind the curtain had taken his first vacation ever and was in Florida working remotely.
At first the fear was that everything could have been wiped out. Luckily, the team (Servously and Dallas Pro IT) that has made MSC sparkle since its beginning was on top of it and worked literally around the clock from Friday through this morning to restore the world back to normal.
Unfortunately, Friday’s posts were unposted, and any posts created over the weekend disappeared into a black hole. So, today will be spent restoring Friday’s posts about the Katy Trail achieving the spring campaign goal and Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Big Dance making a big splash, as well as recreating the posts that were scheduled to go up today and tomorrow.
Our apologies for the “oops,” but this is the first time that this situation has ever happened and it has served us as a learning lesson for the possibility of future “oops.”
BTW, we made our IT guy swear he will never take a vacation again.
* Photo credit: Skeeter Hagler
Leave it to the Dallas Black Dance Theatre to kick off the summer with fabulous costumes, can’t-resist food and incredible dancers. Of course, they did just that on Saturday, June 5, turning the Meyerson into New Orleans complete with a king and a queen, a duke and a duchess and Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage for The Big Dance. The only thing missing was the steaming humidity of the French Quarter thanks to the Meyerson’s air-conditioning system. But it wasn’t missed at all with the costumed dancers parading through the marble lobby. Here’s a report from the field:
For those who have experienced The Big Easy style of New Orleans, The Big Dance was a dance down memory lane. Others got to sample authentic gems of sights, sounds, and cuisine during the evening. Brazilian Samba Dancers and stilt walkers gliding to the music of DJ Kevy Kev greeted guests in the main lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
New Orleans native and Hurricane Katrina survivor Michelle N. Gibson orchestrated the evening, making sure it had all the authentic trappings of a festive night in The Big Easy. The evening started with the Honorary Chairpersons presented as a royal court. Norma and Don Stone were King and Queen, while Linda and Dr. Frederick Todd II were Duke and Duchess. Carisma Ramsey Fields and Kim Whitaker were event co-chairs.
New Orleans native Thaddeus Ford Preservation Band provided guests in the east lobby with jazz melodies. Guests in the west lobby were treated to the energetic sounds of the Big Easy Brass Band. People were able to join the party online and experience live music from both bands during the evening virtually.
Spotted on the dance floor were Boski and Sharad Sharma, Marena and Roger Gault and Willow Sanchez Lewis and Peter Lewis. Among those relaxing and enjoying the jazz music included Grace Cook, who has signed on to be honorary chairperson for The Big Dance in June 2022. Joining her were Erik Moss, Courtney Morrison and Noa Dawl. Also sighted during the evening were Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann Williams, Kimberley and Tony Scalia, Rebecca and Daryl Roberts, retired Judge Carolyn Wright-Sanders and James Sanders, Angela Chapman, Misty Hoyt, Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld.
Culinaire catered the luscious New Orleans cuisine, including Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage, Fried Catfish with Grits, Fried Shrimp Po’Boys Sliders, Peach Cobbler and Beignets. The chef provided Vegan Meatless Muffaletta, Vegetable Etouffee and Vegan Dirty Rice for the vegetarians. Among those savoring the food were Georgia Scaife, Cathy Shepherd, Paulette and Herb Turner, Sheena and John Payne, Ella Goode Johnson and Earl Johnson and Debi and Darren Pena.
Sprinkled throughout the evening were mini parades featuring dancers in authentic attire, including the Mardi Gras Black Indian/ Big Queen from the Wild Apache Tribe and Southern Belle Baby Dolls.
The BIG Dance Host Committee included Regina and Matamba Austin, Dorris L. Bogus, Angela Chapman, Greer Christian, Grace Cook, Marena L. Gault, Gwen and Art George, Misty J. Hoyt, Terrence Maiden, Amenemope’ McKinney, Kim Noltemy, Kimberlie D. Page, Christopher Plumlee, Kymberley Scalia, Boski Sharma, Michelle Thomas, Paulette Turner and Ann Williams.
DBDT Artistic Director Melissa M. Young and DBDT Executive Director Zenetta S. Drew chatted with guests, thanking them for supporting the fundraiser, which benefited Dallas Black Dance Academy scholarships and education outreach programs.
The finale featured Grand Marshal Michelle N. Gibson leading the Big Easy Brass, DBDT dancers, and guests in a Second Line dance through the Meyerson lobby. The Big Dance turned out the perfect way to kick off the summer party season!
Event sponsors were JPMorgan Chase and Co., The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Hall Group, with additional sponsorship from Hall Wines. The official beer sponsor was Stella Artois.
* Photo credit: Reflections HD Photography
Good news on a Friday is like a delicious dessert following a yummy entree or a mint on the pillow for sweet dreams. So the Friends of the Katy Trail is providing just that with news about its Spring Support Campaign.
Of course, with Gwen and Doug Parker serving as honorary co-chairs, how could you miss you goal of $100,000 for the Katy Trail operations expenses?
Well, not only did they hit that goal, they walloped it with the grand total coming in at $170,000!
According to Friends of the Katy Trail Major Gifts Director Ann Whitley Wood, “We are so grateful to Honorary Chairs Gwen and Doug Parker for helping to raise the profile of our effort and for their generous lead gift. More than 400 members of our community gave to the campaign. Friends of the Katy Trail has recognized all donors at $1,000 and above with a sign on the Trail that will be up through mid-July.”
Next on Katy’s fundraising trail is the Katy 5K for Thursday, September 9. Unlike last year’s virtual jog, this one will be in-person and presented by Michelob Ultra and will probably be a sell-out. The questions are “How soon?”, “Have you registered?” and “Have you heard about the advantages of sponsorship?” Katy Trail Operations Director Lauren Whitson has the answer to that last question.
* Graphic/photo provided by Friends of the Katy Trail
Out of the pandemic emerged incredible programs to help North Texans in need. One of those programs was Dallas Animal Services’ Pet Food Pantry. It was created to help pet owners who were facing tough times and having to make even tougher decisions.
According to DAS Interim Director MeLissa Webber, “The last year has been devastating for countless Dallas residents and many continue to struggle to feed their families, including their pets. We don’t want struggling residents to be forced to give up their best friend and suffer yet another crushing loss; pets should be a comfort to their people during difficult times like these. That is why we have prioritized safety net programs like this pet food pantry, to keep pets where they belong – with the people who love them.”
Thanks to Dallas-area kitchens, meal providers and food pantry programs, DAS’s Pet Food Pantry provided more than 1,000 pounds of food for dogs and 300 pounds for cats.
But while the pandemic appears to be winding down, the need for pet owners continues. Just this past April, 576 pounds of dog food and 115 pounds of cat food were distributed to feed 187 dogs and 68 cats, respectively.
For that reason, DAS is requesting the public to support the pantry.
As MeLissa put it, “The need in the community is on the rise and we are working hard to meet the demand, but we need your help. By donating pet food, volunteering at a pet food pantry distribution event, or even just spreading the word in your neighborhood, you can help us ensure that all Dallas pets are fed.”
This month DAS has created a special pet food donation drive. The goal is to raise 2,000 pounds of pet food that will be distributed throughout the summer.
If you want to help a pet and its owner, you have three opportunities:
- Drop off unexpired and unopened pet food of any brand at DAS main shelter (1818 Westmoreland Road).
- Order it through Amazon Wish List and it will be shipped to DAS.
- Volunteer “to help pack pet food for distribution and help run the pet food pantry distribution events.”
- Donate cold, hard cash or plastic.
On the other hand, if you’re one of those who is in need of help, July pet food distributions are scheduled for:
- Saturday, July 10 from noon to 2 p.m. at The Stewpot (408 Park Avenue)
- Sunday, July 11 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Phillip’s Community Center (1502 Pennsylvania Avenue)
- Tuesday, July 13 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Pleasant Grove (1324 Pleasant Drive)
If you have a pet, then why not do a twofer? When you buy your own pet its bag or can of food, buy one for another pet in need.
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Animal Services
With Rainbow Days’ 2021 Pot of Gold Luncheon just a week away, Event Co-Chairs Kyle Coot and Ross DeRogatis have revealed some updates. First, 2021 Pot of Gold Auction Co-Chairs Melissa Griffith and Talene Kozanian have put the silent auction online for bidding. Second, for those who … Read More...
It’s not every year that a North Texas non-profit celebrates its 40th anniversary. And 2021 Equest Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Kendall Laughlin and Katherine and Austin Wyker saddled up and galloped ahead to make Equest's 40th anniversary a really big deal on Saturday, June 5, in the Al Hill Jr. Family … Read More...
Despite the heat, everything was literally coming up roses at Donna and Herb Weitzman’s marvelous Volk Estates home this evening. With more than 100 guests arriving for the announcement of plans for the 15th Annual A Writer’s Garden 2021, the backup along Lovers Lane was parking-lot status for a … Read More...
2021 Cattle Baron’s Ball Trailblazers Grazed In Freshly Coiffed Grounds With “Weighty” Conversations
Anne Stodghill admitted that she and husband Steve Stodghill had been so busy with activities like his 60½ birthday party that had folks from around the country at Gilley’s on Saturday, May 22, that they showed up at Holly and Stubbs Davis’ home on Sunday, May 29, with hot dogs and buns for their … Read More...
Born in Germany on October 21, 1940, when the country was occupied by the Nazis and before the U.S. entered World War II, Helga Feldman had a childhood that was spent in an orphanage until “a beloved aunt rescued her and brought her to America, where Helga lived the American dream.” As a grownup … Read More...
Community Partners of Dallas always seems to land some memory maker for their Chick Lit Luncheon. Alas, last year’s Diane Keaton had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make up for it, the CPD-ers landed the gals who put the “fun” into fundraising to head up the 15th Annual Chick Lit … Read More...