Dallas Uncorked’s Celebrated Two Birthday “Projects” At Sevy’s

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

The wet weather was supposed to be on vacation, but oh, no! Mother Nature had other plans for Dallas on Sunday, June 12. Still the wine-loving Dallas Uncorked crowd wasn’t going to let a little weather dampen their annual fundraising dinner at Sevy’s. Ironically, it was benefiting The Birthday Party Project. What was the irony? It was also Dallas Uncorked’s Founder Hayley Hamilton Cogill‘s birthday. Before taking off for Walla Walls, the birthday gal filed this report:

The room was truly spectacular as Chef Sevy (aka Jim Severson) and business partner/manager Stefaan Vandemoortele rolled out the roses with two long, candlelit tables of 30 each, down the middle of the dining room at Sevy’s. They had never created a set up quite like this, but I wanted the communal, celebratory feel with everyone celebrating together for this our 12th anniversary.  The wines were stunning, provided by Ram’s Gate Winery, highlighting single special vineyards throughout Sonoma, including favorite of the night, Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay and Bush Crispo Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Shrimp toast*

Shrimp toast*

Ram's Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Ram’s Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Friends old and new joined us for the night including Byron and Linda Harris, just back from fly fishing in Santa Fe (where Linda caught a 5-lb. rainbow trout!…I think they are enjoying his retirement from WFAA;) Don Winspear with date Michael Meadows as Ellen Winspear was prepping for her day long Opera meeting and photo shoot yesterday; Frank and Karen Needham; Jennifer and Doug Houser; Shelly Slater, who left husband Clay at home to take care of the kiddos; Jack Hobbs, founder of a new podcast company, Revolver; Erin Waks without husband Larry Waks, as sadly the rain redirected his incoming NYC to DFW flight to Midland, but we still sent a steak home for him; Ram’s Gate Winery GM David Oliver and assistant winemaker Luke Stanko; Collin Chenault from The Birthday Party Project, our second time to donate the proceeds from our anniversary event to the fantastic charity; my cousin, and board member from the start, Chablis Lindquist, (yes, Chablis, my aunt loved the French region…and the wines) along with her hubby John, who had just arrived from the night from Arkansas; Randy and Michelle DeWitt, taking a break from one of their Front Burner restaurants to enjoy Sevy’s food and these incredible wines!

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy's*

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy’s*

Gary gushed, as he so sweetly does; I was quite teary and thankful, especially in the wake of the events of the day; David and Luke celebrated their delicious wine; and Chef Jim hit it out of the park once again. I think this was the 6th or 7th event I have done with the 19-year-old restaurant in our 12 years…everyone always loves Sevy’s and they are some of the kindest, most thoughtful owners in town, generously giving back so much.

We didn’t do an auction, as the point of the night was more for celebration, instead giving everyone a ticket and drawing a prize winning number – a bottle of the Bush Crispo Pinot, a mighty fine birthday present.

* Photos provided by Dallas Uncorked

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Results Reported

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

The two biggy fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s spring Debutante Presentation Ball and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association’s Dallas Symphony Gala that kicks off the black-tie fundraising season in the fall.

How big? Well, 2015-2016 DSOL President Melissa Lewis just sent word that thanks to “the Ball (along with our other fundraisers), the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League raised over $773,000 which was given back to the Dallas Symphony in support of their outreach and education programs.”

A tip of the hat to 2016 Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and the rest of the DSOL-ers on mission well done.

Attorneys Serving The Community Luncheon Provided Food For Thought Thanks To Speakers Steve Pemberton And Cynt Marshall

There were a lot of lawyers MIA on Friday, June 10. Nearly a thousand to be exact. The cause for non-billing hours was the Attorneys Serving the Community annual luncheon at the Hilton Anatole benefiting Dallas CASA. It was a remarkable gathering thanks especially to keynote speaker Steve Pemberton, who not only understood the need for Dallas CASA but rose above his childhood of neglect to become vice president of Walgreens and an author. Evidently Half-Price Books brought 100 of Steve’s books to sell. Evidently they wished they had brought more. The line to get Steve’s autograph last more than an hour after the luncheon.

Another moving talk was provided by Honorary Chair/Dallas CASA Board Member Cynt Marshall. Here is a report from the field and remember Dallas CASA is on a campaign for volunteers:

Walgreens VP Steve Pemberton told attendees at Attorneys Serving the Community (ASC) luncheon benefiting Dallas CASA on Friday, June 10, that despite his childhood of abuse, neglect and deprivation, he always knew he had the power in him to rise above. He just needed one person to believe in him.

“If the headlines bother you, give from wherever you are with whatever you have,” Steve said. “I’m one small example of what’s possible when you give somebody a chance in the world.”

Held at the Hilton Anatole Dallas with 900 seats, the luncheon was the culminating event of a year of fundraising by ASC for Dallas CASA. The group had raised more than $300,000 for Dallas CASA, which recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

Steve PEmberton*

Steve Pemberton*

Steve’s official title is Vice-President, Diversity and Inclusion and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise in the world, employing 370,000 people in 25 countries. Now a father of three, Steve admitted that finding a place for an African-American boy with no home, blue eyes, a blonde Afro and a Polish last name in working class Boston was a challenge. He named his autobiography “A Chance in the World” after a social service workers’ note in his file that “this child doesn’t have a chance in the world.” Ultimately, Steve created his own chances, finding success despite his circumstances.

“I inherited a tragedy I didn’t ask for or create, but nobody could stop me from changing it,” Steve said. “I was always looking out for that someone who would not see me as dumb, ugly or broken beyond repair. I was told ‘No’ a lot, but ultimately I was told ‘Yes’ more.”

For many abused and neglected children, a CASA volunteer is the one caring, constant adult who can make a critical difference in their lives and says “Yes.”

Gloria Campos, Kathleen LaValle and Cortland Kelly Grynwald*

Gloria Campos, Kathleen LaValle and Cortland Kelly Grynwald*

ASC annually chooses a beneficiary for a year of fundraising support. Events during the year include a silent auction and a 5K race, with the luncheon serving as the final event. ASC Chairs for 2015-16 were Cortland Kelly Grynwald and Kara Altenbaumer-Price. Mistress of ceremonies was Gloria Campos, and the ASC Friend of the Community Award was given to The Margulies Group. Honorary chair was AT&T Senior VP and a Dallas CASA Board Member Cynt Marshall, who shared with the crowd her own experience with children living in foster care.

Cynt told the crowd about a nine-month-old baby abandoned with his nine-year-old brother for two months. With only a toaster oven to keep them warm, the older boy foraged for food and kept his baby brother alive for two months. She also told about a 12-year-old girl forced to eat peanut butter and jelly alone in the pantry while the brothers in her birth family enjoyed turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving day. And she told about a baby girl, born premature, with medical needs and weighing less than two pounds, abandoned by her mother in the hospital.

Kara Altenbaumer-Price and Cynt Marshall*

Kara Altenbaumer-Price and Cynt Marshall*

“These are now my own children. We were blessed to adopt them with the help of lawyers, judges and… yes, CASA volunteers,” Cynt told the cheering crowd as she introduced her youngest daughter, who was left at San Francisco General Hospital and is a junior in college today. “These honeys were kept as safe as possible because of people like you.”

ACS events raised more than $300,000 in critically-needed funds to recruit and train volunteer advocates who gather information to help judges decide where abused and neglected children can live safely and permanently. On an average day in Dallas, more than 2,000 abused and neglected children live in foster care because they cannot safely live at home. Only about three out of five of those children have a Dallas CASA volunteer who can speak for them, but funds from ASC will allow Dallas CASA to recruit, train and supervise more volunteers to serve more children.

“Children in foster care are thrust into a bewildering world of strangers. CASA volunteers help them navigate this very grown-up process,” Cynt said. “Good things can always come out of bad things. Being a CASA is simply a matter of opening your heart.”

Individuals, retailers and manufacturers provided in-kind donations included Cornerstone BTI, D CEO Magazine, Half Price Books, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Judy Norsdeth Photograph, The Margulies Group, Mary Kay, McShan Florist Inc., Michaels Stores Inc., Platinum, TXU Energy and Texas Lawyer.

The following sponsors are underwriters:

  • Presenting ($25,000) — The Members of Attorneys Serving the Community
  • Crystal ($10,000) — Anonymous, Baron and Budd and Texas Lawyer
  • Platinum ($5,000) — D CEO Magazine, Locke Lord LLP, The Marketing Connection, McKool Smith, ORIX Foundation, Sidley Austin LLP and TIER REIT
  • Gold ($2,500) — Amy Stewart PC, AT&T, Baker Botts LLP, Cinemark Theatres, Farrow-Gillepsie and Heath LLP, Gray Reed and McGraw PC, Husch Blackwell, Jackson Walker LLP, JMO Firm PLLC, Khirallah PLLC, Lynn Pinker Cox and Hurst LLP, The McClure Law Group, Norton Rose Fullbright, Perkins Coie, Scheef and Stone LLP, Thompson and Knight Foundation and Winstead PC
  • Silver ($2,000) — Andrews and Bath, PC/Angela Maverick, The BVA Group LLC, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman and Blumenthal, LLP, Counsel on Call, Dallas CASA Board Members, Dallas Women Lawyers Association, Haynes and Boone LLP, Holland and Knight LLP, HSSK, Littler Mendelson PC, Powell Coleman and Arndol LLP, Schwob Building Company LTD and Vinson and Elkins LLP
  • Bronze ($1,750) — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, Bell Nunnally and Martin LLP, Bracewell LLP, Capital Financial Partners/Patte Lee, Cooper and Scully PC, Deloitte, DTI, Energy Future Holdings, Gibson Dunn, Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, Jackson Lewis PC, K and L Gates, Kilgore and Kilgore PLLC, LeBoeuf Law, PLLC/Spencer Scott PLLC, Legalpeople LLC – A LegalPartners Company, Lennox International, Marsh and McLennan Agency LLC/MHB, Munsch Hardt Kopf and Harr PC, Powell Coleman and Arnold LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Quilling Selander Lownds Winslett and Moser PC, Republic Title, Strasburger and Price LLP, UNT Dallas College of Law and Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelamn and Dicker LLP/Allied World
* Photos provided by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: WaterTower Theatre’s Community Cast Party

According to WaterTower Theatre’s Community Cast Party Co-Chair Stan Graner,

“The ‘Community Cast Party’ at WaterTower Theatre in Addison, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 (7 to 11 PM), is our annual ‘friend’-raiser, now in its third big year. Designed to bring the theater community and the audience members who love them to the same party, all proceeds go to WaterTower Theatre’s artistic and education programs.

“Cuisine from many fine local restaurants is highlighted, with serving areas sprinkled liberally throughout our lobby areas. Specialty entertainment is featured in our Studio Theater, redesigned to become a black box lounge area for the evening. Then on our Main Stage, headliner Denise Lee, local singer/actress/entertainer extraordinaire, will dazzle us with her highly acclaimed cabaret show. She may even have a few of her friends performing as well!

WaterTower Theatre's "Community Cast Party"*

WaterTower Theatre’s “Community Cast Party”*

“Restaurants featured in the past include Table 13, The Egg and I Restaurant, Antonio Ristorante, Dough Bro’s Italian Kitchen and Bar, Polka Dot Bakery, Z Taverna, Whole Foods Addison, and many more. Goody Goody Liquor has also been a proud sponsor. We’re putting together a terrific group again for this year’s party, and it’s all included in your ticket price!

“Besides headliner Denise, specialty entertainment will include musical performers Monique Abry, Whitney Coulter, Olivia De Guzman Emile, Alex Heika, Kyle Montgomery and Mark Mullino. Tiffany Riley, Dick Monday and other members of the clowning community will put on a clown cabaret performance, and the improv comedy group The Victims will bring the house down with their infectious humor.

“We’ll end the evening with our famous raffle. Prizes this year include ‘A Trip To New Orleans’ (with airfare) for two; ‘A Night On The Town In Addison’ for four which begins with dinner at Table 13 and ends with a fabulous show at WaterTower Theatre; and a ‘Luxury Staycation At The Joule Hotel’ for two with dinner, brunch, and spa included. Every raffle ticket has a coupon on the back for $15 off dinner at Kenny’s Italian Grill in Addison, a value larger than the cost of the raffle ticket itself!

“Tickets for ‘Community Cast Party’ are $50 each, which includes all food and of course some drink tickets (additional drink tickets may be purchased separately at the event). Raffle tickets for the above great prizes are $10 each, or 3 for $25. All tickets can be purchased by calling the WaterTower Theatre box office at 972.450.6232. ‘Community Cast Party’ will be held at WaterTower Theatre, located at 15650 Addison Road in Addison TX, on September 10 from 7 to 11 PM. Our CCP Co-Chairs Maureen Anderson, Corky Pledger, Debbie Staggs and I say, ‘See you there!’”

* Photo provided by WaterTower Theatre

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