JUST IN: Monuments Men Foundation’s Robert Edsel Presents Precious Artifacts To The Dallas Holocaust Museum This Morning

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

This morning Monuments Men Foundation Chairman of the Board Robert Edsel was all mic-ed up alongside Holocaust Museum Board Chair-Elect Florence Shapiro at the Museum behind a table. On the other side of the table was a line-up of TV cameras and photographers and spectators. On the table were a very worn book and an aged menorah that were the center of attention because they were treasures of World War II and, thanks to the Monuments Men Foundation, were being presented to the Museum.

Made famous thanks to Robert’s Monuments Men book and the movie, the Foundation has taken up the cause to return such art, cultural objects, and documents to their rightful owners and/or provide for their preservation.

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

The seven-branch menorah was “a souvenir” brought to the States by a World War II vet. Considered truly unique because of its “having only seven branches, it resembles the one lit by Kohanim (priests)at the Holy Temple during Biblical times in Jerusalem. It is a symbol of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The commonly seen nine-branch menorah, called in Hebrew ‘Chanukiyyah,’ is used during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.”

According to Robert, “The Monuments Men Foundation is pleased that after some 70 years, this menorah will now have a permanent and appropriate home at one of our city’s most important cultural institutes, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Now, after a very long journey, it will serve future generations as an ever-present reminder of the horrors inflicted on humanity by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.”

As for the book, it was actually an album “containing 46 tipped-in photographs showing daily work activities of the Monuments Men at the Offenbach Archival Deport, one of three principal collecting points for cultural treasures and works of arts looted by the Nazis during World War II.”

Monuments Officer Captain Isaac Bencowitz, who had been the director of the Offenbach Archival Depot, presented the album to Monuments Man Corporal Rouben Sami for his efforts. Despite its condition, five Monuments Men have been identified in the photos including Monuments Officer Lt. Col. Richard Howard, who was the third director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

As Robert carefully opened the book, he explained, “The Foundation is also excited that the album of photographs documenting the work of the Monuments Men in identifying and returning some of the millions of objects stolen during the war will reside at the Museum.”

As the press conference concluded and the microphones were removed, Robert shared news of another sort with Florence. Not only had he gotten married, but the newlyweds were expecting a baby in August.

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo Is Star Attraction At Just Say Yes’s 6th Annual Celebration

The pool house at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s sprawling Preston Hollow manse was buzzing with excitement Tuesday, April 12, for the Just Say Yes group’s 6th Annual Celebration, officially titled “Missing Puzzle Piece.” The reason: Candice and Tony Romo were down at one end posing graciously for photos, and all the VIP guests wanted to get close to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback and his wife.

Candice’s mother, it turns out, had been instrumental in introducing Just Say Yes founder and president Dan Bailey to potential donors at a coffee some 15 years ago. And tonight, the 350 attendees—including Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, Ed Franklin, Lee Ann and Alan White, and Tiffany and Paul Divis—would listen to Romo being interviewed by Bailey at the dinner fundraiser. Just Say Yes (Youth Equipped to Succeed) empowers youth to attain their dreams and goals—and say no to destructive choices—by educating them through student-assembly speakers and classroom curriculum.

While honorary chairs Gena and Chuck Norris weren’t able to make it, Cassandra and Avery Johnson flew in from California for the evening. Avery, the former Dallas Mavs coach who now coaches men’s basketball at the University of Alabama, presented the Avery Johnson Youth Impact Award to Lisa and Kenny. During brief remarks, Avery joked that his son Avery Jr.—a basketball player who will be transferring from Texas A&M to Alabama—is “obsessed with Tony Romo.”

Avery’s son would have been in good company at this event. During a wide-ranging conversation with Dan, Tony:

  • Said that his broken clavicle is mending nicely, and that “I think I’m gonna make it through the season, so we should be fine.”
  • Disclosed that his parents were his most influential role models growing up. He was reared in modest circumstances as a “little bit of an outcast,” Tony said.
  • Advised today’s high school students to resist peer pressure from the “cool” kids: “It doesn’t matter. Don’t let them affect you day-to-day. Don’t let them control you. Just give it to God and live your life.”
  • Criticized the often-negative effects of social media. “This social media world is so not real life,” Tony said. “I would say, a.) don’t read it. But b.), if you do, be unemotionally attached. People don’t really care about you that much. Life will go on. Just do your job and everything will be fine.”

“Missing Puzzle Piece” also featured a dinner by Chamberlain’s and an auction and raffle, with Louis Murad calling the shots. The fundraising aspect was important, Bailey explained, because Just Say Yes is aiming to triple its annual budget in three years, from $900,000 currently to $2.7 million. With the larger amount, he said, Just Say Yes would be able to reach 250,000 students a year.

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Distributed Record-Breaking $6.5M To 11 Dallas Children’s Non-Profits

There are hundreds of children…no, make that thousands of children…who went to sleep on Tuesday, April 12, never having heard of a gal from Andrews, Texas, by the name of Michal Powell or an organization called Crystal Charity Ball.

That’s just peachy keen for the 2015 CCB Chair Michal and her gall-gal committee of 99. For a little over a year, they made calls, hand delivered contracts and championed the cases for Dallas children to net a record-breaking $6.5M.

Some of that money would go to healthcare, ranging from sexual abuse to hearing and sight challenges. Other funds would assist homeless and hungry kids and those working through the challenges of autism.

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

But on this evening, it was Christmas with Michal and her team including Underwriting chair Tucker Enthoven presenting the real-thing checks to the 11 recipients thanks to host Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew. Among the crowd of more-than-smiley recipients and guests were Dave Woodyard, Ola Fojtasek, Robyn Flatt, Cara French, Sandra Session-Robertson, Bob Sweeney, Elizabeth Gambrell, Tom Turnage, Pam Busbee, Ona Foster, Daffan Nettle, Dr. Tom Campbell, Beth Thoele, Michael Craven, Margaret Hancock, Kimberly Williams, Anne Reeder, Doug Adkins, Tricia George, Tom Black, Mary Martha Pickens, Jan McAuley, Fredye Factor, Pat McEvoy, Vinnie Reuben, Leslie Diers, Mary Clare Finney, Susan Farris, Barbara Stuart and 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter.

Here is a breakdown of how the checks were distributed:

  • Catholic Charities of Dallas — $575,000 for the School Readiness Program
  • Dallas Children’s Theater — $564,400 for Sensory-Friendly Performances and Classes
  • Dallas Life — $546,919 for the Kids Life Program
  • Dallas Services — $646,064 for the Vision for Children Program
  • Family Compass — $600,000 for the Healthy Families Program
  • Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders — $630,000 for The Pediatric Hearing Aid Project
  • H.I.S. BridgeBuilders — $539,450 for the Crossover Athletics Program
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition — $500,000 for the Childcare and Youth Services Center
  • Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers —$500,000 for Ewing’s Sarcoma Pediatric Cancer Research Program
  • North Texas Food Bank — $750,000 for the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation — $459,124 for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

Wanna bet what the first thing the 11 recipients did the next morning? Deliver the checks to their banks, of course. The second thing was to put that money to work.

JUST IN: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball’s Theme Announced

Jan Strimple demonstrates the season of spring

Jan Strimple demonstrates the season of spring

The news that will determine the gowns and gems that will scene steal at the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball was just announced a few minutes ago at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s breathtaking Bluffview estate. It’s the mega-fundraising gala’s theme!

With CCB Chair Christie Carter revealing the theme would be “To Everything There is a Season,” czarina model Jan Strimple read the verses of the theme after doing a jaw-dropping strolled down the Cooley stairway wearing an amazing floral headpiece and a killer gown especially created for the announcement.

With a goal of $5.6M to benefit Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Hope Supply Co., Notre Dame School, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place, the black-tie gala will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, December 3. The fundraiser will be orchestrated by veteran event producer Tom Addis and supported by The Garden Gate’s Junior Villanueva and Lambert’s Landscape Design’s Paul Fields.

The announcement party was underwritten by Lisa and Clay and was sponsored by Bank of Texas.

Designers, get your creative juices going to come up with knock-out looks for the December ball.

More deets to follow, but gee-whiz. Let’s see. So many seasons to pick. Spring blossoms? Summer’s red-white-and-blue? Fall’s golden colors? Hmm. The wintry season glistening ice (aka diamonds)? Can’t wait to see the picks of the season in fashion.

2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Boasted 007 Babes, Beverages And Bond-iful Partying For…

Michelle Bradwell, David Nelson, Angel Irvine, Bret Gallagher Jr.*

When James Bond would loosen his tie, you just knew he was taking enjoyment to a new high. So, how fitting it was that the 2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party would have a Bond theme at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, complete with grown-up beverages, Bond babes and partying. Here’s […]

JUST IN: Terry Martin To Leave WaterTower Theatre To Head Up Greenhill School’s Fine…

Terry Martin (File photo)

And the changes in area non-profit leadership keep rolling in. WaterTower Theatre Board Chair Derek Blount just announced that WaterTower Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin has turned in his resignation. Starting Friday, July 1, Terry will be the Head of Fine Arts with Greenhill School. According to Derek, “We are so proud of Terry Martin […]

Despite Rain And Change Of Location, AWARE Affair Was Celebrating The Moment(s)…

Sarah and Alan Losinger and Carol Seay

As if on cue, the unscheduled rains started falling as the AWARE Affair Celebrating the Moments guests started arriving at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, April 9. The good news was that the valet arrival was at the covered porte-cochere. But for some folks it was a little bewildering. The invite had reported that the […]

Four Arts And Music Students Awarded $80,000 In Scholarships From The O’Donnell Foundation…

Nell Beck, Edith O'Donnell and Nancy Dedman*

Brent Christopher and his Communities Foundation of Texas were extra-busy at the Mabel Peters Caruth Center Thursday, April 7. First, there was a reception scheduled for the winners of the CFT-administered O’Donnell Foundation’s annual Excellence in AP Arts and Music Theory Award Scholarships. As soon as it was over, there would be an event for […]

Help Wanted: Dallas Historical Society Executive Director…

Lynn McBee and Mary Suhm (File photo)

It seems that the Dallas Summer Musicals isn’t the only group at Fair Park going to through a change of leadership. Unbeknownst to many, Shannon Roberts, who was named executive director for the Dallas Historical Society in May 2015, turned in her resignation in March. In the interim, former Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm has […]

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Grovel Alert: 4th Annual Can Do Luncheon…

Regina Montoya (File photo)

With the 4th Annual Can Do Luncheon just days away, Event Chair Sara Melnick Albert is reporting that there are just a few seats left to make it a sell-out. This year’s fundraiser for The Wilkinson Center at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, May 10, is honoring North Texas Food Bank, Regina Montoya, Chair […]

JUST IN: Michael Jenkins Is No Longer At The Dallas Summer Musicals…

Michael Jenkins (File photo)

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that longtime Dallas Summer Musicals President/Managing Director Michael Jenkins “has been fired.” In the meantime, David Hyslop has been named to serve as interim managing director until a permanent replacement is found. This isn’t David’s first “interim position” within the Dallas musical world. It was back in 2011 that […]

JUST IN: 2016 Flora Award Gala Details Announced…

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

2016 Flora Award Gala details were announced yesterday at a reception at Texas Discovery Gardens. Let’s get the big news out first. This year’s recipients are those Canadian trans-”plants” Myrna and Bob Schlegel.  Co-chairing the elegant black tie gala will be Kathryn Febbroriell, Angela Shank and Amelia Valz. The Thursday, November 3rd event will be […]

Legacy of Love Fundraises For Children’s Medical Center Plano Among Mercedes-Benzes…

Joyce Logan, Jean Callison and Michael Wiggins*

Legacy of Love Co-Chairs Jean Callison and Joyce Logan showed the love for Children’s Medical Center Plano by holding the fourth annual fashion show fundraiser at Mercedes-Benz Plano on the evening of Thursday, April 7. The fashions were provided by Tootsies, Circa2000 Menswear, Vineyard Vines and Claudia Lobao. Here’s a report: Over 400 guests including […]

Celebrating Women Letter Signing Provided The Opportunity To Get Letters Out And Meet The…

Michal Powell and Ollie

The dining room table has become something like crazy Aunt Hattie, who is only seen on holidays. That is unless there’s a non-profit letter signing. Then the table is hit with all hands on deck plus loads of conversations and stacks of letters inviting folks to participate in the upcoming event. But for the Celebrating […]