Community Partners of Dallas‘ Chick Lit Luncheon is always memorable. Last year author Emily Giffin made news by saying Jennifer Aniston had been the victim of her then-husband’s future fiancée’s placing stories in the media about Jen’s not wanting to have children and that being the cause of the breakup of their marriage. Guess Emily won’t be invited to the Brangelina wedding.
This year the news resulting from the April 20 luncheon came from a different source and, while not dealing with the shock and awe of tabloid fodder, it took the air out of the rooms filled with Community Partners of Dallas fans and friends.
But more about that later.
Before the masses gathered, VIP’s assembled for a private get-acquainted reception with author/keynote speaker Allison Winn Scotch. Those who had met Allison the night before at the patrons’ party on the upper level of Barneys were rather astounded at her recalling details from the brief chat. Hey, folks, the gal hasn’t made a reputation for interviewing the likes of Steve Carrell, Kirsten Bell, Brooke Shields and Jennifer Garner for nothing. Unlike Emily, Allison is a tad bit more stealth, subtly gathering and stockpiling info. Don’t worry. No one betrayed any family secrets of gal-pal indiscretions . . . or, or at least, it didn’t appear so.
Allison fit in so easily with the ladies that one guest thought she was a member of the local CPD posse.
Well, they were almost right. It seems that back in the early 2000s, Allison moved to Dallas The reason? A guy. And like many of those types of romantic gestures, it ended quickly with Allison’s mom arriving on the scene to help her daughter escape the scene of the relationship-gone-bad.
Allison admitted that when the invite to attend Chick Lit came, she was a bit apprehensive and curious about returning to Big D. No, the chap was long gone and Allison has happily moved on with her life — getting married, developing a stellar career as an author and having a couple of kids and a Lab.
But she wondered how Dallas had changed, too. Luckily, she discovered the city had progressed but like Allison still maintained its core self. She even found time to get together with an old friend from her Dallas daze at Bread Winners in Uptown. While there she checked out her old digs.
But Luncheon Chair Mary Gill and Honorary Chair Jan Miller had planned for the Chick Lit luncheon to be more than an occasion for Allison to reminisce about her previous Dallas experiences and her life now. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the support, contributions and friendship provided by Lynn McBee, who received the Partners for Children Award. With husband Allan and his mother, Tina McBee, watching tableside, Lynn accepted the award and a standing ovation throughout Brook Hollow.
And then there was the moment mentioned earlier. No, it wasn’t Allison or Lynn. It was CPD Executive Director Paige McDaniel, whose infectious smile and enthusiasm are legendary.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Paige in her typical ebullient style captured the room’s attention by telling who the heroes were in her life. There was her mom, Cinderette, who was seated nearby. Then there was Lynn, Oprah, Mother Teresa, George Washington and . . . WFAA’s sports anchor Dale Hansen.
Now, nothing against Dale, but more than a few well-coiffed eyebrows were raised at his being on Paige’s heroes list.
But Paige had set the scene up perfectly. She told how following the Jerry Sandusky revelations, Dale did his “Thank God for Kids” commentary during the holidays. A video of Dale’s revelation was played in which he admitted to his own experience of being abused as a child at 10 and how he had kept it secret for 53 years. The video ended and it served its purpose of reminding the guests of the horrors that child victims live with. The room was silent.
Ah, Paige was not through with this POA. Follow the jump for the rest of the story.
Paige then told how she was abused at the age of 11 and told no one for 20 years. Like many victims, she was ashamed and felt that in some way she had caused the abuse to take place.
“We don’t talk about sexual abuse. We need to talk about this stuff,” she admonished the guests.
And just as cheery as Paige had been initially, that powerful joy was replaced by a take-no-prisoners tone in her voice regarding those who abuse children, whether physically harming them or by remaining silent.
No, Chick Lit was not just the gals hearing a noted author. It was a state of the union address by Paige McDaniel on the war on sexual abuse against children.