Every year, the Meal for the Minds fundraising luncheon presented by Metrocare Services is highly anticipated. Maybe it’s the event’s unique Edible Auction—a silent auction featuring beautiful cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other treats from Dallas’ top bakeries—that makes it so.
Or perhaps it’s Art Focus, another silent auction and art sale offering the likes of colorful and original paintings and greeting cards. Then there’s the featured speaker, who always seems to deliver an inspiring and compelling talk.
Wednesday’s 2012 Meal for the Minds at The Belo Mansion, attended by a crowd estimated at 275, did not disappoint. It hardly could have, what with star emcee Steve Blow, columnist for The Dallas Morning News, and keynote speaker Kim Stagliano. An accomplished editor and author (All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa), Kim is the mother of three daughters with full-blown autism.
Her talk, titled “I’m No Mother Teresa: Who Is? A Glimpse into a Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism,” was a gripping tale of her challenges and triumphs as a parent, and how communities can support families raising children with special needs. It was a message that struck a chord, since Metrocare Services is Dallas’ largest nonprofit provider of mental and behavioral health services to those with conditions including depression, asperger’s and autism. The latter is said to affect 1 in 88 children, mostly boys by a factor of 4 to 1.
Before the luncheon began, Kim chatted amiably with Jean Obert, the luncheon chair, and Lanora Potts, president of the Metrocare Auxiliary. The auxiliary, a group of 145 volunteers, served as host for the luncheon. Last year the event raised $50,000 for Metrocare’s work, and this year the organizers were hoping to reach $60,000.