Search Results for: Ronan

Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Speaker Ronan Farrow Described Domestic Violence as A Form Of Terrorism Within The Home

Noontime on Tuesday, October 4, had something for everyone. But, alas, along with the plethora of choices, decisions had to be made. For more than a thousand, the answer was The Family Place’s 2016 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

After all, Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton had arranged for an all-star lineup — honorees Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Dallas Cowboys First Daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson and Dallas Police Chief David Brown along with Honorary Co-Chairs Pat and Emmitt Smith and keynote speaker Ronan Farrow.

With that cast of headliners, it was understandable that some didn’t make it. They had very good excuses. Pat Smith was with her dad, who was undergoing surgery, and since it was his last day as Dallas police chief David Brown was back at headquarters spending his last few hours with his comrades.

But the MIAs were hardly noticed in the VIP meet-and-greet with loads of guests including Lynn and Allan McBee (he’s been rehearsing with the Dallas Opera), Ros Dawson, Underwriting Co-Chair Carol Seay and Phyllis Comu who reported that she relieved not to be waking up in the middle of night in preparation for last month’s Fur Ball.

At 11:10 the man-of-the-hour Ronan slipped and looked like any very cool 20-something. But among this stiletto and silk skirt crowd that type of fella couldn’t make it by totally unnoticed, so word quickly made the rounds the “he” was in the room.

Sure, he had famous genes, but on his own Ronan had accomplished so much in his 28 years. Having graduated from college at the age of 15 and was accepted by Yale Law School at when he was 16. He deferred attendance “to work as special adviser to former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.” Ronan did earn his law degree before he was 24. Named a Rhodes Scholar in 2012, he was leaving after the luncheon for Oxford London to defend his dissertation on violence. And that was just a smidgen of his credentials.

Regarded by many within the national media as the spokesperson for the millennial generation, he was asked his opinion if the flood of aging baby boomers might overwhelm the millennials. Without hesitation, Ronan didn’t hesitate and responded, “We don’t have the problems that say China has. There are a lot of parts in the world where there’s going to be this massive imbalance of generations and it’s going to cause all sorts of social tension. I think we’re going to be okay in the United States.”

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Ronan Farrow, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Emmitt Smith

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Ronan Farrow, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Emmitt Smith

Ronan Farrow, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Emmitt Smith

Ronan Farrow, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Emmitt Smith

Then taking his place in front of The Family Place backdrop, Ronan looked a bit bewildered by the grip-and-grin setup. One photographer had the VIP type shot in front of the backdrop and a second one would have step to the far left to be shot in front of a curtain. The explanation was that a lot of the media didn’t want shots in front the sponsor board. Oh.

At times the meet-and-greet seemed a bit unorganized. Unlike other photo opps where one staffer/volunteer stood at the front of the line advising guests to place their purse on the table and move quickly, this one was a little more casual. While the lineup of guests waiting their turn for a photo with Ronan stretched the length of the room, some were a little surprised to see others standing nearby and hopping into additional photos “with friends.” Wonder if Emily Post had a section on cutting in line?

Nevertheless, Ronan showed his cool factor and good naturedly went with the flow. However, he did perk up like a kid when he saw Charlotte approach. They hugged and he congratulated her on the award. Then they posed for photos with Emmitt Smith adding to the cool factor.

Erin Young Garrett, Cindy North and Angela Batra

Erin Young Garrett, Cindy North and Angela Batra

As the photo session wound down, guests headed to the Chantilly Ballroom. Snapshots around the room: Cindy North was taking a break from being with her dad at UT Southwestern following a double lung transplant. She was lunching with her plan Erin Young Garrett and Angela Batra … 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill reported that they were focusing on the next ten days of supporting 2016 CBB Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber’s American Cancer Society fundraising on Saturday, October 15, at Gilley’s… and others including Annette Simmons, Anita Arnold, Sandy Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Kelli and Jerry Ford, Joyce Fox, Sally Hoglund and Distinguished Co-Chair Julie Turner.

Kelli and Jerry Ford

Kelli and Jerry Ford

Annette Simmons and Anita Arnold

Annette Simmons and Anita Arnold

Sune Solomon and Anne Stodghill

Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill

Joyce Fox

Joyce Fox

The guests settled down because they had a full agenda starting off with Lisa and Marvin welcoming the guests, Rev. Abe Cooper Jr. of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church providing the invocation and a video address by Mayor Mike Rawlings “officially welcoming” and thanking attendees for supporting The Family Place and recognizing the honorees and his hero The Family Place CEO Paige Flink.

Following the video, Paige provided a state of the union for the organization that has been on the forefront of providing assistance for victims of domestic abuse. Among the developments is the new 40,000-square-foot Ann Moody Place that is currently under construction. It has been specifically designed for victims of family violence. Among the many offerings that Paige listed, it was interesting to note that the facility’s ability to accept family pets received applause from the audience. It seems, according to Paige that there are families that will not seek help if it means leaving their pet behind.

Paige Flink, James Dondero and Sally Hoglund

Paige Flink, James Dondero and Sally Hoglund

She then reported that they were in the final $2.8M stretch of their capital campaign’s goal of $16.5M. This news was a perfect lead in for the introduction of Highland Capital Management Co-Founder/President Jim Dondero, who announced “the firm has awarded a $1-million challenge grant to help The Family Place raise the final $2.8 million for its Legacy Campaign in the next six months.”

In other words as Paige explained, Highland Capital Management was offering $1M, if The Family Place could raise $2M. Immediately, Paige told all to pull out their phones and instructed on how to submit their donation. The place looked like a Pokemon Go convention.

After lunch, Paige was back at the podium with ugly statistics about domestic abuse including 158 women killed in the state of Texas. That was an increase of almost 20% over 2015. On the screen were the names of 16 women, who were murdered in Dallas and Collin counties. None of these women had services at The Family Place.

Recent developments by The Family Place have been the opening of a counseling facility in McKinney and on Sunday, October 30, the state’s first shelter for men will be opened. In the past, The Family Place has had to put these male victims of domestic abuse in hotels which was not therapeutic nor cost effective.

In recognition of those making a difference, the awards were presented with Major Alfred Diorio of the Domestic Violence Unit standing in for Chief Brown.

Marvin Singleton, Alfred Diorio and Lisa Singleton

Marvin Singleton, Alfred Diorio and Lisa Singleton

In accepting her award as Texas Trailblazer of the Year, Charlotte eloquently told how the Cowboys and the NFL were taking the situation of domestic abuse to heart. As part of their effort, she has had Paige involved in working with the Dallas Cowboys to “face this issue together.”

It was then time for Ronan to speak to the group and that he did. He started of saying, “I am very, very nerdy.” Highlights of his talk were:

Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow

  • His visiting The Family Place that morning and talking with a hotline operator by the name of Maria. She told him that it is sometimes so hard to get callers to openly speak about their abusive situation. “They say they’re only being yelled at, when in fact what’s happening is brutal abuse.”
  • He came to the lunch in two respects: “As a reporter who has tried in earnest to cover this issue and also, of course, I come to you as a sibling and as a son, whose life has been profoundly shaped by family abuse. In both respects I’ve seen two things. One, how far we have come and how the conversation around this issue is changing. And, two, how much farther we still have to go.”
  • Charlotte Jones Anderson: “It is fitting that The Family Place is honoring Charlotte Jones Anderson here today. She has been at the center of the firestorm over the league [NFL]. But she has also been in the transformation of how they approach this issue. I was talking with her about it yesterday and saying that I was going to mention some of my reporting on this. And she told me that, ‘You know the media often exclusively focuses on the negative and not progress being made. I work at basic cable. This is not news to me. She’s right. There is progress.”
  • His own family experiences: “It was also two years ago in that same time frame (during the Ray Rice episode) that my sister Dylan Farrow wrote about her own experiences with domestic abuse alleging that our father Woody Allen had groomed her as a young girl with inappropriate touching and had eventually sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old. It’s a story not unlike experienced by women at the shelter I was at today. Whether you are famous or live a completely private life, whether you are rich or poor, I learned firsthand that this can happen in any family.”
  • The media’s treatment of Dylan’s story: “At the time, many newspapers refused to run my sister’s story. She tried to speak out, but the issue was just too hot and editors told me privately the alleged perpetrator was just too powerful for them to touch it. Nicholas Kristof, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and a longtime advocate for victim’s rights, put it on his blog. Soon afterwards The Times gave her alleged attacker twice the space and a prime position in the print version of their paper. It laid bare just how differently we treat vulnerable accusers, particularly women, as opposed powerful men who stand accused. After she went public, too, my sister faced a campaign of shaming, of character assassination orchestrated by our father’s powerful PR firm. Those around her, my mother, me were tarred as well though we weren’t involved…just easy targets. This is one reason why so many families stay silent for so long. And why so many abuse survivors find themselves left all alone. At the time… I hate to admit it, but I even hesitated and kept as quiet as long outside of a single brief statement of support for my sister. And my sister had to look on as the press quickly swept her story under the rug. She was retraumatized by every lifetime achievement award, every golden profile. But in Hollywood as well something began to change. Just a few days after my sister’s story ran, Gawker used that story as their lead in reviving another set of allegations against another beloved comedy icon, Bill Cosby. What followed were two years of painful cultural re-examination about how we talk about this issue, about how we confront abuse when the alleged perpetrator is powerful. So much so that when the Hollywood Reporter ran the latest of those glowing profiles this year, people were actually angry. The tone changed. Women especially, but increasingly as often men, too. And when the Hollywood Reporter approached me asking for a follow-up assessing the issue as a reporter and as a member of that family, I finally made the tough choice to embrace speaking out about this as well.
  • Current situation: “My sister and my mother still face public shaming. My own Twitter feed is still razed by daily death threats from angry fans. But there is also an outpouring of support by thousands of people saying, ‘I have been there, too. My family has been there, too.’”
  • The future: “There is more to be done, but how far we have come. Domestic abuse is not an NFL problem. It is not a Hollywood problem. It is an American problem. It is a global problem. And it is an urgent one. As all of us in this country lived out the shock and the horror of The Pulse nightclub shootings this past summer, we learned that the murderer had beaten his wife, as had the gunman behind the fatal hostage crisis in Sydney two years ago. In fact 16% of perpetrators in mass shootings between 2009 and 2015 had previously been charged with some kind of domestic violence.
  • Terrorism: “These acts are a form of terrorism. They are the embodiment of the worst and most destructive human impotence to control others through fear and violence. And with other forms of terrorism, allowing this one to fester hurts and threatens all of us. It threatens our cultural integrity, our ability to insure all of our freedom. That’s why I felt I had that obligation to speak here today in support of my own family and to try to keep the conversation going whatever small way I can through my reporting.” But speaking is not enough. We all know that.”
  • The Family Place website: “It is so inclusive. Inclusive of the many LGBTQ youth who face abuse. Of the men who face abuse.”
  • His family: “Rewind for a moment to my childhood. I’m about 12 years old, sitting down for dinner at the family dinner table. To my left are Quincy and Isaiah, African American, both born to drug-addicted mothers in American inner cities. Across from me are Tam and Minh, both blind and adopted from Viet Nam and a teenager in mine, who has been with this family most of her life. She was adopted as a young girl. We are all having a heated debate as is usual the case at the Farrow family dinner table.  And Quincy goes, ‘Well, as a black woman…’ And Minh stops her and says, ‘Whoa, whoa, wait. Quincy is black?’ … Every night was like that. We were a mini-United Nations or, at least, a United Color. Fourteen siblings adopted from around the world and reflecting the world’s worst problems. Siblings with cerebral palsy, with polio, blind, paraplegic, learning disabled. The people I loved most in the world were the people the world left behind. Many had faced years of abuse before I ever met them or they became a part of my family. The kind of abuse that leaves scars physical and emotional that you can never outrun sometimes.”

In closing he told how Maria admitted that hardest things she has to tell a caller, “Sorry, but we’re full.” With that Ronan made one last plea for guests to support The Family Place in providing shelter. “When my mother started adopting kids in the 70s, people called her crazy. When she faced her most vicious attacks after my sister’s allegations more recently, they called our family a commune, a shelter, not a home. But my family was both a home and a shelter. And I am so deeply proud of that. I have been so grateful to have seen the value of giving someone shelter when they need it most. I cannot think of anything more powerful and precious to give someone.

After Charming Texas Trailblazer Awards Patrons, Keynote Speaker Ronan Farrow Did Neighborhood Services With Paige Flink

Mondays are supposed to be quiet. It’s a day of the fundraising week when peeps and organizations can rest up and catch their collective breaths. But with the final quarter of 2016 in place, no day is safe. Want proof? How about Monday, October 3?

Second Thought kicked off its State of Mind fundraising at Caroline and Jim Manning’s home. Underwriting Chair Nick Even reported that the nonprofit hopes to raise funds on the Friday, November 4th event at Sammons Center with Karol Omlor as the event chair. It should be quite a night with Rob McCollum as emcee and favorite songbird Liz Mikel providing the evening’s entertainment.

While in Preston Hollow, Jennifer and Peter Altabef opened their Preston Hollow home (aka former Toni and Norman Brinker’s home) for The Family Place’s 2016 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon patron party.

Paige Flink and Marvin and Lisa Singleton

Paige Flink and Marvin and Lisa Singleton

Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton were all smiles, admitting that the move from the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom to the Chantilly was the right one for the fundraiser. According to Lisa, if they had stayed in the Grand Ballroom, the guests would have been on top of each other.

Early arrivals among the 90 or so guests included Honorary Co-Chairs Julie and Jim Turner, Lynn McBee, Brent Christopher, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Barbara Daseke, Jeff Bryon, Kevin Hurst, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Carol Seay, Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini,nd Clayton Kennington and one guest who got into “the spirits” of the occasion … or was it vice versa?

Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini, Lynn McBee and Clayton Kennington

Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini, Lynn McBee and Clayton Kennington

Arriving just in time for the evening’s remarks was luncheon keynote speaker Ronan Farrow, who proved to be as good as The Family Place staff and the Singletons had described.

Following the evening of chitchatting and cocktailing, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink took Ronan to dinner to discuss plans for the next day. Did she take him to Al’s, The Mansion, Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street Cafe? Nope. They wanted something low-key, where they could talk. The place was Neighborhood Services.

JUST IN: Human Rights Activist Ronan Farrow To Be Keynote Speaker At 2016 Texas Trailblazer Luncheon

The floodgates have stayed wide open with news flowing through. First is news about the 2016 Texas Trailblazer Luncheon benefiting The Family Place. It was already reported that Lisa and Marvin Singleton were co-chairing the Tuesday, October 4th event at the Hilton Anatole with Charlotte Jones Anderson receiving the Texas Trailblazer Award.

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Since that announcement, the Singletons have been very, very busy arranging for a passel of VIP types to join their efforts, like Pat and Emmitt Smith serving as honorary co-chairs. Lisa admitted, “We are also excited to announce that Pat and Emmitt Smith have joined this year’s luncheon as honorary co-chairs and we are extremely grateful to have their support. As author of ‘Second Chances: Finding Healing for Your Pain, Regaining Your Strength, Celebrating Your New Life’ and founder of her non-profit, Treasure You, which inspires women to pursue their second chance in life despite of circumstances or setbacks, Pat brings her own past experiences and passions to the luncheon to help draw attention to a cause that plagues over 30 percent of Texas women.”

Carol Seay (File photo)

Carol Seay (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Other additions to the Singletons’ team are former Trailblazer Luncheon Co-Chair Carol Seay and former Cattle Baron’s Ball Chair Kristi Hoyl, who will handle the underwriting duties.

Making Carol’s and Kristi’s jobs a heck of a lot easier is the big news of the keynote speaker — Ronan Farrow.

Ronan Farrow*

Ronan Farrow*

Yes, you know the People fodder about Ronan being Mia Farrow’s son and the question of whom his father is. But what you might not know is that the 28-year-old is “an influential voice in government and media, helping traditional institutions address the frustrations — and tap the promise of a new generation.” The Yale Law School graduate has been named “Activist of the Year” by New York Magazine and twice named as one of the “30 Under 30” by Forbes Magazine.

One topic that is especially a priority for the Rhodes Scholar is human rights.

According to Lisa, “As a celebrated human rights activist and vocal advocate for changing the conversation around domestic violence, Mr. Farrow is a perfect fit as speaker for this year’s luncheon. The perspective he brings to the domestic violence discussion is paramount to continuing the important and ongoing dialogue about ending domestic violence. We are thrilled to have him join us in North Texas to share his thoughts.”

Sponsorships and tickets are available now.

* Photo provided by The Family Place

Texas Trailblazer Keynote Speaker Gretchen Carlson Connects The Dots Between Domestic Violence And Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Since being a little girl in Minnesota with a love of playing the violin, Gretchen Carlson has made the rounds. From being embarrassed … no, make that humiliated … when a sales clerk announced, “We need the biggest little girl bra for the chubby girl,” to taking on one of the country’s mega-media powerhouses, she’s not only rounded the track, she’s landed in the winner’s circle.

That was the feel for the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon crowd on Friday, October 6, at the Anatole.

But first, the backstory. Gretchen, who had landed in Dallas back in the late 1990s as a reporter and anchor at KXAS, was the keynote speaker for The Family Place‘s annual fundraising luncheon that celebrated Elizabeth Grandell and Lamisa Mustafa as the 2017 Verizon Scholarship Recipients, TexProtects as Advocacy Awardee, and Lynn McBee as Trailblazer of the Year, who received a standing ovation.

Initially the day was sort low-key with the VIP meet-and-greet in the Peacock Terrace. Unlike last year’s line around the room for the grip-and-grin with Ronan Farrow, this year started off a bit slow. One guest, who arrived 10 minutes into the by-invitation event, had a touch of a shock in his/her voice, “Where are all the people?” This answer was, they were chatting it up in the opposite side of the room.

Cindy Stager, Lynn McBee, Gretchen Carlson and KJ Sanger

But Co-Chairs Kristen “KJ” Sanger and Cindy Stager and Lynn McBee as well as Nancy Gopez were on hand as well as Jan Miller in a new haircut and a touch of tear in her eye. It seems that the legendary Miller-Rich household beagle Schumacher had suffered a stroke a couple of weeks before and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Jan Miller and Gretchen Carlson

In the meantime, the Chantilly Ballroom was being set up with an open feeling. As one person pointed out, there were generous aisles between the tables. Still, the count of 680 was down from the jam-packed TFP luncheon of 2016 with Ronan. On the screen were names of sponsors including Trammel (sic) S. Crow. That second “l” in Trammell is a tricky one.

At 11:46 a.m., a big voice announced that the program was going to start. He was a man of his word. The lights dimmed and a video was shown followed by Co-Chairs KJ and Cindy welcoming the group and Rev. Susan Robb providing the invocation.

Before Gretchen talked to the crowd including Connie O’Neill, Claire Emanuelson, Joanna Clarke, Paige Flink, Jill Tananbaum, Travis Hollman, Carol Seay, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink told of “Naomi,” who just the day before had met with her for a one-on-one. It seems that Naomi’s abusive situation had driven her to the breaking point. Her suicide note was written; she was going to take her five kids to the fire station and then she was going to a bridge from which to jump. After talking with Paige and understanding that the newly opened Ann Moody Place would provide shelter for her family, Naomi and Paige finished their chat, tearing up the suicide note.   

Paige added that had it not been for Ann Moody Place, Naomi might have become part of the statistics like the 194,000 violent acts and 158 murdered last year. That latter number was an increase over the year before. On a light noted she announced that the facility had received its first dog, Buddy, with his family. She finished her report on a positive note, saying that thanks to The Family Place, more than one-half million people had been saved thanks to the community’s support.

In addition to Paige’s celebrating her 26th anniversary with The Family Place, she had another 26-year Family Place vet, Betty Regard, join her on stage. Betty issued a $25,000 match challenge at 11:58 a.m. By 12:20 p.m., the challenge had already hauled in $15,948.

At 12:38 p.m., Gretchen arrived at the podium and showed her Stanford education smarts by telling the group of her days at KXAS back in 1998 when she did a 30-part series on domestic violence. While she admitted that a lot has changed, it hasn’t been enough.

Seamlessly, she transitioned into the eye-opening connection between domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace that she knew all too well from her 20s, when a man accosted her, to her headline-making split with the Fox News network. Both domestic violence and sexual harassment continue due to fear, embarrassment, and a lack of support, she said.

Highlights of her talk included:

  • Her mother suggested that she enter the Miss America pageant. Gretchen told her mother there was no way she would win because she was short, played a violin and “Minnesota is not a pageant state.” She entered anyway and won, despite pageant judge William Goldman’s describing her as Miss Piggy and admitting that he hated the violin.
  • After winning Miss America, she was interviewed by a reporter [Editor’s note: New York reporter Penny Crone], who quizzed her with such questions as which presidents were on the $5 and $20 bills. Ten years later, Gretchen spotted the reporter and asked if she recalled her when she was Miss America. Then Gretchen gave it to her, saying, “When I was Miss American, you tried to take me down. I just want you to know I’m a correspondent for CBS and you’re not.”
  • She was stalked for four years.
  • Her first encounter with sexual harassment was when she was in her 20s, when a TV cameraman asked her if she liked it when he put her mic on her breast.
  • 70% of women never report sexual harassment.
  • Misconceptions about sexual harassment include: women can just leave; women bring it on themselves; women make it up; women who do report it are after money or fame.
  • She has become an advocate about sexual harassment because of her children — “It’s all about the next generation.”
  • All proceeds from her book — “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back,” which was coming out the following week, will go her “Gift of Courage” effort.
  • She pointed out three things that were needed to end such treatment:
    • Bystander support
    • Education
    • Government legislation

In closing, Gretchen made a surprise announcement: she was giving $10,000 to The Family Place.

But Gretchen isn’t gone. Come November, she’ll return to the area as part of the across-the-nation launch of workshops to empower women.

BTW, Gretchen didn’t talk about her headline-making situation with the late Roger Ailes. But just a few days later, women in the entertainment industry started following Gretchen’s lead, according to an article by Ronan about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual harassment. They, like Gretchen, were not going to be silenced.

JUST IN: Lisa Singleton To Chair Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32nd Annual Luncheon

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Lisa Singleton has hardly had time to R&R since co-chairing the very successful Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon featuring Ronan Farrow for The Family Place and now she’s on to her next mega-fundraising project.

Dallas Women’s Foundation CEO Ros Dawson just revealed that Lisa will be chairing the 32nd Annual Luncheon in 2017.

Grovel Alert: 2016 Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon

Ronan Farrow*

Ronan Farrow*

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to Tuesday’s Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom benefiting The Family Place, time is really running out.

Just heard on the q.t. that in addition to Ronan Farrow as the keynote speaker, “we will have a major announcement to make at the luncheon.” And don’t even try to weasel the news out of the organizers. That would take all the fun out of it being a surprise.

* Photo provided by The Family 

Change Of Plans: Texas Trailblazer Luncheon Undergoes A Moving Experience

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Texas Trailblazer Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton and their crew have been more than pleased with the response for the The Family Place fundraiser on Tuesday, October 4, at the Anatole. With an all-star lineup including speaker Ronan Farrow, honoree Charlotte Jones Anderson, Distinguished Co-Chairs Julie and Jim Turner and Honorary Co-Chairs Pat and Emmitt Smith, they discovered that they needed more room for the turnout.

So, they’ve ramped up and moved the whole kit-and-kaboodle from the 16,402-square-foot Imperial Ballroom to the big mama 28,400-square-foot Chantilly Ballroom.

The good news is there is still room left if you haven’t gotten your ticket/sponsorship thanks to the move. The not-so-good news is that this one is a hot ticket item. Scurry, scurry.

JUST IN: Julie And Jim Turner To Be Trailblazer Luncheon’s Distinguished Co-Chairs

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

There is absolutely no grass growing under the feet of Texas Trailblazers Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton. As if they didn’t already have an all-star lineup for The Family Place fundraiser on Tuesday, October 4.

How about some name-dropping? Keynote Speaker Ronan Farrow, Trailblazer Awardee Charlotte Jones Anderson, Honorary Co-Chairs Pat and Emmitt Smith and Underwriting Co-Chairs Kristi Hoyl and Carol Seay.

Ronan Farrow*

Ronan Farrow*

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Carol Seay (File photo)

Carol Seay (File photo)

Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

But you already knew about those folks. Now Lisa just sent word that they’ve added still another stellar couple to the event — Julie and Jim Turner, who will be the Distinguished C-Chairs for the 21st Annual Trailblazer Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. Between the two of them, they’ve held leadership roles in countless nonprofit and corporate organizations.

Jim and Julie Turner (File photo)

Jim and Julie Turner (File photo)

How about a for instance? Julie has served on such boards and committees as Baylor University Women’s Council, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, The Senior Source, Dallas Historical Society, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Garden Club, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Children’s Cancer Fund, The Crystal Charity Ball committee and The Salvation Army. Among her collection of accolades, there is the Baylor University Woman of Distinction Award and the Dallas Baptist University Ruth Award, plus she is a Philanthropy in Texas honoree and a Lifetime Member of the Texas PTA.

As for Jim, his professional life has included being the “principal stockholder and chairman of JLT Beverages LP and a minority owner of the Texas Rangers. His out-of-office duties have included being on the boards of Crown Holdings, Comstock Resources and Dean Foods, where he was named chairman this past August. Having served on the board of Baylor Health Care System for 14 years, Jim was “instrumental in the merger of the Baylor Health Care System and Scott and White out of Temple, Texas, and is chair of the newly formed entity, Baylor Scott & White Health.

According to Julie, “Jim and I are incredibly grateful to serve as Distinguished Chairs for the 21st Annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon. We are honored to be in such good company with a motivated and extremely philanthropic group of chairs supporting the event. The Family Place is instrumental in providing domestic violence victims in our community with the services and support they need and we are pleased to help them achieve their goals through the funds raised by the luncheon and beyond.”

Tickets and sponsorships are available, but you’d better get going before they’re gone.

Love Wins! Celebrating Marriage Equality

Beneficiaries: Judges and community members who fought to pass marriage equality

Co-Chairs: Lisa Blue, Steve Malouf and Jeff Tillotson

Baron and Blue website

Lisa Blue Baron Celebrates Both Her 60th Birthday And The Launch Of The Larry Hagman Foundation

While most of Dallas was celebrating the annual Red River Shootout, two headline-making Dallas personalities came together Friday night for fun and fundraising. Fred Baron‘s widow, Lisa Blue Baron, decided to celebrate her 60th birthday by helping “Dallas’s” Larry “J.R.” Hagman launch his Larry Hagman Foundation at her palatial estate.

But ask anyone who has ever attended a Lisa blowout occasion, and they’ll tell you the people-watching is as stellar as the event’s purpose. In this case, she came through once again. In typical Lisa BB fashion, she out-did the Ewings.

Driveway leading to the Baron home with gobos

As guests strolled up the main driveway, decorated with western motif gobos, to the mansion, they received their name tags and were directed to the adjoining tented mega western-style

A seating area in lounge tent

lounge. Here they found leather couches, chairs and banquettes, hightop and coffee tables, bars and buffets galore. To the side were luxury portable restrooms that looked pretty permanent. In

Auction items under glass

the center was the lineup of auction items under glass for perusing. It would have been easy to find a comfortable seat, settle down for the night and stay put. But down the steps and hill leading to the estate’s pond was a full-fledged stage, where Asleep at the Wheel would perform later in the night.

Lisa Blue Baron outdoor dinner table

In a private terrace in another part of the estate were tables elegantly set up for a small seated dinner for later in the evening.

But let’s not get head of the doings.

Lisa Blue Baron and Ron Corning

Before official guests arrived, Larry was early for an interview with WFAA’s Ron Corning. While Larry and Ron chatted in the library, Linda “Sue-Ellen Ewing” Gray took photos of Lisa’s three daughters (Alessandra, Caroline and Nathalie) all decked out in matching pink cowgirl outfits. It was obvious this photo session was not the trio’s first.

Linda, who looks amazing, still has the great legs that were made famous thanks to “The Graduate” and Leggs.

Hamilton Sneed and Brenda Strong

Another “Dallas” female with great gams on the scene was Brenda Strong, who plays Bobby Ewing’s wife Ann. In a fabulous dress that she picked up in London, her love and devotion to yoga translated into oh-so toned arms. Brenda revealed that she has not only been impressed with the Dallas arts community, she’s gotten involved. In addition to joining the Dallas Symphony, the former voice of “Desperate Housewives”‘ Mary Alice Young was on the red carpet for the Dallas Opera’s First Night last year.

While admitting that her “Desperate Housewives” involvement was limited to audio, in hindsight the 5’11.5″ beauty felt she missed the typical typecasting that so often plagues many actors associated with a hit.

When the conversation turned to Larry Hagman and his first film “Fail Safe,” where he held his own at the age of 33 in a number of scenes with legendary great Henry Fonda, Brenda quickly suggested that in turn 31-year-old Josh “John Ross Ewing” Henderson, who plays J.R.’s son, is experiencing a similar situation acting with Hagman.

Lisa Blue Baron and Mike Rawlings

But the group had assembled to learn about Larry’s newest venture and just before the sun set, Lisa went on stage to welcome guests officially. She announced that she was pleased to use the occasion to help Larry launch his foundation. If anyone knows about foundations with a sole purpose in Dallas, it’s Lisa. Instead of trying to solve all the world problems, she has aimed her Baron and Blue Foundation‘s sites on housing issues for the area’s needy. When asked earlier in the evening about other causes, she didn’t hesitate. In 2002 she and Fred created the foundation with the sole purpose of providing financial grants to Dallas non-profits that help the homeless and underserved. Since his death in 2008 she has been continuing the foundation with the hope that her daughters would eventually carry it on. Other than that she has been busy taking care of her girls, practicing law and being happy.

That may sound simple, but after what’s she’s been through in recent years — the birth of daughter Alessandra in 2006, the birth of the twin daughters Nathalie and Caroline in 2008, the death of her husband in 2008, the family’s involvement in the John Edwards scandal — it’s been a long six years. But that was behind her and she was getting on with life.

After welcoming one and all to her birthday party and the very special occasion of Larry’s launch, she turned the mic over to Mayor Mike Rawlings, who introduced Patrick “Bobby Ewing” Duffy and Linda. As Larry stood at the base of the stage, Patrick and Linda teased and praised the man who had led them into TV history. Linda recalled that the first time the cast came together, Larry walked in with a saddlebag of champagne.

Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray

Finally, the man of the hour took his place on stage and told how his newly created foundation would “fund programs that promote the fine arts and creative learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged children in Dallas.”

Yup, you heard that right. He didn’t say in the United States, Texas or even North Texas. He said the funds were for Dallas children.

Dalta Waggoner and Susie Strauss Breen

To kick things off, the first three beneficiaries were represented at the party including Artreach Dallas (Susie Strauss Breen and Dalta Waggoner), Big Thought (Gigi Antoni) and Dallas Children’s Theater (Yvonne Crum, Robyn Flatt and Artie Olaisen). With a smile like Christmas had come two months early, one of the reps admitted that they had only learned about the party and their being a recipient the day before.

Mayor Mike Rawlings and Skip Hollandsworth

Following the announcement, the party commenced with Ray Benson and the rest of the Asleep at the Wheel band taking over as guests returned to the luxury of the lounge. Skip Hollandsworth had Mayor Mike laughing; former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and husband Steve Wolens gabbed with Patrick and Linda on the lawn; Baron neighbors Annette and Harold Simmons had to duck out early for “dinner with the Fords,” while Simmons dotter Amy Simmons was headed to Houston’s; other Baron neighbor Dale Rabinowitz was making the rounds in western garb, including white cowboy boots, with Jocelyn White; Kenneth Craighead was holding down the fort in the lounge with Steve Green; Baron neighbors-down-the-road Molly and Doug Barnes arrived just as Ray Benson was starting his third song and were followed by Scott and Gina Ginsburg.

Steve Wolens, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy and Laura Miller

Speaking of Larry, he truly is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As he made his way through the crowd, his J.R. persona seemed right at home surrounded by masses of fans. With cowboy hat on head, he stood erect with that devilish smile accommodating all requests like a presidential politician. Why, even a gent with three vases in need of autographing were handled. Though by the third one, Larry was looking to move on and was grateful when the little Baronness were available for a

Larry Hagman with Nathalie Baron, Alessandra Baron and Caroline Baron

photo opp. Without hesitation, he arranged the trio to pose for the photos while old friends Holly and Stubbs Davis looked on.

Larry Hagman with bottle of water and an old friend

Eventually the 81-year-old with bottle of water in hand found a secluded high top between the house and the tent. At this point, fans and wannabe friends left the man alone as he quietly shed the J.R. bravado and settled into quiet conversation with old friends.

A collection of framed photos on the piano

Inside the mansion a trio passed by the grand piano in the living room that was filled with framed photos of faces that usually appear on magazine covers. One gentleman pointed to a photo telling his companions, “That’s Fred Baron. He was a good man.”