Five Outstanding Women Are Honored At The Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Leadership Forum And Awards Dinner

The Dallas Women’s Foundation really knows how to throw a VIP reception. Consider the one held before the group’s May 9 Leadership Forum and Awards Dinner, which was intended to honor the recipients of the foundation’s 2017 Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards.

Inside the packed VIP reception room at the Omni Dallas Hotel were not just one or two, but all five of the women who were the very first recipients of the Women Helping Women awards back in 1978 and 1979. Mixing with the guests were Maura McNeil, for whom the Maura Awards are named; Vivian Castleberry; Ginny Whitehill; the Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson; and the Hon. Adlene Harrison.

Maura McNiel*

Adlene Harrison and Susie Marshall*

Francis Griffin Brown and Ginny Whitehill*

Vivian Castleberry and Hind El Saadi El Jarrah*

Outside the VIP tete-a-tete, meantime, many of the evening’s 850 guests were preparing to sweep into the Dallas Ballroom for the program and a wonderful dinner (saffron poached pear salad, grilled petite filet and breast of chicken, assorted vegetables, and two types of tarts). The event’s co-chairs, Cheryl Alston and Laura V. Estrada, got things under way by thanking the presenting sponsor, AT&T, before giving way to Roslyn Dawson Thompson, the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s president and chief executive officer.

Laura V. Estrada, Brenda L. Jackson, Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Cheryl Alston*

Ros thanked everyone and pointed out that, since 1985, the foundation has invested more than $32 million in “advancing positive social and economic change for women and girls in our community.” Then Brenda Jackson, the foundation’s selection committee co-chair, presented the honorees for the 2017 Maura Awards, which recognize exceptional leaders who have pioneered the way in improving lives for women and children.

Elba Garcia, Lupe Valdez and Madeline McClure*

Amy Ooi, Tonya Parker and Wei Wei Jeang*

Ellenore Knight Baker and Cynthia Nwuabani*

This year’s Maura winners were: Dr. Hind Jarrah, Ph.D., executive director of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation; Madeline McClure, founding CEO of TexProtects, the Texas Association for the Protection of Children; the Hon. Tonya Parker, judge of the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County ; and Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in Dallas County. The 2017 Young Leader Award also was presented by Ellenore Knight Baker and Zeenat Sidi to Cynthia Nwaubani, CPA. 

In a series of videos about the honorees, Jarrah urged women to “look at leadership as an ability to serve.” Parker said that while there are “lots of women lawyers,” they need to take more prominent roles in the legal system: “We’re not getting speaking roles at the courthouse. Come argue the brief—don’t just write them!” Added Valdez: “Do what you need to do to step up and grow a little bit.”

Following a plea for donations—”Text Maura to 41444 to donate. Don’t hesitate; do it now!”—AT&T’s Jennifer Biry introduced the evening’s keynote speaker: Carla Harris, who is vice chairman, global wealth management, managing director, and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley.

Harris, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council in 2013, told the attendees that “you take your life from success to significance when you do things for other people.” And doing for others through leadership, she said, is “all about the letters in the word ‘leader.’ ” Then she proceeded to tick off the word’s six letters, attaching a nugget of wisdom to each one.

Carla Harris*

“L is for ‘leverage,’ ” Harris began. “You need to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and leverage other people’s ideas. E is for ’empower.’ A leader must define what success looks like for [her people], even when you’re operating in an obscure environment. A is for ‘authentic.’ Authenticity is at the heart of your power, and at the heart of powerful leadership. If you’re authentic, people will trust you, and it will motivate and inspire others to be authentic, too.

“D is for ‘decisive’ and ‘diversity,’” Harris continued, first explaining the decisive part. “Meg Whitman, when she was at eBay, said, ‘The price of inaction is greater than the price of making a mistake.’ Make people know that you are decisive!” As for diversity, Harris said, “We are all competing around innovation. To be innovative, you need a lot of different ideas in the room. You need a lot of perspectives. You need a lot of experience. So, you need a lot of different people. There’s the business argument for diversity!

“E is for ‘engage,’” Harris went on. “You must engage your people. You can’t motivate by fear. This is especially true for women and millennials. What motivates them? You need to ask them, ‘What’s your experience? What’s the stretch experience you’re looking for?’”

Finally, Harris said, “R is for ‘risk.’ You must be comfortable taking risks. The way to differentiate yourself is to show that you’re comfortable taking risks. Why don’t we take more risks? Because we’re scared. Fear. And fear has no place in your success equation. If you’re not sure about trying something, always default to the try.”

Harris’ message was especially apropos because, when it comes to women and girls in North Texas, no group “defaults to the try” like the Dallas Women’s Foundation. As it proved, once again, with this dinner.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Awardee Kern Wildenthal Highlights A ‘Perfect’ Callier Cares Luncheon At The Dallas Country Club

Even before the doors opened to the Dallas Country Club ballroom, the Callier Cares Luncheon VIP reception filled the Founders Room on Thursday, April 20. Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson was with husband Claude Wilson and Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and all smiles over the sold-out Callier Care Fund fundraiser.

Kern Wildenthall, Emilynn and Claude Wilson

In another part of the room, Beth Layton was sporting a new haircut and talking with Chick Lit Co-Chair Tricia George.

Beth Layton and Tricia George

Barbara and John Stuart

Dee Wyly and Jill Rowlett

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

Others in the crowd were Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and his wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, Dan Branch, Angie Kadesky, Brent Christopher, Heidi Cannella, Lindalyn Adams, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Dee Collins and Kern’s wife Marnie Wildenthal and longtime assistant Cyndi Bassel.

Callier Cares Luncheon table

When the doors did open to the ballroom, it was pretty obvious that Emilynn had definitely filled the room to capacity. It was surprising that she didn’t try to put a table on the stage.

As guests like Keith Cerny, Caren Prothro,  Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Lynn McBee, and Dr. Lynn Markle made their way into the room for lunch—Southwest Roasted Chicken Chop Salad and Chocolate Caramel Cake were on the menu—Tom welcomed everyone and kicked off the program. The annual Callier Prize in Communication Disorders Award, it was announced right off the bat, would go to Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa, an associate professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kujawa graciously accepted the award, which came for her groundbreaking work that has instigated a paradigm shift in the way researchers and health workers think about noise-induced and age-related hearing loss and inner ear injury. She gave way to luncheon Chair Emilynn and then to Stuart Bumpas and Dr. Ken Altshuler, who presented the annual Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award to Kern.

During his many years as president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Kern had helped nourish a relationship between UT Southwestern and the Callier Center that resulted in the Callier Child Development Program, the Cochlear Implant Program, and a joint program to evaluate and treat children with autism.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased, knowing that Emilynn Wilson would chair this event, because I knew it would be perfect in all regards,” Kern told the guests. “Callier is an organization I heard about many years ago. It epitomizes the best of what all academic institutions try to do … and it does so in an impeccable manner, and in collaboration with other institutions.

“For four decades I’ve wanted to add Ken and Ruth Altshuler’s name to my name,” Kern concluded with a smile. “And, now I can!”

Then, following an informative video and just before keynote speaker Richard Neely was to deliver his remarks, the podium microphone went dead for some reason. That gave Richard—an emeritus trustee of the Callier foundation and a profoundly deaf person who has cochlear implants—the perfect opening to begin his talk. “When the mic went out, I thought, to the people who could hear: welcome to my world!” Richard joked.

The former CFO for a local real estate investment company and a former SMU football star, Richard recounted his struggles with hearing loss and, ultimately, how he overcame them—with no small thanks to the cochlear implants. After he got his “first one in 2008,” he laughed, he complained to his wife that “she was crinkling the newspaper!” 

According to Emilynn, the 2017 luncheon will provide a whopping $278,450 for the Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas. 2018 Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele was already making plans for her effort to help “ensure that resources are available for patients and families” in need of financial assistance for speech, language and hearing disorders..

Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown Wows The Crowd At Just Say Yes’ “Building Bridges” Fundraising Dinner

Building Bridges

Tony Romo autographed football

Honorary Chairs Candice and Tony Romo weren’t going to be able to make it. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm Wednesday, April 19, when around 350 people showed up for Just Say YesBuilding Bridges celebration dinner at Belo Mansion. The keynote speaker, after all, would be another high-wattage local celeb: former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. And the evening would be raising money for the Just Say Yes (short for Youth Equipped to Succeed) nonprofit, a good cause that aims to equip teens to succeed by educating them through classroom curriculum and inspirational student-assembly speakers.

While guests checked out the silent-auction items—including offerings from Al Biernat’s and Papa John’s Pizza, plus a Dallas Cowboys jersey and football signed by Tony—musician Emilio Mesa blasted out some cool sounds on his saxophone. Then everyone filed into the ballroom, where emcee Anna de Haro welcomed all and gave the podium over to Just Say Yes Development Director Marissa Leach. Marissa explained that “Building Bridges” would be the nonprofit’s theme this year, before presenting Just Say Yes Founder/President Dan Bailey with the “15-year award.”

Marissa Leach and Dan Bailey*

While attendees like Bill Noble and King Crow looked on, Dan reviewed the organization’s progress, citing its influence on students in 39 states, for example. It’s also reached more than 600,000 students in Dallas-Fort Worth since the early 2000s, he recalled, and is poised for still more growth in the coming months. Dan was followed by presentation of the annual Coach Avery Johnson Impact Award, which went this year to Paula and Darrell McCutcheon (though Darrell was absent due to “a root canal that didn’t go so well”).

Next came Veronica Lee, the nonprofit’s senior mentoring coordinator, who introduced a student “mentee” named Jasmine and Jasmine’s mother, Veronica. They agreed that Jasmine’s life, once troubled and unhappy, had been turned around thanks to the positive influence of Just Say Yes. “I first joined the program to get out of class,” Jasmine confessed to the crowd with a laugh. “But now we’re one big happy family!” 

Then came what everyone had been keenly anticipating: the keynote talk by Brown, who’s been working as a contributor lately to ABC News. Bespectacled as usual and dressed this evening in a dark business suit, the former Dallas police chief, who’s 56, said he wanted to focus his talk on the aftermath of the Dallas police shootings last July 7. Among the countless letters containing good wishes—and cash—that poured into the department then, Brown recalled, one letter in particular attracted his attention. It was from a fellow named Lance, whom Brown had befriended back during his days attending The University of Texas at Austin.

David Brown*

Receiving the letter set him to remembering how they’d met, when Brown—a poor African-American kid from Oak Cliff—climbed one day aboard a bus bound for Austin and UT and sat down next to the “white kid” from Missouri named Lance. Lance, Brown soon discovered, was also traveling to school at UT, and had also grown up poor. After learning as they approached Waco that Lance was hungry, Brown pulled out a bag of his great-grandmother’s fried chicken and offered some to his new pal.

In his letter to Brown last year, Lance remembered that bus trip and wrote, “My views of blacks changed because of how you treated me.” (Reading those words, Brown said, “I didn’t start crying, but my allergies started acting up.”) Then Lance wrote, “I always wondered why you sat down next to me.” That question was an interesting one, Brown said to the Just Say Yes crowd, so he would let them know why he’d done it.

David Brown*

It seems that a few years before the Austin trip, when he was just 11, the ex-chief was among the first group of local kids bused to a distant school as part of a court-ordered effort to desegregate Dallas’ schools. “No one wanted me there” at his new school, Brown said. “I didn’t want to be there. No one spoke to me for three months.”

Then, one day, Brown said, “a little white kid [named Mike] invited me home to dinner—at 3 p.m.!” Brown accepted Mike’s offer and walked with him to his home, where Mike’s mother quickly summoned her son into the kitchen and began whispering to him. “I felt like Sidney Poitier in the movie ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’ ” Brown said. But then, after a long while, Mike’s mother came out of the kitchen carrying a couple of pot pies. “Mike and I wound up talking until 7 p.m.,” Brown said. “And, eventually, our friendship led Mike to befriend other black kids.”

A little while ago, Brown said, he reconnected with Mike and asked him, “What were you whispering with your mom about in the kitchen that afternoon?” Mike, who’s Jewish, said he’d reminded his mother that day about their family members who’d survived the Holocaust, and how their advice had always been to be kind to strangers—especially those who were “different” from them.

All three pals—Brown, Lance, and Mike—wound up attending UT Austin at the same time. “So you wonder, is the moral of this story that all we need is fried chicken and pot pies to change the world?” Brown said to the Just Say Yes group. “No! But, you can transform lives with the way you interact with young people. The moral of this story is: we all have a responsibility to one another—one life at a time.

“People ask me, what’s the ‘secret’ reason you quit” the Dallas police department? Brown went on. “There wasn’t any secret reason. I was called to the job for a purpose, and I left for a purpose. I grew up poor, in a tough, high-crime neighborhood, and adults invested in me. That’s why I said yes to Just Say Yes. The Lord can call you to do things that you don’t want to do.

“The things you do for these kids’ lives means something,” Brown said, wrapping up his talk. “I’m proud to be in the same room as you all. Now my allergies are acting up again, so I’m going to stop.”

Of course, Dallas’s former top cop got a standing ovation.

* Photos provided by Just Say Yes

 

2017 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Honored Its Advisory Board And Beneficiaries With A Reception At Jennifer And Richard Dix’s Digs

Jennifer Dix, Christie Carter and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

The wine and the conversation flowed freely on Wednesday, April 5, when Crystal Charity Ball‘s friends and supporters gathered at the magnificent, Preston Hollow home of Jennifer and Richard Dix. And, why not? The event, after all, was being held to honor to group’s advisory board and the 2017 CCB beneficiaries.

Anna Hundley, Brent Christopher and Mary Pat Higgins

Guests such as Jan and Fred Hegi, Vinnie Reuben, SuSu Meyer, Michael Teeter, Tucker Enthoven, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Beth Thoele, Anna Hundley, Mary Pat Higgins, Mary-Elizabeth Carrell, Pam Busbee and Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley swarmed happily into the home’s kitchen area, where they found the likes of Christie Carter and Lisa and Clay Cooley. Christie, who’s a big supporter of Dallas CASA, was still talking about that group’s Cherish the Children luncheon held earlier in the day, where entrepreneur Casey Gerald had given an inspiring talk. Commented Christie: “It was a powerful luncheon.”

Nickey and Debbie Oates

Tom Swiley

Sandra Helton

Michael Teeter

On the business front, luxury home builder Nickey Oates and car dealer Clay Cooley both reported that their businesses were in overdrive… For Brent Christopher, it was a switch of roles. In the past as president/CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas, he had served on the advisory board. Having just taken over Children’s Medical Center Foundation this past year and its being selected as a 2017 CCB beneficiary, he was on the other side of the CCB spectrum.

Pam Perella

Finally, it was time for 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella to address the group, and what better place was there to do it than in the crowded kitchen, where Cassandra Tomassetti‘s crew had been creating mini-feasts much to the delight of folks like Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy Stephanie Matous and Sister Sandra Helton.

Standing on the stairway, Pam said, “I might be a little biased, but I’m really thrilled with our beneficiaries this year,” referring to the Autism Treatment Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days, and the Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy.

Vin Perella, Beth Thoele, Tucker Enthoven, Leslie and Bryan Diers

“Our goal this year is to raise $5.83 million,” Pam went on. “We’re almost there, so no big deal!” With that, the crowd laughed heartily as Pam gave way to longtime CCB supporter/patron Chuck Thoele of RGT Wealth Advisors. “Crystal Charity Ball is really good at three things,” Chuck said, beginning to chuckle. “Picking their beneficiaries. Raising a lot of money. And throwing a good party!”

No one at the Dix home that night would argue with that.

For more photos from the party, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Inspirational Talk by Oak Cliff Native, Award to Jewish Women’s Group Highlight Dallas CASA’s 10th Annual Cherish the Children Luncheon

The big event benefiting Dallas CASA, held August 5 at The Fairmont Dallas, was billed as the group’s 10th annual Cherish the Children Luncheon. But one of the groups honored at the event reinforced the message that Dallas CASA (short for Court Appointed Special Advocates) has been helping abused and neglected children a lot longer than that.

Joyce Rosenfield and Mark Berg*

The group, the Greater Dallas Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, received Dallas CASA’s newly named Caroline Rose Hunt Cherish the Children Award. That the award was presented to the group by Mark S. Berg, a past chair of the Dallas CASA board of directors, had a special significance. Mark’s late mother, Rose Marion Berg, was a member of the NCJW and one of the founders of Dallas CASA nearly 40 years ago.

Said Berg: “CASA is about a group of mothers who could not stand to see children mistreated. Dallas CASA is now within reach of achieving what was unthinkable a few years ago—serving every child in need. We’ve all stood on the shoulders of those dedicated mothers.”

Gail Cook, Bunny Williams, Caroline Rose Hunt, Pat McCall and Lynn Sheldon*

The 10th annual luncheon, a sold-out affair attended by about 430, was chaired by Shonn Brown. Guests included Ruth Altshuler, Cheryl Lee Shannon, Evelyn Henry Miller, Lisa Cooley, Harriet Miers, Lynn McBee, Paul Coggins, Tanya Foster, Tiffany Divis, Elba Garcia, Gail Cook, Bunny Williams, Caroline Rose Hunt, Pat McCall, Lynn Sheldon  and Sarah Losinger.

Cheryl Lee Shannon, Shonn Evans Brown, Elba Garcia, Kathleen LaValle and Evelyn Henry Miller*

Following an excellent lunch of tortilla soup and chicken salad and brief remarks by Kathleen LaValle, Dallas CASA’s executive director and president, attendees heard from guest speaker Casey Gerald. He’s a 30-year-old Oak Cliff native who’s achieved national prominence as a writer, business leader and motivational speaker.

A co-founder and CEO of a group called MBAs Across America, which aims to bring community support to entrepreneurs, Casey recalled being abandoned by his mother at age 12, while his father struggled with drug addiction. After the community intervened to help him, he said, he was able to make his way from South Oak Cliff to Yale University and later to Harvard Business School.

Casey Gerald*

Even so, Casey told the crowd, he should not be held up as a particular example of “triumph over adversity,” because it’s more important to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect. “No degree makes up for being unwanted,” he said. “No amount of money can make you fight hunger pangs. Meeting no president makes up for not having your mother. Not a single kid leaves behind those wounds of childhood.”

Casey wrapped up his talk by saying, about CASA, “This is an organization that’s dedicated to keeping kids alive. So I thank you! … [But,] how do we put ourselves out of business? What if we didn’t make the best CASA—but made a country where we don’t need CASA?”

With a target of raising $15,000 during the luncheon, which included a silent auction of children’s furniture, it was announced at 12:40 p.m. that $7,261 had been raised toward the goal so far. When all was said and done, Dallas CASA says, the 10th annual luncheon raised a total net amount of $170,000.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

High-Powered Crowd Celebrates New DMA Director Agustin Arteaga And Exclusive U.S. Exhibition of Mexican Modernists

The crowd gathered at the Dallas Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 8, was a distinguished one, befitting the auspicious occasion. Including such luminaries as 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Roger Horchow, Monica Alonzo, Chris Heinbaugh, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Jonathan Martin, Jeremy Strick, Max Wells and Terrell and Jim Falk, the group had assembled to celebrate the curatorial debut of the museum’s new Eugene McDermott Director, Dr. Agustin Arteaga.

Ann and Lee Hobson

Cappy and Janie McGarr

Allen Questrom

Laura Wilson

Agustin Arteaga

And, what a debut Arteaga was curating: the exclusive U.S. presentation of an art exhibition called Mexico 1900-1950, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco And the Avant-Garde, featuring 189 works by 66 artists. The exhibit, which debuted last October at the Grand Palais in Paris, will be on display at the DMA through Sunday, July 16. It’s supported by Patron Tequila and presented in partnership with Dallas’ Latino Center for Leadership Development, which was founded by Jorge Baldor.

Mexico 1900-1950 guests

The opening celebration was a first opportunity for many to see and greet Arteaga, who came to Dallas last year after serving as director of the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions. He was flanked on a raised stage at the DMA by fellow hosts Catherine Marcus Rose, president of the DMA’s board of trustees, and DMA Board Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, as well as by Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Director General of International Affairs Jimena Lara Estrada, Patrón’s Director of Brand Innovation Carlos Boughton and Baldor (who told the crowd, “It’s nice to see so many brown faces at the DMA”).

Jorge Baldor, Melissa Foster Fetter, Austin Arteaga, Catherine Marcus Rose, Jimena Lara Estrada, Francisco de la Torre Galindo and Carlos Boughton

The exhibition of modernist paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and film, the DMA’s new director explained, was put together in just three months to showcase an “artistic movement that took the world by surprise. … We made it on time,” he added, “and hopefully within the budget!” Arteaga also said the exhibition was only able to come to the U.S. with the Mexican government’s special permission, which had been secured by Maria Christina Garcia Cepeda, the Secretaria de Cultura de Mexico. The cultural secretary had planned to attend the March 8 Dallas event, the director added, but her trip had to be postponed after President Enrique Pena Nieto asked her to appear at a special women’s day event in Mexico City. So, Arteaga promised, “She’ll be here tomorrow.”

Dr. Stephen Mansfield Accepts 2017 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award For “The People of Methodist”

There could scarcely have been a more appropriate choice for the 15th annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award than Dr. Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of the Dallas-based Methodist Health System. As Mansfield explained to some 400 people gathered for the luncheon at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion Wednesday, March 8, he is, after all, a respiratory therapist by training—and luncheon namesake Virginia Chandler Dykes is an occupational therapist.

Dykes completed the graduate occupational therapy program at Texas Woman’s University in 1954, and, after a career directing the occupational and recreational therapy department at Baylor University Medical Center, launched the annual awards program for TWU 15 years ago. To date, Virginia told the luncheon attendees, the event has raised $650,000 for students in each of TWU’s four colleges.

Bob White, Ralph Hawkins, Virginia Chandler Dykes, Carine Feyton and Stephen Mansfield*

Elizabeth Dodd and Mary Brinegar*

Harry Crumpacker and Mike McCullough*

Addressing an audience that included the likes of Col. Allen West, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Michael Meadows, Gretchen Minyard Williams, Elizabeth Dodd, Mary Brinegar, Harry Crumpacker, Mike McCullough, Mickey Price, Steve Fick, Travis Youngblood, Matt Mitzner, Michael Schaefer and Clint McDonnough, Virginia soon gave way to Bob White of sponsor Bank of Texas—the bank has sponsored the luncheon for 11 years—who said of Mansfield: “Steve’s been quiet and under-the-radar, but he’s made tremendous strides” for Methodist. Bob’s plaudits were echoed by Luncheon Co-Chair Ralph Hawkins, the event chair. During Steve’s roughly 10 years at the helm, Ralph pointed out, Methodist has tripled in size and was recognized as one of the fastest-growing health systems in the country.

Stephen and Marilyn Mansfield*

During his brief remarks, Mansfield said his selection as the 2017 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award recipient was “a great honor for me, and the for the people of Methodist.” He thanked his wife Marilyn Mansfield—”she’s my better 3/4, at least”—as well as Methodist’s 8,000 employees and 1,800 volunteers. “They pay me to be good,” Steve recalled that he jokingly teases the volunteers, “but you people are good for nothing!” He also said he’s “fallen in love” with TWU, where more than half the students are the first in their families to go to college. 

Julie Southward, Kamica King, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Laurie Stelter*

With that, TWU Chancellor and President Carine Feyten launched into the second half of the annual luncheon: presentation of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship Awards to TWU students. The 2017 scholarships went to: Laurie Stelter, from TWU’s College of Health Sciences; Katheryn Courville, from the College of Nursing, who was unable to attend; Julie Southward, of the College of Professional Education; and Kamica King, of the College of Arts and Sciences. Kamica concluded the luncheon by singing an inspirational song titled, “Live, Love, Dream,” which was featured in a documentary film about homelessness called “Signs of Humanity.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

YPO Gold Members Get A Class In Genetics At Baylor’s Sammons Center

John D. Harkey Jr. is a true Renaissance man. Besides heading up the Dallas company called Consolidated Restaurant Operations, he’s a longtime private-equity investor and co-founder of a gene therapy company called AveXis Inc., which Goldman Sachs recently took public. He’s also a Baylor Health Care System Foundation board member and, together with Peni Barfield, the current education chair for the Dallas YPO Gold group—a group of successful CEOs who are at least age 49. 

John Harkey, Peni Barfield and Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive

So, it made perfect sense when John went last June to Robin Robinson, president of the Baylor Foundation, and asked whether Baylor would consider hosting the YPO group for a dinner and educational session on the increasingly important field of genetics. Robin not only said yes, he said, “It’s on us.” Which led to the event for about 100 YPO Gold members and their spouses Thursday, March 2, at Baylor’s Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. 

Stephen Lerer, Libby Allred and Barbara Crow

Myrna Schlegel

Patty and Mark Langdale

As attendees including Craig Hall, Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Brent Christopher, Barbara and Steve Durham, Libby Allred, Barbara Crow, Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive, Caroline and Rick O’BrienJane Saginaw Lerer and Stephen Lerer, Ashley Arnold, Leslie and Nick Merrick, Patty and Mark Langdale, and Todd Furniss gathered to enjoy the delicious dinner, there was an extra sense of anticipation in the air. About 70 of the 100, it seems, had agreed in advance a while ago to undergo genetic testing. And tonight, the results of their collective—and anonymous—gene profiles were going to be revealed. Talk about a dessert surprise!

Rick OBrien

Leslie Merrick

Nick Merrick

Jane Saginaw Lerer

Before introducing several top experts in the field to the YPOers, Robin told the group that genetics is “one of the fastest-moving areas in medicine,” and that he himself had “spit in a cup” once for the company called 23andMe. The result: Robin was told that 95 percent of his ancestors were from Northwest Europe … and he had a 70 percent chance of hair loss!

Richard Gibbs

The foundation president then gave way to Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at the Baylor College of Medicine. Gibbs explained that there are several good reasons for a person to pursue genetic testing, including if you have a genetic disease or if you’re considering having children.

Next on the program were Peter Dysert II, M.D., who’s chief of the pathology department at Baylor University Medical Center, and George Jackson “Jack” Snipes, M.D., Ph.D., the co-medical director, molecular pathology, at BUMC. Snipes explained some genome basics, and shared the amazing fact that humans share 99.5 percent to 99.9 percent of their DNA with each other. The more “SNPs” (or “snips”) that you share with a group—SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation among people—the more you are like that group, Jack went on.

With that, it was time to reveal the YPO Gold group’s collective genetic profile. In terms of average ethnicity, the experts explained, the bulk of the group broke down like this: 36 percent were of British/Irish ancestry; 26 percent were German/French; 14 percent were Ashkenazi Jew; and 7 percent were Scandinavian. Then the experts turned to the business of recessive genes among the group, and revealed the following: 22 of the 70 (or 31 percent) were carriers of 29 different inherited genetic disorders. Three were carriers for cystic fibrosis; three were carriers for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (that’s an error in cholesterol synthesis); and three were carriers for “apnea following anesthesia.” 

Robin Robinson, Peter Dysert II, Jack Snipes, Michelle Shiller, Connie Bormans and James Denison

But, that’s not all as scary as it might sound, the group was told. While everyone is very likely a carrier for something, it’s important to know, especially for your children’s sake, whether both of your parents may have carried recessive genes, the attendees learned. With that, James C. Denison, Ph.D.—he’s the resident scholar for ethics with Baylor Scott & White Health—told how his son had suffered from a very rare form of cancer caused by a genetic mutation, and how he prays every day that the mutation will be reversed.

The evening wrapped up with a presentation by a Houston company called Gene By Gene Ltd., which started off specializing in DNA-based ancestry and geneology before expanding into the medical and research fields. The company’s mission is to “unleash the power of genetic testing for everyone, giving unparalleled insight into ourselves and the future.” Filing out of the Sammons Center around 9 p.m., members of the YPO Gold group had a much better understanding of that power—thanks to Robin, John, and Peni.  

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

New Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Jim Hinton Met Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Members At St. V-Day Luncheon

Just outside the dining room at the Charles Sammons Cancer Center, there was a long line of people waiting to meet a Very Important Person when the Baylor Health Care System Foundation board met on Tuesday, February 14. And, why not? The quarterly meeting, after all, marked one of the first public appearances ever by James (“Jim”) Hinton, who’d been tapped to succeed Joel Allison as the president and CEO of Baylor Scott and White Health.

Jim Hinton, Lindalyn Adams and Margo Goodwin*

And, like savvy showmen saving the big act for last, the foundation scheduled Hinton as the final speaker on the 90-minute luncheon program, whose theme was, “Radiologists: Master Interpreters in Diagnosing and Monitoring Disease.” With board members including Barry Andrews, Lisa Troutt, Ray Washburne, Pryor Blackwell, Ron Steinhart, Jill Smith, Richard Holt, Aileen Pratt, Michal Powell and Steve Leiberman in attendance, Board Chair Margo Goodwin kicked off the meeting by urging the members to “up” their giving, in order to reach 100% by the next quarterly get-together.

Michal Powell, Robin Robinson and Aileen Pratt*

Pryor Blackwell*

Jill Smith*

“We’re at 67% participation now,” she said. “We’ve been at 100 percent for each of the last four years, and I hope we won’t break that spell.” Margo also encouraged gifts to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, which selected Baylor University Medical Center as the site of its newest facility. Hope Lodge Dallas will offer free accommodations for cancer patients who have to travel long distances for their care.

Margo gave way at that point to Foundation President Rowland Robinson, who noted the recent deaths of three strong foundation supporters: former Zale Corp. Vice Chairman Leo Fields, former Baylor liver-transplant recipient Ginny Sellers, and Tommy Valenta, a former top executive with Chaparral Steel Co. and Texas Industries.

Greg dePrisco*

With that, Robin talked a little about the meeting’s focus on radiology—“the last link in the diagnostic chain,” he called it—before introducing featured speaker Gregory dePrisco, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist and director of the MRI Fellowship Program at Baylor University Medical Center. During his fascinating and sometimes-humorous presentation, Greg explained that a radiologist is a “doctor’s doctor,” and that 1.2% of all doctors are radiologists.

He recalled the specialty’s history, from the discovery of X-rays through the widespread use of CT scans and MRIs. He told about his membership on an “anal/rectal task force” and showed and explained a number of MRIs, including an MRI comparison between a 40-year-old woman who presented normally (the subject was actually his wife, Dr. Michelle Nichols, who was in the audience) and another woman with rectal pathology and a prolapsed uterus. 

Greg also recalled how he had personally suffered a stroke; was misdiagnosed at another local medical center, where the paramedics took him; and then recovered after receiving the correct diagnosis. (Greg had “something in my lung” that caused the stroke, he explained.) The radiologist ended his presentation by showing CT images of a colonoscopy, a mammogram, and a cancerous lung, before concluding with this observation: “Radiology is a strong link in the healthcare chain. I did go over my time a little bit, but the [story about my] stroke slowed me down!”

Jim Hinton*

Then it was time for Jim to end the program with some brief closing remarks. He took the reins at Baylor Scott And White Health in January, after serving for years as president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, that state’s largest healthcare provider.

“It’s good to be in Texas,” Jim told the board members. “Typically in February I’m around a lot of Texans—but in the [ski] lift line at Taos. I wasn’t looking for a job when this one came around. But [Baylor’s] reputation and the opportunity to live in a community like Dallas were too much to pass up.”

The foundation’s fundraising efforts are crucial, Jim said finally, because “there’s not enough money in patient-care revenue” to support the Baylor healthcare system’s world-class work.

* Photo credit: Lara Bierner

JUST IN: Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver Named New Chief Executive Officer For Perot Museum

Perot dinosaurs (File photo)

Nearly a year after its previous permanent CEO resigned, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas has named a new chief executive officer. According to a letter sent to museum donors by Perot Board Chair Hernan J.F. Saenz III, “Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver will be joining the Perot Museum as our next Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.”

According to the letter, Abraham-Silver will arrive at the museum this summer “from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she has led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee as associate director since 2011.” Earlier, Saenz went on, she spent eight years as president and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The board chair said the new CEO is “perfectly aligned” with the Perot’s strategic initiatives.

“Dr. Silver’s background is impressive in its own right, but it is particularly relevant at this stage in the Museum’s evolution,” Saenz told the donors. “We are all engaged in the challenging … effort to translate the Perot Museum’s initial momentum into an engine of sustainable innovation and community impact. This requires fresh, innovate programming and exhibits, renewed and deepened community engagement across North Texas, and enhancements to the overall guest experience.”

The Perot had been led by Interim CEO Dan Kohl, since the abrupt resignation last year of chief executive Colleen Walker after less than two years on the job. According to news accounts, Walker and the museum’s board had “differences.”

Golf Analyst David Feherty Was A Keynote Hit At 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast Blending Addiction Struggles With Irish Humor

One behind-the-scenes story speaks volumes about the irreverent, freewheeling nature of the sold-out 32nd annual CARE Breakfast, which was held Wednesday, November 9, at the Belo Mansion and “starred” keynote speaker David Feherty, the hilarious NBC Sports pro golf reporter—and recovering addict.

It seems, we were told, that David learned about the kidney replacement surgery undergone a while back by Norm Bagwell, husband of CARE Dallas mainstay Robin Bagwell. Once Norm received his new kidney from Robin, David was told, his golf handicap plummeted from 14 to 5. Whereupon the morning’s keynoter cracked that if Norm “had only had his spleen taken out, he could have been a scratch golfer!”

Robin Bagwell, David Feherty and Norm Bagwell*

The golf theme—Irish-born Feherty, after all, is a former pro on both the European and PGA tours—was prominent during the breakfast, a big fundraiser for CARE Dallas and its work to educate the community about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. The table centerpieces, for example, were clever decorations consisting of green felt, two golf balls, and a spray of red tees.

Following the “serenity” prayer delivered by the Rev. Paul Rasmussen, CARE’s new executive director, Susan Morgan, explained that CARE Dallas is a “safe and confidential place for families to learn about resources that are available to fight addiction.” In 2017, she added, the nonprofit plans to start up several new support groups.

Scott and Jan Osborn*

Then Robin, who’s been involved with CARE for 16 years, presented the group’s Margaret Sharpe Community Service Award to her pal Jan Osborn, an eight-year veteran of the group and the board chair for three years. Said Robin: “My greatest accomplishment was bringing Jan Osborn on to the board.” When Jan proceeded to deliver the world’s shortest acceptance speech—basically just saying thanks—Terry Bentley Hill took the stage and quipped, “If this was the Academy Awards, the orchestra hadn’t even pulled up the violins yet.” With that she introduced the keynoter, Feherty, calling him a “combination of Oprah and Johnny Carson.”

Terry Bentley Hill*

It was an apt description, if a little too G-rated.

At the lectern, Feherty set the tone right off the bat: “The first thing I thought this morning when I woke up was, ‘Hey, shit. I need a drink!’” After some jokes about the weak urinary stream of a 58-year-old man—that’s him—he quickly turned serious. “There’s no such thing as ‘recovery,’” he said. “Any addict knows that. I don’t need to be sober the rest of my life. I just need to be sober today.”

But then, soon enough, he was back to cracking wise: “The doctor asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about getting help?’ And I said, ‘No, I can drink it all by myself!’ ”

With that Feherty took off on the “dark sense of humor” found in his native Northern Ireland: “I don’t know if my father was an alcoholic, but he made a solid attempt at being one.” He introduced his 86-year-old mother, Vi Feherty—she was sitting in the audience—and said she’s been married for 63 years to Feherty’s 91-year-old father, Bill Feherty, who’s suffering now** from Alzheimer’s. The disease has its upside, Feherty said, explaining that Billy “broke out of his assisted living home, but couldn’t remember why he broke out. So he broke back in.” When Billy would come home late years ago after drinking at the club, Feherty recalled, his dad would ask Vi, “Is my dinner still warm?” And she would reply, “Yes. It’s in the dog.”

David Feherty*

Then came a series of random—and hilarious—stories and quips:

  • “A cop says to a drunk, ‘Sir, can you step out of the car?’ ‘No, I’m too drunk. You get in.’ ”
  • “The only reason I’m here today is because [Jan] Osborn has pictures of me with a goat.”
  • “I love Texas. It’s like America—except better.”

Concluding his entertaining talk, Feherty waxed serious again about his struggles with addiction. After his “career and marriage ended on the same day,” he recalled, he began taking 20 to 30 pills, plus two bottles of whiskey, daily. … “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great drunks and with some bad drunks,” Feherty said. “I was a spectacular drunk!

“I was sober the best part of 10 years, until 10 months ago,” he went on. “Like most alcoholics, I can’t believe it came back to bite me. I ended up in the Mayo Clinic rehab center in Rochester [Minnesota]. There are more friggin’ bars in that town! It was probably the worst 11 days of my life.” Turns out, Feherty had been suffering from a neurological disease in which “the frontal lobe of the brain doesn’t work properly,” he said. “It’s called the Comic’s Disease—Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters had it. … But, I’ve been sober for a few months now—again.” (At that, the crowd applauded enthusiastically.)

He ended on a poignant note: “I can drink it all by myself,” Feherty said. “But I can’t be sober without your help.”

Many in the crowd, it seemed, could relate.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee 
** Editor's note: Billy Feherty died two weeks later on Thanksgiving morning

Music, Dinner And Art “Ramped Up” Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Art For Advocacy” Fundraiser To The Next Level

Amy Hofland Lewis and Tara Lewis*

Everyone agreed: Co-Chairs Amy Lewis Hofland and Tara Lewis really “ramped it up” for the 10th annual Art for Advocacy auction event Saturday, November 5, at the General Datatech Warehouse space on Ambassador Row. The event, as always, benefited the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Over the last decade the annual bash has raised about $3 million to provide therapy and other services to abused children in Dallas County.

This year, though, things were upped a notch. The handsome tech space was an expansive contrast to FIG, the venue in previous years. This time around, there was a delicious seated dinner that was catered by Bolsa. And, following a successful art auction by maestro Louis Murad, big-time entertainment by the popular indie singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe capped the evening.

Sofia Sugasti and Nancy Carlson*

Tom and Kathi Lind*

First, though, the nearly 700 guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and a close-up gander at all the art on the walls. About 100 local and regional artists were participating in the display, under the direction of Art Selection honcho Joyce Goss. Among those strolling and checking everything out were Honorary Chair Nancy Carlson, Kara and Randall Goss, Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum, Keith Nix, James Anbouba (“We always bid on a few items,” he said—“in fact, we have no more wall space!), Sofia Sugasti, Thomas Hartland-Mackie, Barry Whistler, Rachel and Hampton Richards, Kathi and Tom Lind, Nick Even and Clark Knippers and Kersten Rettig (still wearing a black boot, months after that mishap in Arkansas).

Holly Johnson, Nancy Cohen Israel and Solomon Israel*

Following a talk by DCAC president and CEO Lynn Davis—he said the nonprofit group helped more than 4,000 children in 2015—auctioneer Murad took the stage, and the artwork began flying into the high bidders’ hands. A photo called “Moth” by Maxine Helfman, for example, was valued at $8,000 but went for $12,000; Megan Adams Brooks’ “Blindspot” painting,” valued at $7,800, sold for $9,000; and Shane Pennington’s copper-wire sculpture called “I Look Up In Wonder” was valued at $14,500, but wound up trading hands for a whopping $25,000.

Sarah Jaffe*

So much excitement had been created, in fact, that one man popped up on stage and announced, “I’m going to match whatever anybody gives tonight, up to $100,000!” A little later, Sarah Jaffe and her band strummed their first notes. Ramped up, indeed.

For a look at some of the sponsors, who made this possible, follow the jump:

* Photo credit: Dane Davis

[Read more…]

Champion Of Children Award Dinner Guest Speaker Antwone Fisher Strikes A Chord As Dallas CASA Honors NorthPark Center

On the evening of Thursday, October 27, the reception area outside the Fairmont Hotel’s International Ballroom was packed. The big ballroom, after all, was about to play host to the 2016 Champion of Children Award Dinner benefiting Dallas CASA, which advocates for abused and neglected children, and nearly 550 guests were expected—more than last year’s total.

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Greeting friends in the crowded foyer were the likes of Caroline Rose Hunt, Lynn and Roy Shelton, Debra Nelson, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Dallas CASA board member Christie Carter, Frank Risch, Judge Andrea Matin, Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon, Jana and Mike Brosin (their Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti was the dinner’s presenting sponsor), Angela and Jim Thompson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman and Jan Sanders.

Jan is the widow of Judge Barefoot Sanders, the well-known political figure and longtime U.S. district judge—and steadfast supporter of Dallas CASA, whose annual Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award bears his name. “When they named an award after him, I thought I’d better put up or shut up,” Jan said with a smile, eying the scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. “So I’ve been a CASA court advocate for three years.”

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Inside the ballroom, meantime, Mary Martha and Dr. John Pickens were peering out the tall glass windows, admiring the spectacular sunset. Soon enough, the hall behind them had filled, and event co-chairs Karen Carney, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, and Joe Manogue were onstage welcoming everyone. “Normally we would ask you to put away your phones, but tonight we ask you to take out your phones and text,” said Joe. “Let’s raise $100,000 tonight!”

With that, Kathleen LaValle, the Dallas CASA executive director and president, took the podium to pay tribute to the evening’s honoree and winner of the Judge Sanders award, NorthPark Center. As Kathleen explained, NorthPark for 21 years has hosted the annual Parade of Playhouses, which raises money for Dallas CASA and attracts volunteers to the nonprofit. In addition, she said, NorthPark secured five billboards across Dallas County touting Dallas CASA—and the group had only asked for one!

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Accepting the award was NorthPark co-owner Nancy Nasher, who had invited to the dinner members of her NorthPark team, including G.M. Billy Hines, Special Event Managers Lona Crabb and the workmen who’d transported the playhouses into the center. Nancy said NorthPark has become “a place to learn about social causes” and, in 2015, celebrated its 50th anniversary by donating more than $1 million to 50 Dallas nonprofits, many of them benefiting children. (Dallas CASA, in fact, was the first of the groups to receive a donation.) Then she made a surprise announcement: “We will donate space once again on our prime billboard, at Walnut Hill and North Central Expressway, to Dallas CASA.”

After Nancy received a heartfelt standing ovation, Dallas CASA board chair John Gibson reiterated the group’s need for more advocates and more funds and said that, so far, more than $50,000 had been raised just during the dinner. Then he introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Antwone Fisher. Antwone is a director, screenwriter, film producer, and author who grew up in an abusive foster home—and then was homeless—before joining the United States Navy and turning his life around. His life was the subject of a 2002 movie, called “Antwone  Fisher,” that starred Denzel Washington and was based on Antwone’s memoir, “Finding Fish.”

Antwone Fisher*

Antwone Fisher*

During his talk, Antwone recalled that his mother was 17 and in prison when he was born in 1959. He was abused during 18 years in foster care, he remembered, and dealt with a total of 13 social workers during that time. Despite the years of abuse—and his experiences encountering pimps and drug dealers along the way, as well—Antwone said, “I learned to appreciate my fear. I wasn’t afraid of being afraid. If you’re not afraid, [bad] things can happen.”

During his years as a homeless person on the streets of Cleveland, he went on, he stole—but only for food and necessities like shoes, galoshes, and a warm coat. It was during this period that he saw a sign saying, “Join the Navy,” which he decided to do. He willed himself to pass the necessary tests, even though he couldn’t read, and, over the next 11 years in the service, turned his life around.

“If I had had a CASA [a court-appointed special advocate] as a boy, I would have grown close to that person and they would have been able to help me, like they do all over the country,” Antwone said. “Having an advocate who can speak for you is so important. When I was a kid, I couldn’t articulate my thoughts. … Sometimes all it takes is one person caring about you.”

After the evening’s second standing ovation—this one for Antwone—event co-chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham took the stage to wrap things up. A total of $53,440 had been raised during the event, they announced, which, thanks to a $50,000 match, meant that Dallas CASA was $103,000 richer just since the first course was served. That amount, the guests realized happily as they made for the exits, would pay for a lot of advocates for a lot of Antwones.  

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Holly And Jim Trester Opened Their Estate For Boys And Girls Club Of Greater Dallas’ 2016 Billiard Ball Patron Party

Holly Trester and Charles English

Holly Trester and Charles English

It was a small, interconnected world indeed when about 50 guests gathered at Holly and Jim Trester’s stunning estate for a charity kickoff party on Tuesday, October 26. The fete with food everywhere was to ramp up interest in the 2016 Billiard Ball, an annual fundraiser for the Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas that was scheduled for Saturday, November 12, at the Hilton Anatole.

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

The ball, which was set to honor Helen and Clint Murchison, would be co-chaired by Laura and Dennis Moon, who were chatting amiably with guests at the Tresters’ place. Jim, who serves on the BGCD board, explained that, as a principal at the Ryan tax firm, he’d worked for two decades with Kimberly-Clark CEO Tom Falk. It was Tom, Jim went on, who’d asked him to sponsor a table at the 2016 Billiard Ball.

Jim Trester

Jim Trester

The ball has raised more than $2.4 million since its inception for the clubs, which boast 7,500 members at 31 sites in North Texas.

Not far away, Wendy and Boyd Messman were admiring Jim’s extensive collection of Dallas Mavericks and other sports memorabilia. Wendy, it turns out, works at U.S. Trust with Dennis. Holly, meantime, was greeting guests and chatting with Charles R. English, president and CEO of BGCD.

Nearby, Laura Brown was also introducing herself to attendees. Laura had just joined the Boys & Girls Clubs as vice president of advancement, focusing on major gifts and planned giving. “My passion is in youth development,” Laura was saying to a guest. This was her first day on the job—and, given all the excitement around the upcoming Billiard Ball, she couldn’t have picked a better day to start. 

2016 Excellence Awardees Are Toasted At Dallas Historical Society Patron Party

Libby and Doug Hunt

Libby and Doug Hunt

Drink glasses were raised, and there was much applause Tuesday, October 26, when about 65 guests gathered at Libby and Doug Hunt’s beautiful, classic home to recognize recipients of the Dallas Historical Society’s 2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service. The awards, scheduled to be presented at a luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, November 17, are given annually to honor “generosity of spirit, civic leadership, and [the] ability to encourage community-wide participation” in the growth of Dallas.

Gail and Bob Thomas and Louise Caldwell

Gail and Bob Thomas and Louise Caldwell

Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm

Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm

After attendees at the patron party including new DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Margot and Ross Perot and Gail and Bob Thomas—Gail and Bob are the luncheon’s honorary co-chairs—greeted old friends and caught up on all the latest, event co-chairs Mary Suhm and Veletta Forsythe Lill called the packed house to order and graciously introduced the 2016 awardees in attendance.   

Molly Bogen and Amy Aldredge

Molly Bogen and Amy Aldredge

Veletta went first, recognizing Keith Cerny (he would be getting the award for Arts Leadership), Eliseo Garcia (Creative Arts), Molly Bogen (Humanities), Philip C. Henderson (Volunteer Community Leadership) and Margot Perot (Jubilee History Maker).

Then it was Mary’s turn to take the living-room stage. She proceeded to give shout-outs to Pat Mattingly (Education), Shad Roe (Volunteer Community Leadership), Dr. Leonard Riggs (Business) and Hugh Aynesworth (History).

Ross and Margot Perot and Hugh and Paula Aynesworth

Ross and Margot Perot and Hugh and Paula Aynesworth

Others scheduled to receive awards in November were Dr. Eric Olson (Medical Research), Linda Perryman-Evans (Philanthropy) and Michael Jordan (Sports Leadership).

The introductions made, all present raised their glasses high and toasted the honorees. Then everyone went back to catching up.

At Mary McDermott Cook’s House, Readers 2 Leaders Celebrates Five Years

Philanthropist and community activist Fran Tynan is on the board of Readers 2 Leaders, a nonprofit whose mission is to develop and grow the reading skills of children in West Dallas. She’s also a neighbor of Mary McDermott Cook. So, thanks to Fran’s persuasive skills, Mary’s stunning, glass-and-wood home high above the Belmont Hotel in West Dallas was the setting for Readers 2 Leaders’ fifth anniversary party on Thursday, October 13.

“We’re about improving literacy in West Dallas,” explained Norma Nelson, the group’s executive director, as about 65 guests sipped drinks and munched hors d’oeuvres and admired the stunning views from Mary’s living room. “In 2015 we served 420 kids and 575 families,” Norma added, with initiatives including a core tutoring program called Team Read. It targets elementary-age students in West Dallas during regular school hours, after school, and during the summer months.

Not far away from Norma, attorney Ted Schweinfurth was chatting with friends. Schweinfurth, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, founded Readers 2 Leaders and chairs its board of directors. (Ted also had a big hand in founding the VMLC nonprofit.) He proudly noted the progress Readers 2 Leaders has made, including gaining some funding from the Dallas Independent School District and just being selected as a three-year Community Impact grant recipient of funds from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Later, as guests including Janet Horton, Giles Davidson, Christina Hanger, and Daniel Waldmann looked on, Norma and Ted told the crowd how far Readers 2 Leaders had come in five years. It’s all thanks to the group’s “meticulous approach that moves the kids forward,” said Norma. Added Ted: “We have made an impact, even if we’ve only scratched the surface.”

There was also praise for Fran, who after all had made the party happen at Mary Cook’s house. “Fran Tynan’s gotten me into more ******* things than I can mention,” Mary jokingly told the crowd. Then came a shout: “Yay, Fran!”   

‘Larger Than Life’ Stodghills Are Feted At 10th Anniversary Dallas Film Society Luncheon

Anita La Cava Swift, the eldest of John Wayne’s 27 grandchildren, stood at the podium at Sixty Five Hundred on Tuesday, September 27, and spoke wryly to a luncheon crowd of more than 300 about her friends Anne and Steve Stodghill. “It was just a matter of time before the Wayne family and the Stodghill family would cross paths,” Anita said. “And not just because of that big portrait” of The Duke in the Stodghills’ house!

Wayne’s granddaughter was talking about Steve and Anne’s leading role in the annual John Wayne Film Festival, which was moved at their behest to Dallas a few years ago from Snyder in West Texas. Anita’s recollections were apropos, because they came at the 10th Anniversary Luncheon of the Dallas Film Society (DFS) honoring Anne and Steve—huge DFS supporters and big-time movie buffs. The couple co-chaired the DFS’ 2009 Dallas International Film Festival, and Steve owns a sizeable collection of movie memorabilia, including many Batman and John Wayne items.

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

In her luncheon talk, Anita told how the Stodghills had determined to bring the Wayne film festival to North Texas and to LOOK Cinemas. (LOOK’s Tom Stephenson and wife Blake were in the crowd.) “Everything we license, a portion goes to find a cure for cancer,” Anita went on. “The two festivals that Anne and Steve did raised over $450,000 for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. So, there will always be a place at the Wayne family table for Steve and Anne. We love you!”

Lee Papert*

Lee Papert*

Everybody seemed to have some love for the Stodghills at the DFS event, which was attended by the likes of Jennifer and Coley Clark, Harry Hunsicker, Michael Cain, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Janis Burklund, Lynn McBee, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel. As the guests chowed down on their grilled petit filet, oven-cured tomato, mixed greens, and salted caramel tart (it was adorned, appropriately enough, with a little Batman logo), they heard welcoming remarks by DFS officials Suzanne Bock Grishman (the event co-chair), Mark Denesuk (the board chair), and Lee Papert, the group’s president and CEO.

They were followed by Tom West, chief advancement officer for the American Film Institute, where Steve has served as vice chair of the AFI’s national council. Cracked Tom: “Hollywood is known for larger-than-life personalities, but Steve and Anne put La La Land to shame.”

James Faust*

James Faust*

Then West gave way to Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, who was interviewed onstage by columnist Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News. After Wilonsky confessed that he enjoys “going to Steve’s house and raiding the liquor cabinet on occasion,” Wagner talked about his Todd Wagner Foundation, which focuses on at-risk youth, and his latest venture, called the Charity Network. The latter “harnesses the power of celebrity, technology and media” to raise money and awareness for nonprofits via three digital fundraising platforms: Charitybuzz, Prizeo, and Chideo. Asked how the venture had come about, Wagner replied, “What we’re doing now is the culmination of everything I’ve ever done. It’s entertainment and philanthropy … all rolled into one. My frustration had been that many of these organizations had been happy for me to write them a check. But I thought I could do much more.”

After Wagner delivered a humorous “Top 10 List” about Steve—it was payback for Steve having previously delivered a Top 10 List about Wagner—actress Peri Gilpin, a longtime friend of the Stodghills, was scheduled to speak. DFW Artistic Director James Faust closed out the bill in the same spirit of good humor, at one point even donning a Batman mask.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

Internationalism On The Menu At H. Neil Mallon Award Dinner

2016 H. Neil Mallon Award*

2016 H. Neil Mallon Award*

In a presidential-election year that essentially has globalism on the ballot, there was no doubting the commitment of more than 800 people to the concept when the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth held its annual H. Neil Mallon Award fundraising dinner at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, September 24.

The purpose of the event was to present the 33rd annual Mallon award to Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group. But the evening was also a celebration of internationalism, with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where American dominates, at its dynamic heart.

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue was one of the dinner co-chairs, along with Robert L. Crandall, CEO of American from 1985 to 1998. The dinner chairs were CEO David T. Seaton of Fluor Corp., which depends heavily on international construction work, and Texas Capital Bancshares leader C. Keith Cargill, who’s also chairman of the World Affairs Council of DFW board. The honorary dinner chairs were Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who couldn’t attend, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Mike Rawlings*

Mike Rawlings*

During the pre-dinner receptions, old friends like Talmage Boston, Laura and Tom Leppert, Marvin Singleton and Richard Holt caught up with the latest news. Marvin, a bigwig with the local office of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, said that he’d just traveled 12,000 miles in the previous three weeks. Richard, the local Bank of America leader, said he’d been traveling a lot in the last month as well. Terrell Falk, wife of WAC/DFW President and CEO Jim Falk, revealed that she’d recently come out of retirement to be CEO/COO of a new arts incubator called The Cedars Union. (Seed money came from the Bowdon family foundation.)

Jim Falk*

Jim Falk*

A little later, as the dinner guests worked on their shrimp salads, braised short ribs, and caramel-and-chocolate truffle torts, Rawlings took the podium to congratulate Parker on “pulling our world together, and making DFW Airport your home.” The mayor then acknowledged that questions about globalism have arisen in the presidential campaign, adding, “Do you pull away, or do you lean in? Thank you for leaning in and supporting the World Affairs Council.”

After a video tribute to Parker—in it, Donohue called Parker the “dean” of airline CEOs, just as Crandall had been—Crandall himself helped Cargill present the Mallon Award to Parker. The 80-year-old retired executive, who now divides his time between Florida and his native New England, praised Parker for launching 18 new routes and adding 5,000 employees since American’s merger with US Airways in 2013.

Robert Crandall, Doug Parker and Keith Cargill*

Robert Crandall, Doug Parker and Keith Cargill*

During his remarks accepting the WAC award, Parker surprised the crowd by announcing that American would name its new Fort Worth headquarters campus—which should be ready for move-in by 2018—after Crandall. “I just told Bob about it an hour and a half ago,” Doug disclosed. Later, Crandall called the announcement “a great compliment, and a huge pleasure.”

The evening concluded with a keynote talk by David Ignatius, foreign affairs columnist for The Washington Post. Ignatius told the crowd that people everywhere are worried that America is becoming less willing to take a leadership role in the world. He then outlined three challenges that he sees: the threat posed by ISIS, the threat posed to the U.S. by Russia under Vladimir Putin, and the problem of China if America withdraws from its involvement in Asia.

David Ignatius*

David Ignatius*

“It really matters whether America remains persistent in the world and has the backs of our friends,” Ignatius said, adding: “Internationalism is strong in our country when it comes from the heartland—from Texas and Minnesota, from businesses and workers, not from the elites. Visiting with people here in Dallas makes me more hopeful that we’ll stay engaged in the world.”

You can bet that most everyone in the house agreed with the sentiment.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

The Focus Is On Health At Baylor Foundation’s Quarterly Board Meeting

The theme for the first Baylor Health Care System Foundation board of directors meeting of the new (2017) fiscal year may have been “Integrative Medicine: Leveraging New Perspectives for a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit.” But it was apparent at the Tuesday, September 20th quarterly board meeting that the Foundation itself is in pretty good health, too.

Sporting a new white beard he called “an August project,” Foundation President Robin Robinson told the luncheon meeting that the organization now had raised more than $581 million for the healthcare system since its founding. The foundation has a new tagline—“Let’s Move Mountains”—Robin disclosed, and the last fiscal year was its best ever in fundraising terms. Thirty-seven million dollars came through the doors, he said, or 128 percent of the goal. The foundation also distributed $43 million to the system during the 2016 fiscal year, Robin said, bringing total disbursements over five years to $175 million.

Board Chair Margo Goodwin had good news for the board members as well. The foundation’s most recent annual Grand Rounds golf tournament was a record-breaker, Margo announced, with 229 golfers helping raise $290,000. Board giving during the last fiscal year enjoyed 100 percent participation, she went on, with 20 percent of the board members ponying up more than $25,000.

Amy Turner, Julie Turner and Margo Goodwin*

Amy Turner, Julie Turner and Margo Goodwin*

Jim Lozier and Jill Smith*

Jim Lozier and Jill Smith*

Margo also talked briefly about the responsibilities of new foundation board members. The “Class of 2017” members are: Kenneth Aboussie Jr., Barry Andrews, Norm Bagwell, Mike Barnett, Hal Brierley, Darlene Cass, Robert Dozier, Graciela Garton M.D., Jim Lozier, Holt Lunsford, Gloria Martindale, Amy Mueller (ex-officio), Michal Powell, Bruce Robson, Ken Schnitzer, Jill Smith, Bob Thomas, Amy Turner and John Yeaman.

Following lunch and a brief report from Joel Allison, the health system’s outgoing CEO—Joel said Baylor had acquired another medical center in Austin, and finalists to succeed him should be disclosed by late October—Dr. Carolyn Matthews delivered a keynote talk about how “chronic illness is burdening” the American health system in general, and what can be done about it.

Robin Robinson, Carolyn Matthews and Joel Allison*

Robin Robinson, Carolyn Matthews and Joel Allison*

Chronic illnesses such as depression, obesity (67 percent of us are overweight or obese), cancer, diabetes (10 percent of us have it), and asthma require repeated treatment, Dr. Matthews explained, and 50 percent of adults will suffer from at least one of them. But the good news, she stressed, is that all of these chronic illnesses are “very modifiable” with exercise, sleep, and a proper diet.

Several habits will help reduce your risk for chronic illness, continued Dr. Matthews, who is Director of Integrative and Functional Medicine at the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. Those habits include: refraining from smoking; eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day; doing some sort of physical activity (150 minutes per week is recommended, even if it’s just walking); and aiming for seven to eight hours of restful sleep per night.

During a Q&A session near the end of the meeting, someone asked Dr. Matthews why eating right seems to be so difficult for so many. “Because the vast majority of food in the grocery store is not real food,” she replied. “The quality of our food is not as good as it was 50 years ago,” she continued, citing “genetically modified food” among other trends. Ideally everyone would eat organic food if they could afford it, Dr. Matthews concluded, but, at a minimum, the meat you eat should be grass-fed and any fish should be of the small variety, like salmon.

* Photos provided by Baylor Health Care System Foundation

Gritty, Tenacious Dr. Bobby Lyle Is Honored By Entrepreneurs For North Texas At The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship

Talk about a “who’s who” gathering of Dallas business and civic leaders! That was the scene for sure at Communities Foundation of Texas on Thursday, May 12, when Dr. Bobby B. Lyle was inducted into the EFNT Ring of Entrepreneurs. The EFNT (Entrepreneurs for North Texas) group is a CFT program focusing on small- and mid-sized companies, and its annual Ring induction honors “world-class entrepreneurs” who’ve excelled at giving back.

Bobby Lyle and Margo and Jim Keyes*

Bobby Lyle and Margo and Jim Keyes*

The who’s who assembly included the likes of Margo and Jim Keyes, Gerald Turner, Ruth Altshuler, Phil Romano, John Wiley Price, Tom Leppert and Garrett Boone. (Garrett and Jim were previous Ring inductees—Garrett in 2015, and Jim in 2009.) Bobby, of course, is the legendary Dallas philanthropist, corporate board member, founder of Lyco Energy Corp., and Dallas investor in fields ranging from real estate and manufacturing to cattle ranching, and green energy.

Garrett Boone*

Garrett Boone*

Ruth Altshuler*

Ruth Altshuler*

Gerald Turner*

Gerald Turner*

Tom Leppert*

Tom Leppert*

As the guests streamed into CFT’s meeting room for EFNT’s 15th Annual Spirit of Entrepreneur event, called “Engineering Philanthropy,” a Salvation Army band struck up “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Outgoing CFT CEO Brent Christopher welcomed everyone with a quip: “I’m not sure we’re all saints, but we all came marching in!”

Patrick Brandt*

Patrick Brandt*

With that Patrick Brandt, chairman of the EFNT board, took the stage to present the group’s annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship North Star awards to Oliver Wyman and Sendero. Next came a video about Bobby, with tributes to the much-admired engineer, executive, entrepreneur, professor, and civic leader from Garrett, Jim, and Ray Hunt. The man of the hour was then introduced by his daughter, Sharon Lyle, who said she “learned grit and tenacity from dad,” adding, “There’s no one I trust more with my life and my business.” At that Bobby took the mic and was presented with the blazer and cuff links traditionally given to Ring inductees, as well as a colorful scale model of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering complex.

Sharon Lyle*

Sharon Lyle*

“Out in the lobby,” Bobby told the crowd, “I saw people I’d seen yesterday, some I hadn’t seen in a couple of months, and some I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.” Then he embarked on a conversational, “360-degree tour of our city,” applauding the people behind such progressive developments as the AT&T Performing Arts Center (among them, Bill Lively); the Trinity River project (Dr. Gail Thomas and Lyda Hill, for example); “SMU’s transformation” (Turner as well as Carl Sewell and others); the Perot Museum (Forrest Hoglund and Nicole Small among them); and the Bush presidential library (Laura and George W. Bush and others).

Brent Christopher and Bobby Lyle*

Brent Christopher and Bobby Lyle*

The evening concluded with a casual talk between Bobby and Brent about Lyle’s long and distinguished career. In it, Bobby admitted that he was “probably scared to death both times” when he took on developing the Dallas Galleria shopping center and, later, when he pioneered fracking and horizontal drilling in the Bakken Field oil-shale play in Richland County, Montana. A key player in getting the latter project off the ground, Bobby said, was Dick Cheney, who was then with Halliburton.

Summed up Brent: “But you saw how to connect the dots.”

* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Is Served Up Future Plans And Causes For Growing Concern About Skin Cancers

Financial progress, personnel transitions, and skin care—specifically, “Dermatology Innovations and Skin-Care Secrets”—were on the agenda Tuesday, May 10, when the Baylor Health Care System Foundation board held its quarterly luncheon meeting at Dallas’ Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center.

Rowland Robins, Tavia Hunt, Margo Goodwin and Joel Allison*

Rowland Robins, Tavia Hunt, Margo Goodwin and Joel Allison*

After attendees like Ken Schnitzer, Shannon Skokos, Tom Dunning, Jill Smith, Barry Andrews, Aileen Pratt and Richard Holt took their seats in the center’s big meeting room, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin got right down to business by noting that the FY 2016 Board Giving Campaign, which wraps up Thursday, June 30, had reached 85 percent of its goal. “It’s not the size of the gift,” Margo pointedly reminded the board members, “it’s the fact that 100 percent of our board will give.”

Jim Turner*

Jim Turner*

She then turned over the podium to Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board Chair Jim Turner, who gave a detailed update on the process to find a successor to Joel Allison. Joel, who’s CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, announced previously that he would step down officially on February 1, 2017. Turner told the board about the hiring of Witt/Kieffer, an executive-recruiting firm whose Atlanta-based practice specializes in CEO searches for healthcare firms. A search committee has also been named, Turner said, and its members would be interviewing a number of hospital “stakeholders” to create the “ideal CEO profile.”

Once that profile is completed, Turner explained, Phase Two of the search would kick in. First, Witt/Kieffer will review both “internal and external” candidates through July. A select group of those candidates should be selected by the end of August, Turner said, and, ideally, finalists would be ready for official consideration by the middle of September. Turner is aiming to have a candidate to take to the board for their consideration by Saturday, October 1, with the finalist hired and “on board by October 30.”

That timetable would give the new CEO time during the transition period to learn the ropes from Allison, who will “step into his role as adviser to me by February,” Turner concluded.

Then it was time for Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson to talk about another sort of transition: new members replacing “old” ones on the foundation board. “Rolling off” the board on Thursday, June 30, would be Glenn Callison, Dunning, James N. Miller, William F. Miller III, Beverly Nichols, Wade Reed, John Tolleson and Terry Worrell.

Then a third sort of transition was addressed: the replacement of Dr. Alan Menter as chairman of the Division of Dermatology at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas with incoming chairman Dr. Clay J. Cockerell, who will assume his new duties on Friday, July 1. Cockerell and the legendary Dr. Menter were joined in a panel discussion titled “More Than Skin Deep” by Dr. Catriona Ryan, vice chair of Dermatology, Dermatology Residency Program at the Baylor University med center.

Catriona Ryan, Clay Cockerell and Alan Menter*

Catriona Ryan, Clay Cockerell and Alan Menter*

Cockerell said his goal is to “double the size” of the dermatology program over the next five years. Menter, who’s had a longtime focus on improving psoriasis treatment, said that despite stepping down as dermatology chairman, he would continue practicing after July 1. Ryan explained that Baylor has “upped what we do” for melanoma patients at the hospital. Asked by an audience member “what to do for crow’s feet,” Ryan stressed the importance of a skin-care regimen, using sunblock every morning, and applying Retin-A at night. Finally, all three doctors warned against the use of tanning beds, citing studies showing that 95% of women who developed skin cancer in their 20s and 30s had used tanning beds at some point.

The foundation’s next board meeting will be on Tuesday, September 20.

* Photos provided by Baylor Health Care System Foundation

Auctions, Dancing, Dale Hansen And Mini-Ambassadors At Texas Horse Park Helped Equest Celebrate Its 35th Anniversary

One day before it took place on Saturday, May 7, Equest’s 35th Anniversary Gala at the Texas Horse Park was sold out. Walking around the gala off Pemberton Hill Road in South Dallas, it was easy to see why.

That situation was even more impressive since guests weren’t able to just drive up to the front door and turn their wheels over to car parkers. The vast majority had to be shuttled to the Park via chartered buses from locales in Dallas. After all, Texas Horse Park was built to be equine horsepower as opposed to an automotive parking lot. But despite the perceived inconvenience, the bus loads arrived for a night of fun and fundraising.

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

And, of course, there were the horses befitting the group that, since 1981, has used the four-hoofed critters to bring hope and healing to children and adults with diverse needs. (In fact, Equest was the first therapeutic riding program in Texas.) At the front door, there were the miniature equine stars Teddy Roosevelt and Tex; later, gals and guys could have their photo taken with Disco and Dare.

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

As the guests made their way into the grounds—among them, Stacey Hodge, Amy and Michael Meadows, Sherry Wood, Alan Curtis, David Whyman, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz—they saw “client and rider demonstrations” happening in the outdoor pens. Moving down beneath the Equest covered arena, they encountered the reception and silent auction and, later, the table settings for the gala dinner and live auction. Among the auction highlights: a Costa Rica getaway (value, $12,000) and a Montana Sporting Club Retreat ($10,000).

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Over at the “Equest Country Store,” meantime, mother and daughter Maggie and Annabelle Buckner (Annabelle’s 12) were checking out the goods. As Emilynn Wilson and her husband Claude strode through the stables, Emilynn said, “I just had a horse that fell in love with me.” Guests Phyllis Glazer and Susan Iannaccone were chit-chatting. While Maddie Dean patiently waited, her dad/emcee Jody Dean and co-emcee Jocelyn White huddled over last-minute details with the likes of Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall, who with her husband Doug Wall was serving as the Gala Chair. Despite all the hifalutin types, four-year-old mini-ambassador donkey Taco was quite content to stay in his stall and occasionally saunter over for a howdy do with a guest or two.

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer

Taco

Taco

Honorary Chairs Chris and Dale Hansen soon pulled up in their big black SUV with Dale at the wheel and, much later, the Gala guests would be dancing up a storm to the music of Cary Pierce with Crystal Yates and John Christopher Davis. Really, now; with horses, good friends, great food and fun music, could there have been a better way to celebrate Equest’s landmark anniversary?

Four Hundred Watch Nyquist Win The Run For The Roses As They Raise Money At TAG Derby Event For BrainHealth Center

Harold Scherrell, Alison Percy, Scott Caldwell and Dan Hunt

Harold Scherrell, Alison Percy, Scott Caldwell and Dan Hunt

Dreamy and Jessi Gould

Dreamy and Jessi Gould

Cigars, seersucker, sunglasses and big hats were the order of the day when as many as 400 young professionals gathered on Saturday, May 7, for the Think Ahead Group’s Sixth Annual Kentucky Derby Party. The focal point of the derby-watching party was a big-screen TV set up in the green, tree-lined courtyard at Dallas’ beautiful Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens.

Greeting the lovely and handsome young things at the front door was Dreamy the 19-year-old Morgan with her handler Barbara Lewis.

Bethany Voss and Mike Rials

Bethany Voss and Mike Rials

Okay, besides the well-watched television, there was also delicious food—think chicken and biscuit sliders, mini-crab cakes and mint juleps—as well as a silent auction. All the attractions were to help TAG, a group of young professionals who raise funds for the Center for BrainHealth, bring in at least $50,000 for the center’s Alzheimer’s program.

At one point, the guests—among them Jessi Gould, Dr. Alison Percy, Dan Hunt, Harold Scherrell, Scott Caldwell, Mike Rials and Bethany Voss—crowded around the huge TV to watch the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. As cries of “Go, Nyquist!” were heard from the excited crowd, the race concluded with Nyquist holding off a late surge by Exaggeration to win the derby.

Watching the Run for the Roses

Watching the Run for the Roses

Then it was back to the mini-crab cakes … and many more mint juleps.

Dallas’ Homeless Problem Was On The Menu And Had Guests On A Tractor At Mudhen’s Bridge Fundraiser

About 200 people turned out on Sunday, May 1, at Shannon Wynne’s Mudhen Meat & Greens to enjoy some music and some great food. But the “grand opening” party at the new restaurant at the entrance to the Dallas Farmers Market had a more serious purpose, too: raising $35,000 for the restaurant’s nearby neighbor, The Bridge homeless recovery center.

Wynne, who’s on The Bridge board of directors, said he opened Mudhen on South Harwood in part for its location. Even though the surrounding neighborhood is improving, he said, some are still afraid to venture there, in part because of the homeless people who are drawn to the recovery center. “I want people to see that we’re not afraid of The Bridge,” Wynne said. “This is not a scary place!”

While guests like Tom Dunning, Margaret Keliher, Lucian LaBarba, Nancy Nichols and Shannon and Skip Hollandsworth milled about and chatted, Erin Mathews and Russ Davis walked up to greet the veteran restaurateur. “When I got the invitation, I said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been dying to go” to Mudhen, Erin told Shannon.

Mike Rawlings, Suki Otsuki, Shannon Wynne and Jay Dunn*

Mike Rawlings, Suki Otsuki, Shannon Wynne and Jay Dunn*

One guest, Bridge CEO Jay Dunn, was asked whether the recent closing of Dallas’ Tent City homeless camp had affected his facility. Many of the Tent City residents are coming to The Bridge for daily services, Dunn replied, and the need is outstripping the supply. “We are working with them on a case-by-case basis,” he explained. “Some just need a hot and a cot. It is straining us, though. We get better every year, but as Dallas grows, poverty is growing, too.”

Outside the restaurant, the band Shotgun Friday was playing country tunes on the patio, and guests were posing for photos atop a vintage tractor. Soon enough Shannon headed for the bandstand, where the band stopped playing and Wynne thanked everyone for coming. He said he employed one of The Bridge residents in the Mudhen kitchen, and that it’s the responsibility of every Dallas council district to help provide housing for the city’s homeless.

Mudhen tractor and friends

Mudhen tractor and friends

Then Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, clad in a green Dallas Stars jersey, took the mic. The mayor thanked Shannon for opening Mudhen, which Rawlings said “really celebrates what we’re doing in Farmers Market.” He then echoed Wynne’s call for citywide help with the homeless problem, adding, “The city can only do so much. We need the private sector to step up, too.”

With that, Shannon introduced Jennifer “Suki” Otsuki, Mudhen’s executive chef. “We use no hormones in our meat, and the vegetables are organic,” Suki said, as guests made a beeline for the buffet tables. “So, you can eat like a pig—or you can eat well!” When she was finished talking, some people proceeded to do a little of both.

* Photo provided by Mudhen