MySweetCharity Opportunity: Back To School Drive

According to Community Partners of Dallas Board Chair Jennifer Evans Morris,

Jennifer Evans Morris*

Jennifer Evans Morris*

“This year Community Partners of Dallas (CPD) will host its 22nd annual Back to School Drive beginning Saturday, August 1 through Monday, August 31, 2015. Throughout the month, CPD, The Container Store and individuals and organizations throughout Dallas will collect new school supplies for abused and neglected children served by Child Protective Services, and will prepare more than 2,500 children to start school with school supplies and uniforms.”

“This is a great project for individuals, families and office teams. Every year we marvel at the creative competitions some of our corporate partners develop to encourage involvement and drive participation. Whether it is a donation of a single pack of notebook paper, or one that includes more than 20,000 supplies, every donation makes an impact when you set out to meet the needs of such a large group of children.”

“The Back to School Drive is one of the most important activities CPD does all year. Sometimes the only difference between an A+ student and a failing student is having basic supplies to do homework and participate in class. Because 69% of the children we serve at Community Partners of Dallas live on a family income of less than $14,000 annually, after the most basic of needs of the family are met, school supplies may not fit into that budget.”

GameStop collection*

GameStop collection*

“In addition to supplies, such as 3-ring binders, colored pencils, spiral notebooks, glue, markers and notebook paper, CPD especially needs backpacks (boy-friendly most needed), construction paper, rulers, red pens, manila paper, scissors and watercolor sets.   For those interested in supporting the Back to School Drive, they can do so through in-kind or monetary donations. Donations of new school supplies can be dropped off at any Metroplex location of The Container Store during the month of August; supplies and monetary donations also can be delivered to Community Partners of Dallas’ Central Location, 1215 Skiles Street in the Wilson Historic District. For a full list of school supplies needed, visit or contact Corinne Karp at 214.624.7588.”

* Photos provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Had Guests In The Pink To Rally Clothes For Victims Of Domestic Abuse

On Thursday, July 9, Dallas was on the verge of the pink invasion. Yup, it was time for the annual Mary Kay Convention. But it was also the evening of the “Think Pink” event at Tootsies for The Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits for Shelters program with cocktails on the ground floor and a fashion show upstairs.

But this year there was a slight twist to the gathering. There were a lot more men among the 200 in attendance. While Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb was MIA (he was in China), his involvement in HeRO was felt with such men as David Shallenberger and Bert Burkhalter taking a stand against domestic violence by attending the event.

Bert Burkhalter

Bert Burkhalter

David and Punam Shallenberger

David and Punam Shallenberger

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Luckily, Mary Kay Chief Investment Officer/scion Ryan Rogers was front and center with his wife Maleiah, who was OMG perfectly outfitted with pink accessories like an over-the-shoulder scarf and a dazzling pink clutch. Her pink toenails peeking out of her Louboutin open-toe heels were a nice touch, too.

Just when the downstairs showroom was about to burst with people, it was time to head upstairs for the fashions.

As the guests like Yvonne Crum, Melissa Sherrill, Kirsten Gappelberg, Ann Crews, Theresa Flores, Katharine Bain and Regina Bruce were taking their places, WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre was taking cellphone snaps of guests. She promised them that she would be showing them on the evening’s 10 p.m. newscast.

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

Rebecca Gibson and Cynthia Izaguirre

The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill were bright-eyed and chipper despite the anxieties of moving TFP’s consulting and administration offices. Paige hinted that more changes would be announced in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Kirsten Gappelberg and Jan Langbein

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill

With Maleiah sitting nearby, Ryan called the group to order explaining the program and introducing Tootsies manager Nerissa von Helpenstill, who in turned handed the mic over to Izzy.

The petite anchorwoman found herself having to jump-start the runway action. Despite announcing the start of the show, no one came out. Cynthia gently admonished them to appear: “Where are they? Ladies!”

That got the action going. At first Izzy did a running commentary like, “Does Rhonda look hot or not?” and “That’s the kind of look that will wind up on TV!”

Amber Griffin

Amber Griffin

Eventually she stopped asking the models for their names, dropped the scripted remarks and just let the fashions flow. Every now and then she would announce the theme for the next group of fashions, like Boho Beach Party and Sophisticated Soiree. After all, the models had gotten in the swing of things. Model Amber Griffin blew kisses to the guests in one outfit and then appeared in a hot pink caftan with arms widespread, looking like a glorious pink eagle.

Following the finale, Ryan returned to the podium and had the raffle tickets pulled for prizes like gift cards, Mary Kay gift baskets and goodies. The final item was a $5,000 donation to the shelter of choice by the winning ticket holder. While Paige and Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein looked hopeful, their hopes were dashed when Joe Fox sprung up when his ticket won, rushed to the podium immediately, and reported that the money would be going to the New Beginning Center. Talk about being on a roll. New Beginning just this past May received a $15,000 emergency grant from The Mary Kay Foundation to “provide safe and secure housing in the midst of major plumbing repairs.”

It’s not too late to pop by Tootsies with that suit or those accessories that were such memory-makers a season or two ago. Why not let someone else get some mileage out of them, and you’ll be rewarded with a $25 coupon to replace it with something new from Tootsies?

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2015 March Of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction

According to 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas Events Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Amy Turner,

Amy Turner and Sunie Solomon*

Amy Turner and Sunie Solomon*

“You may not know it, but if you were born in the United States in the last 77 years, you share something special with millions of Americans. You are a March of Dimes baby.

“This incredible organization has touched the lives of countless children. For example, if your mother took folic acid during pregnancy, then you are a March of Dimes baby. If you were you born healthy at 39 weeks, had a heel prick newborn screening or were given an APGAR score to evaluate how you were doing at birth, you are a March of Dimes baby. And if you don’t have polio, you are, without a doubt, a March of Dimes Baby.

“Now is your chance to give back, and fight for little ones who can’t fight for themselves. March of Dimes is working relentlessly to end prematurity, which affects 1 in 8 North Texas babies, including some who will not survive.

“Together, we can help every baby. Right now.

“With your support, the March of Dimes can – and will – find the answers and save the lives of our most fragile. There’s hope in our numbers, and we all deserve a chance at a healthy, happy life. Your donations fund the research that makes that hope a reality.

“There are two things we all have in common – we can’t pass up great food and we are all March of Dimes babies.

“Join us at the 2015 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas Presented by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers and Mary Kay Inc. on October 22 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  Longtime lead chef Kent Rathbun has recruited 20 of Dallas’ most renowned chefs (full lineup will be released this month at to prepare their signature dishes in honor of stronger, healthier babies.  Our one-of-a-kind live auction will feature Kent’s Surprise Raffle, 6-8 chef packages and a Kidz Creations painting created by ambassador children and artist Christopher H. Martin.

“We also have the privilege of honoring Diane and Hal Brierley with the Dr. Leonard and Pauline Graivier Giving Each Child a Healthy Start in Life Award for their work in advancing the March of Dimes mission of improving the health of babies for more than 10 years.

“For more information on how you can help give more North Texas babies a chance at a healthy start, visit”

* Photo provided by March of Dimes

ORIX Foundation Provides $360,000 In Grants For Youth With Faces To Help Teens In Dallas County Juvenile System

The teens in the Dallas County juvenile system are at a fork in the road of life. According to the court, they’ve made a wrong turn at some point. They’re now preparing to continue making bad choices or head in a positive direction. So far, they haven’t gotten the best advice.

That where Youth With Faces (formerly known as Youth Village Resources of Dallas) comes in. It supports these young people by giving them “the skills to break the cycle of incarceration and build positive futures.”

A study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas reports that “fewer than 15% of teens who participate in Youth With Faces programming return to juvenile detention compared to the statewide recidivism rate of 66%.”

Having scored such an impressive success record, the Youth With Faces team led by CEO Chris Quadri was anxious to expand their efforts. However, to do that required funding for additional staffing, upgrading technology and enhancing program tracking.

That’s where ORIX Foundation came into the picture. It seems the ORIX Americas employee-led foundation is providing $360,000 in grants to support Youth With Faces programs for “the creation and equipment of four new learning labs where Youth With Faces will deliver training in work readiness skills, culinary arts/food handling, retail service, horticulture and more” at the Letot Girls Center, Youth Village and Medlock Residential Treatment Center and Café Momentum.

One of Youth With Faces’ programs includes having the youngsters “train stray dogs, so they can be more adoptable, and in the process the youth learn all kinds of great lessons about patience, persistence and how to be a positive leader. They have a great track record with helping the dogs get adopted and helping the youth learn critical character lessons.”

According to ORIX Foundation Board of Directors Executive VP Jim Dunn, “Youth With Faces has an impressive track record of empowering these kids to change the trajectory of their lives, which has an enormous impact not only for them individually, but also for their families and the community. ORIX Foundation’s goal with this grant is to provide a multi-year capital infusion to expand their programs and enhance the return on investment to the community.”

This multi-year grant is the largest one made by the Foundation since its establishment in 2009.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award

According to 2015 Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Co-Chairs Harold MacDowell, J. Robert “Bob” Ferguson and Louis B. “Ben” Houston,

“We are co-chairing the Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award honoring our good friend, Jack Lowe, on Wednesday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. We’ve worked with Jack for many years at TDIndustries, and in fact, Bob and Ben have worked with him for 50 years! When we say that we’re helping Methodist Foundation President and CEO April Box Chamberlain come up with some surprises, we mean it as we have plenty of stories about him!

Methodist Folsom Award Eagle Sculpture*

Methodist Folsom Award Eagle Sculpture*

“If you want to receive an invitation to the patron party for underwriters contributing $10,000 and above, you’ll be invited to a patron party that will be at a high profile place as it has been in years past.

“Chamberlain said this about Jack, ‘His servant leadership has helped resolve many complex business and community issues, including support for the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), Momentous Institute, National Association of Corporate Directors/North Texas, Dallas Citizens Council and others. We look forward to honoring his many achievements, which have had an incredible impact in our community.’

“An interesting tidbit about Jack that you may not know: From 1962 to 1964 during a pivotal time in space exploration, he served in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, now called the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Of note is that he worked with the first group of astronauts including John Glenn, Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong.

“Every recipient selects where the funds raised will benefit at Methodist. Because Jack believes in strengthening families, he has selected the CenteringPregnancy™ and Centering Parenting programs at Methodist Dallas Golden Cross Academic Clinic and Methodist Charlton Medical Center. Since the inception of CenteringPregnancy in 2009, this innovative prenatal program has reduced prematurity rates from 18 percent to 5.6 percent and repeat teen pregnancy rates from 28 percent to 2.7 percent. Centering Parenting focuses on baby’s first year, integrating health assessments, education, and support. Used together, these programs help to ensure a successful start for children and their families.

“For those interested in supporting the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award, please contact Methodist Health System Foundation Vice President Angela Nash at 214.947.4596 or [email protected]. More information is available at

* Photo provided by Methodist Health System Foundation

The Shadow Of Sorrow Is Cast Over The Dallas Zoo With The Death Of Kipenzi

Little Kipenzi was born back in April with the world watching thanks to Animal Planet Live. Immediately matchmaking was on the tips of tongues with the two young fella giraffes newly born over in Cowtown.

But those hopes and dreams came to a conclusion today when the death of the young female giraffe was reported this evening.

According to Dallas Zoo President/CEO Gregg Hudson, “This is a huge loss for our giraffe herd. To be honest, it hurts terribly. We’re crushed, and everyone here is mourning. Please keep our staff in your thoughts.”

Her death was not as a result of mismanagement or cruelty. It was just because she was young and like any youngster stretched the limits. It seems that during the shifting of the giraffe herd tonight, “the gangly calf began to scamper about the feeding yard, as she has done since her public debut on May 1. She made a sharp turn and ran into the perimeter edge of the habitat. Preliminary results indicate three broken vertebrae in her neck, and that she died immediately.”

To decrease the trauma of the situation, Kipenzi’s mom Katie “visited Kipenzi before veterinarians and keepers removed her.”

“Running is a typical behavior for giraffes of all ages, especially young ones like Kipenzi,” said Harrison Edell, the zoo’s senior director of living collections. “We’ve been very cautious with where we’ve allowed Kipenzi to roam, as we were with her siblings Kopano and Jamie when they were small. It’s heartbreaking that this happened where it did despite our precautions.”

JUST IN: Gee Whiskers! Did You Do It This Time!



Remember yesterday’s post about the free marketing and PR workshop on Friday, August 28, for nonprofits at Dean Foods? Everybody was warned to sign up pronto.

The poor peeps at PRSA Dallas and Communities Foundation of Texas are swooning over what happened. Naughty Queenie is just chuckling. She knew the North Texas nonprofits recognized a deal when they heard one.

The registrations flooded in so fast that the whole event was filled by early this afternoon. In fact, people were signing up for the post-event one-on-one mentoring session from noon to 1 p.m.

But there is a waiting list. Perhaps if everybody goes on a diet, they’ll be able to squeeze some more peeps in. So, drink lots of water and think thin. In the meantime, the organizers will try to find a space maker to allow more folks to attend.

BTW, if for any reason you signed up and suddenly can’t make it, please let the organizers know. Someone on the waiting list would really, truly, absolutely appreciate it.

Transverse Myelitis Survivor Don Winspear Rallies Friends Like Hal Ketchum And Tiger Darrow To “Conquer TM” With Music And Humor

Transverse Myelitis is one of those treacherous little diseases. But little doesn’t mean its effect is wee. Not at all. In fact, if a victim is lucky, it’s “just” debilitating. If not so lucky in seeing immediate top-caliber medical attention, it is deadly. But why call it little? Because it’s one of those diseases that one only learns about if a friend or family member is struck down by it. In fact in the U.S. there are only 1,400 cases, according to UT Southwestern’s Dr. Benjamin Greenberg.

And, like so many of those “little” diseases, awareness and fundraising can be scarce compared to the mega diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart and kidney diseases.

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

But TM picked on the wrong folks when it walloped Don Winspear in 2012 and, months later, Curtis Meadows.

After Don emerged from the initial effects and went through rehab, he was landlocked to a wheelchair and instilled with determination to get even. So last summer he put together Conquer TM: An Evening With Friends and Music at The Kessler with musician buds Buddy Greene, Jeff Taylor, Brice Beaird and Rudy Gatlin, who entertained the likes of Rosie and Mike Moncrief, Donna and TM Survivor Tom Rafferty, Keith Cerny, Holly Mayer and a room full of others. There were those who claimed that nobody pulls off a fundraiser in July, but by golly Don did. It was such a success that he announced an encore on Wednesday, July 8, back at The Kessler.

This time he arranged for Tiger Darrow and her South African boyfriend/guitarist Andrew Orkin to kick off the evening and for balladeer/TM survivor Hal Ketchum as the main act.

Benjamin Greenberg and Curtis Meadows

Benjamin Greenberg and Curtis Meadows

As the Mercedeses sizzled in parking spots around The Kessler, more than 300 folks were chilling inside with the VIP’s like Diane and Hal Brierley, John Cody, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, Matthew Minick, Nicole Pacich, Diane and Mike Gruber, Marilyn Augur, Sharon McCullough and Debbie Hayhurst partying inside the auditorium.

Patricia Porter, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Margaret McDermott

Patricia Porter, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Margaret McDermott

Ellen Winspear was just back from a trip to Ireland with Tiffany Divis, where they dressed up in Irish period costumers one night for dinner, with Ellen being called “Duchess Winspear” and red-haired Tiffany taking on the title of “Lady Redstone.”… Curtis Meadows in a high-tech wheelchair had indeed lost some weight from his battle with TM, but he looked great and as he talked with Benjamin, the Patricias (Meadows and Porter) were like sorority sisters catching up…Kara and Randall Goss were bubbling about the upcoming John Wayne Film Festival. They’ve just about finalized plans for the VIP dinner and what movie will be shown at Klyde Warren Park on Saturday night. Friday night’s movie will definitely be “In Harm’s Way.” Randall pointed out that the Duke’s granddaughter/singer Jennifer Wayne is scheduled to appear at the festival….First lady of Dallas philanthropy Margaret McDermott had no problems getting to her front-row table thanks to Kern Wildenthal’s chauffeuring her wheelchair through the crowd.

After Don welcomed the group and Mike Gruber told how the two year’s effort provided $250,000 in funding for TM research, a video was shown about the UT Southwestern TM program. Then Don called up Curtis’ son, Michael Meadows, to the stage to conduct the live auction of a small piece of art by Hal. If Michael seemed a little sheepish about his responsibilities, it was because he had only been notified by Don earlier in the day about his duties via email.

Randall Goss, Laura Leppert, Tiffany and Paul Divis

Randall Goss, Laura Leppert, Tiffany and Paul Divis

But he not only rose to the occasion, he got the bidding up, too. For a time it appeared that there was going to be a battle between two sides of the room, but petite Dallas former first lady Laura Leppert took the art home for $2,600.

Without any dilly-dallying around Tiger arrived on stage in a black-and-white sleeveless dress with tattoos displayed and Andrew accompanying. The twosome joked that they do “happy breakup songs.”

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

Following Tiger and Andrew, Hal took the stage around 9:20 with his guitarist and “best friend for 15 years,” Kenny Grimes.

Kenny Grimes and Hal Ketchum*

Kenny Grimes and Hal Ketchum*

While he played a number of favorites (“I Saw The Light,” “Past The Point of Rescue” “I Know Where Love Lives”, “I Miss My Mary Tonight,” “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” and others), Hal’s storytelling was also a memory maker. For instance,

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

Hal Ketchum*

  • He told how he was talking to his friend Willie Nelson, who told Hal that he had had a lot of sympathy for Lance Armstrong. Why? Because he was on dope and won the Tour de France seven times! Said Willie: “When I was on dope, I couldn’t even find my bike!”
  • When Hal came down with TM in 1998, he told Grammy Award winning country music singer/songwriter Guy Clark about the horrors of the disease and how he’d had difficulty just moving. Guy listened patiently. Then finally he said in a very casual tone, “Yeah, I got that.” As Hal said, that was Guy’s way of telling him to “cowboy up” about TM.
  • Hal was recently moving the “BMI awards” in his house and realized his songs have had 6 million airplays over the years. Still, he has little dough to show for it. “Being a serial marry-er cuts into the profits,” he joked. “Next time, I’m just gonna marry a woman I hate and buy her a house.”
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman
More photos are available for viewing at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Help Emergency Heat Relief Fund Give A Cold Shoulder To Rising Temperatures

Weather guessers have been panting for the thermometers to hit the 100-degree mark. That number was achieved over the weekend, but that has only heightened the problem for many within the community — the vulnerable. Who are these vulnerable types? They are the poor, the elderly, the sickly and people whom you will probably never know.

One woman recently told how, to save money, she keeps her thermometer above the 85-degree mark in her home and has a floor fan moving at a high rate. When she moves to her bedroom at night, she takes the fan with her because she can’t afford a second fan. On a very tight budget, she puts up with the toasty conditions, so she can afford other things like food and medicine.

Not everyone has the luxury of even one floor fan, an A/C or a healthy enough constitution to put up with such conditions. In fact, North Texas summer heat is a life-endangering situation.

According to Dallas County Health & Human Services Director Zachary Thompson, “When citizens don’t have air conditioning in their homes, they are left in a potentially life-threatening situation.”

That’s where the Emergency Heat Relief Fund comes in. Launched in 2006 by The Dallas Foundation, it was created to provide air conditioning units for the “vulnerable.”

In 2011 The Meadows Foundation and other funding groups partnered up with The Dallas Foundation to “encourage additional community investments.”

Mary Jalonick (File photo)

Mary Jalonick (File photo)

According to TDF President/CEO Mary Jalonick, “Extreme summer heat is here and, unfortunately, many around the city don’t have the means to keep their families cool and safe. By contributing to this fund, Dallasites are tangibly helping their neighbors in need of help right now.”

Over the years nearly $200,000 has been provided for the Dallas County Health & Human Services to “install over 1,100 air-conditioning units.”

But before dismissing this one off as checked off, realize that the summer is only halfway over and the heat is really starting to settle in. Unfortunately, “high demand has depleted the current inventory, and DCHHS needs funding to buy more air-conditioning units for the hot summer days ahead.”

So, why not skip an icy Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Macchiato for a week and make a donation. You could be contributing to a lifesaving event.

Application Deadline For CNM Connect’s A Night Of Light Awards Of Excellence Is This Friday

With deadlines falling right and left, Dallas is far from quiet. Folks are filling out forms lickety-split. The latest deadline is this Friday. Yipes! It’s for the CNM Connects’ (formerly known as the Center for Nonprofit Management) A Night of Light Award of Excellence.

The five categories for which applications can be submitted are:

  • Nonprofit of the Year – Presented to the nonprofit organization that has best implemented a program/project clearly focused on advancing its mission to address a community need.
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year – Presented to the nonprofit CEO/executive director who has best demonstrated exemplary leadership and vision.
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year – Presented to the board chairperson or board member who has best contributed to the long-term impact of the nonprofit that he or she serves and whose leadership exhibits best practices in nonprofit governance.
  • Robert Miller (File photo)

    Robert Miller (File photo)

    Nonprofit Communicator of the Year, in Honor of Robert Miller – Presented to the nonprofit organization that has best used a communications program/campaign to successfully advance its mission.

  • Corporation of the Year – Presented to the corporation that best models good corporate citizenship and socially responsible partnerships.

And it’s well worth the time and effort to get that application in. The honoree not only receives a $5,000 cash award but also a $2,500 scholarship toward CNM services.

The awards will be announced at A Night of Light 2015 on Thursday, November 12, at Sixty Five Hundred.

Since being created in 2001, CNM Connect “has awarded $400,000 in cash awards to 80 organizations.”

BTW, please note that the word “winner” was not used in this post because all nonprofits are winners every day of the year.

Register Now For Free Marketing And Public Relations Workshop For Nonprofits Featuring PRSA Dallas And Media Representatives



With the fundraising season up ahead, the nonprofits are gearing up to meet their financial goals. In order to get the funds, they need to get the word out. Unfortunately, not all can afford a fancy schmancy New York PR firm to promote their cause via branding, media and marketing.

So Queenie got together with her buddies at PRSA Dallas and Communities Foundation of Texas. They all agreed that it would be great if they partnered up “to give back by lending their time and expertise to deserving local causes.”

Since renting an RV and doing a roadshow presentation for area nonprofits didn’t seem very sensible, they decided to create Workshop for Nonprofits to Support Giving Season. It will be a half-day workshop on the morning of Friday, August 28, addressing “branding and messaging, media relations, digital marketing and social media skills with tips from the experts — including the media themselves.”

But then the next question was where to hold the workshop. That’s when Dean Foods stepped up to be the event sponsor and offered the place. That offer meant the event would be free for the nonprofit representatives. Yup, you saw that. The workshop is free for area nonprofits and PRSA members, but more about that later.

Here’s a rundown of topics and panelists:

  • Branding and Messaging: Carolyn Covey Morris (QMobius) and Vin Hoey (Strategic4sight)
  •  How to Effectively Communicate Your Message to the MediaRon Corning (WFAA-TV), Kristina Bowman (photographer), Jeanne Prejean (MySweetCharity) and Jane Rozelle (PaperCity Dallas)
  •  Building a Digital Community: Steve Lee (SMU), Mike Orren (Speakeasy) and Erin  Stevenson (Chili’s Grill & Bar)
  •  Nonprofit one-on-ones with PRSA Dallas mentors. Please note that to participate in this session, you must sign up during your online registration.

As mentioned before, the whole kit and caboodle will be free for any bona-fide nonprofit! Only problem is that you’ve got to sign up ASAP because space is gonna be as tight as a small-size Spanx shorts on Kim Kardashian.

This first-ever event is a great opportunity for the nonprofits to get the inside poop. Regarding the media segment, the panelists will address the ins-and-outs of how to work more smoothly with the press, so they don’t snarl every time you try to work with them. Yes, even Queenie will behave herself…sorta.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Conquer TM

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

Hal Brierley, Don Winspear, Patricia Meadows and Diane Brierley

Once again The Kessler was filled on Wednesday, July 8, for Don Winspear’s Conquer TM: An Evening With Friends and Music. While singer Tiger Darrow and balladeer Hal Ketchum entertained from the stage, the guests were pretty darn interesting, too.

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

Andrew Orkin and Tiger Darrow

While the post complete with Hal’s jokes is being composed, check out the pictures of the evening at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Art In Bloom Chair Barbara Daseke’s Put Together A Tiptoe Through Some Royal Tulips For Dallas Museum Of Art Fundraiser

Last week news was bubbling about the imaginative packages that were being put together by fundraisers to get the money flowing in. Oh, sure, you remember that trip to Cuba benefiting Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas.

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Well, get your strolling shoes polished up because they just might be walking through royal surroundings thanks to Barbara Daseke, who is a very, very busy gal. While the interior designer works with chairs professionally, she’s chairing all types of events in the months to come. One of them is Art in Bloom International and Barbara is busting with news about that one.

Yes, it will take place at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday, March 21. For the honorary chair, Barbara has gotten that red-haired doll Linda Ivy. As for the honoree, it will be Olivier Meslay, who is the Dallas Museum of Art’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art.

While there won’t be a fashion show, the speaker is gonna be over-the-top for the day of art and natural beauty. It’s going to be landscape architect and landscape historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, who is the Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces. And, no, he’s not one of those stuffy, stiff upper lip types.

According to Todd, “My work reflects my interest in the dramatic and sculpture potential of landscape, and is imbued with whimsical, historical eclecticism. I like to think that my gardens are intelligent as well as beautiful as they are informed by my training as an architect, landscape architect, geographer and historian.”

Leave it to Barbara to take full advantage of having the noted landscape guru on the docket. She up and decided to use Todd as an additional source of fundraising. Instead of the usual fashion show, she’s arranged to have a Table Design Competition. Limited to underwriters for a $500 entry fee, the entrants can dazzle up their tables with the theme of “International.”

For their creativity and execution, they’ll not only dress the luncheon, they’ll compete for “a three-day spree for two in London, complete with exceptional accommodations” and a private tour of the gardens of Kensington Palace and other historic palace gardens.

And who is going to be the judge of the competition? Why, Todd, of course.

But the number of available tables are limited, so start thinking of your table design. Sponsorships will be available in mid-October with individual tickets at $175 available for purchase starting on Friday, December 4.

Stay tuned. Word has it that “there are lots of great plans in the works.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2015 ReuNight

According to 2015 ReuNight Co-Chair Robert Weatherly,

Robert Weatherly*

Robert Weatherly*

“In the spirit of its predecessor, the celebrated Palm Night, ReuNight has become the fresh modern face of The Family Place. With the combination of my remarkable Co-Chair Nancy C. Rogers, our prominent Host Committee and acclaimed chef John Tesar of Oak, there’s no doubt that November 12th will be an evening of fabulous food, fun and festivities. We look forward to Chef Tesar’s menu reveal in August for an amazing dinner with specially-selected wines to accompany his creations.

“But, this is more than just a fun-filled night. One in three women in Texas are victims of domestic violence, and that number is growing daily. This figure is even higher than the national average of one in four, making our work even more important here at home. Last year’s ReuNight raised in excess of $175,000 (net) that directly funded services provided by The Family Place. With your support, The Family Place will continue to provide these desperately needed programs and services to families in crisis.

“The Family Place is the Dallas area’s leading organization delivering proven programs that address emotional and physical abuse and incest. They empower victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence. Its free, comprehensive services fully support women, children and men on their path from fear to safety. In 2014, The Family Place provided services to a total of 11,523 clients with 164,672 hours of service in Spanish and in English.

“As both a member of the Board of Directors and 2015 co-chair, we ask that you please join us in our mission to end family violence by supporting ReuNight. Visit”

* Photo provided by The Family Place

Dallas Theater Center Supporters Are Pickin’ And Grinnin’ About Upcoming Moonshine Celebration

Since the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater’s opening, the Dallas Theater Center has been associated with all types of performing arts productions, from high drama to innovative new works. But it’s doubtful it’s ever been linked with hillbilly shenanigans. But that is going to change when “Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical” opens on Wednesday, September 2.

The Broadway-bound musical is based on a book by Robert Horn with music and lyrics by Nashville’s Brandy Clark and Shane McNcAnally.

Brice Beaird, Elle Oberdick and Dan Waldmann*

Brice Beaird, Elle Oberdick and Dan Waldmann*

To take advantage of the fun to fundraise, Brice Beaird, Elle Oberdick and Dan Waldmann are chairing Moonshine Celebration on Saturday, September 12, complete with a full night of partying with Lyn Muse and Kim Sheffield serving as honorary co-chairs.

According to Dan, “We are throwing a good ol’ fashioned hoedown with tons of great food, live music straight from Nashville and other surprises.”

The evening will start with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. followed by the performance at 6 p.m. and dinner and dance starting at Gilley’s around 8:30 p.m.

Tickets range from the full-evening package to the show-only offering.

* Photo provided by the Dallas Theater Center

Carol Reed To Be Toasted And Roasted At “Tuesday Night Live” Benefiting St. Philip’s School And Community Center

While KLUV’s Jody Dean was celebrating his 10th anniversary surrounded by hundreds in the main party room at CBS on Thursday, June 25, legendary Ron Chapman was regaling folks like Billy Bob Harris and Ango Wynne with tales from the past.

Carol Reed (File photo)

Carol Reed (File photo)

Just down the road at Capital Grille, Royce West was the BMCG (Big Man at Capital Grille). Over at a corner table, political strategist Carol Reed was fessing up to the St. Philip’s School and Community Center fall fundraiser. It seems that she will be thrown into the verbal volcano on Tuesday, October 20, at the Hyatt Regency thanks to Co-Chairs/friends Gillian Briedenbach, Jack Mathews and Holly Reed (no relation to Carol).

It’s not gonna be so much a roast as much at a takeoff on “Saturday Night Live.”

In Dallas it will be Tuesday Night Live presented by AT&T with former WFAA-er Gloria Campos doing the newscast and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and WFAA-mouth Dale Hansen adding the commentary.

This is definitely gonna be an unplugged scripted event. For heaven sakes, bring the sense of humor and leave the kiddos at home.

OMG, can’t wait to hear and see Carol toasted and roasted. If you’re in the know or ever wished upon a star that you were, get your cute self there. It will be a hoot!

United Way’s GroundFloor Is Accepting Applications For Its Innovative Mentoring Program

Tis the season for applications to be filed for potential assistance, whether it’s financial or a hand up. The latest call for applications comes from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas for its GroundFloor program.

Having been established in 2013, it got up and running thanks to “seed investment from AT&T, Ernst & Young and generous donations.”

Exactly what is GroundFloor? No, it’s not a program to teach folks how to fix elevators. Rather it offers “social innovation endeavors that would typically not be eligible for a grant through United Way’s competitive Community Impact Fund process, as a result of the early stage of their business.”

That all sounds sort of heady. To put it simply, it’s a three-part program that includes

  1. financial capital for seed and early-stage ventures;
  2. human capital from our world-class mentors representing leaders in the areas of entrepreneurship, academics, public policy and the social sector; and,
  3. social capital through connecting our portfolio companies with resources from over 1,000 corporate partners and over 80 service providers.

According to a United Way spokesperson, UW has invested $300K in GroundFloor fellows with individual fellows receiving gifts ranging from $35,000 to $175,000.

It might help to know past recipients. While the press release reported that “The first GroundFloor Fellows, including Café Momentum, Dallas Teacher Residency, Upswing, and AdvanceNet Labs leveraged their mentoring, support and seed funding investments of $610,000 to raise an additional $3M to fund their impact work,” the very first crop of fellows for 2013-2014 was actually made up of Café Momentum, Dallas Teacher Residency, LiftFund and Spark 101.

Chad Houser (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

According to Café Momentum Executive Director/Chef Chad Houser, “As the first GroundFloor fellow, United Way has been critical in helping us grow this unconventional youth program that everyone told me wouldn’t work.”

And Chad should know since Café Momentum has been a “fellow” twice!

Other fellows for the past couple of years have included

  • 2014-2015: Per Scholas, Upswing, 2ndSaturday and AdvanceNet Labs’ SafeNight
  • 2015-2016: Café Momentum and Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

But back to the GroundFloor process. The selection will be made through a competitive business plan and pitch competition for “promising social ventures focused on solutions that address the issues of education, financial stability and health.”

If selected, the group will receive seed funding, thousands of dollars’ worth of training, mentoring and support that will help them rise to the next level within their industry. Other perks include:

  • One-on-One Mentorship: Mentors have experience in a variety of fields and are paired with Fellows based on need and expertise. Mentoring can range from providing an overall sounding board as a business develops, or more strategic problem-solving in specific areas. Mentors have included Yvonne P. Booker, Trey Bowles, Debra Brennan Tagg, Dana Brown, Christopher Cervantes, Sejal Desai, BJ Fineman, Rick Galloway, Mike Gelhausen, Rick Jackson, Peter Klingman, Selena LaCroix, Robin Minick, Cynthis Nevels, Kimberly O’Neill, Marlon Rollins, Frank Santoni, Jessica Shortall and Bob Wright.
  • Peer Learning: GroundFloor Fellows navigate the Accelerator as a group and benefit by watching and learning from each other. An important component of the program is building a camaraderie with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who can serve as support and a resource in the future.
  • Workshops: GroundFloor Workshops cover a variety of topics that are valuable to early-stage ventures. These topics can include: pitching, marketing, board development, legal structure, social media strategy, accounting, crowdfunding and measuring impact.
  • Financial Capital: Seed money is awarded to give Fellows the runway to get their startups established.
  • Increased Visibility: The social capital of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas helps to shine attention on GroundFloor Fellows through media coverage and participation in community-wide events.
  • GroundFloor Staff: After an initial assessment of an organization, staff will work to establish short and long-term goals and help to achieve them during the 10-month program. Staff strives to provide accountability and create forward momentum for Fellows.

But the catch is that the applications are due in less than a month — Friday, August 21. Here are the deets on how to apply. Now get going, if you want to be a fellow!

Under A Bright Sunshiny Sky, Hope Cottage Groundbreaking Was A Heart Warmer In The Wilson Historic District

The Meadows Foundation President/CEO Linda Perryman Evans looked over the bare parking lot in the Wilson Historic District the morning of Thursday, June 25. Despite the heat already rising from the pavement, she was very pleased. It was the morning of the groundbreaking for the newest members of the Meadows Foundation community of nearly 40 nonprofits — Hope Cottage.

Hope Cottage groundbreaking shovels

Hope Cottage groundbreaking shovels

For her, having the adoption facility located here had a bit of irony attached to it. Then she smiled and recalled that “Uncle Al’s” (the late Algur Meadows) son, Robert Meadows, had been adopted. Rob is now Chairman of The Meadows Foundation’s board of trustees.

While a small sandbox with small shovels with brightly colored ribbons was placed in the center of the parking lot, the majority of Hope Cottage staffers, board members, friends and families gathered under the nearby trees and some were smart enough to bring umbrellas. It was obvious that even the summer heat was not going to discourage this official start for the 8,500 square-foot center designed by Gensler.

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel

Kathleen LaVelle

Kathleen LaVelle

As time drew near for the official program to begin, Wilson District “residents” like Community Partners of Dallas’ Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke and soon-to-be next door neighbor Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaVelle joined the crowd of adults and kiddos.

Kathleen had a special interest in the arrival of Hope Cottage to the “hood.” It seems that more than 25 years ago Hope Cottage had been “our foundation in the adoption process” of their children from Edna Gladney in Fort Worth. She had been told that it would be six months before their adoption would go through. Six days later the call came. She laughed and admitted that she wasn’t prepared for the early arrival and had “to borrow my neighbor’s car seat.”

Shannon Hills-Cline

Shannon Hills-Cline

John Dickey

John Dickey

As some of the guests took seats under a white tent, most stood to the side as Hope Cottage President of the Board John Dickey, Gensler architect Barry Hand and adoptive mom Shannon Hills-Cline spoke.

Barry Hand

Barry Hand

Shannon told the crowd in the blinding sunlight that, as a single mother, she thought the odds were against her. Then a call came after office hours. She feared it was a turn down call. Nope, they had a baby girl. After meeting with the mother and baby, the connection was a done deal. Only, like Kathleen, Shannon had no car seat. But that wasn’t going to hold her back. She found one and fell in love with motherhood.

Cassidy Seikaly and Omar Seikaly

Cassidy Seikaly and Omar Seikaly

Behind the tent Omar Seikaly was helping his daughter Cassidy Seikaly, who was having a shoe issue. Later when Omar was joined by Hope Cottage’s Amy Broussard, he told how she had been the one who had worked with his family in making the love connection for adopting both of their children.

After all the presentations were over, the group moved to the sandbox, where Hope Cottage graduates and foster kids took charge of the shovels and dug. And when the photos were finished and the grownups sought the comfort of the shade to chat, the kids kept digging. After all, that’s what a sandbox is all about.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Homeward Bound Inc.

According to Homeward Bound Inc. Community Communication Director Betsy Simnacher,

“The Run for Recovery 5K/10K benefits the nonprofit Homeward Bound. Homeward Bound’s mission is to save families and change lives by treating people with mental illness, and drug and alcohol addiction.

“The Saturday, September 12th run in Irving is being presented by 2nd Chance Ministries of Farmers Branch. The sponsor is Idabel Chiropractic Clinic, and the run website is The site is Richardson Park on Campion Trails in Irving.

“Very few of Homeward Bound’s clients can pay for treatment, so the 501(c)(3) nonprofit relies on grants and donations to fund treatment for about 5,000 clients each year. Homeward Bound’s 152-bed Dallas facility is the largest of its kind in North Texas and one of the largest in Texas.

“Clients will be running but will not be able to pay the registration fee, so 2nd Chance Ministries is providing an option on the run website for people to sponsor runners. All donations will go directly to Homeward Bound’s mission to help people achieve recovery. The run is just one of the healthy alternatives Homeward Bound offers to its clients, who are motivated to overcome mental illness and addiction.

“Most will be successful. Typically, clients stay from four to 30 days. Eighty percent will finish treatment. We know that program completion usually indicates a long-term positive result. More than 75 percent checked at a three-month follow-up are still clean and sober.

“We know that people who come to us sincerely want to stop cycling through the emergency room and end the downward spiral of homelessness and poverty. They tell us so in messages that arrive through our website. A typical message reads: ‘I’m so so tired but at the same time so so scared. I’ve tried getting sober before only to get everybody’s hopes up, and I let them down. Very, very tired of hurting people around me, including myself.’

“We also hear from them on the other side, when they complete treatment. ‘This place saved my life. Without the staff, I would probably be dead. I love them all dearly,’ was a recent comment on our Facebook page.

“We hope you will join us in our mission by sponsoring one of our runners, running yourself, or donating through the Run for Recovery website (click on ‘Register Now’ for all these options) or our own website, Thank you.”

JUST IN: Fashion Stars For A Cause’s Raffle Package Is A First In These Parts

Maybe it’s because of the heat, but things have been cooking among the nonprofits. They’ve been brewing up some remarkably imaginative items to get fundraising to new levels. A couple of them have just been revealed and you’ll want to budget some funds for raffle and live auction items.

The first one is a trip, but it’s not the same-old getaway. After all, how many times can one go to Paris without thinking of it as a suburb?

No, this one is timely and chances are that none of your buds have been there.



It’s a trip for two to Cuba complete with airfare, hotel and transportation. Yup! You read it. Just imagine exploring an island that has been verboten for a half century. Ah, but before that relationship ended, Cuba was known for its natural beauty as well as its cigars, the food, the music, the architecture, the fishing, the culture and the rum.

It was in Cuba that the late Ernest Hemingway spent the ’30s and ’40s writing “For Whom The Bells Toll” and “A Moveable Feast.” He also enjoyed chilling at El Floridita, where he drank  El Papa Doblesuch, his namesake Daiquiri.  According to Ernest, “I drink to make other people more interesting.”

Francis Harrison and Laurie Harrison*

Francis Harrison and Laurie Harrison*

Think how it would be to be one of the first to rediscover the society that is still driving cars built in the ‘60s.

It sounds as if the Cubans and Americans, like Conscious Cuba President Francis Harrison, are ramping up for visitors to reacquaint themselves with Cuba.

Relatively new, CC’s mission is to “facilitate the opportunity to discuss commonalities and differences through meaningful interactions.” Francis and her team are putting together all types of tours to the island just 90 miles south of Florida.

Yvonne Crum (File photo)

Yvonne Crum (File photo)

And that’s exactly how the trip came about. It seems Francis and Yvonne “Raffle Queen” Crum came up with the package to celebrate the 10th anniversary of fashion showing for Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. This year Yvonne has arranged for the fashion show presented by Belk and the raffle to take place the same night (Friday, March 25) at the Dallas Country Club.

If you’re feeling lucky, check with Yvonne about how many tickets you want to buy. There will only be 1,500 tickets sold for $100 per. On the other hand, if you’re not lucky enough to win the raffle, then give Francis a call.

BTW, if you’re wondering whether CC knows a thing or two or three about hospitality and international travel, scratch that adorable noggin of yours. Francis’ grandest mama is none other than Caroline Rose Hunt, who opened The Mansion on Turtle Creek in 1980 and developed the Rosewood empire.

* Photos provided by Conscious Cuba

Holocaust Museum Board Announces Florence Shapiro As Chair-Elect And Adds Nicholas Pournader To Membership

Just because Florence Shapiro is no longer worried about running for office, it doesn’t mean she’s sitting at home doing jigsaw puzzles. Heck, no!

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

The former Texas State Senator, former Plano City Councilman and former Plano mayor has been busier than ever helping nonprofits by serving on such boards as Communities Foundation of Texas, AT&T Performing Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Engagement at the University of Texas to mention a few.

But one board holds a very personal place in her priorities. It’s the Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. The reason? Florence’s parents were Holocaust survivors.

Not surprising, her involvement with the Museum has led to her serving as the vice president of the board of directors. Word has just arrived that she will serve as Chair-Elect of the board eventually succeeding Chair Stephen Waldman in 2017.

Another change in the board’s make up is the addition of businessman Nicholas Pournader as a member.

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

According to Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins, “We are so pleased to welcome these new additions to our board and look forward to Senator Shapiro’s and Mr. Pournader’s leadership and insights in the continued development of our museum. Their backgrounds and breadth of knowledge will be invaluable as we grow the museum and build a new permanent home.”

BTW, this is a great time to visit the Museum. Ground Zero 360 just opened earlier this month. It’s a “powerful opportunity to pay tribute to the first-responders and the victims of 9-11.” Thanks to funding by Communities Foundation of Texas, D/FW-area first responders will be admitted free-of-charge.

North Texas Brainiacs Could Save The Day And Lives

With all the talent and funding in North Texas, could someone please create a program that will alert people when a child/elderly person/pet is in a car in sweltering temps or frigid weather?

Emergency vehicle (File photo)

Emergency vehicle (File photo, obviously)

And while those high-techie types are being amazingly brilliant, could they develop a software for vehicles and/or cellphones that warn when an emergency vehicle is in the area? Too many times an emergency vehicle’s sirens cannot be heard by drivers resulting in a dangerous situation or a loss of minutes in providing lifesaving services for a patient.

JUST IN: Timeline And Requirements For 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries Announced

Christie Carter (File photo)

Christie Carter (File photo)

The 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter and 2016 CCB Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman have just revealed the requirements and time line for the 2016 grants.


  • The agency must serve children in Dallas County.
  • The agency must have had a 501(c)(3) designation for at least three years.
  • The agency must have provided services in Dallas Country for at least three years.


  • Tuesday, September 1, 2015 — Applications are available online or by calling The Crystal Charity Ball office (214.526.5868, Ext. 18).
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 — A brief orientation will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Communities Foundation of Texas. While not required, the meeting is extremely helpful for prospective applying charities to send a representative.
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015 — Completed applications must be received by The Crystal Charity Ball office (3838 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite L150, Dallas 75219) by 4 p.m. No applications will be accepted via email.
  • Thursday, February 4, 2016 — Beneficiaries will be selected.
Jan Pruitt (File photo)

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

While it may seem a bit overwhelming for first timers and even CCB vets, becoming a CCB beneficiary results in even more than the financial reward. It was just a year ago that North Texas Food Bank Executive Director Jan Pruitt warned her staff when they approached her about applying for a grant. Did they know what they were undertaking? She told them it a thorough process, but the validation by CCB was priceless. Thanks to their efforts, NTFB is a 2015 beneficiary and will receive $750,000 for its Food 4 Kids Backpack program.

So, get on board. Get the application. Get to the orientation meeting. Get that application in before 4 p.m. on October 28th. The Dallas kids are depending upon you to get it.

JUST IN: Our Children’s House To Stay Open

Don’t you just love it when two mammoth organizations come together to make life better especially for children? Last Wednesday, we reported that Baylor was closing of Our Children’s House on its campus.

Well, D HealthCare Daily Editor Matt Goodman just reported that Children’s Health and Baylor Scott & White Health have worked out an arrangement that will keep the fabulous Our Children’s House on Hall Street open.

While Baylor will retain the “real estate,” Children’s will lease the facility and “take over the inpatient facility, an outpatient therapy clinic and physician clinic, eight other outpatient clinics (Allen, Frisco, Grapevine, Irving, Las Colinas, Plano, Rockwall and Waxahachie), and bring on the 181 employees that were set to lose their jobs.”

Congratulations to Baylor, Children’s, Matt and the families with children in need of incredible healthcare.

While the paperwork is being finalized, the deal is scheduled to be done on Tuesday, September 15.

Dadgummit, we’re gonna have a hot fudge sundae with extra-rich whipped cream at lunch to celebrate.