LAST CALL: Dallas CASA’s 2016 Parade Of Playhouses Raffle And Voting Ends Sunday

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Those adorable little residences that have been lining NorthPark Center’s hallways have evidently been a big, old hit. In just two weeks folks have purchased more than 10,000 raffle tickets in hope of winning one of the Parade of Playhouses for their own. Thanks to Dallas CASA volunteers including Kappa Alpha Theta types, more than 2,000 hours have been invested in the raffle sales that will benefit Dallas CASA.

Insiders report that sales are ahead of last year and 2015 was a record maker.

And as for the voting, there’s been a bit of debating on which one will win. So far, pollsters claim that the Kid Cottage by LRO Residential, African Safari Adventure by Harman and Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti were in the lead.

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

But that could easily change, since voting doesn’t end until Sunday when the raffle winners will be revealed in NorthPark’s North Court at 4 p.m. BTW, if you’re thinking about doing an online-ticket purchase, get it in before noon on Sunday.

As for the popularity contest, the voting results will be announced via social media and the Dallas CASA website.

Chance tickets are going for $5 each and a bargain-saving $20 for five. Voting is accomplished by texting dallascasa to 41444 with each vote costing $5 and are “not included in the raffle drawing.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Luncheon Honored The 2016 Duchesses With Butterflies, Dolls And A Touch Of Mexico

With the longest legs since a giraffe convention, the 2016 La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas duchesses gathered for luncheon on Tuesday, June 14. Luncheon Co-Chairs Mary Van Armistead and Karen Keith knew how to pick the perfect setting for the event. They arranged to have it at Amy and Malone Mitchell’s estate along Turtle Creek.

The traditional gathering of the gals was all in preparation for the Las Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas gala just four days away. Not a split end nor a spot of cellulite was on the premises. But there were plenty of flighty types. No, not the guests. Rather the butterflies that were on the name tags and that decorated the luncheon tables from napkin rings to cupcakes.

Elizabeth Gambrell and Elizabeth Magee

Elizabeth Gambrell and Elizabeth Magee

Mary Lamar and Beth Obenchain

Mary Lamar and Beth Obenchain

And while the house was a spellbinder as many found out, the adorable dolls on display in the great room were the main draw for young and older guests alike including La Fiesta Gala Chair Elizabeth Gambrell, Elizabeth Magee, Beth Obenchain and Mary Lamar.

Duchess dolls on display

Duchess dolls on display

Each doll wore a miniature version of the full-length gowns that the duchesses would be wearing at the ball benefiting the 2016 La Fiesta beneficiaries including CARE, Connecting Point of Park Cities, The Elisa Project, The Family Place/HPISD Be Project, Friends of the University Park Public Library, Highland Park Education Foundation, Highland Park Literary Festival, HP Arts, HPHS Community Service Council, HPHS Counseling Department and Student Council, HPHS Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, HPHS Science Festival, HPHS Student Emergency fund, HPHS Youth and Government and Park Cities Heritage House at Dallas Heritage Village.

Carter Pittman, Kata Massa, Lynn Wismer and Elizabeth Kraft

Carter Pittman, Kata Massa, Lynn Wismer and Elizabeth Kraft

Nancy Neuhoff and Avery Campbell

Nancy Neuhoff and Avery Campbell

Still some of the duchesses like Avery Campbell, Nancy Neuhoff, Carter Pittman, Kata Massa, Lynn Wismer and Elizabeth Kraft couldn’t help but wander the hallway to check out the rest of the house including the den overlooking the creek.

All too soon, the ladies were call to order and headed to luncheon that had a definite Mexican flavor. And why not? This year’s Gala theme is “Viva La Fiesta! — Celebrating the Splendors of Mexico.”

 

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Goodwill Dallas’ “The Lunch”

Suzanne and Jim Johnston*

Suzanne and Jim Johnston*

According to “The Lunch” Luncheon Co-Chairs Suzanne and Jim Johnston,

“We are honored to serve as chairs of the second annual event, ‘The Lunch,’ on Friday, September 9th, with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Condoleezza Rice benefitting Goodwill Dallas. Goodwill is all about jobs and people, and through jobs, helping each individual reach his or her full potential.

“At last year’s event, we witnessed what can happen when great minds, enthusiastic volunteers and the most generous people in Dallas work together toward a common goal. ‘The Lunch’ has a significant, direct and immediate impact on members of our community who are disadvantaged or have a mental or physical disability.

Condoleezza Rice (File photo)

Condoleezza Rice (File photo)

“In 2015, Goodwill served 3,132 people and placed 1,262 men and women into jobs. Yet, the need for Goodwill’s services outweighs our capacity, and every day fellow citizens continue to struggle to make ends meet. As individuals, we innately crave purpose, a sense of accomplishment and self-respect fostered by acknowledgement for our contributions to life around us. It is heartening to see such shared dedication toward a job creation and to see that passion translated into dollars to help members of our community to become wage-earning, tax-paying citizens gain dignity and self-worth for themselves and their families.

“We personally invite you to join us, again, this year and ask for your support for another successful event to expand Goodwill’s job creation program and services. We are so very grateful to the citizens of Dallas – our donors, corporate sponsors, volunteers, and to those who support our mission.  Thank you for your continued support. We could not do this without you!

“’The Lunch’ sponsors, to date, are

  • “Presenting Sponsor The David B. Miller Family Foundation,
  • “Legacy Sponsor Michele and Jack M. Lafield and
  • “Champion Sponsors The Hoglund Foundation and Pat and Jane Bolin Donor Advised Fund.

“Sustaining Sponsors are Caren Prothro/Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Kathryn and Stephen Arata, Bank of Texas, Cardinal Mainstream, Suzanne M. and Lance Charriere, Cityplace Company/ForestCity Realty Trust Inc., Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Sharon and Steve Folsom, The Ginger Murchison Foundation, Haynes and Boone LLP, Hegi Family, Larry and Kathy Helm, Al G. Hill Jr., Dr. Richard E. Hoffman, Suzanne and James M. Johnston, Lisbeth Minyard and Paul Lokey, Carol and Patrick McEvoy, Pat Morgan and Charles McEvoy, Harriet Miers, MoneyGram International, Inc., Neiman Marcus, Sarah Perot, PlainsCapital Bank, RGT Wealth Advisors, The Rosewood Company, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, TDIndustries Inc., Tejon Energy, Turner Construction Company.

“Supporting Sponsors are Amegy Bank, Atmos Energy, Kathy and Harlan Crow, Durham Family Foundation, Dianne and Don Patterson, The Kroger Company and Southern Methodist University.”

* Photo provided by Goodwill Dallas

Dallas Uncorked’s Celebrated Two Birthday “Projects” At Sevy’s

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

Jim Severson and Hayley Hamilton Cogill*

The wet weather was supposed to be on vacation, but oh, no! Mother Nature had other plans for Dallas on Sunday, June 12. Still the wine-loving Dallas Uncorked crowd wasn’t going to let a little weather dampen their annual fundraising dinner at Sevy’s. Ironically, it was benefiting The Birthday Party Project. What was the irony? It was also Dallas Uncorked’s Founder Hayley Hamilton Cogill‘s birthday. Before taking off for Walla Walls, the birthday gal filed this report:

The room was truly spectacular as Chef Sevy (aka Jim Severson) and business partner/manager Stefaan Vandemoortele rolled out the roses with two long, candlelit tables of 30 each, down the middle of the dining room at Sevy’s. They had never created a set up quite like this, but I wanted the communal, celebratory feel with everyone celebrating together for this our 12th anniversary.  The wines were stunning, provided by Ram’s Gate Winery, highlighting single special vineyards throughout Sonoma, including favorite of the night, Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay and Bush Crispo Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Shrimp toast*

Shrimp toast*

Ram's Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Ram’s Gate Pinot Noir and menu*

Friends old and new joined us for the night including Byron and Linda Harris, just back from fly fishing in Santa Fe (where Linda caught a 5-lb. rainbow trout!…I think they are enjoying his retirement from WFAA;) Don Winspear with date Michael Meadows as Ellen Winspear was prepping for her day long Opera meeting and photo shoot yesterday; Frank and Karen Needham; Jennifer and Doug Houser; Shelly Slater, who left husband Clay at home to take care of the kiddos; Jack Hobbs, founder of a new podcast company, Revolver; Erin Waks without husband Larry Waks, as sadly the rain redirected his incoming NYC to DFW flight to Midland, but we still sent a steak home for him; Ram’s Gate Winery GM David Oliver and assistant winemaker Luke Stanko; Collin Chenault from The Birthday Party Project, our second time to donate the proceeds from our anniversary event to the fantastic charity; my cousin, and board member from the start, Chablis Lindquist, (yes, Chablis, my aunt loved the French region…and the wines) along with her hubby John, who had just arrived from the night from Arkansas; Randy and Michelle DeWitt, taking a break from one of their Front Burner restaurants to enjoy Sevy’s food and these incredible wines!

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy's*

Dallas Uncorked dinner table at Sevy’s*

Gary gushed, as he so sweetly does; I was quite teary and thankful, especially in the wake of the events of the day; David and Luke celebrated their delicious wine; and Chef Jim hit it out of the park once again. I think this was the 6th or 7th event I have done with the 19-year-old restaurant in our 12 years…everyone always loves Sevy’s and they are some of the kindest, most thoughtful owners in town, generously giving back so much.

We didn’t do an auction, as the point of the night was more for celebration, instead giving everyone a ticket and drawing a prize winning number – a bottle of the Bush Crispo Pinot, a mighty fine birthday present.

* Photos provided by Dallas Uncorked

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Debutante Presentation Results Reported

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

Melissa Lewis and Nancy Labadie (File photo)

The two biggy fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s spring Debutante Presentation Ball and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association’s Dallas Symphony Gala that kicks off the black-tie fundraising season in the fall.

How big? Well, 2015-2016 DSOL President Melissa Lewis just sent word that thanks to “the Ball (along with our other fundraisers), the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League raised over $773,000 which was given back to the Dallas Symphony in support of their outreach and education programs.”

A tip of the hat to 2016 Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and the rest of the DSOL-ers on a mission well done.

Attorneys Serving The Community Luncheon Provided Food For Thought Thanks To Speakers Steve Pemberton And Cynt Marshall

There were a lot of lawyers MIA on Friday, June 10. Nearly a thousand to be exact. The cause for non-billing hours was the Attorneys Serving the Community annual luncheon at the Hilton Anatole benefiting Dallas CASA. It was a remarkable gathering thanks especially to keynote speaker Steve Pemberton, who not only understood the need for Dallas CASA but rose above his childhood of neglect to become vice president of Walgreens and an author. Evidently Half-Price Books brought 100 of Steve’s books to sell. Evidently they wished they had brought more. The line to get Steve’s autograph lasted more than an hour after the luncheon.

Another moving talk was provided by Honorary Chair/Dallas CASA Board Member Cynt Marshall. Here is a report from the field, and remember that Dallas CASA is on a campaign for volunteers:

Walgreens VP Steve Pemberton told attendees at Attorneys Serving the Community (ASC) luncheon benefiting Dallas CASA on Friday, June 10, that despite his childhood of abuse, neglect and deprivation, he always knew he had the power in him to rise above. He just needed one person to believe in him.

“If the headlines bother you, give from wherever you are with whatever you have,” Steve said. “I’m one small example of what’s possible when you give somebody a chance in the world.”

Held at the Hilton Anatole Dallas with 900 seats, the luncheon was the culminating event of a year of fundraising by ASC for Dallas CASA. The group had raised more than $300,000 for Dallas CASA, which recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

Steve PEmberton*

Steve Pemberton*

Steve’s official title is Vice-President, Diversity and Inclusion and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise in the world, employing 370,000 people in 25 countries. Now a father of three, Steve admitted that finding a place for an African-American boy with no home, blue eyes, a blonde Afro and a Polish last name in working class Boston was a challenge. He named his autobiography “A Chance in the World” after a social service workers’ note in his file that “this child doesn’t have a chance in the world.” Ultimately, Steve created his own chances, finding success despite his circumstances.

“I inherited a tragedy I didn’t ask for or create, but nobody could stop me from changing it,” Steve said. “I was always looking out for that someone who would not see me as dumb, ugly or broken beyond repair. I was told ‘No’ a lot, but ultimately I was told ‘Yes’ more.”

For many abused and neglected children, a CASA volunteer is the one caring, constant adult who can make a critical difference in their lives and says “Yes.”

Gloria Campos, Kathleen LaValle and Cortland Kelly Grynwald*

Gloria Campos, Kathleen LaValle and Cortland Kelly Grynwald*

ASC annually chooses a beneficiary for a year of fundraising support. Events during the year include a silent auction and a 5K race, with the luncheon serving as the final event. ASC Chairs for 2015-16 were Cortland Kelly Grynwald and Kara Altenbaumer-Price. Mistress of ceremonies was Gloria Campos, and the ASC Friend of the Community Award was given to The Margulies Group. Honorary chair was AT&T Senior VP and a Dallas CASA Board Member Cynt Marshall, who shared with the crowd her own experience with children living in foster care.

Cynt told the crowd about a nine-month-old baby abandoned with his nine-year-old brother for two months. With only a toaster oven to keep them warm, the older boy foraged for food and kept his baby brother alive for two months. She also told about a 12-year-old girl forced to eat peanut butter and jelly alone in the pantry while the brothers in her birth family enjoyed turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving day. And she told about a baby girl, born premature, with medical needs and weighing less than two pounds, abandoned by her mother in the hospital.

Kara Altenbaumer-Price and Cynt Marshall*

Kara Altenbaumer-Price and Cynt Marshall*

“These are now my own children. We were blessed to adopt them with the help of lawyers, judges and… yes, CASA volunteers,” Cynt told the cheering crowd as she introduced her youngest daughter, who was left at San Francisco General Hospital and is a junior in college today. “These honeys were kept as safe as possible because of people like you.”

ACS events raised more than $300,000 in critically-needed funds to recruit and train volunteer advocates who gather information to help judges decide where abused and neglected children can live safely and permanently. On an average day in Dallas, more than 2,000 abused and neglected children live in foster care because they cannot safely live at home. Only about three out of five of those children have a Dallas CASA volunteer who can speak for them, but funds from ASC will allow Dallas CASA to recruit, train and supervise more volunteers to serve more children.

“Children in foster care are thrust into a bewildering world of strangers. CASA volunteers help them navigate this very grown-up process,” Cynt said. “Good things can always come out of bad things. Being a CASA is simply a matter of opening your heart.”

Individuals, retailers and manufacturers provided in-kind donations included Cornerstone BTI, D CEO Magazine, Half Price Books, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Judy Norsdeth Photograph, The Margulies Group, Mary Kay, McShan Florist Inc., Michaels Stores Inc., Platinum, TXU Energy and Texas Lawyer.

The following sponsors are underwriters:

  • Presenting ($25,000) — The Members of Attorneys Serving the Community
  • Crystal ($10,000) — Anonymous, Baron and Budd and Texas Lawyer
  • Platinum ($5,000) — D CEO Magazine, Locke Lord LLP, The Marketing Connection, McKool Smith, ORIX Foundation, Sidley Austin LLP and TIER REIT
  • Gold ($2,500) — Amy Stewart PC, AT&T, Baker Botts LLP, Cinemark Theatres, Farrow-Gillepsie and Heath LLP, Gray Reed and McGraw PC, Husch Blackwell, Jackson Walker LLP, JMO Firm PLLC, Khirallah PLLC, Lynn Pinker Cox and Hurst LLP, The McClure Law Group, Norton Rose Fullbright, Perkins Coie, Scheef and Stone LLP, Thompson and Knight Foundation and Winstead PC
  • Silver ($2,000) — Andrews and Bath, PC/Angela Maverick, The BVA Group LLC, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman and Blumenthal, LLP, Counsel on Call, Dallas CASA Board Members, Dallas Women Lawyers Association, Haynes and Boone LLP, Holland and Knight LLP, HSSK, Littler Mendelson PC, Powell Coleman and Arndol LLP, Schwob Building Company LTD and Vinson and Elkins LLP
  • Bronze ($1,750) — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, Bell Nunnally and Martin LLP, Bracewell LLP, Capital Financial Partners/Patte Lee, Cooper and Scully PC, Deloitte, DTI, Energy Future Holdings, Gibson Dunn, Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, Jackson Lewis PC, K and L Gates, Kilgore and Kilgore PLLC, LeBoeuf Law, PLLC/Spencer Scott PLLC, Legalpeople LLC – A LegalPartners Company, Lennox International, Marsh and McLennan Agency LLC/MHB, Munsch Hardt Kopf and Harr PC, Powell Coleman and Arnold LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Quilling Selander Lownds Winslett and Moser PC, Republic Title, Strasburger and Price LLP, UNT Dallas College of Law and Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelamn and Dicker LLP/Allied World
* Photos provided by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: WaterTower Theatre’s Community Cast Party

According to WaterTower Theatre’s Community Cast Party Co-Chair Stan Graner,

“The ‘Community Cast Party’ at WaterTower Theatre in Addison, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 (7 to 11 PM), is our annual ‘friend’-raiser, now in its third big year. Designed to bring the theater community and the audience members who love them to the same party, all proceeds go to WaterTower Theatre’s artistic and education programs.

“Cuisine from many fine local restaurants is highlighted, with serving areas sprinkled liberally throughout our lobby areas. Specialty entertainment is featured in our Studio Theater, redesigned to become a black box lounge area for the evening. Then on our Main Stage, headliner Denise Lee, local singer/actress/entertainer extraordinaire, will dazzle us with her highly acclaimed cabaret show. She may even have a few of her friends performing as well!

WaterTower Theatre's "Community Cast Party"*

WaterTower Theatre’s “Community Cast Party”*

“Restaurants featured in the past include Table 13, The Egg and I Restaurant, Antonio Ristorante, Dough Bro’s Italian Kitchen and Bar, Polka Dot Bakery, Z Taverna, Whole Foods Addison, and many more. Goody Goody Liquor has also been a proud sponsor. We’re putting together a terrific group again for this year’s party, and it’s all included in your ticket price!

“Besides headliner Denise, specialty entertainment will include musical performers Monique Abry, Whitney Coulter, Olivia De Guzman Emile, Alex Heika, Kyle Montgomery and Mark Mullino. Tiffany Riley, Dick Monday and other members of the clowning community will put on a clown cabaret performance, and the improv comedy group The Victims will bring the house down with their infectious humor.

“We’ll end the evening with our famous raffle. Prizes this year include ‘A Trip To New Orleans’ (with airfare) for two; ‘A Night On The Town In Addison’ for four which begins with dinner at Table 13 and ends with a fabulous show at WaterTower Theatre; and a ‘Luxury Staycation At The Joule Hotel’ for two with dinner, brunch, and spa included. Every raffle ticket has a coupon on the back for $15 off dinner at Kenny’s Italian Grill in Addison, a value larger than the cost of the raffle ticket itself!

“Tickets for ‘Community Cast Party’ are $50 each, which includes all food and of course some drink tickets (additional drink tickets may be purchased separately at the event). Raffle tickets for the above great prizes are $10 each, or 3 for $25. All tickets can be purchased by calling the WaterTower Theatre box office at 972.450.6232. ‘Community Cast Party’ will be held at WaterTower Theatre, located at 15650 Addison Road in Addison TX, on September 10 from 7 to 11 PM. Our CCP Co-Chairs Maureen Anderson, Corky Pledger, Debbie Staggs and I say, ‘See you there!’”

* Photo provided by WaterTower Theatre

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

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

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

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

Ronan Farrow*

Ronan Farrow*

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Emmitt and Pat Smith (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

Carol Seay (File photo)

Carol Seay (File photo)

Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

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

Jim and Julie Turner (File photo)

Jim and Julie Turner (File photo)

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

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

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

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

First Ever Women’s Texas Film Festival Will Take Place August 19-21 With Films Galore At Texas Theatre

Women are making news today and it’s not just in Philadelphia. Today the Women’s Texas Film Festival is making news by being the “very first full-fledged festival in the state of Texas to focus solely on the work of female filmmakers.” And the scheduling of the festival couldn’t be more timely. It will take place when it’s just too plain hot to be outside — Friday, August 19, through Sunday, August 21.

And what better place for the screening of six feature-length films and 31 short films than Texas Theatre.

According to WTxFF Founder/Artistic Director Justina Walford, “We are thrilled to bring this celebration of female film making to Dallas, which is home to some of the most enthusiastic and discerning film audiences in the entire country. Rosemary Myers’ richly sardonic ‘Girl Asleep’ bursts with candy colored images of girlhood while confronting some darker realms of our heroine’s heart. And it is a vision so truly female, created for our eyes. Add to that, a lineup of films that amuse, surprise, provoke and frighten. And film goers will get a taste of the skill and imagination of some very talented women pulling the strings and at the helm of visual storytelling. We look forward to putting the women responsible for these stories on a pedestal here in the heart of Texas.”

Of course, in keeping with the film festival spirit, there will be panels with topics like “Gaming and VR, The New Frontier Demonstrated”, “I Made That – Female Producers Tell the What, Why, and How of Producing,” “Discussing ‘Beware The Slenderman’ with Psychiatrists and Pediatric Counselors” and “A Director, a Writer, a DP, and an Editor Walk into a Bar.”

Tickets are available now! VIP Festival passes are going for $95 until Monday, August 1. After that they’ll cost you $150. There’s also a Shorts Program package that’s only $25.

Oh, you want to hear about the films that will be show. Follow the jump for the festival’s full lineup. [Read more…]

D’Andra Simmons-Lock And Jeremy Lock Put Their Own Spin On Letter Signing For CancerBlows Host Committee

Letter signings may seem ho-hum after your second or third one. They usually take place during the day with loads of munchies and ice tea and stacks of letters to personalize. The drill is sign your name to the letter with a note and pass it along to the next person at the table. But leave it to 2017 CancerBlows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock to put their own spin on the John Hanocking of the fundraising host committee invite letters.

Ryan Anthony

Ryan Anthony

On Monday, July 18, they held the signing in the evening with glasses of wine and the event’s man-of-inspiration Ryan Anthony at the kitchen/dining room table. Instead of a chore, it was a party. As guests arrived, Jeremy reported that he had just returned from Alaska with killer photos of people and scenes. Pointing out his Burning Man collection framed on the wall, he revealed that his next project involves National Geographic.

But as soon as Ryan in his CancerBlows sports shirt arrived with boxes of letters, the crew took their places at the glass-top table.

D'Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock

Despite a political convention on the TV screen overhead, no one seemed to notice Anderson Cooper reporting on CNN. They were all focused on the letters. D’Andra took a moment to recall her past signings that had resulted in hand surgery. Then Jeremy cleared his voice signaling to get back to work.

According to the letters, D’Andra, Jeremy and their Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill have arranged for Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger to serve as honorary co-chairs. And like the 2015 event benefiting Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, CancerBlows will be return to the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 10, with an ensemble of world-famous musicians including Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, Canadian Brass, members of Ryan’s home team at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and many more.

CancerBlows*

CancerBlows*

Among the perks that members of the host committee will receive will be invitations to special events and recognition in promotional materials, at the event, on the post-event CD/DVD and on the website.

If you haven’t gotten your letter, contact Ryan’s hardworking wife Niki Anthony and she’ll make sure you’re at the top of the list. And, yes, there are all types of sponsorship opportunities available.

*  Graphic provided by CancerBlows           

PlainsCapital To Host A Free Media Panel With The “Four Hoarsemen” For Nonprofits

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

It ain’t easy being in charge of a nonprofit marketing. That’s especially true when it comes to dealing with the press. Those media types seem downright cranky at times and they are so persnickety. They make all types of demands like

  • the release should have been sent a year in advance,
  • the type should be in a certain font
  • a release should be sent in PDF format
  • a release should not be sent in PDF format
  • a TV crew won’t cover a shoe drive for centipedes
  • the photo has to be in some kind of resolution

Gee! Talk about difficult people.

For this reason, a media panel was held twice this past year for nonprofits to hear the good, the bad and the ugly from four media veterans. Not only were the sessions filled to capacity, but another open forum has been demanded.

And once again, it’s free! Thanks to PlainsCapital, the gathering will take place on Friday, August 19. Check-in will start at 9 a.m. and guests will be out just in time for lunch or to dash off for the weekend.

Returning to face the nonprofits will be the original “four hoarsemen” (photographer Kristina Bowman, WFAA anchor Ron Corning, MySweetCharity’s Jeanne Prejean and PaperCity’s Dallas Social Editor Jane Rozelle).

It’s open to anyone who deals with area nonprofits and the media. Yes, even veteran PR folks who have a nonprofit client are invited to attend.

The only caveat is that it’s first-come, first-registered. So, send in your registration here. You’ll need to provide your name (duh), the nonprofit that you work with and a phone number, just in case the event is cancelled due to snow. Once you register, you will be provided with directions and parking instructions.

And, if you haven’t attended a previous “chat,” you’ll want to leave your “this-is-so-boring” expression at home. There is no telling what is gonna be said or what insider info will be shared. The one thing for sure is that it’s informative and fun.

Children Medical Center Foundation’s Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner Was Filled With Friends, Fans And Family

It was billed as a farewell tribute dinner to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal hosted by Children’s Health System of Texas CEO Chris Durovich and his wife Christina Durovich. But the dinner in the Pecan Room at Harlan Crow‘s Old Parkland on Tuesday, June 7, was more of a love fest for more than 80 members of the Kern fan club. They ranged from philanthropists (Mary McDermott Cook, Margot and Ross Perot and Gay and Bill Solomon), brainiacs (Sean Morrison  and wife Theo Ross), business types (Mark Zacheis and Anne Motsenbocker), fundraising champs (Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Connie O’Neill and Ann Corrigan), community leaders (Dan Branch and Joel Williams) to friends (Shirley and Bob Miller and Cyndi and Mark Bassel) and family, like big brother Hobson Wildenthal.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Ed and Randi Halsell

Ed and Randi Halsell

Mark Zacheis

Mark Zacheis

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

Sean Morrison

Sean Morrison

The waves of guests kept coming, and Christina and Chris greeted each like an old friend. Upon arriving, Brent Christopher, who will be following Kern as head of the Foundation, immediately sought out the man of the hour.

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

But it was the beginning of summer, so talk during the pre-dinner reception was travel-oriented. Kern and wife Marnie Wildenthal were leaving the next day for a 16-day trip to London, Tuscany and New York. Brent was taking his brood of kids to Japan. He admitted that his son envisions Japan as an entire world of Nintendo. Little did father or son know about the upcoming Pokémon Go craze.

Others like Stacey Branch and Susan Williams were chatting up the marital status of the kids.

But Chris eventually called the guests to their tables for an excellent dinner that was followed by brief but poignant remarks about Kern’s accomplishments by Chris and Children’s Medical Center Foundation Chairman of the Board John Eagle.

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

John told how, under Kern’s tutelage, the Foundation had enjoyed a record number of new gifts in 2015, including 15 donations of $1 million or more. Kern also slashed Foundation fundraising costs by 25 percent, John pointed out. Then he added: “Kern raises as much money in his sleep as most fundraisers do in a lifetime.”

In his remarks, meantime, Chris recalled how Kern had raised $160 million over three years, boosting the Foundation’s annual fundraising average to $50 million to $70 million from $15 million to $20 million previously. “Kern, you have been such a huge friend to the kids and families in this community,” Chris said. “And Marnie, thank you for the example that you’ve been.”

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Following the bestowing of gifts upon the Wildenthals—he got a black leather briefcase, she got a black leather valise—Kern and Marnie graciously thanked all for the support, and told how Children’s had been an important part of their lives. Admiring his new briefcase, Kern said, “This is a very good sign. I thought [the gift] was going to be a wheelchair!” With that he turned serious and, as usual, self-effacing: The money raised for the Children’s Foundation “was not the result of me. It was the result of years of service and excellence. No one person could do anything like that.” Then he concluded the evening, perhaps with a tip for his successor: “You don’t persuade people to be generous. People are generous, and you match them up with their passions.”

For more photos of the evening’s festivities, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: YMCA Of Metropolitan Dallas CEO Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp Announces His Retirement After 40 Years With The Y

Another job opening sign was just posted. It seems that after putting in 40 years with the YMCA, Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp has decided to retire. Well, not quite yet. He’ll clean out his desk as YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas CEO in 2017 after his successor has been named “allowing a smooth transition.”

According to YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board Chair Kelvin Walker, “Gordon Echtenkamp’s commitment to the mission and vision for the YMCA certainly has made a major impact on the lives of the children and families here in North Texas. For nearly two decades and through the economic downturn, Gordie has led our YMCA through a period of remarkable growth and community impact, with a strong focus of meeting the needs of our community through relevant programs and impeccable financial stability. Our transition plan will provide a seamless passage of his good works as we build upon the foundation of Gordie’s tenure.”

During his 16 years as Dallas YMCA CEO, “he had led two successful capital development initiatives that raised funds producing $80 million in projects addressing nearly every YMCA facility in the organization including new YMCAs opened in Plano, Frisco, East Dallas the Park Cities communities. Significant renovation of existing community Ys was also completed including the T. Boone Pickens YMCA Downtown, the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA in Rockwall, Grand Prairie YMCA along with the Park South, Moorland and Oak Cliff YMCAs and Camp Grady Spruce on Possum Kingdom Lake.”

Thanks to Gordie’s leadership, more than 300,000 children and families are served in the greater Dallas community with an operating budget of $55M. It is also “the largest provider of school-age children in North Texas serving 4,500 children daily in afterschool and camp programs.”

According to Gordie, “I am so proud to have served the YMCA movement for forty years and the last sixteen years here in Dallas. The opportunity to work not only with an incredible staff team, but also an outstanding group of committed volunteers, donors, city leaders and community partners who are all focused on strengthening the foundation of this community has been such a privilege. I am confident that the Y will continue to meet the high expectations we all have of ourselves in service to the community.”

In addition to conducting an executive search for Gordie’s replacement, a search is already underway for Dallas Y’s COO Carmelita Gallo, who is retiring this year after “a 43-year career with the YMCA.”

Anyone who wants job security might want to check with Gordie and Carmelita for their secrets for attaining tenure.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon And Film Festival

According to 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon And Film Festival Chairman Mary Humphreys Parker,

Mary Humphreys Parker (File photo)

Mary Humphreys Parker (File photo)

“I am honored to be asked to chair the 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon and Film Festival and have the upmost respect for former Navy SEAL and founder Ryan “Birdman” Parrott. His dedication to our country and veterans is remarkable. And to see what he has done in a few short years establishing Sons of the Flag gives us all hope that our servicemen can get the help they need. This organization is one of the few that helps Veterans, First-Responders and Civilian Burn Survivors and I am proud to be a part of it.

“We want to thank Stripe-A-Zone and Clay Cooley Auto Group for signing on early as presenting sponsors again this year. Their support of Sons of the Flag truly help propel the organization forward.

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

“This is our third annual event and will again feature a seated luncheon event followed by a weekend full of films. The festival will be held Friday, November 11 to Sunday, 13, with the luncheon event on Friday, November 11, which happens to be Veterans Day this year. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate and honor our heroes. The keynote speaker will be United States Congressman Sam Johnson. Congressman Johnson is a decorated war hero and native Texan and ranks among the few Members of Congress to fight in combat. Congressman Johnson is a decorated war hero and native Texan and ranks among the few Members of Congress to fight in combat. During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Rep. Johnson flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, including 42 months in solitary confinement. A decorated combat veteran and war hero, Sam was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Outstanding Unit Awards.

Sam Johnson (File photo)

Sam Johnson (File photo)

“Additionally, Sons of the Flag will present the first Legacy Award to Dr. Stephen Burgher, a lead physician at the Baylor Scott And White Health Center, and a Marine Corps trauma team leader at a military medical unit in Afghanistan. We are thrilled that Nancy and David Burgher have agreed to serve as our honorary co-chairs, as they are loved and admired by so many, and embody the American Spirit of Faith and Love of Country in everything they do.

“The Stars And Stripes Film Festival will continue to celebrate our nation’s finest as represented in film, and announcements about our line-up will be made in early fall. This year’s film festival portion will move to Highland Park Village Theater. Sponsorships and passes are now on sale and can be purchased with the sponsorship contract.  Luncheon tickets and tables as well as individual film tickets can be purchased later this fall.

The Stars And Stripes Film Festival is programmed by James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society. The Dallas Film Society is a proud partner of Sons of the Flag and is instrumental in the success of the Stars And Stripes Film Festival. This is the third year that DFS has supported Sons of the Flag and has programmed the film festival.

All funds raised directly benefit Veteran, First-Responder and Civilian Burn Survivors supported by Sons of the Flag.

“For more information, please contact Mary Meier

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Just weeks before turning over the leadership of Children’s Medical Center Foundation to Brent Christopher, Dr. Kern Wildenthal was feted by Christina and Chris Durovich on Tuesday, June 7. The gathering of stellar types took place in the Pecan Room with laughter and good wishes.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

While the post is being prepared, check out the folks who were in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Brenda West Cockerell Launches “In Grandma’s Garden” With Book Signing At De Boulle

Brenda West Cockerell and Denis and Karen Boulle*

Brenda West Cockerell and Denis and Karen Boulle*

Art-loving Brenda West Cockerell tried her hand at writing with the results being “In Grandma’s Garden.” To mark the occasion, a book signing was held on Saturday, June 4, but not at a bookstore. Nope. Try de Boulle. Here’s a report from the field:

On Saturday, June 4, philanthropist Brenda West Cockerell released her first children’s book entitled “In Grandma’s Garden” with a celebration hosted by Karen and Denis Boulle.

Surrounded by family, friends and beautiful flowers, guests mingled in the cozy parlor of de Boulle Diamond and Jewelry, as the proud author signed copies of her book with personalized notes. The afternoon reception included light bites provided by Food Company, butterfly and dragonfly cookies provided by Kim Crigger Warren, and mimosas and wine from Coquerel Wines, Brenda’s side venture with her husband, Clay Cockerell.

Jessica Peters, Charlies Cockerell, Brenda West Cockerell and Clay Cockerell and Lily Cockerell*

Jessica Peters, Charlies Cockerell, Brenda West Cockerell and Clay Cockerell and Lily Cockerell*

With guests curious as to how the story came to be, Brenda shared that “In Grandma’s Garden” was inspired by her dear friend Holly Horton, who passed away from breast cancer in 2009. Their mutual passion for children and flowers bonded them as friends, and together they dreamed of writing a children’s book. Upon hearing the devastating news, Brenda composed the book in three days. She then enlisted Linda Ólafsdóttir, an Icelandic illustrator, to bring the magical garden to life.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of “In Grandma’s Garden” will benefit breast cancer research and support initiatives through The Beacon Family Foundation, which Brenda founded in 2014 to provide funding for breast cancer and resources for families struggling with loved ones fighting cancer.

“I have done a lot of things in my life, but this is one that I am the most proud of,” Brenda said. “Holly dedicated her life to children, helping them grow much like the flowers in her garden. My hope is that ‘In Grandma’s Garden’ will bring joy to the lives of children who read it, as well as change to those struggling with breast cancer.”

Liana Yarckin and Kristen Sanger*

Liana Yarckin and Kristen Sanger*

Di Johnston and Jill Goldberg*

Di Johnston and Jill Goldberg*

Guests included Lily Cockerell, Jessica Peters and Charlie Cockerell, Emma Boulle, Nick Boulle, Maggie Kipp, Quitman Stephens, Melissa Sherrill, Nancy Gopez, Di Johnston, Jill Goldberg, Ginnie Johnson, DeeDee Lee, Kristi Hoyl and Sydney Hoyl, Pat Ann Dawson, Hal Rose, Sara Lee Gardner, Viktoria Sattar, Liana Yarkin, Kristen Sanger and Lisa Singleton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Announcement Presentation Returned To Korshak With Champagne, Roses And Peacock Feathers

The clouds above were looking like bruised cauliflower on the evening of Friday, June 3. Outside Stanley Korshak, the valet check-in looked more like an afternoon school pick-up lane with valets apologizing for the delay. Across the street, the bulldozers were crunching down Old Warsaw.

Dixie Marshall

Dixie Marshall

Simona Beal and Gracie Beal

Simona Beal and Gracie Beal

John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt

John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt

But inside Korshak, the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debs were dress-rehearsing upstairs in the women’s salon, as family and friends (Laura and Jason Downing, Simona Beal, Nancy Labadie, Lisa Laughlin, Dixie Marshall, John Cooper and Kendra and Mark Averitt), gathered with champagne flutes in hand, getting to know each other.

Stanley Korshak gowns

Stanley Korshak gowns

Instead of Neiman Marcus Downtown, where the announcement of debs has taken place in recent years, the event had returned to Korshak after 25 years on Korshak’s 30th anniversary. Thanks to the chilled drinks, the warmish temperatures were staved off. As one vet explained to a newcomer, “Nothing new. Once the overhead lights are turned up, the heat hits.”

Jolie Humphrey

Jolie Humphrey

Tincy Miller

Tincy Miller

With guests taking their seats on either side of the Korshak runway, the program got underway. DSOL Deb Chair Chair Jolie Humphrey looked downright giddy telling the crowd that the theme for the Saturday, February 18th white/black-tie presentation at the Meyerson would be Art Nouveau. Following DSOL Deb Presentation Founder Tincy Miller‘s recalling the origins of the major fundraiser for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Assembly and Honor Guard were presented.

The Assembly officers

The Assembly officers

Honor Guard officers

Honor Guard officers

Then the part of the evening that all had been waiting for started — the announcement presentation of the 2017 frosh class. Alas, a couple of the debs, it seems, had sent word that they would be no-shows. Yes, the debs-to-come were represented beautifully by those on the scene, with white roses and peacock feathers in hand. But they were disappointed that some had been called away to internships and holidays.

Aspen Moraif

Aspen Moraif

Betsy Smith

Betsy Smith

Isabel Yoder

Isabel Yoder

Only problem? Word of a couple of the MIAs hadn’t made it into the script, creating an “Oops” moment or two. But ever-cool DSOL Deb Presentation Announcer Stan Garner championed on without more than a moment or two of pause. Escorted halfway down the aisle by members of the Honor Guard, the debs included Layne Anderson, Gracie Beal, Evan Blanton, Lilli Boren, Olivia Burnett, McKenna Cook, Alicia Crenshaw, Caroline Downing, Marina Frattaroli, Heather Hall, Madeline Hendrick, Ellie Kind, Abby Loncar, Ashlyn Matthews, Juliana McIlveene, Natalie Monger, Aspen Moraif, Allison Rogers, Betsy Smith, Mary Stillman, Bailey Turfitt, Georgia Tyler, Emily Vaughan and Isabel Yoder.

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

As the gals finished their walk down the aisle solo, two or three DSOL-ers were standing behind the seated crowd looking like traffic cops pointing them to the hallway leading backstage.

After the right-official presentation, the gals joined their parents in partying a tad bit more. On the other hand, others guests waiting for the checkout at the valet chatted it up. Stan was the first to hit the line, preparing to pedal it to Southlake to join up with his wife Sara Lee Garner for a rehearsal dinner.

For a look at all the 2017 debs on the scene, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Update: Dallas Zoo’s Dollar Day

Naturally, you want an update on the Dallas Zoo’s Dollar Day. Early counts claim that more than 20,000 pairs of feet hit the pathways. It may not be a record-breaker, but the numbers are still being counted and then there was that heat/humidity factor.

But the news-of-the-day wasn’t just limited to feet-on-the-ground. According to Dallas Zoo’s Laurie Holloway, “Special thanks to the helicopter teams who pulled up higher when I called today. Low flights spook many of our animals, particularly in the Savanna. Hoofstock, such as giraffes, zebras, etc., are the most susceptible to this, so we ask that you maintain a decent distance over the Zoo habitats.”

Giants of the Savanna (File photo)

Giants of the Savanna (File photo)

Evidently the critters thought that a presidential candidate might be landing.

2017 Art In Bloom Is Going Dutch With Ambassador Of The Floral Industry René Van Rems In March

The Dallas Museum of Art is having a sizzling summer. First the announcement came out that Ann Hobson would be chairing the 2017 Art Ball. Then it was revealed that Museo Nacional de Arte Director Agustín Arteaga had been tapped to be the Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA.

Jill Goldberg*

Jill Goldberg*

Sarah Hardin (File photo)

Sarah Hardin (File photo)

Now the Dallas Museum of Art League has just sent word that its annual Art in Bloom is right in place with Sarah Hardin serving as chair. She’s already arranged for Jill Goldberg to serve as honorary chair.

The fundraiser floral symposium and luncheon will be held at the DMA on Monday, March 27, starting with the symposium at 9:30 a.m.

René van Rems*

René van Rems*

As for the guest speaker, it will be René Van Rems, who is regarded as the “world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry.” While he has called San Diego his home “ever since he landed there as an exchange student” 20 years ago, he was born in Amsterdam and “formally educated in the entire spectrum of Floriculture/Horticulture through his studies at Rijsmiddelbare Tuinbouwschool (just try to pronounce that) at Aalsmeer” and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, as well as London.

Being right at home at the podium or in front of television cameras, René has been featured in a number of national publications (Sunset Magazine, Flowers And Magazine, Floral Management, etc.).

In the awards category, he was awarded the American Horticultural Society’s Francis Jones Poetker Award in 1995 and was recognized in 2009 with the American Institute of Floral Designers’ Award of Distinguished Service to the floral industry. Why, the Los Angeles Flower Market even made him the recipient of the first annual René van Rems Award for excellence in design education.

After you get your reservation, you might want to check out one of Rene’s books.

A Morning Coffee Underscores The Patriot Party’s Saluting And Aiding America’s Veterans

This past Monday morning, there were three folks having coffee at NorthPark’s La Madeleine. They were a cute and spry group of 80+ year olds, two women and a man. Unbeknownst to people sitting nearby, they were a treasure trove of history.

The man was 95…”No, I’m 96,” he said with a smile. The woman across the table added, “He was a World War II POW. There aren’t many of them left.” She spoke from the heart, having lost her husband/another vet just the year before.

Over the next few minutes, it was learned that the 96-year-old had been a pilot in a mission where more than 30 planes took off and only four returned. He had been one of those who had been captured by the Germans. After being held captive for a year, he was liberated by the Allied forces and weighed just 86 pounds.

It turned out that the widow’s husband had also been in the same squadron, but he hadn’t been slated to fly that day. Knowing the dangers faced by the crew the previous day, he flew out the next day but returned safely.

Like the widow said, “There aren’t many of them left.”

Veterans*

Veterans*

No, there aren’t many World War II vets left, but they have been joined by countless others who have served this country in the following decades. That is why events benefiting vets are especially poignant when they’re held on Veteran’s Day.

One of those activities is the 5th Annual Patriot Party that will be held on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, benefiting the Housing Crisis Center’s (HCC) disabled and homeless veterans program  (Veterans Housing Partnership, Permanent Housing Services and All Citizens Empowerment).

Patriot Party 2016*

Patriot Party 2016*

According HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley, “Veterans are some of the most vulnerable clients we serve and this event raises critically needed funds to support these sometimes neglected member of the community.”

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Chairing the event will be John Baer and Co-Chair Katherine Wynne with Lynn and Allan McBee serving as honorary co-chairs.

Sherri added, “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of HCC’s Patriot Party with such a dedicated group of capable leaders. Lynn and Allan McBee’s commitment to the community is widespread and we are honored to have their endorsement and participation in this important fundraising event.”

In addition to providing the funds, the evening will include a cocktail buffet, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment. There will be more deets revealed in the weeks ahead, but tickets and sponsorships are available now.

* Graphics provided by Housing Crisis Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: CIS Soiree For Students

According to the “CIS Soiree for Students” Honorary Co-Chairs Katherine and Key Coker,

Key and Katherine Coker with CISDR students*

Key and Katherine Coker with CISDR students*

“When our friend asked us to be the honorary co-chairs of the ‘CIS Soiree for Students,’ we were thrilled to support Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR) because it helps at-risk students reach their full potential. Key is a big advocate of CISDR having supported the organization through his work as the Dallas CEO at BBVA Compass.

“Thousands of Dallas-area students attend school with the goal to learn, develop and thrive, but unfortunately, 74 percent of these children are struggling with those simple things. Since 1985, CISDR has led an integral intervention on select school campuses, with trained CISDR staff accessible to students every day. This service is provided at no cost to parents with programs that offer individualized tutoring, counseling, truancy diversion, parenting education, socialization and college/career preparation. At the close of the 2014-15 school year, 9,182 children had received support on their campuses, with 90 percent improving in academics and 91 percent of eligible seniors graduating.

“As our kids are getting ready to go back to school this August, the ‘CIS Soiree for Students’ will be there to improve educational equality for all children in our community. This year’s event is on Saturday, August 27, and it will include an elegant dinner and live and silent auctions with exciting musical entertainment—all in the magical setting of Dallas’ own Texas Discovery Gardens and the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House.

“The ‘Soiree’ is made possible in part by Presenting Sponsor Alon USA, Malachite Sponsors DFW NCDA and Lewis Public Relations, Chrysalis Sponsors Serena Simmons Connelly and Turner Construction and Benefactors Cherrise and Fredrik Cederqvist and the Clampitt Foundation. Media Sponsors include PaperCity and Park Cities News and the Waters Family. The chair is Maggie Cooke Kipp and the auction co-chairs are Sara and Bill Woodall. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and we welcome additional sponsors and partners.

“Please join us and other members of the community in making a difference in the lives of Dallas-area students. Individual tickets are available at $175 each, with ‘Premier Pairs’ of benefactor tickets available for $450 and sponsorships starting at $2,500. With your help, we can ensure a successful new school year for thousands of at-risk kids in our community.”

* Photo provided by Communities in Schools of Dallas Region

Hot Thursday (Hello, Like Tomorrow) Is Dollar Day At The Dallas Zoo

Brace yourself. We’re heading into the steamy, hottest days of summer. How in the world can it be more bearable? Simple. Way more than simple, thanks to the Dallas Zoo.

Tomorrow (aka Thursday, July 21) will be a “Dollar Day” day. OMG. For a cheap thrill, folks can see the greatest creations of Mother Nature. So what are the special deals? How about:

  • • $1 admission (free for 2 and under and Zoo members)
  • $1 selected snack items
  • $1 nectar to feed the lorikeets
  • $2 Endangered Species Carousel
  • $5 giraffe feedings$8 parking (limited)
Giraffe (File photo)

Giraffe (File photo)

BTW, if you’re gonna feed the giraffes, please be cool. They have tongues that are longer than a socialites’ Christmas card list.

If you haven’t been at the Dallas Zoo since the newbie elephants from Africa set up camp, take the time to check out the bambino elephant’s name that will be revealed on Reunion Tower at 9 p.m. tonight. (Update: Abaju). Talk about smart marketing. Wink, wink.

Whew! Don’t worry about gift-giving for the baby elephant. He ain’t registered at Babies R Us nor Hollywood Feed, so gifts are not expected.

And if your budget is tighter than a high-school prom squeeze, then consider venturing on to the Dart red line. You just might be surprised about this public “Uber” transportation that will take you to the Dallas Zoo.

Yes, for those of the Pokemon searchers, the Dallas Zoo is ready for you. Giggle.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Announcement Presentation

Natalie Monger

Natalie Monger

In less than 10 months, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League will be presenting the 2017 debutantes at the Meyerson. To get things moving along, the newest crop of young women were announced on Friday, June 3. Alas, due to summer vacations, not all the gals were on hand. But the ones who were there wore highest heels and adorable dresses to show off their longer-than-long legs.

Stanley Korshak gowns

Stanley Korshak gowns

Taking place on the top floor of Stanley Korshak, family and friends not only got to see the to-be-debs escorted down the aisle by members of the DSOL Honor Guard, they also got to know each other. Wise move, since the months ahead will be filled with activities and plans.

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

Madeline Hendrick, Bailey Turfitt, Marina Frattaroli and Mary Stillman

While the post is being prepared, get a look at the Korshak announcement party at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Entrepreneurs For North Texas To Be Rolled Into Communities Foundation Of Texas Eliminating The Need For A Director

Catherine Cuellar (File photo)

Catherine Cuellar (File photo)

It was a year ago today that Catherine Cuellar became director of Entrepreneurs For North Texas, the organization that “assists our Member Companies in harnessing the power of their corporate assets through philanthropy and community programs in order to serve social needs while meeting corporate objectives.”

Ironically, today word arrived that she is looking for other opportunities. But before you go thinking there was a hard-feelings breakup, stop. You’re headed in the wrong direction.

According to Communities Foundation of TexasCarol Goglia, when EFNT started back in 2000 it was an independent organization that was a program of CFT, sorta like a kissing cousin of CFT. Over the years as it evolved, the lines between business-oriented programs and CFT became more and more blurred. In other words, EFNT was becoming an immediate family member of CFT.  In recent months and after much strategic planning by EFNT and CFT, it was decided that EFNT should be rolled totally into CFT. And while there will still be the Freedom Day and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, there would be no need for a separate website nor a director.

Carol said that Catherine had been part of the strategic team planning of EFNT’s evolvement resulting in the elimination of a director. However, Carol added that while CFT would continue to seek Catherine’s counsel, Catherine was available for more permanent opportunities that could use her leadership and strategic planning on a permanent basis.

As part of the transition, CFT has a website that can help businesses in their corporate giving.