Memorial Day Is A Day Of Thanks For The Ultimate Gift

Memorial Day flags

Memorial Day flags

Today is Memorial Day, a holiday where presents are not exchanged. However, it is a day when thanks is shown for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Before heading to the movie theaters for first-runs, hitting sunny patios with misters for icy drinks or taking off for summer vacations, consider that these luxuries were made possible by thousands of men and women over the decades.

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day Concert Moved To The Meyerson

Due to Mother Nature being literally a wet blanket, Monday’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day concert has been moved from Flag Pole Hill to the Meyerson Symphony Center. Start time for the free concert is still 8 p.m.

Another change: The firework display has been canceled.

Boots And Blessings At Gilley’s Provided Fun, Food And Funding For Ally’s Wish Moms To Create Lasting Memories For Their Children

After a non-stop month of fundraising activities, Ally’s Wish‘s Boots and Blessing Gala at Gilley’s closed down April with gals in boots and remarkable testimonials about the organization that is the late Allyson Hendrickson‘s legacy. Here is a report from the field:

Country-themed affairs were the talk of the town on Saturday, April 30, but at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas, Ally’s Wish was making wishes come true for mothers battling terminal illnesses. The two-year-old organization has raised over $150,000 and granted over 17 wishes to moms with big dreams of create lasting memories with their children.

Inside one of Gilley’s largest ballrooms, a packed house with 300 of DFW’s finest and some out-of-towners, event chair, Laura Downing and honorary chair, Tricia Sims worked the room sharing their connection to Ally’s Wish. Earlier in the year, Tricia Sims hosted a fashion themed kick-off at her home featuring local designer Esé Azénabor and as Laura Downing noted during her speech, her personal connection to Allyson Hendrickson (the organization’s namesake) is why she chose to serve as event chair, to help raise more awareness and dollars to fund wishes.

Tricia Sims and Natasha Mosier*

Tricia Sims and Natasha Mosier*

Kunthear and Scott Douglas*

Kunthear and Scott Douglas*

Cathy and Tommy Vieth*

Cathy and Tommy Vieth*

As guests began to trickle in dressed in their boots and jeans, some with a little bling and some with a lot, they enjoyed cocktails courtesy of Candy’s Signature Cocktails and beer provided by Community Beer. Blushington’s make-up touch-up bar and the boot shine stand were hot spots, but it was the silent auction that was all a buzz. Guests made their way ‘round the tables bidding on favorites including the Abi Ferrin shopping experience, Alexis Bittar earrings courtesy of Neiman Marcus and the Emmitt Smith autographed footballs. Bob Manzano captured Cathy and Tommy Vieth, Kunthear Mam-Douglas, Melissa Rountree, Nicole Barrett, Regina Bruce and Kersten Rettig who posed for photos.

Heather Bryan, Melissa Cary, Laura Downing, Missy Phipps and Holly Reed*

Heather Bryan, Melissa Cary, Laura Downing, Missy Phipps and Holly Reed*

The night began with LeeAnne Locken, from Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of Dallas” welcoming everyone, a prayer was said and the chow bell rang! A buffet of Texas BBQ favorites was served including apple cobbler for dessert, but for those that didn’t want anything too sweet, Yasmeen Tadia of Sugaire™ provided them with an alternative option in her gourmet, organic, less than 1 gram of sugar version of cotton candy.  As the program continued and guests were seated, Missy Phipps, founder and president of Ally’s Wish shared the stage with her friends and co-founders Melissa Cary, Holly Reed and Heather Bryan to tell their story of creating Ally’s Wish and why their love for their friend has translated into the organization serving moms and their children.

Larry and Pat Conner*

Larry and Pat Conner*

Larry and Pat Conner, the parents of the late Allyson Hendrickson spoke about their daughter, her battle with ovarian cancer and wish to have her blog, “My 3 Sons” turned into a lasting memory in the form of a book (“Three Little Cowboys”) that is now sold with a portion of proceeds benefiting Ally’s Wish and a portion placed into a trust for her sons.

Soon after, Wendy Lambert Auctions’ Charla Goodwin Janecka began the live auction. From the Dancing with the Stars package to the 20 friends Blushington beauty experience and Chamberlains wine tasting with cast members from the “Real Housewives of Dallas,” the bidding wars began.

Ethan Spencer, Russell Spencer and Austin Spencer*

Ethan Spencer, Russell Spencer and Austin Spencer*

However, it wasn’t until Russell Spencer and Tanya Norris took the stage to share their stories and connections to Ally’s Wish, that guests began to feel the depth and breath of how granting wishes to moms would and could have an immeasurable impact. Russell shared the stage with his two sons, Austin and Ethan, and spoke of his wife Terran, whose wish was granted in 2014 with a memorable family vacation to Hawaii where she swam with dolphins.

Tanya Norris*

Tanya Norris*

Tanya shared her story and current battle of Glioblastoma Multiforme, more commonly known as brain cancer. Her wish is to visit Nashville with her daughter Paige and loving caretaker husband Ben this summer. Her wish will be granted because shortly after sharing their stories over $30,000 was raised, allowing Ally’s Wish to grant more wishes to moms like Tanya and the current list of ten others on the waiting list.

The Breckenridge Band took to the stage and taught a bit of line dancing, but the night wasn’t over because Britnee Kellogg the season 11 and season 12 hopeful fromAmerican Idol” made a special appearance on stage with her band and closed out the night rocking to original songs and country classics.

For more information about Ally’s Wish, visit www.allyswish.org.

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

Cattle Baron’s Ball Spring Luncheon Was An All-Heads-Up Event For The Baronesses At Hotel ZaZa

Despite the threat all over North Texas that rain, hail, thunder and lightning were moving into the area on Friday, April 29, didn’t matter. Don’t you know that charity backers aren’t distracted by such calamities? One of those was the Cattle Baron’s Ball. With maybe-it’ll-rain-maybe-it-won’t skies overhead, the committee members drove their SUV’s and environmentally proper transportation to the Hotel ZaZa for the annual spring luncheon.

Andrea Weber

Andrea Weber

Just to be smart…and they are, don’t you know… CBB Co-Chairs Cara French and Andrea Weber put their split-endless heads together with photographer cutie pie Holt Haynsworth about the annual CBB group picture. The original idea of shooting the photo outdoors was scrapped due to the high humidity that would have challenged even the strongest hair-sprayed head of hair. Instead the group photo would be taken in the hotel’s lobby with Holt shooting down from the balcony.

No problem…except gathering the 100 membership. They were having way too much fun playing the “conversation catch-up” game in the dining room surrounding the display of Hublot jewelry.

Meredith Ferrell, Meg Florence, Adriane Crosland, Destin Shore, Megan Filgo and Katherine Harper

Meredith Ferrell, Meg Florence, Adriane Crosland, Destin Shore, Megan Filgo and Katherine Harper

It was easy to spot birthday girl Adriane Crosland. The party hats and balloons sorta gave her away, along with her pals (Meredith Ferrell, Meg Florence, Destin Shore, Megan Filgo and Katherine Harper) who’d came to celebrate not only her b-day but also the fact that she was leading the pack in underwriting for the American Cancer Society fundraiser that will take place at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 15.

Cara French and Rachel Michell

Cara French and Rachel Michell

But eventually the crowd was herded around the black-leather banquette. Those with “easy-to-take-off” shoes were positioned on the round banquette.

Alas, Cara and Andrea, who were to be positioned in the center on the banquette, had non-slip-off stilettos.

That’s when CBB girl friendship came in handy. Highland Park Village’s Rachel Michell helped Cara out of her heels. As for Andrea, she unzipped her heels and hopped on the banquette.

With Holt high above telling all to look upward and the hotel staff still checking guests in and out, the CBB’ers were ready for their shot.

2016 Cattle Baron's Ball committee group photo

2016 Cattle Baron’s Ball committee group photo

On cue, Holt asked all to look up and 100 pairs of eyes rose skyward. After a snap or two or three, Holt decided to video the gals waving. Everyone including Holt thought it was hokey, but what the heck?

As the membership adjourned to the dining room, Cara and Andrea slipped on their heels.

As for the rest of the day, some of the ladies headed back to their offices, while others strolled over to Hotel ZaZa’s Art House and Social Gallery for post-lunch festivities.

Hundreds Of Adults Learned The Answer To “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?”

Quiz Bowl Champion trophy

Quiz Bowl Champion trophy

While the DIFFA crowd was at The Joule sneak-peeking the DIFFA auction goodies on Thursday, April 28, other folks, both vets and newbies, were gathering at Frontiers of Flight Museum for the annual “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” benefiting KIPP DFW.

For oldtimers, they knew the word “humility” was the walkaway for the adults facing the KIPP students in the “Battle of the Brains.”

On the other hand, for new-adults-on-the-block, it was a wake-up call to 21st century education.

Merry Vose

Merry Vose

Morgan Meyer

Morgan Meyer

Despite the two, three and four calls for guests to head to their dinner tables, the crowd of over 500 was tardy in heeding the requests. Bobby Lyle told Richard Eiseman that he and Lottye Brodsky were getting hitched this summer. Bobby chuckled when he told Richard that, in breaking the news to their families that he and Lottye were taking the step, he’d explained it was because they wanted to have more kids….Celebrity adult panelists Merry Vose, Jennifer Sampson and Morgan Meyer worked the upstairs reception as if they were seeking votes.

Sarah Weinberg, Barbie Cobb and Michael Horne*

Sarah Weinberg, Barbie Cobb and Michael Horne*

Jozlyn Hall

Jozlyn Hall

Co-Chairs Barbie Cobb and Sarah Weinberg introduced Jozlyn Hall, who in addition to being a founding student of KIPP Truth Academy is now a founding teacher at KIPPP Destiny Middle School. Jozlyn told how KIPP had made such a life-changing difference in her life.

KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir

KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir

Then there was a special performance by the KIPP Destiny Elementary Show Choir. These munchkins are so ready for prime time. Thanks to big screens on either side of the stage, even the folks in the back of the room got to see these little ones knock it out of the park. Once again they could have closed the program with that and everyone would have been delighted.

Then came dinner (miniature wedge salad, white cedar apple bacon stuffed chicken cordon Bleu and a dessert of dark chocolate truffle, mini-coffee bean éclair and lemon cheesecake with fresh berries).

After a special presentation by KIPP DFW Executive Director Designate Michael Horne, host Byron Sanders introduced the two panels for the Battle of the Brains.

Byron and Celeste Sanders

Byron and Celeste Sanders

David Brown

David Brown

Brooke Hortenstine, Karla McKinley and Nicole Musselman

Brooke Hortenstine, Karla McKinley and Nicole Musselman

As the KIPP kids (Quentin Casselberry, Alvaro Gonzales, Aijalon Hayes, Brianna McCain, Journi McClought, Oscar Morales, Ariana Mosley, Gerardo Rodriguez, Jozsue Salcedo, Stephany Sanchez, Taylor Williams and Sampson Williford) faced off against the “kids at heart” celebrity contestants (Rep. Rafael Anchia, Chief David Brown, Pierce Bush, Tom Karol, Morgan, Kristie Ramirez, Jennifer, Alex Sharma, Merry and LaShonne Watts), the competition was fierce and funny. But as Brooke Hortenstine so aptly summed it up, “once again, those brilliant KIPPster kids schooled the adults!”

* Photo credit: Kim Leeson

2017 Soup’s On Kicks Off Plans At “PeaceLoveHappy House” And News Of $500,000 Netted From 2016 Stewpot Alliance Fundraiser

Well, goodness gracious. If ever there was a magnificent coming together of nature’s glory and humankind’s brilliance, it was at 2013 Soup’s On Co-Chair Kay and Gene Lunceford’s “PeaceLoveHappy House” in Preston Hollow on Thursday, April 28. The blending of the two was for the 2017 Soup’s On Luncheon kick off.

In the breeze-through living room, Kay and Gene with 13-year-old rescue Annie trying to figure out what was going on, Kay’s mom and dad, Mary and Eldon Reynolds, were glowing over the year-old showplace.

Gene and Kay Lunceford and Mary and Elrod Reynolds

Gene and Kay Lunceford and Mary and Eldon Reynolds

According to Kay, “Bodron and Fruit guided us through every step of design with patience, kindness and humor. We loved the process, and continue to have special friendships with Mil [Bodron] and Svend [Fruit].”

As for the stop-traffic landscaped grounds, fifth-generation Texan Kay explained, “I especially wanted a thoughtful option for sustainability and ecology in the landscape design. Coy Talley used drought-hearty, low-maintenance native grasses, similar to his ‘greenroof’ at the Perot Museum.”

The home itself could have easily been mistaken for a museum with the Lunceford art collection beautifully displayed throughout.

Charlotte Legge and Christi Carter

Charlotte Legge and Christi Carter

In the kitchen, chef Michael Noyes was hard at work, while guests shared information. 2016 Co-Chair Charlotte Legge revealed that come June, she and her brood were heading back to New York… Chef Ramrod Brian Luscher fessed up that he probably won’t win the TACA Party On The Green’s Golden Skillet. Ah, but then there’s always the new People’s Choice. But Brian didn’t mind. The TACA event was always fun.

Christi Nicolas and Joe and Jennifer Clifford

Christi Nicolas and Joe and Jennifer Clifford

As guests like Jennifer and Rev. Joe Clifford, former Stewpot Alliance President Toni Meier, current Stewpot Alliance President Kristine Schwope, Marty Coleman and Martha and Todd Coleman gathered outside around the pool, it was time for the great reveal. 2016 Co-Chairs Charlotte and Christi Nicolas amazed the group, reporting that Stewpot Alliance’s Rev. Bruce Buchanan would receive $500,000 to benefit The Stewpot Alliance and Encore Park from their January event.

As for the next soup-athon, 2017 Co-Chairs Christi Carter and Heather Sauber announced that it will be held on Tuesday, January 31, at Union Station. The speaker will be revealed soon. Stay tuned.

No Excuse To Miss North Texas Giving Day Kick-Off Events

Anyone who thought that Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Texas Giving Day was slowing down because CFT’s Brent Christopher was moving his nameplate over to Children’s Foundation, forget it. The staff has been ramping up plans. And from recent reports, they’ve been OMG successful.

2016 North Texas Giving Day Save-The-Date*

2016 North Texas Giving Day Save-The-Date*

Need proof? Well, to get things going, the CFT team is holding NTGD Kick-Off sessions for any non-profits interested in benefiting from the Thursday, September 22, mega-fundraising event. The schedule for the K-O sessions are

  • Collin County (10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 8),
  • Dallas (10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 2),
  • Denton (10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 7) and
  • Fort Worth (10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1).

Needless to say, the signups have been overwhelming with the Collin County, Dallas and the Fort Worth morning session filled to absolute capacity. If you were smart and registered, look in the mirror and smile. But if you put it off because your “Must Do List” got the better of you, there’s still hope. The afternoon session in Fort Worth and the Denton event still have a few spots left.

2016 North Texas Giving Day Kick-Off Events*

2016 North Texas Giving Day Kick-Off Events*

At the K-O, participants will:

  • Learn how to get Giving Day perks by registering early
  • Learn how to update/create North Texas Giving Day profile
  • Hear key dates
  • Receive Marketing Toolkit
  • Hear success stories from peer nonprofits
  • Walk through new marketing tools and tips
  • Learn about Challenge Funds, Bonus Funds and Prizes
  • Pick up #NTXGivingDay yard sign

What’s that? You couldn’t sign up because your kids insisted on your being part of the family vacation the first part of June? Not to worry. Those wonderful peeps at CFT thought of that. So on Tuesday, June 7, they’re having a Kick-Off Webinar from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  However, you still have to register.

And if that isn’t enough, CFT will post video recordings of the kick-off on its Nonprofit Resources page on Thursday, June 9.

So, why all the need for attending a Kick-Off event? Because there have been updates and additions to the annual program. For instance, according to CFT’s Carol Goglia, “It’s really important for nonprofits to attend kickoffs because we’re updating the way they register. It also really jazzes them up to hear best practices presented by other nonprofits and hear success stories!”

* Graphic provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

Can Do Luncheon Patrons Enjoyed A Beautiful Evening At Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s Preston Hollow Estate

The skies were clear, but the local eyes weren’t so lucky. With all types of pollen filling the air, eyes were bloodshot, noses were runny and achoos were the song of the day. Welcome to North Texas. As one doctor once claimed, “If I were starting out, I would have been an allergist in North Texas.” Then doc admitted that the only busier practitioner would have been an allergy specialist in Houston — “Boy have they got their work cut out!”

But on Wednesday, April 27, there was not a cloud in the flawless blue sky. OK, there was a Southwest jet crossing the sky, but still.

Tucker and Rich Enthoven's backyard

Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s backyard

Just the night before the area community had been on standby for all types of scary weather stuff. But on this evening, Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s home-sweet-home and its fabulous grounds could not have been more spectacularly perfect with the tennis court, the pool and elevated terraces.

Sara Melnick Albert, Tucker Enthoven, Regina Montoya and Anne Reeder

Sara Melnick Albert, Tucker Enthoven, Regina Montoya and Anne Reeder

Anne Conner and Susan Phillips

Anne Conner and Susan Phillips

The gathering, which included Anne Conner, Debbie Oates, Linda Perryman Evans and Sara Martineau, was for The Wilkinson Center’s “Can Do Luncheon” patron party. Leslie Diers was doing front door greeting of guests as her mom Cynthia Melnick chatted with guests in the mansion and Leslie’s sister/Luncheon Chair Sara Melnick Alberts was on the terrace talking with Can Do award recipient Regina Montoya and her husband Paul Coggins… Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder was chatting with Susan Phillips about her Shih Tzu’s reactions to the previous night’s thunder and lightning.

But the real subject of the night was the luncheon on Tuesday, May 10, at the Dallas Country Club that will recognize Regina and the North Texas Food Bank that has been such a vital part of The Wilkinson Center’s efforts to help families in need. This luncheon will be the fourth year that The Wilkinson Center has recognized those with the “can-do” spirit.

Salvation Army Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair D’Andra Simmons Is Moving Fundraiser To A New Venue

D'Andra Simmons (File photo)

D’Andra Simmons (File photo)

While others are going through various forms of graduations and others are prepping for June weddings, Salvation Army of Dallas-Fort Worth Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair D’Andra Simmons is getting her swans in a row for 2017. She just reported that the annual luncheon/fashion extravaganza isn’t returning to Brook Hollow Golf Club nor to a hotel.

Nope! Lady D’A is headed to the Meyerson Symphony Center for the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army D-FW fashion extravaganza. She’s a veteran at doing mega events at the Meyerson. It was in March 2015 that she co-chaired Cancer Blows!

And, dang it! She teased with promises of additional plans for the annual fundraiser featuring “experienced” fashions and hoop-la.

That D’Andra has something up her sleeve. Stay tuned.

Brené Brown Brings The Courage Of Vulnerability To Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Appetite For Advocacy Luncheon

With way more than 1,000…okay, it was nearly 2,000…in attendance, there was no doubt that at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Appetite for Advocacy Luncheon at the Sheraton Dallas on Tuesday, April 26, something was up. Perhaps it was the speaker/best-selling author Brené Brown? Perhaps it was the occasion of DCAC’s 25th anniversary? Perhaps it was the recent and dramatic incidents of child abuse? It didn’t matter why the place was filled; it was just the fact that people were coming in droves to support DCAC’s efforts to help abused children and “provide them with an opportunity to heal.”

Long before the clock ticked down, the Sheraton parking lot was already filled as a fire truck and an ambulance took care of needs across the street at the main hotel.

Ruth Altshuler and Susan Sharp

Ruth Altshuler and Susan Sharp

Andy Stern and Irving Groves

Andy Stern and Irving Groves

IMG_4391 Isabell Novakov

Katy Blakey, Randall and Kara Goss

Katy Blakey, Randall and Kara Goss

Unlike years past, when the event took place on the Sheraton’s ground level, this year’s sell-out fundraiser was on the hotel’s second floor with folks like Janie McGarr, Isabell Novakov, Susan Sharp, Mary Blake, Randall and Kara Goss, Andy Stern, Irving Groves and Jen and Brad Adams.

As guests spent their time in the lobby, keynote speaker/TED wunderkind Brené Brown tested her mic in the ballroom. No problem. Everything was running right on schedule.

Another “instead of” situation was the meet-and-greet.” In years past, the speaker du jour would pose for photos and get to know the VIP types in a reception prior to the main event. But this year it was a reversal. Brené was gonna meet with them after the luncheon and then hit the airport to head home. Why the need to change things around? Well, Brené had made a promise to her family that she would only stay one night a month away from home. Since Dallas is just a quickie flight away from Brené’s hometown of Houston, she had to make it home in time for dinner. And then there were those weather threats that had been pounding the kiss-cuzzin cities of Dallas and Houston.

 

Susan Nichol, Ruth Altshuler, Bill Walsh and Irish Burch

Susan Nichol, Ruth Altshuler, Bill Walsh and Irish Burch

The only frowny situation was that, when DCAC grand dame Ruth Altshuler and grand papa Bill Walsh presented the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Award and Lt. Bill Walsh Award to Capitals for Kids and Irish Burch, respectively, Brené was still nowhere in sight. As organizers smiled and said that she was being fitted for her mic, there was a chair at the numero uno table going empty.

DCAC President/CEO Lynn Davis got things rolling by telling the crowd that despite the recent deaths of Leiliana Wright and Gabe Flores and criticism of the Children’s Protection Services department, it was important to remember, “We are all in this together.”

Lynn Davis, Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach

Lynn Davis, Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach

Joining Lynn on stage were Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach, who said that if everyone at the event donated $100, then each table would provide therapy for a child. They asked that people fill the envelopes at their tables and hold them up to be collected. As the music played, hands raised with envelopes.

Then NBC5 anchor/reporter/emcee Katy Blakey introduced Brené, whose 2010 Tedx Houston Talk went crazy viral. In preparing for the Talk, she’d told her husband, Steve, that she was going to try an experiment at the Talk. She decided to be vulnerable and talk about “The Power of Vulnerability.” She revealed how one variable that both men and women share is to be vulnerable. Brené didn’t realize her Talk was being taped. But when TED curator Chris Anderson called to say they wanted to post it online, she thought perhaps a handful of friends and associates would see it. However, the Talk was so successful that it scored more than 24M views. It was then that Steve and her therapist recommended that she not read the comments online. She read all of them.

As a result, she decided “the only people who don’t experience shame are those who have no capacity for empathy and compassion.” Brené went on to say that she had “engineered her life to be small.” In other words, she had always wanted to stay under the radar, and now she was out there being vulnerable to commenters writing “Less research, more Botox;” “She should shed ten pounds before she talks about worthiness;” “So sorry for her husband and kids;” “It’s people like that that are ruining America;” etc.

In those comments were “everything I head feared all my life…As a trained social worker, I knew how to handle this — peanut butter and eight hours of ‘Downton Abbey’.” At the conclusion of her ‘Downton’ viewing, she got caught up with the era and Googled Theodore Roosevelt, who had been the U.S. president at the time. One of the first items to appear was Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena,” from his “Citizenship in a Republic” speech that he gave in 1910 at the Sorbonne.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

That inspired her to

  • be in the arena. She was making a choice between courage and comfort “because you can’t choose both. There is nothing comfortable about courage.”
  • realize that “vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is actually our most accurate measure of courage — to have the willingness to show up when you cannot control the outcome.”
  • not accept all feedback. “If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, then I’m not open or interested in your feedback. The personal attacks, the name calling…There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never enter the arena and take a chance with their thoughts. They will spend their entire lives hanging back and hurling judgment and criticism. And if you’re taking it and if you’re open to it, it will get in the way with your being brave and your life.”

She then gave an assignment to the audience — “Take a one-inch by one-inch piece of paper and write down the names of the people who really matter. There are the people whose opinions matter…I have seven. I had eight but one fell off…We need feedback. There is no mastery without it…But you’ve got to be careful whom we take it from.”

Brené Brown*

Brené Brown*

Brené then recalled the young man who told her how his parents had sent her TED talk to him and encouraged him to tell the girl he’d been dating that he loved her. When he did, the girl’s response was, “I think you’re awesome…and I think we should date other people.” On the way home, all the young man could think was, “Screw Brené Brown. Screw Brené Brown.” When he got back to his apartment and told his roommates what had happened, one roomie said, “Girls only like you when you’re running in the other direction. If you want them, you’ve got to run away.” The young man said he didn’t want to be that man. He wanted to be brave. His roommates burst out: “Right on!”

But that situation led to another question for Brené: How do you get up after a fall [in the arena of life]? She researched two years for the answers, with her results being “The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution” that she described in her latest book, “Rising Strong.”

She told of how last year she had decided to write and launch a new book, start a company and train 1,000 people. That idea came to her in February with it all taking place by the fall. But by August everything was “falling apart.” She hadn’t slept soundly in weeks, her team was being pushed to the end and she was being overwhelmed. It all came to a head when Steve came home and opened the refrigerator. As she worked at her dining room table with papers and plans, she heard him say, “We don’t have lunch meat.” That comment was met with Brené suggesting he could go to the grocery. The conversation was not going well when she finally said that she knew everything was falling apart, that she was a terrible mother, etc., but she didn’t need him to “announce it so I know you know.”

This exchange resulted in her “story telling.” Brené was at that moment telling herself a story of failure. After calming down and talking it over, she sought his advice: Why had he said they had no lunch meat? Was he judging her? Steve’s answer: “I’m so hungry.”

The upshot was that our brains are wired for stories. If something difficult happens, our brains immediately search for a story to explain what’s happening. “If we give our brain a story, we are chemically rewarded for that story. The problem is that we have rewarded the story regardless of the accuracy of the story. The stories we make up and the one our brains love the most and give us the most reward for are stories of good guys, bad guys, safe people, unsafe people. The brain does not like uncertainty, ambiguity. My brain was saying, ‘Steve is a jerk. The last 30 years have been a lie’.”

Tying it back to DCAC’s work with children living in abusive and neglectful situations, Brené explained that the “greatest casualty of trauma is vulnerability. Because someone didn’t love us, we are unlovable.”

DCAC’s mission is to provide the services for traumatized children to heal and learn that they are loved and can embrace vulnerability.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

In Addition To Chairing 2017 Callier Cares, Emilynn Wilson Will Receive KidneyTexas’ 2016 Sue Goodnight Award

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson is going to be a busy gal in the months ahead. Not only is she chairing the 2017 Callier Cares fundraiser for Callier Center for Communications Disorders, she’s gonna be on the receiving end of accolades. On Tuesday, September 20, she’ll be presented the Sue Goodnight Award at KidneyTexas’ “The Runway Report” luncheon and fashion show at Brook Hollow that’s being chaired by McKamy Tiner.

The 2016 beneficiaries include Children’s Health/Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal – National Kidney Foundation, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Dallas Methodist Hospitals Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

Dr. Lara Johnson Took Jonathan’s Place’s “A Chance To Soar” Luncheon To New Heights Of Awareness

On Tuesday, April 26, two leading organizations that are solely focused on protecting children had fundraising lunches in different parts of the city. While Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center gathered folks at the Sheraton Dallas, Jonathan’s Place’s “A Place to Soar” celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Dallas Country Club.  Priscilla Garcia filed this report from the DCC:

For 25 years Jonathan’s Place has been “protecting and caring for the previous children of North Texas, who have suffered from abuse, abandonment and neglect.” Just this past year they added to their services the Girls Transitional Living Program for young women ages 18-23 who have aged out of the foster system. Through the program these young women learn to be responsible and how to care for themselves.

On Tuesday, April 26, Jonathan’s Place celebrated its 25th anniversary at its annual “A Chance To Soar” luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. Luncheon Co-Chairs Allison Carlisle and Rachel Stephens arranged to have Caren and Peter Kline serve as honorary co-chairs and for NBC’s Meredith Land to have a sit-down conversation with Dr. Lara Johnson. Through her heartfelt story, Lara revealed that she had a very rough childhood. Her mother was a heroin addict. Her father was an alcoholic. Lara focused on school and was a very good student. Luckily, her Woodrow Wilson High School teacher, Pat Faherty, encouraged her to fill out college application forms even though it was passed the deadline. Pat saw something in Lara. Through Pat’s help, Lara was able to go to college.

Meredith Land, Allicia Graham Frye and Lara Johnson*

Meredith Land, Allicia Graham Frye and Lara Johnson*

As Pat sat in the audience, Lara told how their efforts paid off. Lara became a doctor. The reason? After going to various doctor appointments with her parents, she felt if she became a doctor, she might be able to help them in some way. Later in life her dad was diagnosed with HIV and passed away. Her mother recently died and wanted forgiveness before she passed. Lara said she had already forgiven her.

It was a very touching story, one that she wasn’t really planning on sharing because she is so private. But she changed her mind when an article was written about her in D Magazine after a chance conversation with a friend. Today she volunteers her medical services for the kids at JP and loves the organization. She is married with two children and likes for them to give back as well. Great Q&A!

Another highlight of the luncheon was the recognition of JP Board Chair Jennifer Norris and Meredith and Jason Cockburn, who have fostered over 50 kids through JP, and the presentation of the awards to the following:

Tonya Bailey, RAchel Stephens, Chad Dorman, Allicia Graham Frye, Beverly Childs, Al Sicard, Allison Carlisle, Mark Dehning and Mark Wilson*

Tonya Bailey, Rachel Stephens, Chad Dorman, Allicia Graham Frye, Beverly Childs, Al Sicard, Allison Carlisle, Mark Dehning and Mark Wilson*

  • Award of Compassion — Christina and Michael Benge
  • Award of Service — Nationwide Insurance
  • Award of Excellence — Dallas Association of Health Underwriters

CEO Allicia Graham Frye spoke about the children at the cottages and gave a very genuine speech about her experiences there and how the donors are helping daily at the facility. She was very appreciative of all the support the donors give. She had a picture on the screen showing the where the teenage girls spend their free time. This space had recently been renovated by donors and she wanted to share a piece of the facility with the crowd.  Currently, there are 77 children at the campus.

To celebrate this landmark year for Jonathan’s Place, the following sponsors were on board:

  • Presenting Hero Sponsor ($25,000) — ORIX Foundation
  • Platinum Champion Sponsor ($15,000) — Al G. Hill Jr.
  • Gold Protector Sponsors ($10,000) — Mohr Partners and Scopus Asset Management
  • Silver Guardian Sponsors ($5,000) — Macy’s, Allison and John Carlisle, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Rachel and Brad Stephens, Stacey and Reid Walker and Kay Sim
  • Bronze Defender SponsorsAkin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, Beth Maultsby and Goranson Bain LLC, The Stacy and Tyler Burke Fund, Freeman Group LLC, Kline Family Foundation, The Rosewood Corporation, Wick Phillips Gould & Martin LLP, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Bagley, Barbie and Bill Borlaug, Kim Cocotos, Marcellene Malouf and the Honorable Royal Furgeson, Dr. Greta Kerwin-Kopp, Wes Lambard, Amy and Tom Mahoney, Jennifer and Bradley Norris, Mr. and Mrs. Todd Phillips, Julie and Eliot Raffkind, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Randa Roach, Nan S. White and April and John Willingham.
* Photos provided by Jonathan's Place

2016 Art Ball Dazzled With All Types Of “Pluses” By Design

As sleek, slim and concise as a laser beam, the 2016 Art Ball was true to its theme of “Art+Architecture” on Saturday, April 23. Unlike years past of lavish videos, entertainment by the likes of John Legend and Solange Knowles and tables filling the tent to its seams, this year there was a sense of elegant efficiency. Rather than spreading the main gala to various parts of the museum property, this year the whole kit-and-caboodle of the main gala was confined to the tent. Instead of more than 600 of the beautiful peeps, it was a good-looking crowd of 450 who felt right at home with their fundraising friends. As Carol Glendenning put it, “This is fun because a lot of our friends are here!”

Why, even the idea of using the plus sign (“+”) in the theme was an indication that it was going to be an occasion of keeping things neat and trim while blending design and artwork. And that “+” would play into event producer Todd Fiscus‘ masterplan for the night.

Ann and David Sutherland

Ann and David Sutherland

Catherine and Will Rose

Catherine and Will Rose

Walter and Laura Elcock

Walter and Laura Elcock

Gonzalo Bueno

Gonzalo Bueno

As guests followed green rugs with white arrows pointing up the concourse, they discovered a red rug with a mega yellow “+” in front of the receiving line that included Event Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland, DMA Board President Catherine Rose and husband Will Rose and Laura Elcock and husband/DMA Interim Director Walter Elcock. Through the doorway that usually leads to the Ross Plaza, the black-tie set walked through a tented walkway between two rows of servers with trays of grownup beverages and entered the reception that gobbled up a fifth of the mega tent. Along one side of the tent were all types of silent auction goodies curated by interior designer Gonzalo Bueno and Michael McCray. Across the way were bars serving up more libations and a wall of curtains that would not be pulled back until it was dinner time. In the center of the reception area were posh seating arrangements into which the early bird arrivals nestled.

Doug Carney, Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores, Nancy Rogers, Ashley Tatum and David Nichols

Doug Carney, Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores, Nancy Rogers, Ashley Tatum and David Nichols

Andre Staffelbach and Jo Staffelbach Heinz

Andre Staffelbach and Jo Staffelbach Heinz

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

Within the hour it was so cozy that the only thing that separated guests was a whiff of perfume. On the concourse, blonde Nancy Rogers swept in with her beautiful posse including Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores and Doug Carnes. Both Nancy and Donna looked whisper thin in gowns especially made for them by Zac Posen… The Bumpas clan was being overloaded with congratulations — Diane Bumpas for her birthday the day before, Stuart Bumpas for receiving the Callier Cares Award and son Joe Bumpas on his engagement to Lizzie Weeks….Forty Five Ten guru Brian Bolke reported that plans were underway for the fall opening of the new specialty store….Sonia Black was all smiles. Seems she had a great send-off before leaving with husband Brian Black for the gala. One of her sons told her that she looked “pretty.”…Dallas Snadon was solo. Husband Daryl Snadon was at the Hockaday father-daughter dance…Nancy Carlson was also husbandless — “Clint is partied out.” Not to worry; she had Rajan Patel to keep her company… With Ashley Tatum on his arm, David Nichols admitted that he had to send his new puppy back to the breeder. It wasn’t the pooch’s fault. She was a doll, but David had to admit that he just wasn’t home enough to provide her with companionship…and then there were Nancy Dedman with Brad Kelly, Jo Staffelbach Heinz and Andre Staffelbach, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, Moll and Charlie Anderson, Lucy Billingsley, Barb and Steve Durham, Jan and Jim Showers, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Elaine and Neils Agather, Shelle and Michael Sills, Merry and Chad Vose, Jennifer and John Eagle and Tracy and Ben Lange.

Faisal Halum and Bibi Van Der Velden

Faisal Halum and Bibi Van Der Velden

Jeff and Olivia Kearney

Jeff and Olivia Kearney

Stevie Moore

Stevie Moore

Richard and Jennifer Dix

Richard and Jennifer Dix

On the fashion front, Mary McDermott Cook proved that dressing could be artful by wearing a skirt covered with strands that glowed in the dark… And speaking of dazzling and glittery, Faisal Halum was surrounded by star power thanks to out-of-town celebs include entertainer Lance Bass and Michael Turchin, Amsterdam-based jeweler Bibi Van Der Velden and designer Adams Lippes, who designed Ann Sutherland’s red gown… As Fort Worth’s Olivia Kearney swept by in a one-shoulder black gown, someone asked who the designer was. Husband Jeff Kearney quipped, “Swiffer.”… Jennifer Dix was in an emerald green Zac Posen that went beautifully with jewelry from her mom and husband Richard Dix… Naturally Elements creative designer Stevie Moore designed her own gown… Instead of a dazzling necklace and earrings, Jennifer Karol wore her “accessory” on her back. Between her shoulder blades was a Chanel faux tattoo of swallows in flight with a diamond necklace in their beaks.

Jennifer Karol's faux tattoo

Jennifer Karol’s faux tattoo

Just as the reception area was starting to push the cozy factor, the curtains opened to the rest of the tent at 8 p.m. At the far end of the room was a stage in yellows, oranges and reds with lush green ferns. A mammoth “red-print” of the DMA and downtown Dallas towered over a yellow backboard with “Art + Architecture” in red on the stage, where DSQ played.

In front of the elevated stage was a gargantuan “+” made of dinner tables for top sponsors. Highlighting these tables were slender, glass vases. Some contained yellow flowers; others had electric candles. How smart! The centerpieces were so tall they didn’t block the view of guests! At the center of the “+” was a floral display that looked like someone had robbed the Arboretum blind. Overhead were chandeliers of Spanish moss.

2016 Art Ball dining room

2016 Art Ball dining room

Like sparkling stars, oversized round tables surrounded the big, old “+” configuration. All of this was staged in two-thirds of the room leaving the Mark di Suvero‘s “Ave” sculpture looking like a wallflower.

Moll Anderson

Moll Anderson

Capera Ryan

Capera Ryan

Candice Romo

Candice Romo

Dallas Snadon and Tracy Cheatham

Dallas Snadon and Tracy Cheatham

Brian and Sonia Black

Brian and Sonia Black

One of the challenges was getting this group to transition from standing-talking mode to sitting-talking-eating status. They just didn’t want to settle down now that they had room to spread out and bump into each other. During this time they discovered Micki and Mike Rawlings, Andy Beal with fiancee Olya Sinitsyna, Candice and Tony Romo, Holly Hutchinson with mom Kathleen Hutchinson and John Nolan, Jeff Grover with Lonnie Jordan, Tracy and Richard Cheatham, Christen Wilson, Bill and Wendy Payne, Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. with Nancy Marcus and Capera RyanSheryl MaasLucilo Pena, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Lionel Morrison.

John Nolan and Kathleen Hutchinson

John Nolan and Kathleen Hutchinson

Olya Sinitsyna, David Weinreb and Andy

Olya Sinitsyna, David Weinreb and Andy Beal

Holly Hutchinson, Jeff Grover and Lonnie Jordan

Holly Hutchinson, Jeff Grover and Lonnie Jordan

Bill and Wendy Payne

Bill and Wendy Payne

Finally with guests in their places, Walter was on stage and welcoming the hundreds, reminding them that “money raised tonight goes into operating expenses, and the hardest money to make is for operating expenses.”

With DSQ violinists playing on the main stage and mini-stages around the room, the first course of the dinner — Maine lobster salad, cara cara oranges, watermelon radish, marble potatoes with tarragon vinaigrette and lemon crema — was served. It was soon followed by a pan roasted Rougié duck breast with honey lavender and blackberry gastrique. Then there was a lull. As guests who hadn’t read their program waited and waited for dessert, they were surprised when the entree (pan-seared loup de mer, handmade herb gnocchi, baby leeks, fava beans, spinach and purple asparagus with truffle butter) appeared before them. Someone nudged their dinner companion and confessed, “I’m full from the duck.” Luckily, the guest gave the fish a try and found more room in his tummy for the entree. Happily, dessert was a light delight — a coconut semi-freddo Popsicle, compress pineapple lime gel, coconut powder and waffle cone.

Brook Hazelton

Brook Hazelton

In the meantime, Ann and David were on stage thanking key people who had supported their chairing the event. They were soon followed by Christie’s Brook Hazelton, who got the live auction underway. Where the “red” print had been, now the items were shown on the screen and Brook was getting paddles to rise, with the Rebecca Warren “Totem” topping the others with a neat $46,000.

Christen Wilson and Lionel Morrison

Christen Wilson and Lionel Morrison

Charles Smith, Ekaterina Kouznetsova and Michael Dylan

Charles Smith, Ekaterina Kouznetsova and Michael Dylan

But the night wasn’t over! After Popsicles were gobbled up and the bidding paddles were all put down, the crowd headed down the Concourse for the after party — “Folly at the Art Ball” — hosted by the Junior Associates and sponsored by Stanley Korshak in the Hamon Atrium and Eagle Family Plaza.

And it wasn’t just the “juniors,” who danced to DJ Lucy Wrubel and the Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra. Nope. Walter took off his jacket and danced the night away with Laura along with Catherine and Will, Andy and Olya, Folly Co-Chairs Rachel and Michael Osburn, Alana and Eric Brame, Vodi Cook, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Ekaterina Kouznetsova and Michael Dylan and the Korshak crew (Janet and Crawford Brock, Bret McKinney and Rose Clark).

This is just a smidgen of the photos from Art + Architecture. Check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more than 60 pictures of the night.

There’s A Good Reason For Being A Bit Worn Out And Ragged

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

Nerves on edge. Why? In addition to a slew of thunderstorms playing havoc with daily routines and allergies making even the burliest types look weepy, the past weeks of fundraising activities have taken a toll on locals. The good news is that the end of the gnarly weather, pollen blowouts and the non-profit round-the-clock events are winding down.

Happily, all that fundraising work has paid off. For some like Genesis Women’s Shelter and The Family Place, it tallied success in the million-dollar range. Still, there are loads of others who have worked tirelessly for lesser goals and are either celebrating them or nearly achieving them.

But don’t go a’thinking that summer means everything is going to dormant. No way! That’s the time when the roll-up-the-sleeves preparations take place to get ready for the final sweep of fundraising of 2016. So, if you have an event that gets a date and a location for the fall or 2017, don’t forget to submit it for the MySweetCharity Calendar.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Art Ball’s Art+Architecture

Ann and David Sutherland

Ann and David Sutherland

From the inclusion of the “+” in the theme — Art+Architecture — there was an early indication the Dallas Museum of Art‘s 2016 Art Ball was headed down a different path than years past. Instead of videos featuring DMA mainstays, Grammy-award winning entertainment and crowding the tent so Mark di Suvero‘s “Ave” sculpture felt claustrophobic, the black-tie DMA fundraiser on Saturday, April 23, somehow maintained the elegance and creativity of the night while Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland kept an eagle eye on raising funds.

Adam Lippes, Michael Turchin, Lance Bass and Faisal Halum

Adam Lippes, Michael Turchin, Lance Bass and Faisal Halum

Helping to achieve that were 450 of North Texas’ most glamorous types along with some of out-of-towners like entertainer Lance Bass, designer Adam Lippes and jewelry designer Bibi Van Der Velden.

Doug Carney, Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores, Nancy Rogers, Ashley Tatum and David Nichols

Doug Carney, Donna Brittingham, Michael Flores, Nancy Rogers, Ashley Tatum and David Nichols

And, of course, there were the always reliable boldface beauties…but you don’t want to just read about them. You want to see ’em. So, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But be forewarned. There are a lot of them. In fact, there are two pages of the “+” types.

Tim Mallad Named President Of Presbyterian Communities And Services

Tim Mallad*

Tim Mallad*

Until recently Tim Mallad had been first VP at Irving-based Greystone Communities. But Presbyterian Communities and Services (PCS) Chairman of the Board Phil Wentworth just sent word that Tim has been named president of PCS.

According to Phil, “I am thrilled to have Tim join our team. He brings a broad perspective that includes decades of experience working for a for-profit company while helping not-for-profit communities achieve their goals and fulfill their visions. Tim has the ideal background necessary to be successful in this position. Tim has a genuine passion for helping seniors. He is mission-driven and his enthusiasm is contagious. I am confident that he will support our organization’s values while focusing on the residents’ needs and leading the team members by example.”

Prior to Greystone, Tim was associate administrator of Oakwood Health System and director of sales and resident services for Centrum Management Corporation.

PCS is a not-for-profit organization that is comprised of “premier continuing care retirement communities Presbyterian Village North and Grace Presbyterian Village, as well as Faith Presbyterian Hospice and the T. Boone Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care Center.”

* Photo provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services

 

S.M. Wright Foundation Launches Beds For Kids Campaign This Saturday For Children To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Each year around the holidays, the S.M. Wright Foundation makes headlines with its Christmas in the Park at Fair Park when it provides thousands of children with all types of wonderful gifts. Without the Foundation and its supporters, these children would have a pretty bleak Christmas.

But there are more than toys that are provided. For instance, Natalie and Mike McGuire’s daughter, Highland Park High School student Maddy McGuire, created the “Coats for Kids” program to provide warm coats for children in need. Just this past year 3,000 new coats were distributed at Christmas in the Park. To help her achieve this number, Maddy created the S.M. Wright Club at HPHS. Thanks to the volunteers, they were able to provide the coats plus a check for $19,240 to the Foundation.

Beds for Kids*

Beds for Kids*

What many folks don’t realize is that the Foundation’s efforts extend beyond the holiday gift-giving season. The Foundation discovered that children were in need of beds “to get a good night’s sleep,” so the Bed for Kids program was undertaken to provide twin- and full-size mattresses, box springs and frames for qualifying families.

This Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon, pre-approved families will pick up their beds. However, the need has far exceeded the demand.

S.M. Wright II (File photo)

S.M. Wright II (File photo)

According to S.M. Wright Foundation President/Co-Founder/CEO Rev. S.M. Wright II, “Beds for Kids began in 2010 and since then, we have distributed more than 6,360 bed sets to underprivileged kids in our community. Unfortunately, the demand far exceeds the Foundation’s ability to supply beds and there is still a long waiting list of more than 4,200 kids.”

To ramp up the effort, the Foundation is using Saturday to also launch the 1st Annual S.M. Wright Beds for Kids Campaign.

As S.M. Wright II revealed, “The good news is an anonymous donor has given a $40,000 matching pledge, so each $1.00 donated by the public will equal $2.00 in support of that goal. The campaign runs through September 30, 2016, so we encourage the public to visit our website  and donate today to help the children in our community.”

A $165 donation will provide a new twin bed set and a full-size bed can be provided for $200.

Beds for Kids*

Beds for Kids*

The vetting process of who gets a bed is strictly monitored — “To qualify, a family must complete an application, show proof of income and residency, provide a valid birth certificate for each child, and meet Texas Commodity Assistance Program income requirements. After the application has been processed, a foundation staff member or community service partner representative visits the family’s residence to verify the need for a bed. Upon approval, the family can pick up the bed from the foundation’s warehouse. Approximately one month after the bed is received, the foundation staff member visits again to make sure the bed is being put to good use and to inform the family about other foundation resources.”

So far the following organizations have supported the Beds for Kids program: A-Z Therapy, Child Protective Services – Dallas, Tarrant and Collin County, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas Healthy Start, Dallas Housing Authority, Dallas ISD, Desoto ISD, El Centro College/Adult Resource Center, Genesis Women Shelter, Head Start of Greater Dallas, Healing Heart Center, Home Sweet Home/The Salvation Army, Kipp Truth Elementary, Lancaster ISD, Lumin Bachman Lake Community School, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Clinic, Methodist Children’s Home Outreach, Metro Care, Parkland Outpatient Clinic, Psychological Social Services and Homeless Education  Program, Rosemont Mission Trail, St. Vincent De Paul Collin County, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Texas Department of Health, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Well Care.

* Graphic and photo provided by S.M. Wright Foundation

2016 Signature Chefs Auction Is Headed To The Anatole To Cook Up A Storm For March Of Dimes Of Dallas

The March of Dimes Dallas’ annual Signature Chefs Auction is making a change this year. No, Chef Kent Rathbun is still going to be at the cooking helm with his culinary buds. This event is one of his favs and no matter how busy he is or how thin he gets, he’s gonna be there for the 19th year in a row.

Hallie Lamont, Amanda Shufeldt, Kent Rathbun Nancy Owen and Kameron Westcott*

Hallie Lamont, Amanda Shufeldt, Kent Rathbun Nancy Owen and Kameron Westcott*

Nope! The change is the place. This year’s Co-Chairs Hallie Lamont, Nancy Owen, Amanda Shufeldt and Kameron Westcott have revealed that the food will be doled out and the live auction of incredible packages will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, November 3.

As for which chefs will be serving more than 700 guests, stay tuned. That list is being compiled!

* Photo credit: Rhiannon Lee Photography

A Passing: Karol Wilson

Public relations people are amazing creatures. They are the fulcrum delicately balancing the seesaw of clients on one end and the media on the others. To do this they have to be Jacks- and Jills-of-all-trades with a talent pool including psychology, negotiating skills, writing, empathy, financial acumen and the ability to think on their feet and adapt to any situation. They embrace each project like a parent holding on to their first born. Too often they suffer the abuse of the media demands and clients wanting more and more. Luckily, these PR types soldier on.

Karol Wilson (File photo)

Karol Wilson (File photo)

One of those remarkable soldiers died late last night — Karol Wilson. While not the head of a major public relations firm, she worked with some greats like the Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Hyatt Regency, the SPCA, Les Dames d’Escoffier and so many others.

Karol was known for being generous with her time and talents. For years she would work with Diane Brierley to produce the SPCA’s datebook with scores of photos of pets. Despite being in extremely ill health, she continued on promoting the recent Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Raiser Grazer 2016 and the Junior League of Dallas’ Linz Award Luncheon.

Even when going through a battle against cancer, she managed to use her sense of humor to calm the fears of her friends. When heading to the hospital on Friday, February 26, she posted on Facebook, “Off to hospital for mini vakay…wondering if backless cotton gown will be featured on Fashion police post-Oscars. Should be fine — adjusting meds, etc.”

Karol’s death caught many within her wide circle of friends by surprise. They hadn’t realized that her health had been so devastating because Karol was the consummate PR person. She was a caretaker of others and didn’t want to worry anyone. Luckily, during her final days at Parkland, she was surrounded by a coterie of very close friends, who showered her with love and compassion.

A memorial service will be held in June.

Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening In Oz” Broke All Previous Records With Cancer-Fighting Kids And Celebrity Escorts

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Unlike years past, this year’s Children’s Cancer Fund annual fundraiser for Children’s Health took on a different spin on Friday, April 22. Instead of a luncheon, Event Co-Chairs Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley moved it to nighttime with “An Evening In Oz” as the theme. And the only thing missing was the horse of a different color! And the decision to move it worked, because the evening’s net … oops, can’t reveal it because the board is keeping that number under wraps. Still word has it that it was a record breaker.

But from the beginning of the night, it was obvious that more than Dorothy’s red slippers had been clicking for wishes to come true. As the girl from Kansas and her pals welcomed more than 900 guests at the Anatole, the munchkin artists and models were hunkered down in the Wedgwood Room with makeup being applied, hair curled and partying. In the meantime, the older high-paying kids were in the Peacock Room for the VIP meet-and-greet with Honorary Co-Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Over to the side, Marianne Staubach reported that they had just returned from Disneyland with daughter Amy Mentgen and her kids. She admitted that after making the rounds of the park with the grand-kids, the adults were worn out.

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

In another part of the room Bela Pjetrovic and mustachioed Chase Cooley were being congratulated on their recent engagement. Has a date been set? Nothing definite yet, but April 2017 is looking good. And speaking of mustaches, Cooley dad Clay recalled that when he and wife Lisa met, he also had a mustache and long hair.

Another dad in the crowd was Ben Lange, sans son/T-shirt entrepreneur Luke Lange, who was at Benihana for a birthday. The mention of Benihana set off a memory for Clay, who remembered how in the early days, Chase’s birthdays were celebrated there.

All too soon the VIPs adjourned to join the hundreds of others checking out the silent auction in the Chantilly Ballroom reception area just as the ballroom doors were opened.

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Inside the ballroom, it appeared as if the Emerald City of Oz had indeed taken up residence, with a stage for the Emerald City band at one end and the presentation stage with runway at the other. All around were tables with folks like presenting sponsor Anne Davidson, Cindy Turner, Suzy Gekiere, Patti Flowers, Tanya and Pete Foster, Mary Meier, Betty Turner and Mary Poss.

Serving as background for the stage were mega scenes straight from “The Wizard of Oz,” including the yellow brick road leading through the field of poppies to the city of Oz.

First on stage were Roger and Troy, joined by Lisa with Emme Nees and Giora with son Jack Barker. The exchange between Rog (this was his 28th CCF appearance) and Troy (it was his 20th) proved their ongoing commitment to battling children’s cancer as well as their mutual respect and friendship for each other.

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Following Lisa’s and Giora’s personal testimonials about each of their reasons for undertaking the fundraiser, Tom Gilchrist sang a capella the Lord’s Prayer. (Quipped Roger afterward: “I’d trade my Heisman for a voice like that.”)

Under the direction of special events producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers, not a moment was lost for the fashion show of Dillard’s kiddo clothes. As Rog, Troy et al left the stage, emcee Scott Murray arrived at the podium to introduce the Children’s Cancer Fund artists and their celebrity escorts including

  • 6-year-old Cooper Dorr with Roger
  • 10-year-old Hayden Ritchie with Troy
  • 12-year-old Mercedes Howdeshell with Tara Pavlock and Ashleigh Panelli
  • 9-year-old Myles Allison with Jason Garrett
  • 13-year-old Carsyn Sapp with Sunny Malouf
  • 7-year-old Corbin Glasscock with Terrance Williams
  • 5-year-old Kamryn Rakestraw with Jim Stroud
  • 11-year-old Maxwell Matlock with members of the Dallas SWAT
  • 5-year-old Reese Skelte with “Dorothy”
  • 11-year-old Keamus Bryant with Medieval Times Red Knight
  • 8-year-old Trip Rowley with Brandon Carr

Unfortunately, 5-year-old Flick Blevins was under the weather and couldn’t make the event. In his stead, Dallas Fire Department #19’s Jerry Hooker, Michael Wolfe, Derrick Brouhard and John Keeler walked the runway holding his photo.

At this point, Scott introduced KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley to introduce the other cancer-surviving children and their celebrity escorts, including:

  • 13-year-old Andrew Russell with Kaitlyn Wade
  • 16-year-old Sabeen Wazir with Jake Pavelka
  • 6-year-old Jackson Houser with Morris Claiborne
  • 6-year-old Rina Cantrell with Jane McGarry
  • 15-year-old Saket Ashar with Dr. Ted Laetsch
  • 9-year-old Laura Beth Rote with Brianna Kiesel
  • 10-year-old Brady Pampilonia with Kliff Kingsbury
  • 9-year-old Julissa Garcia with Jocelyn White
  • 11-year-old Juan Lopez with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Rowdy
  • 7-year-old Jordan McDowell with Miss Texas America
  • 16-year-old Averi Moya with Mitch Gaylord
  • 10-year-old Julia Brown with Amy Vanderoef
  • 12-year-old Christian Arroyo with Byron Jones
  • 9-year-old Lynette Quintana with the Pink Heals Firefighters
Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

As 18-year-old Kaitlyn Wade escorted child artist Andrew Russell, Marianne recalled how, years ago, Rog had escorted the pretty blonde on the runway when she was presented. Yes, she had conquered leukemia, but her story of challenges hadn’t end there. After winning the battle, she was the victim of a drunk driver. As the result of the horrendous car accident, 9-year-old Kaitlyn “spent two months in a coma and six months at Cook Children’s before she could return home.”

But on this evening, the emphasis was on the current crop of cancer-conquering kids as they mugged, twirled and charmed their way on the catwalk. Blonde Brill Garrett cheered each one like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Okay, so maybe she had an extra whoop when husband Jason took his turn in the spotlight with Myles Allison.

All of this was building up to the live auction. Troy won the trip to the Masters and learned from Rog all the perks associated with the package. Jana and Mike Brosin won the artwork created by CCF Gala artists and Christopher Martin.

To the delight of many of the ladies in the audience, Jake “The Bachelor” Pavelka was doing double duty. In addition to walking the runway, he also was part of the “Dancing With The Stars” package. Shoot! They could have auctioned off pictures with Jake and won a passel of dough, as lady after lady wanted a quick cell-snap with the cutie. But it was Tracy and Ben Lange who won the package. So, watch for them during Season 23 that is scheduled to air this fall.

As soon as the live auction ended, the focus shifted to the other end of the ballroom, where Emerald City took over to get guests on their feet and dancing the night away.

For more pictures from “An Evening in Oz,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Animal-Loving Karen Urie To Receive SPCA’s Spencer Humanitarian Award At The September Fur Ball

Mary Urie (File photo)

Mary Urie (File photo)

Last night Café Pacific was popping as usual. While the bar brimmed primarily with the guy types, at 5:30 a group of tables in the dining room were pulled together. First to appear tableside was SPCA kingpin James Bias. Then Fur Ball Co-chair Phyllis Comu arrived on the scene followed by animal lovers  like Katy Murray, Fur Ball Co-Chair Kristen Greenberg, Mary Spencer and SPCA Senior VP Debra Burns. One of the last to arrive was Diane Brierley, just back from New York City, where one of husband Hal Brierley‘s former companies had held a reunion over the weekend.

The Café Pacific get together was billed as something to do with the SPCA’s Paw Cause. Or, at least that’s what Dave Perry Miller’ s Karen Urie was led to believe. Ah, but those SPCA folks are mischievous.

What longtime animal-loving Karen learned was they were all there to notify her that she would be presented the Spencer Humanitarian Award at the black-tie SPCA fundraiser on Saturday, September 24, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Tickets are available here.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening In Oz”

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

The annual Children’s Cancer Fund’s super-duper fashion show with celebrities escorting cancer-surviving children on the runway in Dillard’s clothes took a turn on Friday, April 22. Co-Chairs Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley shifted the usual luncheon fundraiser to “An Evening In Oz” at the Hilton Anatole.

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Joining Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man were Honorary Co-Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach and nearly 900 other pals.

While the post is being finalized, check out the scenes at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Chair Heather Perttula Randall Reveals Details About 2017 Fundraiser

Leave it to an attorney to be in the know. At February’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas, Sidley Austin attorney Yvette Ostolaza broke the news that Trinity Industries VP of Legal Affairs Heather Perttula Randall would chair the 2017 fundraiser. After all, it was Heather who had been the 2016 St. V-Day event’s underwriting chair and had even gotten Yvette to co-sponsor the meal.

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

But what the twosome weren’t revealing were the details for the 2017 luncheon and fashion show. Now, before everyone starts taking off for summer, Heather has just revealed that the event is returning to the Meyerson with “An Affair of the Heart” as the theme.

And the really big news is that it will take place on Tuesday, February 14! Yup, after a couple of years of wandering around the calendar, the sweetheart event will have flowers, fashions and friends toasting and raising monies to battle the blood cancers.

According to Heather, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon chair as it allows me the opportunity to help this amazing organization and continue its fight against blood cancers. I cannot wait to take the luncheon to a new level by setting a new fundraising record.”

And as for Yvette, she’ll be co-chairing underwriting with Daffan Nettle. The rest of Heather’s team will include 2016 St. Valentine’s Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores as the advisory chairs; Maggie Cooke Kipp as the table sales chair; Bradley Hawkins as the artistic chair and Jennifer LeLash, Monti Konen and Jennifer Stalkup the raffle co-chairs.

A Passing: Bill Booziotis

When 36-year-old architect Bill Booziotis was courting his wife Jean in 1971, he was also designing a house for his sister Kanell Lontos and her husband Jimmy Lontos. For some the 3,500-square-foot, multi-level building neatly fit into its natural surroundings just a few feet away from Turtle Creek. For others, it was a true break from the traditional architecture that had dominated Dallas for ages. It wasn’t Dilbeck. It wasn’t ranch style. It wasn’t colonial. It was Booziotis.

Bill Booziotis (File photo)

Bill Booziotis (File photo)

Over the decades his talents expanded with the precision of a surgeon and the beauty of a master artist. His portfolio extended from museums, churches, and corporate buildings to residences. Perhaps the home that he recently designed for Mary McDermott Cook was the culmination of his wisdom, his passion and his love of Dallas. With flawless views of his hometown, the multi-leveled structure that he affectionately dubbed “Dump Top” was a true masterpiece. It was smart. It was breathtaking. It was Booziotis.

Besides achieving his clients’ dreams, he was active in building Dallas’ architecture community. Having founded the AIA Dallas Foundation, he was president of AIA Dallas in 1983 and on the Dallas Center for Architecture board of directors. In 2008 he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by AIA Dallas.

But he and Jean, who died in 2013, were also equally committed to various non-profit organizations. Bill himself was a board member of the Dallas Museum of Art, president of the Dallas Bach Society and founder/chairman of the Directors Circle at the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas-Dallas.  Just recently the Center and UT Dallas presented him with the 2016 Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award, which “is UT Dallas’ way of thanking champions of UTD, who have taken up the University’s cause with exceptional support, dedication, passion and enthusiasm for our vision of becoming a leading national research university.”

In addition to numerous awards and accolades, 80-year-old Bill was presented the Creatives Arts Award by the Dallas History Society this past fall. In accepting the award, he said, “Art is the substitute for the natural resources that we don’t have [in Dallas]… Art really is the substance that we have [instead of mountains, ocean, etc.].”

Recently Bill had not been in good health and he succumbed to death last week.

While Bill will no longer be creating new masterpieces for clients, his legacy will be studied, admired and serve as inspirations for generations to come.

Our condolences to his family, friends and associates. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at Communities Foundation of Texas. And, yes, he designed Communities Foundation of Texas.