JUST IN: Crystal Charity Ball Sneak Peek Hints Of Saturday Evening’s Galore And Norma Hunt’s Great And Generous Tastebuds

This year’s Crystal Charity Ball theme may have had some scratching their heads how CCB Chair Christie Carter and Event Producer Tom Addis would pull off the theme – “To every thing there is a season.”

But, sneaking a brief gander at the layout in the Hilton Anatole, it’s evident that they gonna pull it off with all four seasons in array.

The silent auction will take place amid the autumn colors; the spring will bust loose with loads of seating against a backdrop of bluebonnet blue and plenty of food; and the gaming operation and goodies will be decked out in summer sojourn.

As for winter, that baby is decked out in the Chantilly Ballroom with rose gold tables surrounding a musical symphony against a backdrop of video snowfall. Gee!

Among the many sussies on hand is one from ever-sweetheart Norma Hunt. In addition to being ageless, Norma has become a world-class vintner. The former schoolteacher’s Perfect Season from Knight Valley wines has achieved accolades from the newbies as well as the true wine aficionados.  

According to Robert Parker, Perfect Season achieved a 95-point rating with the description, “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bidwell Creek Vineyard is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot aged 18 months in 75% new French oak. It’s a beauty with lots of blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, incense and camphor. It is ripe, full-bodied opulent and already showing exceptionally well.”

Norma Hunt's "Perfect Season" wines*

Norma Hunt’s “Perfect Season” wines*

Well, golly! That sounds like the ultimate in date descriptions.

But back to Norma: Blending her love for kiddos and expertise in grape growing, she has donated 300 bottles of wine for purchase due to the event’s theme. Smart girl!

But wait! Don’t go thinking that you’re going to bid against your buds for the trio. The bottles are not part of the silent auction. Instead, they are just for a “go-straight-to-purchase” with the proceeds going to children’s area charities.

For $375, you take home three bottles of the vino as you leave the mega event.

If you have any questions about where and how to get to Norma’s wine, just ask the folks at the check-in and they’ll direct you to the spot in the season for purchasing a trio of Perfect Season.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

 

34th Annual Friends Of The Dallas Police Banquet Paid Tribute To Dallas Finests With Awards And Acclamations From City Leaders

The appreciation for Dallas law enforcement has continued since the devastating tragedy of Thursday, July 7. This show of admiration was showcased at the 34th Annual Friends of the Dallas Police Awards Banquet on Tuesday, November 1, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. With all the pomp and circumstance it deserved, the occasion had the Dallas Police Department Honor Guard, the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums, the Dallas Police Choir and city and local leadership as more than 150 police officers and employees were honored. Here is a report from the field: 

Coming barely four months after the July 7 attack on Dallas police officers, the Friends of the Dallas Police Awards Banquet on Tuesday, November 1, honored the families of the fallen and injured officers while also recognizing outstanding employees throughout DPD. The 34th-annual banquet paid tribute to approximately 150 distinguished officers and non-sworn employees who have shown strong merit, leadership and courage throughout the past year.

“In what has been one of the most painful and difficult years in our city’s history, the officers and staff of the Dallas Police Department have been a beacon for law enforcement around the nation,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “I’m truly grateful to the Friends of the Dallas Police for drawing attention to the daily dedication and sacrifice demonstrated by these superb men and women, who serve and protect on the frontline and behind the scenes.”

Rene Lozano Jr., David Pughes and James. M. Gentry*

Rene Lozano Jr., David Pughes and James. M. Gentry*

Top awards were given to Senior Corporal James Gentry, who was named the John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year, and Rene Lozano, Jr., who was named the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Gentry works in the South Central Patrol Division, and Lozano is a senior police dispatcher. Also, homicide detective Eric T. Barnes was named the 2016 James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year.

In a somber ceremony, families of the fallen officers received the Police Cross, given in memory of Dallas Police Department Sergeant Michael Smith, Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Officer Patricio Zamarripa and Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson.

The officers who received injuries on July 7 were presented the Friends of Dallas Police Line of Duty Award. They are Dallas Police officers Sergeant Giovanni Wells, Officer Ivan Saldana, Officer Jorge Barrientos and Officer Gretchen Rocha; Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers Jesus Retana, Misty McBride and Lee Cannon; and El Centro Officers Corporal Bryan Shaw and Officer John Abbot.

Additionally, Mayor Rawlings saluted former Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown, who recently retired from the police force. The Friends of the Dallas Police presented a clock in honor of his leadership and passion during his career.

Mike Rawlings, David Pughes, David Brown, Joseph Hannigan and Matt Walling*

Mike Rawlings, David Pughes, David Brown, Joseph Hannigan and Matt Walling*

Presented by Highland Capital Management at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the dinner attracted one of its biggest crowds ever. In addition to Mayor Rawlings and former Chief Brown, special guests included interim DPD Chief David Pughes, DART Deputy Police Chief Matt Walling, El Centro College Police Chief Joseph Hannigan and elected officials. WFAA’s John McCaa served as emcee.

Including the major awards announced that evening, the Friends of the Dallas Police also recognized sworn officers and non-sworn staff members in a variety of categories: Medal of Valor, Meritorious Conduct, Police Commendation, Life Saving, Police Shield and Bureau awards.   Many awardees know before the banquet that they were winners, but six award winners – including Reserve Officer, Field Training Officer, Supervisor, Departmental Non-Sworn Employee and Departmental Officer of the Year – were announced at the event. The award recipients were chosen from nominations made by DPD supervisors based on an officer and employee’s overall yearly performance.

Founded in 1982 by a group of Dallas business leaders to recognize DPD employees for outstanding performance in the line of duty, the Friends of the Dallas Police Awards Banquet raises money to celebrate the men and women of the Dallas Police Department who risk their lives every day to make Dallas a safer city. Founded in 1982, the Friends organization believes that, no matter their position within the department, each of DPD’s employees has made a commitment to better the city and the quality of life of its citizens.

Other top awards included the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year Award, which went to Sergeant Barry W. Ragsdale, and the Field Training Officer of the Year to Senior Corporal Kimberly M. Crawford, who works in the Northwest Patrol Division. The Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year Award – announced at an earlier event hosted by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce – was presented to J. Branden Helms, who works in the Central Patrol Division. The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year Award was given to Reserve Lieutenant Vickie Colwell, who has volunteered nearly 3,000 hours and an average of 300 per year.

A number of Bureau Awards also were presented. In the Office of the Chief of Police Bureau, honorees were traffic enforcement specialist Gabriel Aguilar and Senior Corporal Tramese D. Jones. Administrative Bureau awards went to manager Joe Escalona and Senior Corporal Nicole Walton. Investigation Bureau honors were presented to research specialist Bashu Bhatta and detective Eric Barnes. Public service officer Sharon Fletcher and Senior Corporal James Gentry were saluted in the Patrol Bureau. The Strategic Deployment Bureau winners were office assistant Alva Robinson and Senior Corporal Kevin Nickell in the motorcycle unit. The Support Bureau honored senior police dispatcher Rene Lozano Jr. and Senior Corporal Dwight Beaty.

Anu Agrawal and Vanessa Castanon*

Anu Agrawal and Vanessa Castanon*

The 2016 Educational Scholarship Award, which goes to the child of  a Dallas  Police Officer for college use only, was given to Vanessa Castanon, the daughter of Detective Mario Castanon, a 25-year veteran of the DPD’s narcotics unit. Vanessa is currently a senior honors student at Dr. John D. Horn High School and will pursue a major in forensic sciences next fall at Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio.

“Dallas is fortunate to have one of the finest – if not the best – police departments in the nation,” said Mitch Paradise, chairman of the Friends of the Dallas Police. “On behalf of the Friends of the Dallas Police, we hope this evening, in some small way, conveys our gratitude and shines the spotlight on the exceptional work day-in and day-out by the men and women of the DPD.”

John McCaa and Mitch Paradise*

John McCaa and Mitch Paradise*

Sponsors included

  • Chief Sponsor ($10,000)  — Highland Capital Management.
  • Captain Sponsors ($5,000-$9,999) — American Airlines Center, Cigna, Freeman Auto Group, Don Henley Family, Al G. Hill Jr., The Men & Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., Ellen and John McStay and Sewell.
  • Lieutenant Sponsors ($3,500-$4,999) — Kroger and John McReynolds
  • Sergeant Sponsors ($2,500-$3,499) — Ruth and Ken Altshuler, AG&E Structural Engenuity, The Baldridge Foundation, Holly and Doug Brooks Family Foundation, City Credit Union, Club Corp., Dallas Mavericks, GFF and Lyda Hill
  • Corporal Sponsors ($1,500-$2,499) — Apartment Association of North Texas, Balfour Beatty Construction, Bellatorra Skin Care, Hillwood Development Company LLC, Invesco, Holt Lunsford Commercial, JLT Beverages LP/Julie and Jim Turner, Rita and Steve Millwee, Martha and Doug Morris, Matthews Paradise Office Development, Michelle and Jeff Wheeler, NorthPark Center,  Erle Nye, PGV Pediatrics, Vin & Caren Prothro Foundation, SMU, Stantec and Mary and Mike Terry
* Photo credit: James Edward

MySweetWishList: Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center

According to Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s President and CEO Lynn M. Davis,

Lynn Davis (File photo)

Lynn Davis (File photo)

“The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) works to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County and to provide national leadership on child abuse issues. Since opening its doors in 1991, DCAC has served more than 40,000 children (and their non-offending family members) who were sexually abused, severely physically abused, or who had witnessed a violent crime. Our average client is a 9 -10 year-old girl who has been sexually abused by someone she knows and trusts.

“I want to tell you a story about a client we recently saw. Isabella* had been holding onto a memory no 10-year-old mind was designed to carry. Isabella’s mother’s new boyfriend had dehumanized her. Years before, Isabella had experienced similar abuse from her own father. Her drug-addicted mother was concerned neither with helping her daughter heal from her past abuse, nor with preventing it from happening again. No grown up had ever protected her.

“But fortunately, Isabella’s grandmother did. She brought her to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, where—for the first time in her decade-long life—she was cherished as the innocent child that she was. Isabella’s forensic interviewer gave her a voice. Her therapist taught her that she had value. Her week in CHAMP Camp alongside other child abuse survivors showed her she was not alone and during the holidays, Isabella received brand new clothing, an art kit, board games, books, and a mini karaoke machine!

Dallas Children's Advocacy Center**

Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center**

“Every year, DCAC brings justice, hope, and healing to thousands of children just like Isabella. But child abuse doesn’t just affect the “Isabella’s” of the world—it affects teachers, sisters, dads, classmates, custodians, CEOs, doctors, roommates, lawyers, accountants, pastors, friends. And because child abuse touches every member of our community, we need every member of our community to help us illuminate the truth and push back the darkness.

“With the holidays right around the corner, our Family Advocate team is organizing the annual Holiday of Hope campaign to help make this holiday season memorable and bright for the families DCAC serves. DCAC’s 2016 Holiday of Hope goal is to raise over $180,000 and serve 1,200 children.  If you’d like DCAC to do the shopping for you, we suggest a $150 donation per child. You can also choose to “adopt” a child (or more!) and shop for items from their wish list. A third option is to host a toy drive through your friends, personal networks, child’s school, company etc. and drop the unwrapped toys off to our Center by Tuesday, December 12th.  More information can be found online at www.dcac.org/holidayofhope and please email [email protected] with any questions. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for helping us illuminate the truth.”

-By Lynn Davis, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center president/CEO

* Name has been changed to protect the identity of the child. 
** Graphic provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

JUST IN: Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade Is Canceled, But A Get-Together Breakfast With Santa Is Still On At The Adolphus

There are just times when words have to be eaten and this is one of them. In an earlier post, the declaration was made that this year’s Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade would not be canceled.

Word just arrived from Children’s Scott Summerall, that indeed the parade is canceled.

No, there will be no frigid roads nor frozen tundra. But WFAA’s Colleen Coyle, who has a cot in the backroom at the studio, is warning that Saturday morning is gonna be ugly. With this in mind, wiser minds realized that the conditions just didn’t allow for safer health-conditions for participants and spectators.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

The long story made short — the parade is canceled, not postponed.

The official word is, “Despite today’s beaming sunshine, weather forecasts for DFW include a high probability of heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday. Due to these impending weather conditions and the fact that many of the acts cannot perform in the rain, we are canceling the Children’s Health Holiday Parade out of concern for the well-being of the patients and families we serve. We sincerely appreciate all of the incredible patients, volunteers, participants, sponsors and attendees who help bring the parade to life each year, especially Santa. You can still tune in to WFAA channel 8 on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to watch last year’s parade!”

Santa*

Santa*

However… and you just knew there would be a “however”… the Auxiliary’s breakfast with Santa is still on from 9:30-11:30 at the Adolphus with “traditional photographs with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon artists, breakfast treats and other fun festivities, we have also added special celebrity appearances and costume character visits.”

For those, who bought tickets to attend the parade and want a refund, no problem. But, gee whiz! Tis the season, so why not just let the unused tickets go to support the efforts at Children’s Health.

So snooze in on Saturday and dream that your contributions are helping youngsters at Children’s. Or attend brunch with Santa and make sure that you provide the old codger with a list of your wishes.

* Photos provided by Children's Health

The Boots Were Scootin’ At Eddie Dean’s Ranch For Northwood Woman’s Club’s Annual Gala With Jan Langbein In The Spotlight

When it comes to feeling right comfortable for an evening out on the town, it’s a rare man who will complain about putting on cowboy boots and jeans. So, the Northwood Woman’s Club gals had some very happy fellows in tow for their annual “Boot Scootin’ Ball” at Eddie Dean’s Ranch on Saturday, October 29. But the evening was more than swirling around the dance floor, grazing on vittles and bidding on auction items. Co-Chairs Sharon Pope and Laura Williamson arranged to have a Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein give a brief talk about one of the organizations that the Club supports. Here’s a report from the field:

Sharon Pope and Laura Williamson*

Sharon Pope and Laura Williamson*

Northwood Woman’s Club “filled the boot” for their beneficiaries at their “Boot Scootin’ Ball” held Saturday, October 29, at Eddie Dean’s Ranch in downtown Dallas. A  familiar face in the community, Jan Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, took the stage to motivate and urge the crowd to step up and “fill the boot” for the support of so many people with so many needs.

Cheryl Toman, Linda Myers and Sharyl Weber*

Cheryl Toman, Linda Myers and Sharyl Weber*

Her presence represents the daily needs of abused women and children, the homeless and those seeking shelter and counseling. She urged the crowd that included Club President Sharyl Weber, Sharon and Pete Protzmann, Trish and Bryce Weigand, Cheryl Toman, Linda Myers, Suzanne Caruso, Judy and Rex Weigand, Eleanor Casey, Paul and Lynn Slaney Silguero, Kay and Ron Burgert, Phyllis Farragut, Alice Slaney Davis and Nancy Griffith to find it in their heart to share abundantly in giving for those less fortunate in our community. The funds raised will benefit Friends of Wednesday’s Child, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Our Friends Place, Promise House and Shared Housing Center.  

Our Western-themed gala was a record breaking success for our philanthropic grants and our volunteer programs. Live Auction items included luxury trips, popular sporting events, and Broadway show tickets, plus the use of a large Italian villa in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. The Silent Auction featured estate jewelry, fashion and accessories, home and garden gifts, restaurant gift certificates, holiday decor and a wine pull Our Charitable Fund underwriting and our event  proceeds exceeded our goal which should allow us to meet our grant requests.

This western party with 325 in attendance was an overwhelming success for our beneficiaries, plus a fun filled evening with a historic western dinner. Dancing to the music of the Breckenridge Boys band was a true “Boot Scootin” evening in downtown Dallas.  

* Photos provided by the Northwood Woman's Club

Bundle Up For Saturday’s 29th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade Through Downtown Dallas

 UPDATE: The parade has indeed been canceled, but the sold-out breakfast with Santa is still on!

Just imagine. Toddlers, who attended the first-ever Children’s Health Holiday Parade in 1987, are all grown up and have toddlers of their own. For some it’s become a family tradition despite the changes of routes and the weather conditions.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Speaking of which, this Saturday’s weather forecast is gonna be so very typical of North Texas winter. The day’s high is gonna maybe hit 50 degrees and there’s a very good chance of rain. But, shoot! That’s why retailers invented gloves, sock caps, bumbershoots, slickers and galoshes.

So, dig out all those warm clothes and head downtown early because the area’s biggest, most colorful walking extravaganza starts at 10 a.m. come rain or shine. If you want a reserved bleacher seat, you can get it here!

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

Afterwards, head to your favorite spot for a late morning brunch with hot chocolate, hot toddy, Belgian waffles and all that comfort food you deserve.

The parade has only been canceled once in history back in 2013 when an ice storm hit the area. But rest easy. This ain’t gonna be a repeat of that one. It’s just gonna be damp and chilly.

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Children's Health

With Loads Of Turquoise And Stars Above, Spirit Of Taos Sparkled At The Lot Resulting In More Than $141K For The Wilkinson Center

The night couldn’t have been more perfect for a fundraiser at The Lot in East Dallas, just across the street from White Rock Lake. And as luck would have it, The Wilkinson Center‘s Spirit of Taos took full advantage of the perfect conditions on Friday, October 28. While others were in black tie and diamonds over at the Dallas Opera’s First Night, the Wilkinson crowd donned bolo ties and turquoise to net $141,061.80. (Who says every penny doesn’t count?) BTW, it was a darn purty group of folks. Here’s a report from the field:

The Lot*

The Lot*

Hosted by the Friends of Wilkinson Center, the Spirit of Taos took place on Friday, October 28, at The Lot in Lakewood with a sellout crowd of 300 millennials and baby-boomers, who dusted off their cowboy boots to show their support for Wilkinson Center.

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Dier s, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim, Tia Williams, Kay Weir

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Kelli Mansfield, Hunter Heres, Kay Weir, OJ DeSouza, Tia Williams and Jenn Dolim and Tia Williams*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour from 7-8pm that featured margaritas and hors d’oeuvres like quesadillas, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, tostadas and chicken flautas.  Guests like Daniella Giglio, Will Waters, Joe Acosta, Jeremy Zidell, Sloane and Mark Simon, Matt Muckleroy, Nick Higdem, Liz Stutts, Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim,Tia Williams and Kay Weir were welcomed by Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder and Spirit of Taos Event Co-Chairs Stephanie Taylor, Sloan Looney Dix and Meridith Zidell

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Matt Thornton*

Matt Thornton*

A seated dinner followed with southwest-flavored food from The Lot and dessert by Emporium Pies. Special remarks were made by our guest emcee Matt Thornton, who is the Cross Sports Talk Radio host, and Honorary Co-Chairs Cathy and Steve Saxon, long time Wilkinson Center supporters. Guests listened and danced throughout the evening to tunes from Frank in the Middle and Downtown Fever.

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Babo Crain*

Babo Crain*

Raffle and Silent Auction Co-Chairs Anthony Contreras and Babo Crain did a fantastic job collecting one of the kind items and unique experiences. The silent auction featured items like sports memorabilia with an autographed shoe by the one and only Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and a Florida Beach vacation getaway including airfare. The raffle included dining extravaganza package with gift certificates to dine at some of the best restaurants and a cooking collaboration at the Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Farms in Blanco. If you weren’t interested in what the silent auction or raffle had to offer, there was also a Kendra Scott station set up where mystery jewelry boxes were sold for $60/per box. Each box contained a piece of jewelry that ranged in value from $60-$250. Flashbox Photobooth Dallas was set up to commemorate the evening with photos.

Walk in Dirk's Shoe*

Walk in Dirk’s Shoe*

We are so grateful for everyone who came out, supported and had a great time!  We could not have done it without our loyal constituents and our corporate and individual sponsors which included: Avison Young, Robert Baird, Marsha and Craig Innes, Paper City, The Retail Connection, Sewell Lexus, The T Shop, Veritex Bank and David Weekly Homes.

The night resulted in a total net amount of $141,061.80 that allow us to continue to provide pathways out of poverty for our clients. Until next year….

* Photo credit: Eric Priddy

Award-Winning Henry Winkler Served Up Humor, Passion And Inspiration At Each Moment Matters’ Awards Luncheon

Each time Henry Winkler comes to North Texas, he manages to actually make people realize that “The Fonz” was indeed an act. The philanthropist, businessman and family man speaks off the cuff to … not at … his audience, using memories of his past, G-rated rumor and lessons that all can share. That is exactly what happened on Friday, October 28, at the seventh annual Each Moment Matters at the Hilton Anatole. In addition to boasting Winkler’s presence, the event also recognized some dozens of local role models. Here is a report from the field:

Henry Winkler’s mix of humor and passion was just the right recipe for the seventh annual Each Moment Matters Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, October 28, as he shared his life lessons of tenacity and gratitude. Mr. Winkler’s iconic portrayal of The Fonz for 10 seasons on “Happy Days” (1974-84) made him one of the most recognized actors in the world, earning him two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and three Emmy nominations in the same category. He is also an author of children’s books entitled “Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Under-Achiever,” which have appeared on several Best Seller lists. More recently, he co-starred in the NBC reality series “Better Late than Never,” which has been renewed for a second season.

Emceed by Fox 4’s Clarice Tinsley, and hosted by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation (PC&SF), the luncheon raises money for the Faith Presbyterian Hospice’s Caring Fund. Such funding provides critical financial support for end-of-life services to terminally ill patients needing assistance – but who have exhausted all of their financial means.  In addition to receiving excellent hospice care, patients can participate in music, massage and pet therapies and their families are offered bereavement services, including children’s grief therapy.

Jim Neathery, Henry Winkler and Missie Neathery*

Jim Neathery, Henry Winkler and Missie Neathery*

While raising funds is the focus of the event, it also honors local individuals who have been selected for their impactful work in various organizations, schools, churches, or businesses. The 2016 Each Moment Matters honorees are: Sharon Balch, Mary Bartholow, Frederick Brewster, Judy and Dr. Bill Burnett, Catherine Bywaters, Kathryn Carpenter, Cleveland “Cleve” Clinton, Robyn Thomas Conlon, Louis Dunklin, Sharyn Fein, Mary “Mackey” Harper, Linda Humphries, Richard Knight Jr., Dr. Robert I. Kramer, Alice Masciarelli and Dr. Filippo Masciarelli, Melissa “Missie” Neathery, MSN and James “Jim” Neathery, DMN, Camille Owens, Patricia Porter, Shannon M. Radford, Ralph G. Santos, Katie McKinley Schlieve, David Grant Smith, Rand Stagen and Dr. Daniel Varga.

Henry Winkler, Lucy Johnson and Barbara Hunt Crow*

Henry Winkler, Lucy Johnson and Barbara Hunt Crow*

Barbara Hunt Crow and Lucy Johnson served as this year’s co-chairs and reported that a net amount of $360,000 resulted from the luncheon. A generous day-of challenge gift from a longtime donor, combined with board members’ contributions, totaled $50,000, encouraged additional giving.

* Photos provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation

JUST IN: 2nd Annual Penguin Days Starts Three-Month Run Thursday

While some folks may not cotton to the upcoming drop in temperatures, there are Dallas Zoo residents that are thrilled. Okay, so maybe the reptiles don’t really care. They’re staying comfy in their heated digs in the Herpetarium. But Dallas Zoo’s Lydia Jennings just sent word that the African Penguins are beside themselves.

Penguins (File photo)

Dallas Zoo Penguins (File photo)

And as part of the wintry feel, the humans at the zoo have announced that starting tomorrow (aka Thursday, December 1) the second annual Penguin Days will commence.

What’s Penguin Days? No, it doesn’t mean that the staff dresses up in tuxedos and waddles around. Rather, it translates to bargains for Dallas Zoo guests. Until Tuesday, February 28, the price of admission will be dropped to $7 per person (kiddos age 2 and Dallas Zoo members will still be free).

Open daily except for Christmas Day, the 106-acre zoo’s hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MySweetWishList: ZooProud Bricks

According to ZooProud Campaign Co-Chairs Diane Brierley, Jennifer Eagle and Don Glendenning,

Diane Brierlery (File photo)

Diane Brierlery (File photo)

Don Glendenning (File photo)

Don Glendenning (File photo)

Jennifer Eagle (File photo)

Jennifer Eagle (File photo)

“Our next big project for the Dallas Zoo is the Simmons Hippo Outpost, scheduled to open in the spring of 2017. This will be the first major animal exhibit to open at the Zoo since the Wilds of Africa premiered in 2010, and brings hippos back to the Zoo for the first time in 15 years. We have had the privilege of serving as the co-chairs of the private fund-raising effort for this project.

Dallas Zoo*

Dallas Zoo*

“Our ‘one wish’ to finish out 2016 is to sell commemorative bricks for the hippo exhibit. The money raised by the sale of these commemorative bricks will provide the final funding needed for us to bring the hippos back to Dallas.

“Bricks are available in three sizes and price points:

  • “12”x12” fieldstone paver – $2,500
  • “8”x8” brick – $1,250
  • “8”x4” brick – $500

“We think the hippo bricks will make a lasting, meaningful gift for family and friends this holiday season. In addition, donors will be helping the Dallas Zoo complete another outstanding habitat, which will play a significant role in the effort to protect these magnificent animals from extinction.

“To purchase a brick, simply visit the Dallas Zoo’s website at www.DallasZoo.com/Hippos or just contact Dallas Zoo Associate VP of Advancement Karen Hamilton at 469.554.7420.”

-By Diane Brierley, Jennifer Eagle and Don Glendenning, ZooProud Campaign co-chairs

* Graphic provided by Dallas Zoo

The Gingerbread Stroll Nears The End Of The Road, But There’s Still Time To Bid And Vote On A Confectionary Cottage

Thursday may be the first day of December, but, alas, it’s the last day of the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll in Highland Park Village. If you haven’t made it yet, stop pussyfooting around and check out the marvelously decorated cookie cottages at Betta Gallery, Bistro 31, Kiehl’s, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, Stella McCartney, Trina Turk and Village Barber Shop.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

The Gingerbread Stroll*

The cuisine builders include A Sweet Life, Architecture Demarest, artist Evelyn J. Fallgren, Charlies, Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

And since it is the last day of the stroll, put your bid in for one of the houses… except for one. 

Just heard from Gingerbread founding sweetie Christine McKenny that Evelyn’s  confectionary delight at Leggiadro is off the market. Seems someone snatched it up for the buy-it-now bid of $1,000. Perhaps the Dave Perry Miller folks should post a “Sold” sign out front!

Evelyn J. Fallgren's sold gingerbread house*

Evelyn J. Fallgren’s sold gingerbread house*

But Evelyn has another masterpiece over at Robert Talbott that is still up for bid. It’s quite a looker, too!

And Christine also revealed there has been a late arrival from Chef Julie Price to the gingerbread development. It’s at Nasiba Adilova’s and Miroslava Duma‘s The Tot pop-up shop. Since it is the holiday season, Christine has decided to let this adorable home stay on the auction bloc after Thursday night. But don’t wait too long to check it out and put a bid in.

Remember, all bids and votes for your favs (except the one at The Tot) end Thursday night when the stores go dark.

Since its inception in 2011, the Stroll has provided more than $40,000 for area children in need through organizations like this year’s recipient Community Partners of Dallas.

* Graphic and photo courtesy of The Gingerbread Stroll

JUST IN: Marketing Executive Andrea Alcorn To Serve As Honorary Chair For Upcoming SPCA’s Paws Cause

If you haven’t already got your 2017 calendar, hustle and get it now! Believe it or not, dates are being lined up and even the usual January ho-hums are turning into “Oh, my’s”.

Why, Saturday, January 28, is looking like a collision course of fundraising with the 19th Annual Bishop’s Gala (with Huey Lewis and the News but without a Bishop), the ChildCare Group‘s Great Adventure Hunt at the Perot and The Birthday Party Project celebrating its own fifth birthday at The Bomb Factory.

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Andrea Alcorn (File photo)

Now word comes that Sunday, January 29, is not going to be a stay-at-home day. The annual SPCA of TexasPaws Cause is gonna be partying it up at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Center from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Pawsitively Dallas Strong” and the honorary chair will be blonde marketing exec Andrea Alcorn, who is also serving as president of KidneyTexas this year. That gal is gonna be busy!

Back to Paws Cause: This year’s event will be grazing feast with food from Salum, Parigi, Pink Magnolia and more!

Benefiting the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair, the event is being coordinated by the 2017 Steering Committee including Jane Arrington, Steve Atkinson, Blythe Beck, Rebecca Belew, Diane Brierley, Andie Comini, Phyllis Comu, Giana DePaul, Gwen Echols, Kristen Greenberg, Christina Miller, Janice Provost, Pam Ragon, Abraham Salum, Karen Urie and Cathy Zigrossi.

According to insiders, the Rees-Jones Animal Center residents are going to be all gussied up for the evening with hopes of impressing potential new BFFs.  

Tickets are available here.

2016 Mission Olé Dazzled Chicken Scratch And The Foundry With Over-The-Top Festivities And Funding For Trinity River Mission

The only problem for 17th Annual Mission Olé guests on Thursday, October 27, was the arrival. As the newcomers’ luxury vehicles tried to locate the Trinity River Mission fundraiser at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry, some took a premature left turn and found themselves in an apartment parking lot.

Once recovering from the wrong-way turn, they were faced with vehicles with flashing lights. No, it wasn’t a police raid, it was a trio of road construction crews.

Day of the Dead human statues

Day of the Dead human statues

Once arriving, it was dazzling for both first timers and old timers as they were greeted by mariachis singing their hearts out. With multi-colored serapes wrapped around the chairs, the colorful tableclothes, arrangements of paper flowers and little yellow lanterns were the perfect setting. Chicken Scratch simply dazzled. Day of the Dead human statues were frozen in place. Face painters found themselves creating masterpieces non-stop. A fire pit glowed despite the 80-degree temperatures. An entire wall of silent auction items could hardly be seen because of the viewers checking out the merchandise.One gent even tried on the Villy’s Di de los Muertos bike for size.

Ann Kellogg Schooler, Cindy Turner, Margaret Spellings and Matt Schooler

Ann Kellogg Schooler, Cindy Turner, Margaret Spellings and Matt Schooler

Co-Chairs Lesley Chambless, Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spellings were stopped every two inches and being congratulated on the event. In turn the gals attributed the success to their advisor/Past Chair Cindy Turner.

Lesley Chambless

Lesley Chambless

Dennis and Laura Moon

Dennis and Laura Moon

Dolores Sosa Green

Dolores Sosa Green

Lynn McBee and Shannon Callewart

Lynn McBee and Shannon Callewart

While Ann and Trinity River Mission Executive Director Dolores Sosa Green embraced the theme — Day of the Dead — by having her face made up, Margaret, Lesley and other guests like Sunie and Steve Solomon, Laura and Dennis Moon, Lynn McBee, Shannon Callewart, Caren and Pete Kline, Sara and David Martineau and Gail Fischer with daughter Elizabeth Fischer and sons, Ford Fischer and Chad Fischer, steered toward the more traditional party look.

Chad Fischer, Gail Fischer and Ford Fischer

Chad Fischer, Gail Fischer and Ford Fischer

Cliff Fischer and Charles Haley

Cliff Fischer and Charles Haley

Cliff Fischer was talking with Charles Haley about their upcoming poker game that Cliff had won at Cattle Baron’s Ball.

On stage Rise and Shine played loud enough to be heard on the other side of the Trinity. And while the stage was strong enough to handle the band, organizers decided that it might not hold up for the Mission Ole dancers. No problem. The performances were held on the concrete walkway.  

Thanks to emcee Scott Murray pulling double duty as the live auctioneer, the net was $315,000, nearly double what was pulled in last year.

JUST IN: Dallas Film Society Announces New Board Members And Reveals Returning/New Dallas International Film Festival Sponsors

Evidently, the Dallas Film Society isn’t taking time off for the holidays. Word just arrived that the film-loving organization has not only added a couple of new members to its board, but it’s also locked down some returning sponsors for its Dallas International Film Festival that kicks off on Thursday, March 30, at the Dallas City Performance Hall.

The new members of the board are advertising executive Eric Hirschhorn and University of Texas at Arlington adjunct professor Rebecca Flores.

Rebecca Flores*

Rebecca Flores*

Eric Hirschhorn*

Eric Hirschhorn*

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “As we head into the organization’s second decade, we continue to steadily add strength through new voices, new ideas, and new energy, from the arts, education, and business community. Drawing from both the film and education world, Rebecca continues to add emphasis to the two primary focuses of DFS, and Eric brings another valuable viewpoint from the world of advertising and marketing. Their talent, experience and vision, will help us greatly as we continue our efforts to grow in our second decade.”

They’ll be joining current board members Benton Bagot, Matt Bivona, Jason Cleveland, Paul Coggins, Clare Freeman, Suzanne Bock Grishman, Mary Hatcher, Geoff Hawkes, Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis, Dallas Sonnier, Larry Waks and Maureen Womack.

As for the partnerships, The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation will once again be the presenting sponsor “of both the legendary DFS Honors Awards Dinner and the DIFF 2017 Audience Awards.”

Joining the sponsorship list for a first time will be Mercury One Foundation that will be the new presenting sponsor for “DIFF’s annual High School Day and the year-round High School Roundtable program.”

The film submission software program Withoutabox is also a newbie on the sponsorship list joining other confirmed 2017 DIFF sponsors including Abco, Inc., Bloomberg Philanthropies, CineState, the City of Dallas – Office of Cultural Affairs, Commerce House, the Dallas Film Commission, Downtown Dallas Inc., El Creative, the Highland Dallas hotel, the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office – San Francisco, Lucky Post, the People’s Last Stand, PreKindle, Selig Polyscope, Stella Artois and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Follow the jump for the full-blown press release.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

[Read more…]

MySweetWishList: Community Partners Of Dallas’ Annual Toy Drive

According to Community Partners of Dallas President/CEO Paige McDaniel,

Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Paige McDaniel (File photo)

“Community Partners of Dallas’ annual Toy Drive is now underway! I wish for the community to help us in providing 11,000 gift wishes for abused and neglected children in the care of Child Protective Services. CPD is accepting donations of toys through Friday, December 9.

“For thousands of abused and neglected children in Dallas County, the holidays are just another day; one more day that they are reminded that no one cares. By supporting Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive, individuals, organizations and companies can grant specific gift requests to children most in need of holiday joy.

“Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive is unique in that the wishes are brought to the agency by CPS caseworkers on behalf of the children in their care, and those same caseworkers will have the wonderful opportunity to deliver the gifts personally. For many of the children, these might be the only gifts they receive, and for some the first gift they have ever been given.

“A significant need this Christmas is gift cards, valued at $25 or more, for the teens we serve.  Every teen should have the experience of shopping and selecting something for themselves.  Gift cards from retailers such as Target, Walmart, Bath & Body Works, Forever21, GameStop, Academy, Old Navy or Best Buy are always appreciated. As well, popular wishes for kids of all ages include bikes, African American Dolls, learning toys for toddlers, bath and body gift sets, ANYTHING from Disney’s Frozen, light up toys, MP3 players, LEGO Sets, remote control cars, toddler push toys, small tablets, LeapFrog toys and basketballs/footballs/soccer balls.

Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive*

Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive*

“Toys and gift cards can be provided by companies, churches, scout troops, business offices, or individuals. Organizations and individuals can also organize a new toy drive for the undesignated toy collection used to serve additional children who come into CPS’ protective care after the wish list deadline and to fill wishes not selected by donors.

 “All gifts should be new and not wrapped. Toys must be delivered to the Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive Warehouse at the Peacock Alley Warehouse located at 2050 Postal Way, Dallas 75212 no later than 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9.  For more information on participating in the Toy Drive or for warehouse hours, contact Corinne Karp, 214.624.7588 or [email protected] or visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org.” 

-By Paige McDaniel, Community Partners of Dallas president/CEO

* Graphic provided by Community Partners of Dallas

2016 MySweetWishList Kicks Off Monday!

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

After digesting turkey Thursday, shopping on Black Friday and keyboarding into Cyber Monday, the 2016 holiday season is well under way. Hopefully, you haven’t spent all of your pennies on cards, foods and gifts for family and friends.

Okay, you know what’s coming. There are many who could really use a last-minute push to meet those approaching end-of-year budgets. And then there are the children who don’t know what’s to celebrate. They live in homes where neglect, anger and hopelessness are the protocol. You could provide that one toy that might send the message that there is hope for a better life.

With all this in mind, the MySweetWishList series will commence Monday and run through December.

Sure, the “wishes” are going to be geared to seek your help, but they may also provide you with information about services, opportunities and organizations that haven’t made your radar.

2017 Art Ball Reveal Guests Happily Settled Into Cathy Kincaid Hudson’s So Comfy Cottage

Lee Hobson

Lee Hobson

Ann Hobson (File photo)

Ann Hobson (File photo)

Unlike last year’s Art Ball announcement party at Lisa Blue Baron’s sprawling estate, 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson opted for small and special on Thursday, October 27, to reveal plans for the Dallas Museum of Art black-tie fundraiser. And they knew just the person to provide it — interior designer Cathy Kincaid Hudson’s home-sweetest-home.

Blending the charm of a European cottage with comfy chairs that seemed to beg for settling into the art on the walls, it was the type of bungalow that any movie screenwriter envisions as perfection.

Jeff Byron, Cathy Kincaid Hudson and Kevin Hurst

Jeff Byron, Cathy Kincaid Hudson and Kevin Hurst

Ah, but the adorable digs had way so much more. Just behind the fenced backyard was the pool and the marvelous guest house.

When Cathy was asked about her home, she told how she had only been there a couple of years. Her previous residence on Mockingbird had been lost to a fire.

David and Ann Sutherland

David and Ann Sutherland

But now she was nicely settled in with her pooches, cats and chickens.  

Only problem of the night was trying to squeeze through the crowd of guests like Brooke Hortenstine, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and last year’s Art Co-Chairs Ann and David Sutherland.

As for the announcement, the date is Saturday, April 22, when Ann and Lee will turn the DMA into “All That Glitters” a la “Flowers in a Case With Two Doves.” Think romantic at the DMA. 

And start saving those pennies, because the live auction is going to be curated by Merry Vose and Rajan Patel, so it’s bound to be a beaut.

Tickets and sponsorships are available now. Love the levels — Versailles, Vaux-Le-Vicomte, Saint-Germain, Bagatelle, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud and Table Du Maire et/Ou Directeur.

Vive la France et DMA!

Dallas Animal Services Is Having A Free-For-All From Black Friday To Cyber Monday Thanks To Zappos’ “Home For The Pawlidayz”

The Dallas Animal Services has such a special deal going on from Black Friday to Cyber Monday!

Adopted cat

Adopted cat

Adopted pooch

Adopted pooch

Thanks to Zappos’ “Home For The Pawlidayz” program, all animals at DAS will be free for adoption. Yup, that’s right. So, why wait in line or wear your manicured nails on the keyboard searching for the purr-fect (sorry, but couldn’t resist that one) gift, when s/he is just panting for you to come get ’em?

BTW, Zappos’ goal is to have 9,000 pets adopted nationally to “honor the 9,000 dogs and cats killed in America’s shelters each day simply because they do not have a safe place to call home.”

Gratitude Has Been The Main Dish Over The Centuries On Thanksgiving Day

The tradition of Thanksgiving began in 1621 when two groups from different backgrounds (the Wampanoag Indians and the Plymouth pilgrims) came together to break bread. Any school child can tell how the Indians had literally helped the newcomers survive the challenges of the new frontier.

Robbie and Nancy Briggs (File photo)

Robbie and Nancy Briggs (File photo)

The colonists created the meal with “fowl” to show their gratitude to the Indians for helping them settle in this foreign land. In turn, the native Americans brought five deer to add to the meal. Due to a lack of microwaves and Wolf ovens, there were no pumpkin pies.

Today is such a day when people of different backgrounds come together. It’s people like Nancy and Robbie Briggs, who will be serving meals to the homeless. It’s an occasion when most will have their eyes on the annual Thanksgiving Parade and/or The Boys and the Redskins. It’s the morning that loads of folks will hit the stores as early as possible for bargains. It’s, unfortunately, for far too many calling a car “home.” 

May your blessings be many and shared with all you know and need to know.

2017 Art In Bloom Chair Sarah Jo Hardin Reveals Plans For Dallas Museum Of Art March Fundraiser

Plans for the 2017 Art in Bloom fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art were unveiled at Highland Park Village’s St. John back on Wednesday, October 19, completed with champagne. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art League unveiled details for “Art in Bloom 2017:  Seasons of Love,’ at a recent cocktail reception held at St. John in Highland Park Village on Wednesday, October 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Mark and Sarah Jo Hardin

Mark and Sarah Jo Hardin*

Art in Bloom Chair Sarah Jo Hardin and Honorary Chair Jill Goldberg welcomed 35 host committee members in celebration of the upcoming annual floral symposium and luncheon set for Monday, March 27. Proceeds from the event support the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

Jill Goldberg and Linda Ivy*

Jill Goldberg and Linda Ivy*

Attendees enjoyed champagne and canapés as they shopped St. John’s fall collection.  Mrs. Hardin gathered the crowd mid-way through the evening to share exciting details about Art in Bloom 2017, which will feature world-renowned Dutch-born floral designer and educator René van Rems as the symposium speaker. The venue for the announcement party was no coincidence as she also unveiled that St. John will be the 2017 Luxury Fashion sponsor. 

Additionally, the 2017 event will include an inaugural Live Blooming Art Exhibit in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Level 2 European galleries featuring a unique display of floral arrangements, created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Art in Bloom patrons will be the first to preview the show, with the exhibition remaining on view for DMA visitors through Wednesday, March 29.

Ms. Hardin extended her gratitude for the host of the evening, St. John, as well as all sponsors to date, host committee members in attendance and volunteers. Honorary chairman Jill Goldberg followed to add her thanks, especially to Ms. Hardin for her time and commitment as event chairman.

As the evening came to an end, the winner of a $250 St. John gift card was announced…. Emily Maduro!

Kay Weeks and Dyann Skelton*

Kay Weeks and Dyann Skelton*

In attendance at the Art in Bloom 2017 kickoff party were Mark Hardin, Jamie Hermosillo, Linda Ivy, Stacey McCord, Diane Byrd, Emily Maduro, Nancy Cates, Kay Weeks, Venise Stuart, Dyann Skelton, Dixie Marshall, Ilene Greene, Shannon Callewart, Jeanette Huff and Valerie Jarvie.

Sue Ringle, Therese Rourk  and Dixie Marshall*

Sue Ringle, Therese Rourk and Dixie Marshall*

“Art in Bloom 2017:  Seasons of Love” will include a reception and symposium with René van Rems followed by a seated lunch, style show by St. John, silent auction, the inaugural Live Blooming Art Exhibit and book signing by Mr. van Rems. Sponsorships begin at $2,500, individual tickets are $250, and are on sale now. For more information, contact Edwina Gonzalez at the DMA’s Office of Special Events at 214.922.1800, or visit the Art In Bloom webpage at www. dma.org/support-fundraising-events/art-bloom.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

With Pumpkins And Lessons From Mom, Ashlee Kleinert Provided Theta’s Heart To Heart Luncheon Guests With Food For Thought

In the world of North Texas fundraising, experts worried their brows about the days between Wednesday, October 26 and Saturday, October 29. It was going to be a slam-bang period and it started with those kite flying Dallas Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae at Brook Hollow.

Becky Bright

Becky Bright

Mary Mencke and Kristi Hoyl

Mary Mencke and Kristi Hoyl

Robin Bagwell and Sarah Rathjen

Robin Bagwell and Sarah Rathjen

Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele

The ladies including Becky Bright, Mary Mencke, Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon, Sarah Rathjen, Beth Thoele, Robin Bagwell and Kristi Hoyl discovered that in addition to lunching on Brook Hollow’s fav pecan crusted chicken, they were also going to have an art class courtesy of keynote speaker/Theta Ashlee Kleinert.

Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon and Ashlee Kleinert

Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon and Ashlee Kleinert

Muffin Lemak and DeeDee Lee

Muffin Lemak and DeeDee Lee

Carol Goglia and Jane Pierce

Carol Goglia and Jane Pierce

Arriving with a tote filled with canvases, Ashlee was one of the late arrivals. Earlier DeeDee Lee explained why her recent skin cancer surgery on her wrist had prevented her from wearing her signature charm bracelet. She also revealed that she was celebrating her 31st wedding anniversary that day with husband Jim LeeMuffin Lemak’s eyes looked bright and clear after a “stint” with shines in the eye. But the luncheon wasn’t for fashion notes and catching up… And the fundraiser wasn’t limited to Thetas. Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna Carol Goglia tagged along with her Theta mom Jane Pierce.

Luncheon Chair Anne Besser and Theta Alumnae President Maury Cunningham had crafted their program perfectly blending KAT’s beneficiary Dallas CASA with the day’s program.

Anne Besser and Maury Cunningham

Anne Besser and Maury Cunningham

Kathleen LaValle

Kathleen LaValle

After Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle told of the need for funds and volunteers and thanked the sorority for its support, Ashlee displayed a couple of her canvases featuring paintings of pumpkins on easels on stage. She then instructed guests that thanks to sheets of paper and markers, they were to draw pumpkins. She also added that the markers would find after life at Dallas CASA.

As the guests created pumpkins, Ashlee told a story from years ago when she was a young mother living in Tulsa with husband Chris Kleinert. Being a first-time mom, she was in need of sleep, pampering and having her mother take over the infant for a break.

Nancy Ann Hunt

Nancy Ann Hunt

Barbara Starz Nathan

Barbara Starz Nathan

Upon returning to Dallas for R&R, she woke up to find her mom (Nancy Ann Hunt) gone for a meeting. But while Ashlee missed out on the pampering, she soon learned about “The Art of Giving.” It seems that Nancy Ann had left her tired daughter and granddaughter for a meeting at the Austin Street Shelter, where she learned a tidbit.

Upon returning home, Nancy Ann told Ashlee to get in the car, so they could buy headsets. Hmm. This development raised some eyebrows in the Brook Hollow ballroom. Strange POA.

But Ashlee explained that Nancy Ann had learning in the meeting that many of the Austin Street clients suffered from schizophrenia and heard voices. Experts had found that “hearing voices” could be overshadowed by other noise…like those coming via a headset.

This experience provided Ashlee with an epiphany that introduced Ashlee to giving. Over the years, Ashlee and Chris created Ruthie’s Food Trucks, Executives in Action and spearheaded countless fundraising efforts within North Texas.

She then told how one act of giving can spread and gave an example of the Akola Project that she’s heading up. It started with Brittany Underwood’s small step years ago when she was a SMU student and went to Uganda. There she saw the poor conditions and organized women to make jewelry. It was so successful that she arranged to have 100 women in need to also join the Akola effort creating jewelry. This grassroots efforts came to the attention of Neiman Marcus, who included the line in the specialty store’s merchandise. Because of Brittany’s “small step,” women have been employed, schools have been improve and healthier conditions have been provided for those in Uganda.

After Ashlee concluded her talk, guests displayed their masterpieces and Luncheon Chair Anne took on the role of live auctioneer.

Seems Ashlee had offered the Ruthie’s food truck to be put up for bid for fundraising. The package included the truck providing meals for 50 people. The value was $1,000. Goodness! Maybe Anne should go into the auction business. Within a matter of a couple of minutes, she had the bidding up to $1,500. With a nod from the Ashlee and her team, Anne was able to offer the package twice for $1,600 each.

Nancy And Herbert Hunt Become Les Femmes Du Monde’s First Couple Of The Year With Tributes, Laughter And Saved Ribbons

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

Nancy and Herbert Hunt

It seemed like the local fundraisers were in overdrive on Tuesday, October 25, evening. Over at the Dallas Country Club, Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Brent Christopher was johnny-on-the-spot when the doors opened for Les Femmes du Monde’s 2016 Couple of the Year Awards Dinner. It was the first time that the organization had honored a couple, let alone a man. And that couple was Nancy and Herbert Hunt, who have been married 65 years resulting in six children, 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  

No sooner did he congratulate Les Femmes on their selection, than he was off to the Crescent for another Children’s event. Luckily, Children’s Bill Braem and his bride Kathy Braem were on the scene representing Children’s, which one was of the evening’s beneficiaries.

Bill and Kathy Braem

Bill and Kathy Braem

Marj Waters

Marj Waters

Barbara Hunt Crow, Jan Ward, Mary Lee Cox and Therese Rourk

Barbara Hunt Crow, Jan Ward, Mary Lee Cox and Therese Rourk

Caroline Rose Hunt

Caroline Rose Hunt

Venise Stuart

Venise Stuart

Also on hand was the other beneficiary, World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth represented by President/CEO Jim Falk, Marj Waters, Venise Stuart, Ramona Jones and loads of Hunts.

At one point in the reception, Event Chair Mary Lee Cox recalled to Barbara Hunt Crow how she had also chaired the fundraiser when Herbert’s sister, Caroline Rose Hunt, was honored in 1988.

To get the program underway Mary Lee, who could hardly be seen behind the podium, introduced emcee Scott Murray. Despite protests from Scott, Mary Lee reeled off his numerous awards and accomplishments.  When Scott finally got hold of the mic, he asked, “Do you all know my agent — Mary Lee?”

Following the invocation by Highland Park Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Bryan Dunagan and dinner (Caesar salad, panko herb crusted chicken with garlic mashed potato, baby carrots, broccolini with boursin lemon cream and desserts of chocolate caramel cake or lemon meringue cake), Scott read a proclamation from Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams III making October 25 Nancy and Herbert Hunt Day.

Jim Falk

Jim Falk

Washington and Lee alumnus Jim Falk told the group how fellow Washington and Lee alumnus Herbert had offered to step in for a fraternity brother who was unable to drive to Hollins College for a blind date. Herbert volunteered because he had heard the date was cute and sharp. It turned out to be Nancy…”and the rest is history.”

Keeping on schedule, the award was presented to the Hunts, but opening it proved to be a challenge thanks to the gift wrap, ribbons and tape. At one point, Herbert told the audience, “My wife always saves the ribbons. We’re not going to save the paper tonight.”

Finally a piece of crystal was produced with the inscription, “Les Femmes du Monde to Nancy and Herbert Hunt, Couple of the Year 2016.”

Herbert then told the guests, “One of the great things about having children and family is you get a lot of advice. And on the way to the restroom, the advice from Bruce Hunt was, ‘Keep it short.’”

And that he did saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you and I appreciate all of your coming.”

He stressed that family was all important to Nancy and himself, but with a twinkle in his eye, he added, “Even though I can’t remember all those great-grandchildren’s names.”

Joe Barton

Joe Barton

Keynote speaker/Congressman Joe Barton started off by telling Herbert, “I can top what Bruce Hunt told you. Doug Hunt told me, ‘You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.’ So, this isn’t going to be long.”

Having known Herbert over the years, Joe admitted that he had to do a bit of research on Nancy, who prefers to stay out of the limelight. In asking her what she was most proud of, Nancy replied her family. He also discovered her love for dogs, especially Yorkshire Terriers.

Joe decided to delve a little deeper and checked with the kids, learning that she was known as “Grand Nana.” He also found out that years ago, she was having a rough time teaching her three-year-old daughter to read. After checking with medical experts, she discovered the youngster had dyslexia. That led her to find out that Herbert also had it.

As for Herbert, Joe had wondered why the son of oilman H.L. Hunt chose to go to Washington and Lee instead of Texas A&M, the University of Texas, or even the University of Arkansas. Herbert told him that his late mother, Lyda Hunt, had been on the board of Mary Baldwin and the girls there dated the Washington and Lee boys, “So that’s where you’re going to go.”

Following his mother’s orders, Herbert arrived at Washington and Lee prepared to major in geology. The only problem was that there were only two geology professors on staff, and they were strong on coal but not so regarding oil. That became evident when H.L. started questioning the professors, who were stumbling with their answers. Herbert interrupted with the right information, to which H.L told his son to “shut up,” because he wanted to find out what the professors knew.

For his class project, Herbert was to go to Louisiana and survey a site that his dad would drill. Following his legwork, he went to H.L. with the information and asked him about drilling. H.L. asked Herbert if he had the money for the operation and Herbert told his father that it would cost his entire life savings. H.L.’s response: “Welcome to the oil business.”

Joe said that of all the leaders and millionaires he had met during his 30 years in Congress, he had never met a more down-to-earth or self-effacing man than Herbert Hunt. The congressman concluded his remarks saying that neither Herbert, his late brother Bunker Hunt, nor any of the Hunt children had ever asked to do anything that wasn’t right for America.

7th Annual Great Adventure Kick-Off Party Put “Train Your Brain” Sessions With The Puzzle Pros Up For Auction

January may seem a long time off, but it isn’t for the dedicated players of the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt. The Kick-Off Party at Nicole and Justin Small‘s home revealed some new twists and turns for the ChildCareGroup fundraiser, including the addition of the introduction of the Puzzle Pros. Check out this report from the field about the Pros and more:

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift*

The first social event held at Nicole and Justin Small’s newly-renovated home was the Kick-Off Party on the evening of Tuesday,October 25, for the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt, benefiting ChildCareGroup. The expansive patio of the Small’s elegant mid-century modern North Dallas home and the beautiful fall weather created the perfect backdrop for nearly 100 guests including ChildCareGroup CEO/President Tori Mannes, Jennifer Sampson, Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift, Rena Pederson, Gladys Kolenovsky, Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone to mingle and practice puzzles for the most unique fundraiser in Dallas.

 

Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone

Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

The 2017 Great Adventure Hunt, presented by Alliance Data and co-chaired by the Smalls, along with Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox, will take place at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on the evening of Saturday, January 28.  Returning to the Perot Museum will be déjà vu for Nicole, who was the Museum’s CEO for 12 years, leading the successful completion of the world-class downtown museum.

Pegasus Bank and Bright & Bright LLP sponsored the Kick-Off Party where the co-chairs made the exciting announcement of the event’s Puzzle Pros sponsored by Lyda Hill. The masterminds behind the Hunt’s fun and challenging puzzles are John Harris, Joe Mannes, Tom Nynas, Kemp Sawers and Bart Showalter. Longtime Hunters will recognize the puzzle gurus, who collectively have either won or placed in the event at least 10 times.

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Nicole ended the evening by auctioning off three “Train Your Brain” sessions with the Puzzle Pros. Winners will enjoy exclusive, insider tips on solving puzzles for the Hunt over cocktails with the Pros.

The Hunt takes over the Perot Museum for the evening and turns the museum’s five-floors into fun and unexpected puzzle sites. During the Hunt, teams of six players compete against other teams to decipher wacky clues and solve puzzles. From inflatable gorillas and disappearing ink to edible clues, you never know what you will find! Judges tally the scores, and teams who solve the most puzzles correctly in the shortest amount of time receive special prizes and bragging rights.

The event annually raises $300,000 to support ChildCareGroup’s early childhood education programs. For 115 years, ChildCareGroup has been offering high impact, holistic services for vulnerable parents and children. By helping children start kindergarten ready to excel and giving parents the chance to pursue better educations and careers, ChildCareGroup empowers two generations to lift themselves out of poverty.

Since children learn through play, the Great Adventure Hunt allows to the community to give through play. The Hunt is a unique opportunity to have loads of fun while having a significant impact in the community.

Another sell out is anticipated and teams are going fast! Click here for more information or to reserve a team, or contact Kendal Kramer at 215.905.2404 or [email protected].

* Photos provided by ChildCareGroup

JUST IN: ABC’s “Good Morning America!’s” Robin Roberts To Be 2nd Annual Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon’s Keynote Speaker

One of the best speakers that hit the North Texas fundraising circuit was Hoda Kotb at the 2016 Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon benefiting Interfaith Family Services. It’s doubtful that she ever got a bite to eat because she literally visited every room in the Dallas Country Club ballroom. And when she took the helm at the podium, nobody wanted her to ever leave.

The only problem? How does one top Hoda? Well, 2017 Interfaith Auxiliary Luncheon Co-Chairs Megan Filgo, Anna Moss and Molly Thomas put their heads together and believe they’ve come up with the perfect follow-up — “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts.

Robin Roberts*

Robin Roberts*

Roberts, who was here a couple of years ago for Pat Smith’s Celebrating Second Chances for Overcomers,” won a lot of fans with her personality, her talk and her inspiration. And why not! Besides co-anchoring “GMA” since 2005, winning a slew of national awards and being voted the “Most Trusted Person on Television” by Reader’s Digest, she bravely underwent breast cancer in June 2007 and later myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012. Her life has been filled with knowing the most famous and influential people in the world, as well as experiencing personal life-changing challenges.

It sounds like the Interfaith group is aiming for a second home run.

Tickets are available now for the lunch at the Dallas Country Club on Friday, March 31!

* Photo courtesy of Interfaith Family Services