North Texas Giving Day Booster: Buckner International

“Each fall, parents descend upon malls, stocking up on essentials for their children as they head back to school: backpacks, school supplies, clothing, shoes.

Buckner International*

Buckner International*

“But what if you couldn’t provide your children with those basic necessities? What if you couldn’t even provide them with a simple pair of shoes that would keep their feet protected and safe?

Za-Kiya Payne, a mother of four, knows how it feels to be unable to provide even the most basic of necessities to her children. After gathering the courage to flee an abusive relationship, she had nowhere to go. But then, she found Buckner.

Za-Kiya Payne and her four children*

Za-Kiya Payne and her four children*

“Through Buckner Family Pathways in Dallas, Za-Kiya found affordable housing, job preparation courses, counseling, afterschool programs and necessities for her children to succeed – including new shoes.

“’For the first one to two years in the program, I never had to buy shoes for my kids,’ Za-Kiya says. ‘I felt so lucky because I always got blessed with brand new shoes for them.’

“The simple gift of a new pair of shoes gives hope to a child in need. That’s why we’ve decided that this year, all funds given to Buckner on North Texas Giving Day (September 18) will be used to support Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls® and provide new shoes for children in Dallas – including the children we serve through foster care, after-school and family transition programs.

A child is thrilled to receive new shoes from Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®*

A child is thrilled to receive new shoes from Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®*

“While many in our community are aware Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls serves vulnerable children around the world, some don’t realize we also provide for those in need right in our own backyard. Last year, we provided thousands of shoes to children in North Texas in addition to our life-giving community programs, and this year, we look forward to being able to provide health, hope and new shoes to even more children in the Dallas area thanks to North Texas Giving Day when every donation of $25 or more will be amplified.

“’Buckner is a family for me,’ Za-Kiya says. ‘When my mama died a lot of people turned their backs on me and my kids, and it really hurt. But Buckner staff helps me grow stronger. Buckner has been a tremendous blessing for me and my children.’

“For more than 135 years Buckner has been transforming the lives of vulnerable children and families in Dallas. Our North Texas programs include:

  • “Buckner Foster Care and Adoption, which provides families for abused or neglected children;
  • “Buckner Family Pathways, a self-sufficiency program for single parents;
  • “North Texas Client Assistance, which gives temporary aid to families in trauma; and
  • “Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid, the central processing center for Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®.”

-By David M. Slover, Buckner Foundation President and Buckner International Executive Vice President

* Graphic and photos provided by Buckner International

Dallas Women In White Celebrate Women’s Equality Day Thanks To A Bunch Of Gals Nearly A Century Ago

It wasn’t that long ago that women having the right to vote was a frivolous thought. After all, what did women know? Well, it was nearly a century ago that the gals got their dander up and raised a major campaign to change that frivolous thought into a God-given right. That effort was celebrated by Women in White at Dallas City Hall with a number of local women’s organizations and their representatives. Bravo to the ladies who took up the banner for women’s equality. Thanks to them, women have held almost every position in government. BTW, it should be remembered that there were many men, who supported those pioneers in their quest for equality. While the official Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26, the Dallas ladies got a head start by celebrating it on Wednesday, August 20. Here’s a report from the field about the gathering at City Hall:

“Women’s Equality Day has been celebrated annually for over 20 years with a program by a local Dallas women’s organization, Women’s Issues Network (WIN). Formed in 1980, WIN has continuously worked for women’s rights and equality. The group celebrated the 94th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote with an event at Dallas City Hall.

“The program was held on Wednesday, August 20, in the Flag Room on the 6th floor of City Hall. Over 100 women descended upon City Hall wearing white to represent the suffragists who lobbied for women to vote.

“Although the mayor was not able to attend due to recent hip surgery, Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins and council members attended.

“Atkins and the women council members wore white in support of the gathering. Adam Medrano, who is serving his first year on the city council, bemoaned the fact that he did not know to wear white, but he will know for next year.

“District Attorney Craig Watkins addressed the audience: ‘My office has more women than men. Female lawyers outnumber the men in the District Attorney’s office,” he said. “I am surrounded by women working to make things better.’

Theresa Daniel and Keven Ann Willey*

Theresa Daniel and Keven Ann Willey*

“The keynote speaker for the event was Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor for The Dallas Morning News.

“’I wish there were still not so many “firsts” for women,’ Keven said. ‘There is not equality if there are still headlines about “firsts” for women. There is still work to do. Women still trail behind men in the academic suites and there is not a single female CEO in a Fortune 500 company in Texas despite their education.’

“Her favorite quote is from Michelle Roberts, a successful attorney who said “My past is littered with the bones of men who underestimated me.”

“’Although 66% of women are registered, only 46% actually vote,’ said WIN President Connie Hearn. ‘The most important thing you can do to initiate change is to vote.’

Connie Hearn, Elba Garcia and Lupe Valdez*

Connie Hearn, Elba Garcia and Lupe Valdez*

“Other local notables in attendance were Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Commissioners Dr. Theresa Daniel and Dr. Elba Garcia, Virginia Whitehall, Clare Buie Chaney, and filmmakers Cynthia Mondel and Fonya Mondel with Fonya’s two-year-old son Juan Carlos. Even baby Juan Carlos got in on the act and wore white. He stole the hearts of all the women there.

Fonya Mondel, Juan Carlos Mondel and Cynthia Mondel*

Fonya Mondel, Juan Carlos Mondel and Cynthia Mondel*

“Co-sponsors of the event included League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women-Greater Dallas, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, South East Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club, Women’s Council of Dallas County, YWCA, and Dallas Women’s Foundation.”

* Photo credit: 
Deborah Brown

The Senior Source’s Molly Bogen To Receive The 2014 Carmen Miller Michael Legacy Senior Communities Award At The Yes Event

­­There are those people who simply do not age. They simply thrive with each passing birthday combin­­ing youthful exuberance with earned experience. Despite what their birthday certificate may register as their age, they are as hopeful and energetic as a second grader on the first day of school.

They’re people like Ebby Halliday and T. Boone Pickens. Younger folks envy their intelligence and generosity of sharing wisdom. Older folks snort and envy the mojo in their genes.

Molly Bogen (File photo)

Molly Bogen (File photo)

So, the Legacy Senior Communities will salute one of “those kind of people” with the “First-Ever Carmen Miller Michael Legacy Senior Communities Award.” That person knows the word “senior” like most folks know the word “I”. She is Molly Bogen, the executive director of The Senior Source.

Molly admitted, “I was surprised and quite honored to hear that I would be the first to receive such an award in Dr. Carmen Miller Michael’s name. The same issues that drove her to do such amazing work drive me. I am passionate about impacting the lives of Texans who are aging, those who face cognitive challenges and those who may need direct services to improve their lives.”

Having “been leading The Senior Source as the executive director for 38 years, Bogen has chief of staff responsibility for administration and management of the agency with its 63-member staff and just completed her 10 years of service on the board of trustees for the Baylor Specialty Health Center.”

That’s the official word. The reality is that Molly and her team have faced the daunting situation of seniors and their needs growing at catastrophic speed. They have helped with job searches, nursing homes advocacy, money management, safety and protection, volunteer opportunities and counseling regarding aging issues and proving a “service delivery system on a continuum with 10 programs.” All that means that Molly has been on the frontline of the silver tsunami facing society.

Adding to the youthful feel of the occasion will be special guest speaker Jane Pauley. Dadgummit, but that gal never seems to age.

Adlene Harrison (File photo)

Adlene Harrison (File photo)

Chaired by Madeline Unterberg , the committee making the choice was comprised of Adlene Harrison, Shirley Tobolowsky, Julie Lowenberg and Freda Gail Stern.

Molly will receive the award at the “The Yes Event.” on Wednesday, November 19, at the Winspear.

Here’s to growing young in the years ahead like Molly, Ebby and Boone!

If you want to hang with a bunch of youthful people with the hope of its rubbing off, here’s where you can get ticket and sponsorship info.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: The GEMS Camp

“For the North Texas Giving Day Newbies: The Cure for the ‘I’ Syndrome:

Nervous. Anxious. Excited. Frustrated. All over the place. As Founder and CEO of The GEMS Camp – Girls interested in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, I’ve felt every emotion humanly possible leading up to the 2014 North Texas Giving Day. It’s our first major fundraising event.

GEMS*

GEMS*

“After attending the spring kickoff meeting and seeing a room full of highly respected executive directors, marketing gurus, and fundraising prodigies, I left the meeting feeling very intimidated. We officially received our 501 (c) 3 status in February of this year. I don’t have any major corporate sponsors or donors or grants. As the days pass, I frantically think, ‘It’s coming too quickly!’

“PAUSE.

“When I listened to my thoughts, all I heard were excuses and self-pity. As a newbie to North Texas Giving Day, I was looking at the success of my organization through my personal lens. I was focusing on the limitations that ‘I’ saw today instead of the opportunities that exist for the ‘organization’ tomorrow. If you are start-up, have a limited budget or staff, or are new to North Texas Giving Day, push past your fears and remember this: Everybody had to start somewhere.

GEMS Volunteer Brittney Hall and girls*

GEMS Volunteer Brittney Hall and girls*

“So what if you don’t raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our fundraising goal is small, $10,000. This will give us the program funds necessary to launch two new campsites in the Dallas and Houston areas in 2015. That’s 60 new economically disadvantaged, girls who will be equipped to pursue studies and future careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Those are the numbers ‘I’ should be proud of and each one represents an advancement in our mission.

GEMS 8th grader Lucero using geometric and measurement skills to make an Origami box*

GEMS 8th grader Lucero using geometric and measurement skills to make an Origami box*

“This week, I heard an anonymous quote. ‘There is no traffic on the extra mile.’ Being new to this gargantuan event with thousands of organizations raising millions of dollars, my attitude and tenacity as The GEMS Camp leader will spur my organization’s small team to go the extra mile together. Perhaps, what I perceive to be limitations are actually the fuel we need to take those risks others aren’t willing to take.

“To those organizational leaders who are new to North Texas Giving Day, you’re probably feeling antsy to some extent. Trust me, I feel your pain. Get creative and maximize your organization’s strengths. Deemphasize your personal weaknesses. Celebrate small wins, and expect to have a greater impact on those you serve simply by showing up.

”And finally to the donors and funders that participate in North Texas Giving Day, thank you! We look forward to being part of this wonderful event and anticipate another successful year! GEMS can’t wait to celebrate another record-breaking year with all of the deserving North Texas nonprofits.”

-By Saki Milton, The GEMS Camp Founder and CEO

Try Something New For Labor Day

Today is Labor Day. Most folks regard it as the official end of summer. For some it’s a day to rest or to check out that movie or ease back and read a good book. For others, it’s shop-the-bargain-day. Originally, it was established to to “celebrate various labor associations’ strengths of and contributions to the United States economy.” Over the years, it transitioned to recognize the importance of America’s work force.

So, on this day why not try a one-day-only experiment. If you are going to take advantage of the day’s sales, only buy American-made items. If you are going to go to a movie, only go to an American-made movie or read a book by an American author. In other words, for one day, celebrate and support products and services provided by Americans. It won’t be necessarily easy, but who knows? You just might make it a habit and in the meantime support a neighbor or two.

Ashley Judd To Be Keynote Speaker At TexProtects’ 10th Anniversary Celebration At The Perot Museum

Ashley Judd (File photo)

Ashley Judd (File photo)

Those Judd sisters are coming to Dallas in October, but not together. As mentioned before songbird Wynonna is performing on Thursday, October 9, for Habitat for Humanity’s Building Hope Celebration Dinner. The following week on Tuesday, October 14, her kid half-sister Ashley Judd will be the keynote speaker at TexProtects10th Anniversary Celebration dinner at the Perot Museum.

The actress, who recounted her own childhood trauma in her memoir, “All that is Bitter and Sweet,” can truly relate to TexProtects’ mission to protect children from abuse and neglect.

According to TexProtect’s Founder/Executive Director Madeline McClure, “Ashley Judd’s personal story and her humanitarian work on behalf of abuse victims exemplifies the far-reaching effects of child maltreatment, but also the promise of healing from invisible wounds and most importantly, committing to investing in prevention. We are thrilled to present Ashley Judd as we celebrate 10 years of successful work to reduce and prevent child abuse in Texas.”

In addition to Ashley, Texas Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound will be presented the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. She is being recognized for “her work to increase Texas’ investment in prevention programs, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership, which sends nurses on home visit to help vulnerable, low-income mothers as well as her hard work to reform CPS (Child Protective Services).”

Event Chair Pat Albritton Harloe has arranged for Lisa K. Simmons to be the honorary chair, as well as having the lead sponsors and the board of directors attend a meet and greet with Ashley.

Seating is limited, so don’t dawdle.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Pegasus Ball

According to Pegasus Ball Co-Chair Dawn Neufeld,

Ryan and Dawn Neufeld*

Ryan and Dawn Neufeld*

“As parents of a child with autism, Ryan and I are pleased to lend our passion and energy to the Pegasus Ball to benefit the Autism Treatment Center. Ryan and I have been attending this event for several years, even chairing the Ball in 2012. We invite you to join us at the Pegasus Ball on Saturday, September 27, at The Fairmont Dallas for an evening of fun and entertainment – and raising much needed funds for a wonderful cause.

“Autism is the nation’s leading developmental disorder now affecting 1 in 68 children. Funds raised at the event will support ATC’s programs, including: diagnostic, educational services, adult services, therapy, and residential services. For over 38 years, the Autism Treatment Center has provided life-changing services to families seeking their expertise and experience.

Yvonne Crum (File photo)

Yvonne Crum (File photo)

“The Roundup was founded in 1988 by Bobby Norris, a parent with an adult daughter with autism. This wonderful event has raised over $3 million to provide autism-specific programs and services for children and adults in our community.

“This year’s Event Honorary Chair, Yvonne Crum, is one of Dallas’ most recognizable names. Yvonne has spent many years and innumerable hours dedicated to various charitable causes raising awareness of teenage suicide to children’s theater. Anybody who knows Yvonne knows that when she finds a worthy cause to support, her energy and passion are contagious. Ryan and I are grateful for Yvonne’s friendship and support of a cause dear to our hearts.

“The Pegasus Ball will include a Live and Silent Auction, seated dinner, and live entertainment provided by the band Tenacity are sure to please all attendees. We hope to see you there

“Individual tickets for the Pegasus Ball are $225 or $2,250 for a table of ten. Contact Neil Massey at 972.644.2076 x 104 to make your reservations to join us. For more information, please visit www.roundupforautism.org.”

* Photo provided by Round Up For Autism

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Children’s Craniofacial Association

Children’s Craniofacial Association (CCA) is excited to be taking part again on September 18 for this year’s North Texas Giving Day.

“CCA is celebrating our 25th Anniversary of ‘empowering and giving hope to individuals and families affected by facial differences.’ We envision a world where all people are accepted for who they are, not how they look. Founded in 1989 here in Dallas, Children’s Craniofacial Association is the premier national organization addressing the medical, financial, emotional, psychosocial and educational issues related to craniofacial conditions.

Children's Craniofacial Association*

Children’s Craniofacial Association*

“There are well over 1,000 families in North Texas who are affected by facial differences and CCA stands ready to help with programs and services for the entire family and regardless of whether an affected individual is a child or adult. (Our name sprang from the fact that most conditions are present at birth and must be addressed during childhood).

“CCA children will average 25-40 surgeries before they reach adulthood. While CCA offers their families a multitude of services including financial assistance, a list of qualified medical care providers, education materials and much more, one of our less medicinal and wonderful events that Giving Day funds go to is our holiday party which we hold in conjunction with area hospitals and craniofacial team physicians. Last year over 500 families joined us out at South Fork Ranch in Parker, Texas, for crafts, cookies, an early stocking stuffer from Santa and the all-important photo on Santa’s lap.

Santa with Dominika and Jessica*

Santa with Dominika and Jessica*

“But, this isn’t just any kind of party. While some would think it’s an irritating task to have to stand in line at the mall for a photo on Santa’s lap, parents of children with facial differences, it’s also painful to watch the staring endured by their children if they try waiting in the mall lines. This is why the big ‘private’ party is such a welcome tradition instead for these families and over the years it has become extremely popular!

“We welcome newcomers to “Get Up and Give” this September 18th and to everyone who does, ‘Thank you!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk8V2VzrxqM

-By Charlene Smith, Children’s Craniofacial Association Executive Director

* Graphic and photo provided by Children's Craniofacial Association

Wells Fargo Presents A Check To Support Ability Connection Texas’s Aquatic Program At YMCA Park Cities

Summer and swimming are as closely connected as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. However, along with the time of year and the activity comes the increase of drownings. Even healthy, strapping people will sheepishly admit they don’t know how to swim. It’s a real problem. For instance, this past year the Crystal Charity Ball committee provided funding for the Park South YMCA swimming program to teach DSID students how to swim. That was wonderful. But what about munchkins who are not so able bodied? For this group, aquatic activities not only are fun and lifesaving, they’re therapeutic. The good folks at Ability Connection Texas along with Wells Fargo proved that point on Tuesday, August 19, at the Park Cities Family YMCA. For a full report, check out the following:

Pete Session*

Pete Session*

“Congressman Pete Sessions, an advocate for individuals with disabilities, declared that ‘every child matters’ at a reception Tuesday at the Park Cities Family YMCA. The event recognized the adaptive aquatics program of Ability Connection Texas (ACT). The program, sponsored by Wells Fargo, was held at the YMCA pool.

“The activities began with an opportunity to view the swimming lessons in progress. The aquatics program includes instruction on how to float independently and with a device, how to control breathing, kicking, basic paddling, front crawl, back stroke and jumping or diving into the pool.

“Children enrolled in ACT’s Early Childhood Development and Education Pre-School participate twice weekly in the Park Cities YMCA’s swimming program which was launched three years ago through the financial support of Wells Fargo.

YMCA swim instructor Megan Callaghan with Joshua*

YMCA swim instructor Megan Callaghan with Joshua*

“Andrea Petro, executive vice president and division leader of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, announced the continuing funding of the adaptive aquatics program. She presented both ACT and the Park Cities Family YMCA with $5,000 checks.

John Reniger, Wells Fargo Capital Finance senior vice president and a YMCA board member, served as the emcee of the program. He emphasized the collaborative relationships that exist between the YMCA and three other organizations serving the special needs community of Dallas, the Rise School of Dallas, the Highland Park Independent School District and Connecting Point of Park Cities, in addition to ACT. Reniger and his wife, Christie, are co-chairs of Vine & Dine, a gala event held each November benefiting ACT.

Barbara Cravey, director of ACT children’s programs, described the many physical and psychological benefits of adaptive aquatics. She related the story of one youngster who recently took his first steps due in part to the muscle strength and flexibility gained through the program.

Ella Peace*

Ella Peace*

Vanessa Peace gave a parent’s perspective on the swimming experience, saying ‘it takes a village to enable a child with special needs to thrive’. Her four-year-old daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with the neurological disorder RETT syndrome and attends the ACT pre-school. Vanessa calls Ella a ‘ferocious kicker’ and continues to be amazed at Ella’s increased strength. She believes that she will walk one day soon.

“Congressman Sessions is a co-sponsor of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2013 or the ABLE act. The act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to establish exempt ABLE accounts to assist an individual with a disability in building an account for qualified disability expenses. These expenses could include education, housing, transportation, obtaining and maintaining employment, health and wellness and personal expenses.

“The mission of ACT is to provide a full range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities as they strive to reach their highest level of independence. ACT values and supports the right of all persons with disabilities to be treated with respect and dignity and to have autonomy over their lives.”

* Photos provided by Ability Connection Texas

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Taste America

According to James Beard Award winning chef Stephan Pyles,

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Stephan Pyles (File photo)

Café Momentum is a restaurant and culinary training facility that transforms young lives by equipping at-risk youth with life skills, social skills, educational and employment opportunities. I am pleased to announce that Café Momentum is partnering with the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, a national epicurean tour presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, where nationally known chef Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, will collaborate with me to create a one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience for 300 lucky guests.

“The Night of Culinary Stars will be in the Wedgwood Room at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on Friday, September 26. This unique partnering of culinary greats will feature a tasting reception where Tim Byers of Smoke, Omar Flores of Casa Rubio, Matt McCallister of FT33, Janice Provost of Parigi and David Uyger of Lucia will dazzle guests with their own individual culinary styles-with the assistance of Café Momentum students.

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

Omar Flores, Janice Provost , Matt, David Uygar, Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres (File photo)

“This is a particularly meaningful partnership as Café Momentum has just signed a permanent lease for their new facility and the organization has received a $487,000 grant from Crystal Charity to expand their programming to include young women from Letot Girls Residential Center.

“The evening’s proceeds will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s Educational and Award programs and Café Momentum, will receive a portion of proceeds as the local charitable partner. The evening’s festivities include the cocktail-tasting hour, silent auction, brief live auction and the sumptuous dinner.

“As an added incentive, guests who purchase All-Start Level Tickets ($500) will be invited to an exclusive Patron Reception, on the evening prior to the dinner, at Ser Steak+Spirits restaurant at the Anatole. Please visit jbftasteamerica.org for tickets or additional information.”

MySweetCharity Reminder: Time Warner’s August Dollar Days Come To An End Sunday At The Dallas Arboretum

McCasland Sunken Garden (File photo)

McCasland Sunken Garden (File photo)

This weekend is your last chance to check out the Dallas Arboretum for a buck and the Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden for another smacker. Starting Labor Day (aka Monday, September 1), it’s farewell to Time Warner-sponsored August Dollars Days and the prices return to reality fees.

Why not grab your munchkin and your camera and snap that perfect photo?

Picture perfection at the Dallas Arboretum (File photo)

Picture perfection at the Dallas Arboretum (File photo)

 

 

Or check out the koi in the Genesis Garden of A Woman’s Garden?

A Woman's Garden's Genesis Garden (File photo)

A Woman’s Garden’s Genesis Garden (File photo)

BTW, discounted parking is available online.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Concert With Itzhak Perlman To Be Simulcast In Klyde Warren Park

Not everybody likes to get all gussied up in long gowns and tuxedos. And not everybody can fit into the Meyerson. And not everybody can afford the price of a ticket. That’s a lot of not’s.

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Ah, but Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich are well known for untangling not’s. To share the wonder and beauty of the DSO performance with maestro Jaap van Zweden conducting and legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, they’ve arranged for a “first-ever, free live concert simulcast” to be held at Klyde Warren Park.

Richard Holt (File photo)

Richard Holt (File photo)

Translation: That means the opportunity to wear cut-offs, sun dresses or baseball caps in the great outdoors to “almost attend” the gala for absolutely nothing. . . nada. . . free.

According to Jan, “It is such a thrill to be able to share the musical excellence and excitement of the Dallas Symphony’s 2014 AT&T Gala with everyone in Dallas. Itzhak Perlman is an icon. Jaap van Zweden is a superstar. Together with our Dallas Symphony they will present a memorable evening of beautiful music, and this simulcast will share that experience with music-lovers beyond the Meyerson.”

Helping the Miller-Rich team pull this little feat off is Bank of America, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust.

“All of us at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust are pleased to be a part of this first ever simulcast concert,”  said Richard Holt, Bank of America Dallas president. “By bringing the concert to Klyde Warren Park and the Dallas Arts District, we are able to expose a much wider audience to excellence of the DSO while providing free access to the arts for all.”

The gala concert will be the finale of a week of 25th anniversary activities celebrating the Meyerson. Was it really September 1989 that the grand lady debuted? My, how times flies.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Purses With A Purpose

According to 2014 CCCS Purses with a Purpose Chair and Consumer Credit Counseling Service Board Member Laura V. Estrada,

Laura Estrada*

Laura V. Estrada*

“Since 1974, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas (CCCS) has helped more than 1.7 million people and just five years ago, we launched our first annual fundraiser, Purses with a Purpose. To celebrate these milestones, we’ve changed things up a bit. This year, we are hosting a luncheon Purses with a Purpose event with inaugural Financial Literacy Champion Capital One’s Carol Nichols and keynote speaker author and The Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary.

“I am delighted to recognize Carol for her longtime dedication to financial literacy education, and especially for her commitment to programs which support and educate women.

“Purses with a Purpose will be held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 11:30 – 1:30 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Individual tickets at $95 or tables at $1,000 are for sale at www.cccspurses.net. You can also call 214-540-6880 for more information.

“I am working with CCCS to help build all the solutions we can to help women and families become debt free. All proceeds from Purses with a Purpose are used to provide free financial counseling and education to women and families in need at domestic violence shelters, legal aid clinics, prison systems, child care centers, housing programs and job re-entry training programs.

Save The Date for Purses With A Purpose*

Save The Date for Purses With A Purpose*

“And, yes! Fabulous purses along with trips, event tickets and restaurant deals will still be available for auction via an online auction opening Wednesday, September 10. Raffle tickets for three items including a Fuller’s jewelry ladies dinner ring, Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Package and Fendi handbag will be available online and at the event as well.

“I am proud to be a part of nonprofit agency CCCS as it helps consumers find financial hope and freedom by providing free budget and credit counseling, financial education, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, student loan default counseling and debt management plans. CCCS also offers those in the United Way Metro Dallas service area the opportunity to earn matched savings of up to $300 a year through the CCCS AIM Individual Development Account. To see more about the requirements for AIM or to learn more about this program, please visit www.cccs.net/AIM.

“The Presenting sponsor for Purses is Bank of Texas and the Award Sponsor for the inaugural Financial Literacy Champion Award is AdvoCare International, LP.”

* Graphic and photo provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Service

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Partners For Refugee Empowerment

Partners for Refugee Empowerment (PRE), a 501(c) (3) charity, was started in early 2013 to address a critical unmet need – the mental health of Tarrant County refugees. At the time of PRE’s founding, all of the resettlement agencies were terminating their limited refugee mental health programs. PRE is currently the only Fort Worth agency to focus on the mental health needs of refugees.

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

“PRE has two primary goals: 1) to help refugees who have mental health challenges to recognize and address their needs and 2) to assist all refugees to become self-sufficient contributors to their communities as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, most theories, instruments, and projects in refugee mental health care have been developed in Western countries and cultures and are often implemented without the necessary adaptations to be effective. Drawing on many years of experience, PRE has developed an effective, three-component, mental health model for the refugees they currently serve. These components include: 1) group cultural orientation and education, 2) family mental health case management, and 3) mental health counseling and referral.

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

“Since its inception, PRE has served the mental health and cultural orientation needs for more than 200 refugees from central Africa and Bhutan. PRE aims to expand services to more refugee communities until the mental health needs of refugees in Tarrant County have been met.

“Apart from providing social services, PRE has distributed ten sewing machines to refugees who wanted to do small sewing projects. The sewing activities have both served as therapeutic means and the way of connecting refugees to refugees.

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

Partners for Refugee Empowerment*

“On September 18, PRE is participating in North Texas Giving Day for the first time. We are excited to participate in this community-wide celebration of philanthropy and will use donations raised that day to continue providing mental health counseling for refugee families, and to support those who need extra help for case management. The raised money will also strengthen our community support groups, which are the backbone of the organization. These community support groups serve as a platform where refugees learn about how to adjust in the new country and how to become active members of the host communities.

“Thanks to all of the North Texas Giving Day donors and sponsors who make Giving Day a success!”

-By Justin Nsenga, MSc, Partners for Refugee Empowerment, Inc. Director

Dallas CASA’s Parade Of Playhouses Heads To Homes Sweet Homes

Alas, the Dallas CASA’s adorable playhouses are no longer lining the ground level of NorthPark. Ah, but the good news is they’re happily settling into forever backyards for youngsters. For the Sunday, August 17th raffle drawing, Parade of Playhouses Honorary Co-Chairs Angela and Jim Thompson were front and center.

Here is a feel-good field report about one of the lucky winners:

Angela and Jim Thompson and winners friend and winner*

Angela and Jim Thompson and winner’s friend and winner*

“A father with his daughter and her friend were just ‘killing time’ before a movie Sunday afternoon and were enjoying looking at the playhouses. He felt Dallas CASA was such a good cause he bought the girls a stack of raffle tickets. So the girls picked their favorites and were present for the drawing, then won the Lantern House by Bob Borson! They were all very surprised and excited – made it fun for us to have a winner present.”

Bob Borson (File photo)

Bob Borson (File photo)

The lesson learned: it just takes one raffle ticket to win the prize and to support a great nonprofit!

* Photo provided 
by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

Ron and Beth Hall*

Ron and Beth Hall*

According to the Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Beth and Ron Hall,

Family Gateway‘s inaugural Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon will be Friday, November 7, at 11:30 a.m. at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Our luncheon features speaker Andre Norman and art created by the homeless children of Family Gateway with Honorary Chairs Ana and Don Carty.

“The Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon supports Family Gateway’s mission to lead the community to End Child Homelessness in Dallas by providing innovative and comprehensive housing, social and educational services to homeless children and their families.

Don and Ana Carty*

Don and Ana Carty*

“Our speaker, Andre Norman, has a compelling story to share. So much so, that he is arriving early in Dallas to meet Family Gateway residents and tell his story of desperation resulting in a life of service.

“Andre grew up with an abusive father, an alcoholic mother and sisters involved in prostitution. Outside of his home Andre faced illiteracy and gang activity. As a young man he lacked the educational and familial foundation to succeed. After a criminal series of mistakes, he was sentenced to over 100 years in prison.

“While incarcerated Andre quickly rose to the top of the prison gang. As Andre’s notoriety grew he found himself in solitary confinement. The harrowing experience of solitary forced him to confront his future. He made the decision to turn his life around, and after 15 years he earned his parole. After he turned his life around Andre went a step further and became a dynamic agent for change who mentors, motivates and provides training for those who need it most.

“Join us in our vision to end child homelessness in Dallas. Please visit familygateway.org for tickets or sponsorship information.”

* Photos provided by Family Gateway

Perot Dinosaurs Taking Tuesday And Wednesday Off For Annual Museum Maintenance

It seems Time Warner’s cable and internet services had an unplanned “oops” during a “routine network maintenance” this morning, causing some nationwide hassles.

Luckily, the Perot Museum folks have their “annual museum maintenance” scheduled and are letting folks know.

Be put on notice that the museum will be closed for refreshing on Tuesday, September 2, and Wednesday, September 3.

Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall (File photo)

Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall (File photo)

Hmm, does one use a feather duster or a vacuum to clean the dinosaurs?

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Zoo To Do

According to Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Jennifer and Doug Houser and Tiffany and Paul Divis,

Doug and Jennifer Houser and Tiffany and Paul Divis (File photo)

Doug and Jennifer Houser and Tiffany and Paul Divis (File photo)

“Without a doubt, Zoo To Do is one of the best parties of the year! The Dallas Zoo has been one of Dallas’ most beloved attractions for more than 100 years. Just recently, the Dallas Zoo was included in a local magazine poll as one the best ‘Best Family Attractions’ in Dallas.

“The Dallas Zoo provides 106 acres to explore, thousands of animals to visit, and a wide variety of family activities. The Giants of the Savanna exhibit as well as Soar, A Festival of Flight presented by Kimberly-Clark in our Wildlife Amphitheater, guarantees to establish the Dallas Zoo as one of America’s best.

“Zoo To Do is a major source of funding for the Dallas Zoological Society. With the proceeds from the event, the Society is able to continue in its mission to support the Dallas Zoo as an outstanding center of education, entertainment, and wildlife conservation.

“The party on Saturday, November 1, will be in the Giants of the Savanna exhibit at the Dallas Zoo. The evening begins with cocktails, a stroll through the Savanna, and the opening of the silent auction. It continues with more than 25 of Dallas’ finest chefs and restaurants providing food at different stations throughout the event.  It is a true ‘grazing’ event.

“Music, dancing and other live entertainment continues throughout the evening and is followed by a spectacular live auction and late night dancing under the stars.

“Visit DallasZooToDo.com for additional information!”

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Creative Arts Theatre & School

Creative Ars Theatre And School*

Creative Ars Theatre And School*

“This year marks the third year that CATS (Creative Arts Theatre & School) has had the privilege of participating in North Texas Giving Day. We’ve been providing arts education and performance opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds in Arlington, Texas for 35years; and the past two have been the most challenging in our history. We lost our 29-year-oldhome to a terrible fire on July 4, 2012, and that loss continues to reverberate through our organization, even as we recover. The boost, financial and psychological, provided by participating in this joyful day has had a rousing effect on our organization. Around our office,North Texas Giving Day feels as good as Christmas, Valentine’s and Mardi Gras all in one!

Dinosaurs Before Dark*

Dinosaurs Before Dark*

“What CATS does is unique to the theatre world, as it presents theatre BY youth, FOR youth. The children involved in our programming are educated with care and discipline. Art is used as the framework to showcase values that children will carry with them for life. CATS teaches accountability, to accept critiques gracefully, to speak clearly and loudly, to fail and try again, to make sacrifices for the ensemble, and to fulfill their commitment to a project. When we receive donations on Giving Day, we can feel the acknowledgment from our community that what we do is valued. With the just over $7,000 we received last year, two full scholarships for an entire year of classes were funded, as well as supporting the budget for our holiday production, including the rental of the performance space!

CATS North Texas Giving Day*

CATS North Texas Giving Day*

“Not every kid can be a star on the football field or experience acceptance at school, but at CATS, creating theatre together leads to transformative outcomes. The misfit at school becomes the star on the stage or the behind-the-scenes leader, and finds a safe place. We’ve loved watching our alumni become professionals in the performing arts, and are equally thrilled at the teachers, bakers, and lawyers that cite their experiences at CATS as their most positively formative. Our goal is to educate children in the performing arts, with the longer-term goal being the creation of better human beings. In its history, it is estimated that well over 10,000 children have been directly touched and educated through our programming. This year, we eagerly wait for September 18, 2014, when our supporters log on to www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org and show their love!”

-By Heather Simmons, CATS Executive Director

* Graphic and photos provided Creatives Arts Theatre And School

The Stands Were Bowled Over For The 7th Annual BvB Dallas Powder-Puff Football Game And Whopping Big Check To Tackle Alzheimer’s

If yesterday’s story about BvB DallasCatelyn Cappelman resulted in tears, then the recap of the BvB Dallas’ game at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, August 16 will make you wish that you had been there to cheer. Despite the rain earlier in the day, the gals and guys on the field and in the stands weren’t about to let a little water dampen their spirits. Here is a field report:

“The rain didn’t keep the fans away from the 7th Annual BvB Dallas Powder-Puff Football Game and Fundraiser at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday night. By the time the Sirois Bros and Ty Walker from 1310 the Ticket took their places on the sidelines, the stands were full of pink and blue signs and spirited fans in matching T-shirts and colored fauxhawks.

Blondes getting charged up for game*

Blondes getting charged up for game*

Brus teammates and natty coaches touching base*

Brus teammates and natty coaches touching base*

Brus checking strategy*

Brus checking strategy*

“Ready for redemption, Team Brunette scored early and rushed the field as a team and took an early lead of 7-0.  In BvB history, The Bru Crew has only one win on the record books and they wanted the fans and Team Blonde to know this was not going to be an easy fight. The Blondes made a promising drive only to throw an interception, and the Brus used it to their advantage making the score 14-0.

2014 BvB Dallas record-breaking check*

2014 BvB Dallas record-breaking check*

“At halftime, the Giant Check was presented by 2014 BvB Chair Greer Fulton and BvB Board of Directors President Jen Bergman to Kimber Hartmann and Audette Rackley from the Center For BrainHealth and Carol Hall,  Dr. Ann Stowe and  Dr. Mark Goldberg from  UT Southwestern Medical Center, this year’s BvB beneficiaries. BvB Dallas is dedicated to Tackling Alzheimer’s disease and these two organizations are leading the way in research to find a cure.

“The check, however, was the big news of the night. The fundraising goal was already lofty– $400,000 — a good $50k over last year’s fundraising total. But, with a new crew of Rookies and MVP fundraisers, BvB Dallas raised over $440,000 in 10 weeks leading up to the Big Game.

Blondes hoist the trophy in victory*

Blondes hoist the trophy in victory*

“In a tough battle, the Blondes won the game (32-27). But, with giant grins on their faces, each player and coach on Team Blonde and Team Brunette left the field to listen to Kyle Park and his band play some Texas Country out on the plaza of the Cotton Bowl presented by Bud Light. Even Kyle’s drummer spontaneously donated $300 to the cause remarking he had never witnessed a group so passionate, dedicated and fun in one place. Once the two stepping was complete, DJ Joe took the stage for an impromptu dance party.

“The following awards were presented:

“MVPs of BvB 2014 (top Fundraisers): BvB MVPs aren’t graded by their talent on the field, but by their fundraising skills off of the field. These men and women have gone over and beyond the call of duty.

  • “Team Blonde (for the first time ever, a Coach!) Shane Hannabury (he raised over $10,000!)
  • “Team Brunette: Captain Rachel Anderson (Over $9,000!)
  • “Team Purple: Helen McDaniel (Over $4,500!)

“Miss Blonde/Brunette/Purple: Voted on by their coaches, The Miss Blonde and Miss Brunette, and now a Miss Team Purple awards are given to the women who show the most enthusiasm at practices and events and promote BvB Dallas on a daily basis.

  • “Miss Blonde: Lindsey Kluempers
  • “Miss Brunette: Rachel Anderson
  • “Miss Team Purple: Maetzi Caminos

“Rookies of the Year: Rookies of the year are voted on by veteran players and coaches. These rookies stood out this summer as leaders and were dedicated from day one. They showed enthusiasm for the cause and were committed to attending events and practices this summer.

  • “Blonde: Kelsey Wasmer and Shane Hannabury
  • “Brunette: Darby Chalko and Simon Leung
  • “BvB Dallas Caregiver Award: Catelyn Cappleman

Editor’s comment: When some of the older folks grumble, “What’s this younger generation coming to?”, they just need to look at the BvB Dallas teams to put their minds to rest. These young women and men give up time and effort to help the older generations in the battle against a debilitating and deadly disease.

* Photos provided by BvB Dallas

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Concert For A Cure

According to Concert For A Cure  Tri-Chair Lori Seinera,

“In 2002 my best friend Terri Fishman was vacationing and became ill during her travels. When she returned she received the devastating diagnosis that no one wants to hear – ‘You have leukemia.’ Terri fought and beat leukemia. Today, years later our friend Alyson Feaster, Terri and I jumped at the chance to chair an event that would kick off Texas/OU weekend in Dallas, but more importantly raise critical funds to support the mission of Leukemia Texas.

Lori Seinera, Alyson Feaster and Terri Fishman*

Lori Seinera, Alyson Feaster and Terri Fishman*

“The 2nd annual Concert for a Cure will be held at The Rustic on Thursday, October 9, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. to kick off the Red River Rivalry between our beloved schools — UT and OU. During this celebration with Jack Ingram on stage, we will offer a VIP experience like no other including valet, private entrance, bites, beverages, swag bags, and private seating for Jack’s performance. One lucky attendee will also win 2 game day tickets! The event is hosted by Title Sponsor McGladrey.

Concert For A Cure*

Concert For A Cure*

“We are also proud to recognize Alicia Landry and family of the late Tom Landry. Not only was Coach Landry a fighting Longhorn, but he fought leukemia. It is an honor and privilege to Chair the 2nd annual Concert for a Cure to benefit our favorite charity, Leukemia Texas and we can’t wait to see you there!

“Tickets are $75 each and sponsorship starts at $1,000. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.LeukemiaTexas.org or by calling 214.265.7393. Attire is country/collegiate chic! Follow us online for exciting updates.

“Leukemia Texas is dedicated to improving the lives of those with leukemia through the funding of research and patient aid. We are the only organization of its kind in Texas where 100% of our funds remain in Texas. Our current program awards up to $1,000 per patient, ten times more than any other similar organization in Texas.”

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Leukemia Texas

Just In: Dallas Film Society Announces Big Changes For Art Of Film

The Dallas Film Society has been cooking something up for the past few months. Despite threats or pleas, nobody would reveal plans for the 2014 Art of Film. When asked what all the secrecy was about, the response was a twinkle in the eye and a smirk.

Hmm, something was definitely up.

What was up was a lot of changes! Tonight an announcement reception chaired by Pam and Mark Denesuk was held at the Tesla store at NorthPark. Well, goodness! Those DFS-ers have facelifted the whole event!

Toni Collette*

Toni Collette*

First of all, this year’s headliner on stage with Elvis Mitchell will be a woman for the very first time —Toni Collette. If you have to ask who she is, your brain cells are just a little worn out from getting the kids back to school. You really know her. Here are some gentle reminders to energize your gray matter:

Ah, now you remember. How about some more trivia to prepare for this red-haired Aussie’s appearance and get-to-know-better?

Australian-born Toni has gained and dropped more weight than Matthew McConaughey or Tom Hanks. Why, in “Muriel’s Wedding,” she put on 40 pounds in seven weeks. Then after taking the weight off and swearing she would never gain weight for a movie role again, she went and added 25 pounds for “In Her Shoes,” because she believed it was important to her character’s personality.

Her very first feature movie had her opposite Anthony Hopkins and Russell Crowe.

When she was just a tyke at the age of 11, she demonstrated her acting skills by faking appendicitis. The doctors were so convinced by her performance, they remove her healthy appendix.

Steve and Barbara Durham (File photo)

Steve and Barbara Durham (File photo)

But enough about Toni. There were still more changes announced. Instead of heading to Fair Park’s Hall of State, guests for the Friday, November 21st fundraiser will head to the Perot Museum. Oh, boy! Imagine the cocktail reception in the Lyda Hill Gems  and Mineral Hall, enjoying Elvis and Toni chatting it up in the Hoglund Foundation Theater and then having dinner with the Dallas skyline in the background plus a dinosaur!

2014 Art of Film honorary co-chairs will be Barbara and Steve Durham.

Oh, one last thing about Toni. If you remember her as being rather dowdy in her movies, forget that. Take a look at Toni when she’s not playing a role. Wow!

Looks like this one is destined to have a SOS (Sold-Out-Status).

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2014 Partners Card

According to 2014 Partners Card Co-Chairs Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek and Diana Hamilton,

Andrea Cheek, Diana Hamilton and Lisa Bhattacharya*

Andrea Cheek, Diana Hamilton and Lisa Bhattacharya*

“Partners Card is upon us! We are thrilled to announce the most highly anticipated shopping fundraiser of the year, presented by Bank of Texas and benefiting The Family Place, will be held October 24 through November 2, 2014. When you shop, you save money and save lives by supporting Partners Card and The Family Place, Dallas’ largest family violence service provider. With more than 750 wonderful participating retailers and restaurants this year, we guarantee Partners Card will satisfy all of your shopping needs while supporting a good cause!

Shelle Sills (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

“We also are excited to have local retail expert, Shelle Sills, as our honorary chair this year. For more than 35 years, Shelle has been an integral part of the retail industry in various capacities. She owned and operated The Gazebo, a popular women’s specialty store, for 18 years. In 1999, she joined Neiman Marcus as the vice president and visionary general manager of the historic downtown Dallas store, where she dedicated her time to various groups seeking to revitalize and reinvent downtown Dallas. She currently works as the director of retail and project development with Headington Companies and oversees business development and special projects.

“The 10-day shopping spectacular rewards cardholders with unbelievable savings at some of Dallas’ top stores and restaurants. With the purchase of a $70 Partners Card, shoppers receive 20 percent savings at more than 750 participating retailers in Dallas, Arlington, Grapevine, McKinney, Plano, Southlake, Richardson, Frisco, Coppell, Flower Mound, Denton, Colleyville, Las Colinas, Irving, Mesquite, Addison, Garland, Rockwall and Lewisville.

“Over the past 21 years, Partners Card has become the largest fundraiser for The Family Place and is one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. And, although this is the largest fundraiser, it represents only a tenth of the overall operating budget needed to provide a safe haven to victims of domestic violence. Our goal this year is to sell 15,500 cards!

“Behind the sale of each $70 card is a woman and child, who with help from The Family Place, will have a safe place to retreat. Individuals may purchase a Partners Card from any participating retailer or restaurant, card-selling individual, through direct mail or by visiting www.partnerscard.org. Partners Cards will go on sale September 1, 2014. For more information, contact the Partners Card Hotline at 214.443.7754 or email [email protected].

“We hope you will buy a card and shop during the 22nd Annual Partners Card fundraiser!”

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Back On My Feet

“What if everybody in Dallas… ran?

“What if each morning the 1.2 million residents of Dallas laced up their shoes and went for a jog? The only traffic jams would be on congested sidewalks and instead of caffeine, we would be running on endorphins. How would our city look different?With the support of North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 18, we hope to spread the power of running.

“According to Mizuno’s recently published study from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, our city would see huge and measurable change. Everything from health and wellness to dollars spent and saved. Thirty-two percent of us would experience better sleep. Twenty percent of us would have stronger memories. And each of us would experience a 10% increase in our earning potential. That’s just if we decided to make one healthy choice each morning, to run.

Back On My Feet*

Back On My Feet*

“There’s a group of us who believe in the study’s results because we’ve experienced the positive effects of running. We’re a nonprofit called Back on My Feet. We use this idea of running to improve lives and we’ve applied this concept to a unique and often overlooked social issue in Dallas… homelessness. Yes, we can improve our city and our social services by running. And according to the 2013 Homeless Census, more than 2,972 individuals are experiencing homelessness at any given night in Dallas.

Back On My Feet*

Back On My Feet*

“If we all ran? Almost half of those people would be living in their own homes. Forty-six percent of homelessness could be prevented according to the UNC study. Our group is driven by volunteers who run for those reasons.

“We run Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:45 a.m. with four shelters to support those getting back on their feet. We’ve seen incredible results – more than 175 members of the program have obtained employment and 131 members of the program have moved into their own homes.

Gloria*

Gloria*

“We’re changing the realities of homelessness in Dallas by running these streets, supporting people like Gloria (pictured) through employment, and empowering those who have faced hardship.

“And to support our North Texas Giving Day campaign, Back on My Feet staff will be running 18 miles in 18 hours on Sept. 18. Follow our training and our efforts on Facebook with #18in18. Join us in donating or running on North Texas Giving Day, both lead to healthy choices and a better Dallas.”

-By Gina Parker, Back On My Feet Executive Director

* Graphic and photos 
provided by Back On 
My Feet