JUST IN: While Barbara Daseke Splashes As Addison Magazine Cover Girl, Husband Don Daseke Is Named 2018 Horatio Alger Awardee

The name “Daseke” is familiar to locals for Barbara and Don Daseke‘s support of all types of nonprofit. From WaterTower Theater in Addison to the Dallas Zoo just south of Dallas’ CBD, they’ve made their paw/foot print on fundraising. Why Addison The Magazine of the North Dallas Corridor just featured platinum, spiky Barbara as their cover girl this month.

Don and Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Ah, but word has just arrived that Don has been busy building his empire to gargantuan levels as well as his philanthropic levels.

Word just arrived that Don will receive the prestigious Horatio Alger Award on Thursday, April 5, thru Saturday, April 7, during the Association’s 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies. Gee, hope Barbara and Don can schedule it into their “Must Attend” agenda. The twosome will be joining fellow awardee Reba McEntire and others in Washington D.C. for the ceremony.

According to the Horatio Alger Award committee, “This annual award recognizes exceptional leaders – all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. Horatio Alger Award recipients solely fund the Association’s scholarship programs, which provide education opportunities to promising students who, like the Award recipients, have faced adversity in their young lives.”

Don will join such locals as the late Ebby Halliday Acers, Jody Grant, T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Rich and Bob Schlegel.

Follow the jump for all of Don’s accomplishments including his marriage to Barbara. [Read more…]

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Were Surrounded by A Dramatic Lacquered Entry Hall, A Dining Room Feast And A Treasure Of Diamonds

Hal and Diane Brierley

Typically the chatter at November gatherings of the non-profit set circles around kids playing soccer, spouses being about due to last-minute meetings and plans for the next project. But on Thursday, November 9, that wasn’t the case at the Crystal Charity Ball Underwriting reception at Amy and Corey Prestige’s great home.

The location was convenient for Diane and Hal Brierley, who just walked across the street to dine, wine and catch up with buddies.

Lee Bailey

Michael Sills

Tom Addis

Kim Hext

Immediately upon entering the mansion, guests like Doris and Jack Jacobs, Lee Bailey, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Ginny and Randy Bailey, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Shelle and Michael Sills, CCB event producer Tom Addis, Debbie Oates, Kim Hext, Lisa and Marvin Singleton and Lisa and Kenny Troutt were struck by the eggplant purple lacquered walls of the entry. One chap commented that it was a first for him. While an interior design expert quipped, the paint job was as breathtaking as it was expensive.

Ralph and Barbara Babb

Ginny and Randy Bailey

Now as for the second topic du jour, it was a review of the night before. Many of the group had attended The Family Place’s ReuNight. But the talk didn’t even mention being at the The Statler or the well-behaved llama. Rather, the memory-maker was the live auction that followed the dinner. It ranged from a Saturday Night Live skit to, “it was so robotic.” The auctioneer in question had gained recognition earlier in the season at The Jade Ball for stalking bids in the Belo Ballroom.

Nicole Becker and Kelsey Halford

Shelle Sills

Twas not the case this time. One gent was surprised that the auctioneer started off asking for a high bid instead of easing up low. Even the most Mary Sunshine types were amazed at the auctioneer’s antics.

Liat and Amit Berger

Leslie and Bryan Diers

But all this talk ceased when silver forks clanged against crystal glasses to call the guests like Kelsey Halford, Nicole Becker, Candace Winslow, Piper Wyatt, Anne BesserBrent Christopher and Shelle Sills together in the den for a thank-you from CCB Chair Pam Perella and evening sponsor Diamond’s Direct’s Amit Berger, who had provided sparkly items for Pam, Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and others to wear. At one point in his speaking to the glittering crowd, someone’s phone was loudly heard. Immediately the eyes scoured the room for the hand to reach into the pocket to silence the interrupting cellphone. Amit laughed. It was his phone.

After the brief comments, it was back to chatting and grazing in the dining room. The Cassandra Fine Catering spread at these parties is one of the main reasons that husbands don’t complain about attending. She sets a mighty fine table.

MySweetWishList: SPCA OF Texas

According to SPCA Of Texas Volunteer Janice Anderson,

Janice Anderson*

“My wish is that all animal lovers include the SPCA of Texas in their will and estate plans. Leave a legacy and give to one of the best non-profits in our community.”

“When my husband Bill and I moved to McKinney from Tennessee 17 years ago, it wasn’t long before we discovered the SPCA of Texas McKinney facility just around the corner from our home on Stacy Road.

“We loved to stop by and see the pups and we quickly learned about all the great work the SPCA of Texas does throughout North Texas.

 “We have been donors since 2005 and have adopted six dogs from the McKinney shelter over the years. About a year ago we decided to make a future commitment by including the SPCA of Texas in our estate plans.

SPCA of Texas*

“We wanted this to be our legacy to help the SPCA of Texas continue their important work, and (as Legacy Society members) knowing that our pups will be taken care of if something happens to us, is very comforting.

“It was also my dream to become an SPCA of Texas volunteer after retiring. I began my labor of love as a McKinney volunteer last fall.

“For Bill and me, the SPCA of Texas is where our love is.

“The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare organization in North Texas. Founded in 1938, the non-profit operates two shelters, three spay/neuter clinics and an animal rescue center, all located in Dallas and Collin Counties, and maintains a team of animal cruelty investigators who respond to thousands of calls in seven North Texas counties. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other national humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. 

“To learn more about how you can leave a legacy to the SPCA of Texas, please contact Eunice Nicholson at [email protected] or 214.461.5166.”

-By Janice Anderson, SPCA of Texas volunteer

* Photo and graphic provided by SPCA of Texas

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

With the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball less than a month away, the final big thank-you reception was held on Thursday, November 9, at Amy and Corey Prestige’s fabulous mansion. From the amazing dining room filled with Cassandra must-haves to the standing-room-only in the den, the CCB underwriters had plenty to talk about and to feast upon.

Ginny and Randy Bailey

Liat and Amit Berger

But as dazzling as the entry’s lacquered eggplant purple walls were, the bling-bling provided by the evening sponsor Diamonds Direct had guests thinking about adding a glitter for the children’s gala on Saturday, December 2, as well as Christmas shopping.

Lee Bailey

Leslie and Bryan Diers

Kim Hext

While the post is being completed, check out the faces and twinkle at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Caroline Kraddick Shares Her Personal Journey Into Philanthropy At Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon

Since Kidd Kraddick‘s death in 2013, his daughter Caroline Kraddick has carried on his legacy of helping children with life-threatening and altering challenges. On Thursday, November 9, Caroline shared her journey at the Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon. Here’s a report from the field:

On Thursday, November 9, about 50 of Dallas’ most philanthropic women attended an intimate luncheon hosted by Morgan Stanley at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. The women gathered together to hear how Caroline Kraddick is growing out of the shadow of her father and into her own.  As “Chief Happiness Officer” of Kidd’s Kids, she is determined to grow the family legacy of hope and happiness which her Dad, the late Kidd Kraddick started over 25 years ago. 

Melanie Schnoll Begun, Caroline Kraddick, Christine Ashmore and Sallie Behnke*

Melanie Schnoll Begun, head of Stanley Morgan’s Philanthropic Management, interviewed Caroline over lunch on a number of topics including Caroline’s new efforts to create more awareness and raise more funding to expand Kidd’s Kids programming, including her signature Teen Trip that was added to the list of offerings this year.

Caroline is the original, “Kidd’s Kid.” Her parents were told she was likely to be born with disabilities, so her dad made a deal with God! She was born healthy, and the mission of Kidd’s Kids to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions was born with her.

Caroline grew up around the Kidd’s Kids families and when her dad, passed away unexpectedly in 2013, she began a very personal journey. After a year of mourning, making music and soul searching, Caroline found her calling and returned to Dallas as the driving force and voice of the foundation, Caroline wants to spread the word about Kidd’s Kids to the world.

As the centerpiece of the foundation, Kidd’s Kids provides an all-expense-paid trip for approximately 50 children and their families to Walt Disney World® in Florida each year. For many families that have children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions, this becomes the trip of their lifetime.

The lively discussion continued with Caroline sharing her personal goals and using her voice (literally with her passion for singing!) for the future growth. Caroline hopes with more donations in the future, she can increase the number of families to take to Disney World. She also started a signature Teen Trip to Florida earlier this year by partnering with Give Kids the World; teens battling life-altering conditions continue to need hope and happiness too! Overall, Caroline’s stories inspired the room full of women who are ready to make a bigger impact in our philanthropic community.

Courtenay DeHoff and Amy Vanderoef*

Jo-Ann Saunders and Celia Saunders*

Among the luncheon crowd were Kellie Rasberry, Amy Vanderoef, Jo-Ann Saunders, Celia Saunders, Christine Ashmore, Sallie Behnke, Jocelyn White, Courtenay DeHoff, Alex Cohen and Carol Charette.

Ways to help this holiday season: Text KIDD to 52000 anytime to donate $10.

Buy your tickets to Enchant Christmas https://enchantchristmas.com enter Promo Code KIDD in the upper right hand box on the ticket purchase page for a portion of ticket and skate rental proceeds to support Kidd’s Kids.

To get involved and get or more information on how to support Kidd’s Kids, please go to www.kiddskids.com

* Photo provided by Morgan Stanley

Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence In Community Services Recipients Displayed Insight And Graciousness In Accepting Their Honors

While the Dallas Historical Society‘s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Community Services crowds gathered outside the Fairmont’s International Ballroom, the VIPs and 2017 Awardees attended a private reception in the Venetian Room on Thursday, November 9. For some it was a great opportunity for people whose paths had never crossed to meet up.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

For instance, historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was almost giddy meeting former Police Chief David Brown. Speaking of David, he reported that due to his ABC contract, he was splitting his time between Dallas and New York City… Across the way, Laurie Evans was doing the swivel head looking for her husband Dr. Phil Evans to arrive. She knew he would be there, but when? … Already on the scene were past Award recipients Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were there to celebrate Kern’s brother Hobson Wildenthal’s being recognized for his work in education…. Patricia Meadows reported that the family home in the State Thomas neighborhood was on the market… and others like Joan and Alan Walne, Mary McDermott Cook, Louise Caldwell, Diane Bumpas, Caro Stalcup, Mary Suhm, Creative Arts Awardee Carolyn Brown, Arts Leadership Awardees Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller and Sports Leadership Awardee Tony Dorsett with his wife Janet Dorsett.

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans

 

Just moments before the chimes called the group to the luncheon, Laurie was relieved to see her husband arrive with a big smile. Seems he had gotten an early Christmas gift — a million-dollar grant —from an “anonymous” donor. That’s a pretty darn good excuse for a delayed arrival.

The ballroom was filled to the max, as people like Jill Bernstein, Sandi Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Gail Thomas and Lee Cullum took their seats. At 11:50 a.m., Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas called the group to order. Following an invocation by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Rev. Chris Girata, Stewart introduced Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, who welcomed the group. They were followed by Dallas Historical Society Chair Bill Helmbrecht, who officially thanked all for attending and supporting the society.

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

All of this was done within six minutes! Promptly at high noon, Stewart reported that the program would continue in a few minutes and guests should settle back for lunch. Missing in action was table host Bobby Lyle, who was under the weather, but his table was filled with Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean… Arriving just after luncheon was underway was Shirley Miller.

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

At 12:25 p.m. Stewart was back at the podium and invited the award recipients to take their places in chairs on the stage.

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

  • Hobson Wildenthal for Education — The University of Texas at Dallas Executive VP recalled how 50 years ago TI was created and the UTD resulted. 157 National Merit Scholars were in this year’s freshman class and it was designated as the Best U.S. College less than 50 years old. He finished saying, “Margaret McDermott is the queen of Dallas.”
  • Steve Pounders for Health/Science — The internist told how in 1981 he was just starting his care and discovered a disease that was affecting young men that would late become known as AIDs. It would become his life’s calling resulting in his serving as the primary physician for men in the Dallas Buyers Club. He thanked Veletta Lill, Resource Center’s Cece Cox and his spouse James O’Reilly.
  • Willis Winters for History — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director gave thanks for the recent passage of the bond: “One of the first projects will be the restoration of the Hall of State.”
  • Jorge Baldor for Philanthropy — The Cuban-born businessman acknowledged that 800,000 have been the recipients of DACA and encouraged audience members to support the Dream Act. He went on to thank the event and kitchen staffs and finished by reporting that several hundred students are living under bridges and still going to school.

Then the most poignant moment came unexpectedly. It was when former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett accepted his award for sports. He admitted that he was a little taken aback by the people, and went on to recognize the late Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, who made Tony understand that things were going to be tougher in the NFL. Landry held Tony back and it taught the young football player patience.  Tony went on, saying, “I was always told that I was too small, time and time again.” Through effort and determination, he was able to play in the NFL for 13 years.  

Looking at the other recipients seated on stage, he went on to saying “These are fantastic and incredible people up here.”

He thanked his wife Janet saying, “What I’m going through is tough, and she puts up with me. It can be really difficult and she understands that that’s not the real me. This is tough.”

Having gone beyond his two-minute limit, Janet was seen quietly approaching the side of the stage. Tony heard her say, “Tony,” and he took note and sat down.

Moments later David Brown took his place at the podium to accept the Jubilee History Maker Award. He could have easily sucked the air out of the room for his leadership for the July 7 tragedy. Instead, David rallied the audience to give Tony another round of appreciation. The applause was deafening for both Tony and David’s act of graciousness.

David went to tell how his father hadn’t wanted him to be “a cop.” But on the day when he was made a lieutenant at the Hall of State, he had what would be the last conversation with his father, who said “You were right in your choice.”

Then David went further back in his history, telling how in fourth grade, he had played Captain George Ludwig von Trapp in the “Sound of Music.” The students had to do more than learn their roles. They had to research the backstory of the musical. Today he had become nostalgic when seeing the white flowers on the tables and hearing the musician play “Edelweiss” — the last song Richard Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein.

Tying it all together, he said, “Remember who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat each other.” Then he voiced disappointment at the lack of participation in the recent election.

At 1:14 p.m., Bill Helmbrecht returned to the stage and invited all to take part in the annual A.C. Greene Toast.

For more pictures of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Awards For Excellence In Community Service

This year’s Awards for Excellence in Community Services on Thursday, November 9, at the Fairmont was a true gathering of greats in all fields. From the pre-luncheon reception for the recipients to the presentation of the awards, the Dallas Historical Society fundraiser showcased those who have contributed to the betterment of the area.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

At one point in the program, former Dallas Police Chief David Brown proved just why he had been selected for the Jubilee History Maker.

While the post is being prepared, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Passing: Al Hill Jr.

The tapestry of Al Hill Jr.’s life was one of many threads, colors and textures.  

Al Hill Jr. (File photo)

For many young people, Al was the behind-the-scenes patriarch of Highland Park Village and a very generous and supportive philanthropist. As one person told a new nonprofit development director on how to raise funds, “Go visit Al. He’ll take the meeting and listen. If he likes what he hears, he’ll answer your prayers.”

He was easy to spot at any event. It was his wheelchair that had become a double-edged sword since his fall in 2003 that resulted in his being paralyzed from the waist down. But even that couldn’t dampen his spirits. There was always the smile, especially when he was at events with his daughters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne.

Old-timers remember Al of the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he was just in his 20s. He and his uncle Lamar Hunt spearheaded the growth of tennis, thanks to the World Championship of Tennis. It made sense, since Al had been an ace tennis player at St. Mark’s School of Texas and Trinity University. Tennis was on the launch pad to become a major sports contender like football and baseball. And the timing couldn’t have been better for Al, Lamar and Dallas.

Those were heady days, with Dallas’ new airport making it an international player in the world of travel and such membership nightclubs as Oz on LBJ and elan at Greenville and Lovers Lane for partying it up. To do it up big, Al and Lamar brought in such names as Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Bjorg, who could barely speak English.

But the venture into building the world of tennis wasn’t Al’s only undertaking. Being the grandson of the late H.L. and Lyda Hunt and son of the late Margaret and Al Hill Sr., he was involved in the oil business. Being the nephew of the late race-horse-loving Bunker Hunt, he developed a hands-on interest in horse racing. Being the nephew of Pumpkin Air owner Caroline Rose Hunt, he took on the charter-jet business as well.

And on the home front, he and his beautiful blonde wife, Vicki, were new parents of son Al Hill III and daughters Heather and Elisa.

But it hadn’t all been wonderful for Al. There was the divorce from Vicki, the life-changing fall from his porch in 2003, and legal issues following the death of his mother in 2007. Yet, those developments didn’t slow him down. He ended up adjusting his interests to focus on the building and restoring of Park Cities homes, as well as being a part of the purchase and redevelopment of Highland Park Village starting in 2009.

But it was in philanthropy where he shone, by putting even more of his family’s money and influence into the world of such nonprofits as Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Equest, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas, Center for BrainHealth, Salvation Army of DFW Metroplex Command, Big Thought, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Family Place, Communities in Schools of Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, The Senior Source, Dallas Historical Society, and many others.

Saturday night, Al’s confinement to the wheelchair ended with his death at the age of 72. One can’t but suspect that he was the first one on the tennis courts the next morning in his after-life.

Our condolences to his family, friends and the countless others who have benefited from his generosity and friendship.

Grovel Alert: Dallas Uncorked Holiday Dinner

Just heard from that wine-loving Haley Hamilton Cogill that there were just a mere five tickets left for Dallas Uncorked’s Annual Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 10, at Salum. To complement the evening’s multi-course feasting will be Domaine Caneros sparkling and still wines with the Eileen “Doyenne of Sparking Wine in California” Crane on hand for table talk.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill (File photo)

Leave it to Haley and restaurateur Abraham Salum to schedule the dinner on the heels of the Cowboys game against Giants in the Big Apple. If The Boys win, what a way to celebrate. If they lose, the dinner will be a perfect way to wash away the blues.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier and The Edible Schoolyard. Hopefully, tickets are still available here.

BTW, if you aren’t lucky enough to pop the cork on this one. You might want to check out Haley’s appearance with husband/film-meister Gary Cogill at the Dallas Arboretum’s “Wine And Movies: A Perfect Pairing With Gary and Hayley Cogill” on Monday, December 11. The twosome will talk about their favorite movies of 2017 and seamlessly pair the films with wines. For Arboretum members, the price is $70. For non-members, it’s $75. Once again, membership has its perks.

MySweetWishList: Readers 2 Leaders

Norma Nelson*

According to Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director Norma Nelson,

“My holiday wish is for all third graders in Dallas County to receive the early literacy skills they need to succeed! I’d like to introduce you to three Readers 2 Leaders students: Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina go to different schools, but they have something in common: they all dream of helping others in the healthcare field. Maybe they will become doctors, nurses, or medical researchers! Like all kids, they have big dreams.

“The road from career dress up day at Readers 2 Leaders’ Summer Camp to advanced medical training will be long no matter what, but together we can make it smoother. We know that 2 out of 3 economically disadvantaged children are not reading on grade level by 4th grade, and that makes them six times less likely to graduate from high school, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Imagine if only one of the sweet girls in this photo made it to college! We can’t let that happen.

“At Readers 2 Leaders, children get help learning to read on grade level so they are prepared for the challenges they face on the way to fulfilling their dreams. At R2L, we know that literacy isn’t the only thing kids need to make things go right, but it’s just about the first thing that must! When you support Readers 2 Leaders, you’re helping literacy go right for kids.

Readers 2 Leaders*

“Also, students in Readers 2 Leaders’ programs are making great progress! They gain an average of a year and a half of reading skills in just one year, and 94% of this year’s summer campers did not experience the “summer slide”– in fact, they gained 3.5 months of skills!

“I hope that you will consider donating to Readers 2 Leaders this holiday season.

Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina*

“Your support helps children like Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina get the early literacy skills they desperately need. You can connect with Readers 2 Leaders by donating, attending a tour or volunteering to read with a child in our program. Thank you for helping children in our community achieve their dreams!”

– By Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director

* Photo provided by Readers 2 Leaders

A Passing: Eli

Eli (File photo)

Eli worked with more patients than most doctors. You might say he was a general practitioner since his skills were limitless.  And his bedside manner was better than even Marcus Welby’s.

For a decade, Eli was the Numero Uno member of the Baylor Animal Assisted Therapy program. From his birth on March 13, 2007, there was something special about the Golden Retriever. Sure, he was like any dog if a tennis ball caught his eye. But once he arrived at any of the Baylor campuses in North Texas wearing his ID badge and bandanna, he transformed into a care provider.

By an act of the fates, Eli was able to pursue his calling with his partner Linda Marler, who was in charge of the Baylor program. Partner? Yes. Anyone could see that in Eli’s and Linda’s relationship, there was no “owner.” They were partners.

For years, Linda and Eli would daily go to “their” office on the first floor of Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation and set up schedules and work with all types of patients. In some cases, it was just to provide some comfort for a patient who missed their own dog. For others, it was helping a young person trying to regain the use of their hands after a motorcycle accident. And for still others, it was quietly putting his head in someone’s lap when they were having a bad day.

Linda Marler and Eli (File photo)

However, it was more than the patients who got the Eli treatment. Baylor staff members would greet them as they walked through the halls.  Their little office became the “must-stop-by” spot for anyone working in the building. It was never surprising to see a patient in a wheelchair roll up to the door to see how Eli was doing. The Golden Retriever greeted each visitor with a wagging tail and a smile. Yes, Eli did smile.

Alas, poor Eli had to put up with some of Linda’s silliness. She would balance everything from treats to balls on his nose to show how obedient he was. Everyone from children to the most highly educated specialist would look in amazement as he held his nose just the right way until Linda gave him the signal to release.

Eli in the center with Baylor Animal Assisted Therapy testing team (File photo)

And, of course, Eli became the rock star of the Animal Assisted Therapy program. The temperament testing team considered Eli not to be a dog, but rather one of the testers. When new dogs would be tested for the program that was considered one of the toughest, Eli would quietly lie nearby until Linda needed him.

Eli (File photo)

As the years passed, Eli found himself training a new puppy in the Marler household. The pup’s name was Micah and, like Eli, he was a Golden Retriever. Only Micah was a bit of a cut-up. As a youngster, he got loose and was the victim of a hit-and-run. Luckily, Micah pulled through, but it is believed that Eli took him aside and told him to get his act together … which he did.

In recent years, Eli’s muzzle was turning white and he was slowing down a bit. After all, that’s why he had been training Micah to take over some of his duties. But Eli was still showing up for work with Linda and taking care of their patients and staff.

Just this past Sunday, an email was sent by Linda, “Went to ER today. Eli has hemangiosarcoma … We brought him home with us…..giving him extra love and attention. He is not eating….. it is only a matter of time.”

That time came last night, when Linda watched her partner cross the rainbow bridge.

Crystal Charity Ball Committee Does A “Mary Tyler Moore” Singalong For CCB Chair Pam Perella On The Eve Of The Children’s Nonprofit Gala

T’was the night before Crystal Charity Ball and all through the Anatole the finishing touches were being polished up for the 2017 fundraiser for the Dallas County children’s nonprofits. With nails broken and fashionably torn jeans, the committee had finished their three days of installing the “Evening In The Alps” finery in the Chantilly Ballroom. To celebrate their year of working under the leadership of 2017 Chair Pam Perella, a champagne get-together was held in a suite high atop the hotel.

When Pam started her reign a year ago, she announced that the internal working theme would be TV shows of the ’70s. Still it became known that Pam’s fav program had been “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” How simply wonderful and typical of ever-smiling Pam.

But as CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers noted tonight, “Mary Tyler Moore died just days later.” That might have put a crimp on the POA, but this was a Pam project and the energy and collaboration continued in a MTM spirit.

Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell

Tonight as a surprise for Pam, the committee led by Pam’s chief lieutenants (Anne Besser, Leslie, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell) led the group in singing the theme song of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” with the lieutenants tossing their berets as the end.

Stacey Walker, Lisa Cooley, Caren Kline, Connie O’Neill and Angela Nash

While the CCB team is a gangbuster in raising funds for area charities, they had better not think about going professional with their choral singing. Still, Pam, with husband Vin Perella supporting her, was truly touched by the moment, the laughter and her cohorts.

Vin and Pam Perella

Another surprise was the arrival of Matthew Trent’s donation to the silent auction. For ages, Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner had been crossing their fingers for the arrival of Trent’s handiwork. Alas, it arrived just that night and too late for the catalogue. As the ladies opened the box, they discovered a beautiful gold necklace with a brilliant gold fish highlighted by white sapphires valued at $15,000+.  BTW, Event Producer Tom Addis has truly created an Alpine experience, from a skiers’ hut to the aroma of fresh-cut firs. And that’s just for the cocktail party!

Legendary B.J. Thomas Took The Stage For Northwood Woman’s Club’s Annual Kaleidoscope Fundraiser At Intercontinental Hotel

While the rest of North Texas was resting after a morning of runs/walks on Saturday, October 28, the Northwood Woman’s Club was in overdrive at the Intercontinental Hotel for its annual Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” fundraiser. In addition to having The Triumphs on stage, the star of the night was the legendary B.J. Thomas. Here’s a report from the field that was delayed due to a MySweetCharity elf’s being asleep at the wheel: 

No raindrops fell Saturday, October 28, on the Northwood Woman’s Club Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel. The only raindrops at the event came later in the evening in a song when music legend B.J. Thomas took the stage and sang his Grammy winning hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

Upon arrival, guests mingled and explored the silent auction items and wine pull. As guests moved to their tables for dinner, they viewed a slide show featuring the beneficiaries of the event—Attitudes and Attire, Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UTD, Cristo Rey Dallas, Dallas CASA, Interfaith Family Services, St. Simon’s After-School, and NWC Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Gala chair Leslie Apgar welcomed guests into dinner as the band The Triumphs took the stage to play during dinner. The Triumphs, the original band that recorded with B.J. Thomas, added a touch of nostalgia to the evening with their familiar hits from the sixties and seventies.

Sharyl Weber, Patricia Kay Dube and Vaughn Gross*

To start the evening’s program NWC President Patricia Kay Dube welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the event. She then turned the program over to Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer Dean McCurry, who recognized guests from each of the beneficiary organizations, including Dallas CASA President and Executive Director Kathleen LaValle and St. Simon’s After School Executive Director Maria Vizzo.

To start the live auction, Dean urged the crowd to “bid up” on a variety of live auction items. He kept the bidding lively for hot sports items such as a Cowboys game experience that includes tickets in a suite and on field passes, and a suite at a Mavericks game for twelve people. Travel items up for auction included a vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado and a stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii. The live auction concluded with a trip to New York in December to see the Billy Joel concert, and this item generated so many bids that several additional trips were awarded to bidders.

B.J. Thomas*

Ready for the featured entertainment of the evening by five-time Grammy winner B.J. Thomas, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed B.J. to the stage and filled the dance floor to sing along and dance as he performed his many hit songs, including “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Hooked on a Feeling” and many others.

The Triumphs closed out the evening with more music and dancing.

The best part of the evening was the success of the event in raising funds for NWC’s beneficiaries and scholarship fund.

* Photo provided by Northwood Woman's Club

Let Your Old Bag Be Someone Else’s New Bag

Rumor has it that temperatures will start acting more winter-like next week. Suggestion: Start doing the great wardrobe transition. Put into storage those cottons, shorts and flip-flops. Pull out the boots, cashmeres and snuggly coats.

And while you’re going through your closets, you just might run across a handbag that has been out of commission for a while. It still seems good as new, but it just isn’t quite going with you current look. So, why leave the poor little thing hidden away, when it could really spruce up someone else’s look?

If you brave it up and decide to part company with your purse, you can take it to any Bibbentuckers. They gathering handbags through December for the Attitudes and Attire program that provides “work-appropriate clothing and accessories to all women who attend our workshops.”

According to sources, “Our inventory of accessories is very low, and we need your help! Please consider going through your closet and pulling work-appropriate handbags that you could donate to us.”

MySweetWishList: Perot Museum Of Nature And Science

Julie Diaz*

According to Perot Museum of Nature and Science Chief Advancement Officer Julie Diaz,

“The Perot Museum celebrates its 5th birthday this December!

“We are grateful for the support of the North Texas community, which has allowed us to serve 5.5 million people since our opening in 2012 and enabled us to fulfill our mission of ‘inspiring minds through nature and science.’

“Our wish this holiday season is to give the gift of discovery to North Texas families who might not otherwise have the means to visit. A contribution in support of the Perot Museum’s Financial Aid Program – which gives over 100,000 school children from all over North Texas the opportunity to experience the Museum’s amaze-your-brain fun and learning – would be meaningful!

Perot Museum of Nature and Science*

“Your gift to this program is a great way to help us spark curiosity in the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. Our goal is to distribute $500,000 in financial aid this year – you can help make that possible! Check it out here. For more info, call 214.756.5808.

-By Julie Diaz, Perot Museum of Nature and Science Chief Advancement Officer

* Photo provided by Perot Museum of Nature and Science

JUST IN: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball’s 452-Page “Children’s Book” Is Unveiled Today Thanks To Wells Fargo Private Bank

Today the Crystal Charity Ball elves committee members donned their “Alpine” sweaters and started schlepping flowers, favors and all kinds of goodies at the Anatole in preparation for Saturday night’s “Evening in the Alps.”

In addition to the activity, 2017 CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers revealed a first for CCB. According to Leslie, the legendary “Children’s Book” that will be given to guests was being sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Leslie Diers, Phil White, Pam Perella and Elizabeth Gambrell

On hand for the delivery and the unveiling of the 452-page book by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and 2017 “Children’s Book Chair” Elizabeth Gambrell was Wells Fargo Private Bank DFW and Oklahoma Regional Director Phil White.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get one of these keepsakes, you’ll have a wonderful time checking the beautiful photos of area children photographed and donated by John Derryberry Photography, James French Photography, Gittings and Haynsworth Classic American Portraiture.

Dallas CASA’s Champion Of Children Underwriters Enjoyed An Evening Of Food, Flowers And A Story About A Little Client

An evening at Lisa and Clay Cooley‘s estate is always filled with loads of delicious food and eye-opening touring of the mansion. But on Wednesday, November 8, the Dallas CASA‘s Champion of Children‘s underwriter party at the Cooley homestead was highlighted by a story about a nine-month client of the organization. Here’s a report from the field:

Lisa and Clay Cooley sure know how to throw a party! Gorgeous house, full of food, flowers and fall décor – everyone really enjoyed the evening of Wednesday, November 8. It was a lovely party and a terrific way to say thank you to the Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children underwriters. Here’s a report from the field:

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley*

Lisa and Clay Cooley opened their beautiful home for Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Patron Party, on Wednesday, November 8. The Cooleys’ home was perfectly decorated with pumpkins and flowers in muted fall shades of orange, cream and burgundy, and guests enjoyed passed appetizers in perfectly bite-sized portions including tiny crab cakes, beef tenderloin and Korean meatballs.

John and Laura Losinger and Priscilla and Corey Anthony*

But everyone was reminded of the purpose of the evening and next week’s dinner when Priscilla Anthony, one of the co-chairs of the Thursday, November  16, and a Dallas CASA volunteer advocate, spoke about the baby she’s been advocating for since May. He was removed from home after his mother was arrested and he was left with no one to care for him. She warmed the hearts of all in attendance when she described visiting the nine-month-old in foster care Monday, and shared that he recognized her and lifted his arms to be held for the first time.

Michael and Christina Swartz and Linda and Rob Schwartz*

Kathleen LaValle and Jim Thompson*

Hannah and Greg May*

The Champion of Child Award Dinner was to be Thursday, November 16, at the Fairmont Dallas. Co-chairs of the event are Priscilla and Corey Anthony and Laura and John Losinger; honorary chair is Christie Carter. The Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award will be given to the Junior League of Dallas for its commitment and dedication to the lives of children in our community. Many longtime Dallas CASA supporters were in attendance, including Sally Hoglund, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates and Jim Thompson. The Junior League’s president Jennifer Tobin was also in attendance.

Dallas CASA board member attendance was strong with Steve Penrose, Janice Davis, Virginia Schaefer, Mike Brosin, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, Scooter Smith, Jonathan Bassham, Linda Swartz, Retta Miller, Aubrey Labanowski and Greg May. Outgoing Board Chair John Gibson and incoming board chair Bob Schleckser ducked out early because the Dallas CASA board of directors was being honored the same evening by the Dallas Business Journal as the top nonprofit board in town.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

ReuNight’s Four-Legged Guest Of Honor Stole The Fundraiser’s Limelight At The Statler And Nary A Person Minded

Just as temperatures and rain were dropping, the fundraising season had hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, November 8. As one vet put it, “Tonight I just have too many fires to put out and it’s cold and wet.” Still that person made the time for The Family Place’s ReuNight at The Statler.

Instead of having a fashion designer like last year’s Donna Karan, the guest-of honor was The Statler mascot llama that could only stay for cocktails.

Thanks to the chill and wet stuff, plans to have the cocktail party and meet-and-pet with the llama were moved to the lobby on the ground level below the ballroom. It didn’t bother the two- or four-legged critters at all.

That person with the fires to put out even made time to have a photo taken the ears-up llama that was picture perfect every time.

Kristi Hoyl and Jennifer Dix

Ron Hoyl, Amy Turner and Richard Dix

ReuNight Co-Chairs Kristi Hoyl was receiving non-stop congrats on her new role at Baylor Scott And White Health…Co-Chair Jennifer Dix was the ultimate hostess greeting guests with a hug…Co-chair Husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl were the supportive and adoring husbands… Speaking of dutiful husbands, Allan McBee hit the couch as soon as he escorted wife/Texas Trailblazer Lynn McBee into the reception. Allan was waylaid by a years-old knee injury that may require revisiting.

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

Allan McBee

The arrival of the Jones clan rallied the photographers with Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson being flashed like the llama in the back of the room.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Ahead of schedule, the crowd including Caren and Pete Kline, Pam and Vin Perella, Mersina Stubbs, Angie and Kevin Kadesky, Amy Turner, Shelle and Michael Sills, Niven Bannister, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Cindy Stager, Neil Patel, Tim Adair, Cara French, Heather Randall, Tia Wynne, Mary Martha Pickens, Brooke Shelby, JB Hayes, Robert Weatherly, Tucker Enthoven with mom Julie Ford and Lisa Ogle, moved to the upper level ballroom which Kim Bannister’s design was simply captivating with columns showcasing the ReuNight icons (Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens).

Neil Patel and Tim Adair

Kim and Niven Bannister

ReuNight ballroom

After dining and bidding on a few luxury packages, they danced into the night with the Jordan Kahn Orchestra on stage.

More than one guest worried about the llama’s stress level as the ever-changing guests and camera flashes. Not to worry. As the final photo was taken, the llama sauntered out the front door like any pooch on a evening walk, as a pizza delivery fella walked in with box in hand for a hotel guest.

For more photos of the llama and other pretties, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Jewelry Designer Jorge Adeler’s His-And-Hers Package Of Historic Note Added To The Array Of Crystal Charity Ball Silent Auction Items

Unlike other fundraisers, the Crystal Charity Ball has no live auction with that arm-raising competition. Heavens, no! Instead, they have a glamorama silent auction of luxury items that would impress the most persnickety Black Card holder. In preparation for the sleek bidding, the CCB committee sends out a fabulous book containing the goodies to guests.

This year Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner really challenged postal carriers with their 230-pager for the Saturday, December 2, so-very-sold-out gala at the Anatole.

But, alas, one of the dreamy items arrived just as the tome had left the printers. Provided by jewelry designer Jorge Adeler, who is sold exclusively at Forty Five Ten, this his-and-hers package is perfect for the gal and guy who appreciate “unique pieces that are seeping in history and tradition, while being transformed into current, wearable art to enhance any wardrobe.”

Jorge Adeler pendant and cuff links*

For the lady, Jorge has created a pendant mounted in 14kt gold featuring the authentic ancient coin of the Constantine the Great’s son, Emperor Constantius. For non-history buffs, Constantius ruled from 337-361 AD in which he made “a concerted effort to promote Christianity at the expense of Roman polytheism.”

As for the gentlemen, Jorge has transformed “authentic ancient Isshu-Gin coins that were minted in Japan when shoguns ruled” into exquisite cuff links.  Mounted by hand in 18kt gold in Adeler’s atelier, the coins were used by Shogun to pay the Samurai.”

Retail value of these historic treasures is $9,476.

Get your credit cards warmed up.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

JUST IN: KidneyTexas Distributes $144,639 To Six Organizations

KidneyTexas President Andrea Alcorn looked relieved Tuesday night at Tootsies. She revealed that thanks to the KidneyTexas committee efforts especially the Runway Report Luncheon chaired by Christine Martin and Susan Russell, they had met their goal — $144,639.

Andrea Alcorn, Susan Russell, Dustin Holcomb and McKamy Tiner Looney

Then she played Santa doling out the following checks:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation: $30,000 for five year study of kidney transplants;
  • Camp Reynal: $19,500;
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation: $20,500 for hemodialysis and blood pressure machines;
  • Parkland Foundation: $30,500 for kidney dialysis Unit;
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation: $14,214 for hemodialysis machine; and
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: $29,925 for kidney related research.

MySweetWishList: Educational First Steps

According to Educational First Steps Board Member and Chief Secret Santa Coordinator Jennifer Mosle,

Jennifer Mosle*

Educational First Steps*

“Everyone likes a Secret Santa! Educational First Steps does the extraordinary: transforming low income childcare centers in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods into nationally accredited early learning centers that serve thousands of children in North Texas. Our ‘one wish’ for this holiday season is to help grant a Secret Santa wish for each of the centers that have worked over a three-year period to reach national accreditation – that would be 53 wishes! 

“You see, these centers are so financially strapped they can’t afford vans to transport the children, shade structures for the playground, playground equipment, or even that new stove for the kitchen where they cook up to three meals a day for the children in their care while their parents work. 

“We hope you will decide to be an Educational First Steps Secret Santa and grant a wish for one of our deserving accredited centers.

“Wishes are available in three Secret Santa levels:

  • “$5,000 – will get a Gold Star on our Holiday Tree and 10 books donated to the center in your name
  • “$2,500 – will get a Silver Star on our Holiday Tree and 8 books donated to the center in your name.
  • “$1,000 – will get a White Star on our Holiday Tree and 5 books donated to the center in your name

Educational First Steps*

“Monetary or in-kind gifts like those mentioned above will make a lasting, meaningful gift to these centers that will allow them to create safe and nurturing learning environments for generations of children.

“To become a Secret Santa for Educational First Steps, simply visit www.educationalfirststeps.org or contact Educational First Steps Senior Development Director Judy Schecter at 214.824.7940. Thank you!”

-By Jennifer Mosle, Educational First Steps Board Member and Chief Secret Santa Coordinator

* Photo provided by Educational First Steps

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 ReuNight

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

The llama of honor was picture perfect on Wednesday, November 8, at the Statler for The Family Place’s ReuNight. After standing for more than an hour, its ears were still standing straight up and it never shied away from the camera flashes and the guests taking selfies.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

And when the chimes called the guests upstairs for the seated dinner and live auction, the step-and-repeat, four-legged star made a brief exit out the front door passing by Honorary Co-Chairs Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson on their way in.

While the rest of the soiree write-up is being prepared, check out the llama and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Newbies Debuted With Cowgirl Chapeaus And Smiles

Remember those days when pledge ship was a recipe of “What have I gotten myself into” with “Gee, I made it!” Those memories may have kicked into play for the newest Cattle Baron’s Ball members on Tuesday, November 7, at the ZaZa Art House and Social Gallery.

While oldtimers like past CBB Chairs Sunie Solomon and Andrea Weber and loyal committee types like Dawn Greiner, Callan Harrison and Katie Layton were right at home, the new girls on the fundraising organization looked a bit wary. There were rows of chairs with cowboy hats set up by CBB New Member Liaison Marjon Henderson. What was expected of them?

Frosh member Kristen Gibbins didn’t hold back. “She got me into this,” said Kristen as she pointed to longtime pal Andrea Nayfa.

Jonika Nix and Katy Bock

Kristen Gibbins and Andrea Nayfa

But once 2018 Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix called the newbies together, the 15 newest members (Jennifer Burns, Alexine Cryer, Catherine Flagg, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau, Kelley Ledford, Rachel Osburn, Melissa Pastora, Lauren Phillips, Jill Ritchey, Brittany Smalley, Tara Versfelt, Mackenzie Wallace and Claudia Williams) sans Lisa Hewitt discovered they weren’t going to play “Truth or Dare.” Instead it was a couple of photos — one without the hats and one with — and a brief orientation by 2018 leaders.

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

Then it was back to socializing and the march to raise funds for cancer research and treatments.

35th Annual Friends Of Dallas Police Banquet Salutes The Heroes In Blue With Fanfare, Elected Officials And Awards

With Dallas’ new Police Chief Reneé Hall and loads of city leaders in attendance, the 35th Annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet was quite a stellar affair complete with Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and the Dallas Police Honor Guard on Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency. In additions to awards being handed out to officers in blue, there was fire fighter / paramedic / new dad William An, who knew firsthand how Dallas’ finest will make the difference in lifesaving situations. Here’s a report from the field:

Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and Dallas Police Honor Guard*

Described as the Oscars for the Dallas Police Department, more than 600 gathered to attend the 35th annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet held Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The stars of the evening were the 115 police officers and non-sworn employees honored for their strong leadership, courage and exceptional service demonstrated throughout the past year. Not only were Medals of Valor and Life Saving Awards presented, but top honors were announced for Officer of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Detective of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Non-Sworn Employee and more. For a fifth year, Highland Capital Management stepped up as presenting sponsor.

George Dunham and the Dallas Police Choir*

The Ticket radio host George Dunham was tapped to keep the jam-packed program moving. The evening began as the Dallas Police Honor Guard and the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums presented the colors in a moving ceremony, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Dallas Police Choir and the invocation given by Dallas Police Chaplain Rayford Butler.

Friends of Dallas Police Chairman Lamonte Thomas described the DPD as “one of the finest police departments in our nation.”

“When I hear of the everyday sacrifice and heroism demonstrated on the streets and behind the scenes by the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, I am humbled, proud and grateful,” he added.

This was the first Friends of the Dallas Police Banquet for Dallas’ new “top cop” – Chief U. Reneé Hall, who was on hand to present the awards and take photos with all 115 winners.

Tennell Atkins, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Mike Rawlings and Omar Narvaez*

Elected officials from local to national levels were there in force to back the blue. In addition to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who delivered remarks at the VIP reception, special guests included Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano and Dallas City Councilmembers Rick Callahan, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Omar Narvaez, Adam McGough and Casey Thomas. Also attending were Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax, Dallas Fire and Rescue Chief David Coatney, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners Dr. Elba Garcia and Theresa Daniel, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, State Senator Don Huffines, State Representative Cindy Burkett and State Representative Toni Rose, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Pete Session and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

Rick Callahan and Elba Garcia*

Mark Okada and Don Huffines*

One highlight was the introduction of Dallas Fire and Rescue firefighter and paramedic William An, who was seriously injured when shot by a suspect. Nine officers – including Sergeant Robert Watson who rescued An, put him in his police car and took him to the hospital thereby saving his life – were awarded Medals of Valor for their bravery under fire. Watson invited An and his family to sit at his table with his family members. (It was the first time they’d seen each other in a very long time.) The Dallas Morning News’ Naheed Rajwani interviewed An that evening and reported the following:

William An, Robert Watson and An son*

“An’s 3-week-old son is named Watson, which An’s wife had picked out before the shooting. The couple realized later that it was the lifesaving sergeant’s last name, too.
“‘Purely coincidental,’ An said, ‘but some people say there’s no such thing as coincidences.'”

Top awards were given to Officer Joe King, who was named the John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year, and Stephanie Mendoza, who was named the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Officer King works in the Legal Services Division, and Mendoza works as an office assistant in the Auto Thefts Division.

Joe King and Reneé Hall*

Stephanie Mendoza and Reneé Hall*

Noe Camacho and Reneé Hall*

Ivan Gunter and Reneé Hall*

Other winners included Detective Noe Camacho named the James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year, Sergeant Ivan Gunter named the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year, Senior Corporal David Feinstein named Field Training Officer of the Year, Reserve Lieutenant D’Andrea Gadbury named Supervisor of the Year, Fernando Garcia named the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year, and Supervisor III Brian Hansen named Non-Sworn Supervisor of the Year.

David Feinstein*

D’Andrea Gadbury and Reneé Hall*

Fernando Garcia and Reneé Hall*

In addition to their awards, the top honorees received a variety of prizes, ranging from hotel stays and entertainment packages, to dinners and VISA cards. 

Also, two $1,500 scholarships were presented to the children of Dallas police officers. The 2017 Educational Scholarship Awards went to Courtney Jones, the daughter of Detective Charles Jones, and Hannah Kim, daughter of Senior Corporal David Kim.

There was no lack of community support! In addition to

  • Presenting sponsor — Highland Capital Management,
  • Chief Sponsors ($10,000-$25,000) — The Men & Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., The Marilyn and Sonny Oates Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Kenny A. Troutt
  • Major Sponsors ($5,000 level)— Cigna, Freeman Auto Group, Don Henley & Family, Al G. Hill Jr., Ellen and John McStay, Scovell Family Foundation, Sewell and Marianne and Roger Staubach
  • Lieutenant Sponsors ($3,500 level) — Central Market, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Kroger and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP.

For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Police, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.

* Photo credit: James Edward