JUST IN: LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parsons Turns In Her Resignation

It was just three weeks ago that LaunchAbility had its annual fundraiser, “A Special Evening With …” at the Meyerson with comedian Martin Short on stage to the delight of hundreds. Now word arrives that LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parsons has turned in her resignation that will become effective on Tuesday, May 31.

Having joined LaunchAbility in 2010, she led the organization’s “Supported Employment Services and launch[ed] the innovative Academy program.” It was in 2013 that she was made CEO.

Kathryn Parsons (File photo)

Kathryn Parsons (File photo)

According to LaunchAbility Board President Karen Wald, “Kathryn’s decision to leave reflects her personal wishes to pursue new professional endeavors. She left the agency through the evolution that focused on expanding services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Board sincerely thanks Kathryn for her hard work and tireless dedication in serving clients and other valuable stakeholders of LaunchAbility. We wish her the very best.”

In the past two years under Kathryn’s leadership, the organization has

  • Increased the number of adults placed in jobs. Each adult placed in full-time employment saves taxpayers $47,000 annually in reduced social services and contribution back to the community.
  • Grown the Academy program as employers like Novitex, Aramark and Office Depot see the advantage of onsite training, suited specifically to their workforce needs. Since inception the program has helped double the number of successful annual hires. Additionally the program has grown to partner with local school districts to prepare youth ages 18-22 in special education in high school to transition into the workforce.
  • Initiated programs to expand opportunities for people with Autism in technology (IT) careers. In March, LaunchAbility led “The 5000: a Global Summit on Autism in IT” and announced a pilot program with AT&T to train people with autism in software testing. Modeled after our highly successful Academy, the pilot will include best practices and experience gained by our specialty in Autism. The model is one that can successfully be replicated in other companies and other cities across the nation.

It was also during her tenure that the Bill Cosby “situation” blew up just days after announcing that the comedian would be the headliner at the annual gala. Kathryn orchestrated the cancellation of the Cosby appearance and replaced him with Dana Carvey.

Dr. Bill Behrendt has undertaken the search for Kathryn’s replacement.

Parkland Advocate Debbie Dudley Branson Is Honored With Prestigious Linz Award

Few nonprofit events in Dallas can match the annual Linz Award luncheon for the star power of its guests, and this year’s Linz—held Wednesday, April 6, at the Omni Dallas Hotel—was no exception. Everywhere you turned, it seemed, the city’s legendary movers and shakers were moving and shaking, from Frank Branson, Joel Allison, Carol Reed, Walt Humann and Luncheon Chair Patti Flowers to Doug Hawthorne, Dolores Barzune, Dale Petroskey, Ros Dawson, Gay and Bill SolomonRon Steinhart, Mary Jalonick, Sarah Losinger, Margaret Jordan, Helen Holman, Winfred Parnell, Meredith Mosely, Tom Dunning, John Scovell and Andy Stern.

Patti Flowers and Ros Dawson

Patti Flowers and Ros Dawson

Larry and Dolores Barzune

Larry and Dolores Barzune

Frank Branson

Frank Branson

Winfred Parnell

Winfred Parnell

They’d all turned out to honor Debbie Dudley Branson, recipient of the 87th annual Linz Award. Presented by Zales, a Signet Brand, and The Dallas Morning News, the Linz is given each year to the individual whose civic and humanitarian efforts over the last decade created the greatest benefit to the city, without having received monetary compensation. The luncheon is organized by the Junior League of Dallas and benefits its Community Service Fund.

This year about 500 people showed up for the event honoring Branson, a trial lawyer who served as board chair of Parkland Health and Hospital System when it had multiple complex problems. Among other things, Parkland was facing the potential loss of its accreditation, its hospital license, and its Medicare certification and funding. Branson is credited with turning around and revitalizing the system, thanks to her “grace-under-fire leadership and genuine concern for the underserved people of Dallas County.”

Jim Moroney

Jim Moroney

Debbie Branson and Sheila Grant

Debbie Branson and Sheila Grant

While guests enjoyed lunch including a mixed-green salad and braised short-ribs, they heard from Sheila and Jody Grant, last year’s Linz recipients, as well as Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The News, and Bill Luth of Signet Jewelers. Luth called Branson a “focused, dedicated and committed leader” before giving way to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who likened Branson’s 2012 challenges at Parkland to receiving a military “posting to Hawaii on December 7, 1941.”

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

During her remarks accepting the prestigious award, Branson said her efforts to revive the system were a “true labor of love” that would not have been possible without the help of its thousands of front-line employees, doctors, and volunteers. Among the improvements she oversaw were the implementation of a more effective governance structure; the building of a new, $1.3 billion campus; and the hiring of a permanent CEO, Dr. Fred Cerise.

However, Branson cautioned in concluding her remarks, “I know the quest is not over to make Parkland better.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Scary Weather Due Tonight

The weather guessers aren’t finished rolling up their sleeves and furrowing their brows. Sure, the wind has picked up and the sky is still pretty blue with fluffy clouds floating above. But an extremely line of storms is predicted to hit around 6 p.m.

There’s talk of hail, booming thunderstorms, straight-line winds and possible tornadoes. It sure does sound like an end-of-the-world situation. The locust and plague must be on standby.

And don’t go thinking, “Ah, come on. That kind of weather hits other neighborhoods, not mine.” Rethink that thought. Was it just two years ago in May that the trees along Turtle Creek were felled by straight line winds?

May 8 storm damage (File photo)

May 8 storm damage (File photo)

So, play it safe.

  • Think where you would head if all things start flying every which way.
  • Why not park your cars in the garage or let them spend the night at a public, covered garage like a shopping center?
  • Check out some software programs that will alert you if you’re in the path of danger.
  • Charge your cellphones, tablets, etc. Wouldn’t want to run out of juice when it’s needed.
  • Make sure that your computer(s) have surge protectors in place.
  • If you don’t have to go out tonight, why not stay in and just chill?

Stay safe and don’t worry about those locust and the plague. We were just kidding.

DCAC Guests Enjoy A Private Concert At The Home of Amy And Kelcy Warren

It’s not every day that guests get to visit the palatial home of Amy and Kelcy Warren in Preston Hollow, or enjoy an intimate concert there in the Warrens’ private music room. But that’s just what about 60 people did on Tuesday, April 5, when the Warrens hosted a thank-you event for generous supporters of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which serves abused children in Dallas County.

Among the guests welcomed by Amy and Kelcy and Lynn Davis, DCAC’s president and CEO, were Barbara and Steve Durham, Imad Anbouba, and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. Imad and Trevor work in the same industry as Kelcy, the billionaire founder of pipeline powerhouse Energy Transfer. Imad is on the board of one of Kelcy’s companies, and Trevor—another energy billionaire—shares an office building with Warren. The Warrens and the Rees-Joneses also share membership in DCAC’s Circle of Hope for major givers.

The busy Warrens were just back from a trip to Washington D.C., where Sheila and Jody Grant helped them celebrate Kelcy’s induction into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The evening’s hosts were also getting ready for their annual Cherokee Creek Music Festival on their ranch just outside Cherokee, Texas, northwest of Austin. One of the performers at the festival, David Barnes, was also the featured attraction for the DCAC supporters this evening.

After enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the first floor of the Warrens’ 8,000-square-foot mansion (it formerly belonged to software magnate Larry Lacerte and his wife, Joyce), the guests moved upstairs to the mini concert hall to listen to Barnes, whom Amy and Kelcy had not heard in person before. The Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated rock/country/Christian singer-songwriter has released eight albums, including his most recent, “Carry On, San Vicente.” In 2011 Blake Shelton recorded David’s song “God Gave Me You,” which became Blake’s fifth No. 1 country hit.

Dallas CASA’s Cherish The Children Was Highlighted By Children’s Chairs, Author Laura McBride And Call-To-Arms For Volunteers

Christie Carter was event juggling on Tuesday, April 5. At 11 a.m. She was part of the 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon announcement at Neiman Marcus Downtown. But before the right official reveal was made, Christie was headed over to the Omni for the Dallas CASA Cherish the Children luncheon.

Dallas CASA chair

Dallas CASA chair

Dallas CASA chair

Dallas CASA chair

Whew! That gal must have broken some record. She got there in time to check out the Deborah Gaspar Jewelry and the adorable kids’ chairs in the silent auction along with Lydia Novakov, Sarah Losinger, Connie O’Neill, Joyce Lacerte and Lyda Hill, before the doors opened to the Trinity Ballroom just before 11:30.

Lydia Novokov, Sarah Losinger and Connie ONeill

Lydia Novokov, Sarah Losinger and Connie ONeill

Charlene Howell and Caroline Rose Hunt

Charlene Howell and Caroline Rose Hunt

Honorary Chair Caroline Rose Hunt was already at her front row table chatting with Charlene Howell, Barbara Womble and Lynne Sheldon, who was still amazed that on this day husband Roy Sheldon was playing tennis after suffering a life-threatening illness just a couple of years before.

Across the way was a table of SMU Kappa Alpha Theta alumna (Jenni Scoggins, Barbara Cervin, Maury Cunningham, Sara Lytle, Francie Johnsen, Lynn Van Amburgh, Amy Dugan, Taylor Teague, Cori Bray and Anne Besser), who have been so supportive of Dallas CASA over the year. When asked about the construction status of the sorority’s new digs, all were delighted to claim that it would be the best one on the campus.

From the left: (Back row) Jenni Scoggins, Barbara Cervin, Maury Cunningham, Sara Lytle, Francie Johnsen and Lynn Van Amburgh; (Front row) Amy Dugan, Taylor Teague, Cori Bray and Anne Besser

From the left: (Back row) Jenni Scoggins, Barbara Cervin, Maury Cunningham, Sara Lytle, Francie Johnsen and Lynn Van Amburgh; (Front row) Amy Dugan, Taylor Teague, Cori Bray and Anne Besser

Luncheon Chair Erin Pope welcomed the group pointing out the dignitaries in the crowd and introduced Dallas CASA Children’s Council President Jenny Reynolds, who told of two of her CASA encounters. One had been Desi, who had be rescued from a neglectful and abusive situation, only to find herself trapped in the foster care maze. Yes, she loved her mother, but it was not a healthy relationship. Thanks to Jenny’s efforts and those social workers, Desi’s mother allowed her daughter to be adopted by her foster family. Jenny still keeps up with Desi’s progress which is flourishing.

Erin Pope and Jenny Reynolds

Erin Pope and Jenny Reynolds

With tears welling up in her eyes, she described “J,” her current foster child, who reflected years of neglect. Now, 13-years old, she ended up in foster care because her mother is in prison for harming a child — “J.” Her grandmother died months ago and her grandfather dropped “J” off on the doorstep of CPS because she was too difficult. Bouncing from foster home to foster home in the past six months, she had more than reflects wrong choices, she was charging into a life of self-destructive decisions — selling and using drugs, sex tapes, etc. A turning point recently took place when “J” was moved to a residential treatment center in Houston. Jenny drove to Houston the previous Friday to deliver a suitcase of “J’s” belongings. There at the front door was “J” waiting for Jenny. “She looked at me and said, ‘Jenny, you actually came. Jenny, I miss you.”

Kathleen LaValle

Kathleen LaValle

Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle recognized Honoree Caroline with former Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Beverly Levy at her side and then told of the organization’s goal to make Dallas the first city in the nation to have a CASA for each child in protective care. Of course, there is a need for funding to provide support for the advocates, but the need for volunteers is just as great. Without these adults volunteering their time, minds and hearts, there would be hundreds of vulnerable youngsters.

Erin then introduced guest speaker/author Laura McBride. Living in Las Vegas, she told about a time when her daughter was young and played soccer on a field across the highway from strip clubs and bordellos. Remember Laura and her family live in Las Vegas. In one of her classes, her 13-year-old daughter was asked to write her motto for living. She told her parents that her motto was a neon sign she had seen so often that had inspired her to live life fully and boldly. When Laura asked what her motto was, she replied, “Live Nude.”

Laura McBride

Laura McBride

Laura recalled that she had wanted to live in a college town or a place that was safe. Instead she lived in a city filled with people so very different from herself. It was a boomtown of all types of people and has established an automatic acceptance of newbies. The city’s economy is also one based on service, where people are nice and watch what others might need.

All of this helped prepared her daughter in 2012 to head to the East Coast for college and to open to accepting differences. This development changed Laura’s view of how things might go. She said that instead of turning inward which is typical of humans, she realized that it was wrong. “Perhaps we are progressing by not joining groups that are necessarily like us.”

As a former advocate, she championed the idea that people need “a little more love, a little more care, a little less hate, a little less fear.”

Before adjourning Dallas CASA Board of Directors Chair John Gibson reinforced the message that had been provided earlier — the need for volunteers and, of course, funds.

Suggestion: You do not need a law degree to be a Dallas CASA. You just have to have compassion, determination and time. If you can spare those three things, you just might find a “J” on a front door waiting for you.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The 87th Linz Award

Dallas heavy hitters and lifters were all over the place at the Omni on Wednesday, April 6, for the 87th Linz Award. The big draw was attorney/former Parkland Board Chair Debbie Branson’s being presented the award that is “considered Dallas’ oldest and most prestigious civic honor.”

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

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

JUST IN: Dallas Interior Designer/Author Jan Showers To Be Featured Speaker For Kappa Kappa Gamma’s 2016 Tablescapes

Each year the Kappa Tablescapes is a festival of fabulously creative table settings that take up most of the Dallas Country Club to benefit area nonprofits. Held just before everyone goes in overdrive for holiday feasting, the table settings range from the whimsical to the most elegant look this side of Marie Antoinette. And it sounds like this year’s version is going to keep the reputation nicely in place on Sunday, October 17, and Monday, October 18, at the DCC.

Jan Showers (File photo)

Jan Showers (File photo)

But there is gonna be a wee bit of a change this year from recent Tablescapes. Instead of flying in an author or lifestyle guru like James Farmer or Alex Hitz, 2016 Tablescapes Co-Chairs Amy Burgher and Brittany Gaskill are tapping a local design expert — Jan Showers.

According to Brittany, “Kappa Tablescapes is thrilled to features one of Dallas’ top designer talents for our 2016 luncheon, who also happens to be an internationally-renowned interior design superstar. We are so fortunate to have such an inspiring designer, author, entrepreneur and style icon here in our city.”

The timing is just perfect. In addition to her numerous collection of accolades and awards, Jan “is launching a complete lifestyle collection for Kravet Couture, as well as lines for Michael Taylor Designs, Moattar, Inc., and Kyle Bunting. These lines will complement her longstanding signature furniture and lighting collection, available at showrooms around the country.”

Tri Delt Jan commented, “I am so honored and thrilled to be a part of Kappa Tablescapes 2016 because it is one of the most prestigious events of the fall season, and one so many look forward to year after year. We are also very excited to showcase furniture and accessories from my new lifestyle collection from Kravet couture, along with pieces from my own furniture collection, antiques and vintage from our showroom in the Dallas Design District.”

Tablescapes (File photo)

Tablescapes (File photo)

This year’s beneficiaries include ACT Advocates for Transformation, Austin Street Center, Connecting Point of Park Cities, For the Nations Refugee Outreach, Interfaith Family Services, Mercy Street, MD College and Career Pathways and Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Since the first Tablescapes in 1995, more than $2.2M has been distributed to more than 78 Dallas County beneficiaries.

Amy said, “Over the past 20 years, this group of women has worked diligently to raise over $2.5 million benefiting more than 70 local charities and organizations. We are extremely proud of the philanthropic role Kappa Tablescapes plays in our community.”

Now, it’s up to you to pick whether you’re gonna attend Monday’s Tablescapes by Candlelight or Tuesday’s Tablescapes Luncheon. But why choose? Why not attend both? Tickets are available now!

2016 Celebrating Women Plans Revealed Including Rita Wilson And Diane And Joel Allison Plus Sponsorship Opportunities

The couture salon of Neiman Marcus Downtown looked like a high-price trunk show collection on the morning of Tuesday, April 5, with loads of the fashionable fundraising types checking out the clothes. Actually, they were there for the announcement of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon.

Outside the flagship store, Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Jen Huntsberry waited. It was such a beautiful day compared to a year ago when it was damp and rainy. But Jen wasn’t just taking in the rays. She was waiting for Baylor Scott And White Health COO John McWhorter. This was his first time to attend the annual reveal.

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

No sooner had John appeared on NM’s second floor than he was being photographed with 2016 Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt, Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson.

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

And then he watched as various photo setups took place including all the past luncheon chairs like Nancy Carter, Christie Carter, Barbara Stuart, Susan McSherry, Margo Goodwin, Carol Seay and Pam Perella and Celebrating Women Luncheon Queen Mother Lindalyn Adams.

Rita Wilson*

Rita Wilson*

As deviled eggs made the rounds, the gals and fellas found themselves herded into the Glass House to hear that Tom Hanks’ sweetheart, Rita Wilson, would be the featured speaker on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

As for the honorary co-chairs, this year is gonna be a couple that has been part of the Baylor effort to treat and research breast cancer — Diane and Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Joel Allison, who is making his victory lap to his stepping down on February 1, 2017.

Tickets are on sale now, plus all types of sponsorship opportunities. The following sponsorships have already been snapped up: Presenting Sponsor — Tom Thumb, Patron Party — Comerica Bank, VIP Reception — PlainsCapital Bank, Luncheon Invitation — Sidley Austin LLP and Luncheon Program — Allie Beth Allman.

JUST IN: Jennifer Staubach Gates To Receive Mosaic Family Services’ Champion Of Human Rights Award

Jennifer Staubach Gates*

Jennifer Staubach Gates*

A Staubach is going to be honored at the Mosaic Family Services7th Annual Gala. No, it’s not Rog or Marianne. It’s their oldest daughter/Dallas City Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates, who has carried on the Staubach legacy of community involvement and leadership. Come Thursday, October 20, at The Empire Room, Jennifer will be presented the Champion of Human Rights Award at a dinner co-chaired by Melissa Green and Elizabeth Weathersby with Lana Byrne serving as honorary chair.

The honor is annually given to “individuals and/or groups who strive to ensure the protection of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.”

Jennifer’s efforts with the Domestic Violence Task Force and Public safety Committee have been just a part of her “dedication to making a difference in the lives of Dallas residents, particularly survivors of domestic violence.”

According to Melissa, “Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates has been at the forefront of leading efforts in Dallas to raise awareness about family violence. As she continues her work combating this all too prevalent issue, we are pleased to honor her as a Champion of Human Rights. Our work would not be possible without her.”

Melissa Green*

Melissa Green*

Elizabeth Weathersby*

Elizabeth Weathersby*

Lana Byrne*

Lana Byrne*

Jennifer will join a heady group of past recipients including director/filmmaker Libby Spears, fashion designer Abi Ferrin, Judge Robert Canas Jr., Genesis Women’s Shelter Executive Director Jan Langbein, The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink, Ambassador-At-Large Luis CdeBaca and philanthropist Lauren Embrey.

Tickets are $150 and sponsorships start at $500 for the evening of cocktails, dinner by Stock & Barrel, silent auction, raffle, casino games and live entertainment.

* Photos provided by Mosaic Family Services

Wildenthal Gift, Cheryl Pollman’s Award And Sons Of Serendip Highlighted VMLC’s “Wings Of Spring” At The Perot

A lot of fellas probably would have made plans for Monday, April 4, to head home, get in some comfy clothes, and settle down in their fav chair with a brewski in one hand and a snack a reach away to watch the NBA finals.

But then they realized they had been scheduled to head to the Perot Museum for VMLC fundraiser Wings of Spring, A Celebration of Literacy. So, the coat and tie stayed put. The brewski and snack were replaced by white and red wines with a buffet supper among the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. Instead of the well-worn chair and the basketball players on the tube, they were destined for the Hoglund Foundation Theater and the Sons of Serendip on the ground level.

Not exactly the Monday night they envisioned. But it actually turned out a heck of a lot better than even the most negative guy had expected.

Mike and Kathy Crow, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyantt, Claire Emanuelson and Lee Papert

Mike and Kathy Crow, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyatt, Claire Emanuelson and Lee Papert

From the moment guests like Underwriting Chair Kathy Crow and husband Mike Crow, DeeDee Lee, Claire Emanuelson and Piper Wyatt arrived on the third level for the buffet, the place was filled with smiling guests of all ages. After filling their plates at one of the really amazing buffet lines, they found tables throughout the area. One group lucked out and got a table next to the Land Dynamics in the Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall, where guests tried out the feeling of an earthquake. Pity the gals in heels who shook, rattled and giggled.

Just seconds before 8 p.m., guests were advised to adjourn to the theater for the evening’s presentation. But, alas, once at the theater door, they were told things weren’t quite ready, and that they should check back in at 8:10.

As guests settled in the lobby and the Museum Café, some noticed an individual walking by with a guitar case. Then another fellow strolled through the Café wearing a hat; he was followed by a third and a fourth. Someone asked, “Were those the Sons?”

No answer came, but really, who cared. At 8:10 the doors opened and the guests took their assigned seats.

Muna

Muna

Event Co-Chairs Diane Brown welcomed the SRO crowd and introduced Rabbi Nancy Kasten, who in turn introduced VMLC grad Muna. Eloquently, the Iraqi native told how Cheryl Pollman had helped her learn English and helped her prepare for her U.S. citizenship test. Cheryl even came to Muna’s home to help her husband study for his test. Both passed on their first try.

Cheryl Pollman

Cheryl Pollman

VMLC Executive Director Sarah Papert then told the group that Marnie and Kern Wildenthal had made a substantial donation for VMLC programs. For this reason the annual literacy award was being renamed the Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Legacy Award in Marnie’s honor. Sarah then officially presented the first Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Legacy Award to Cheryl, who graciously accepted it.

Cheryl told of the number of students who had fled their native countries to start new lives in Dallas. But their transition had also meant their learning an entirely new language. And that’s where VMLC volunteers like Cheryl had come in.

Cordaro Rodriguez

Cordaro Rodriguez

Micah Christian

Micah Christian

Kendall Ramseur

Kendall Ramseur

Mason Morton

Mason Morton

Following Cheryl’s acceptance, cellist Kendall Ramseur wearing a hat entered the room taking his place on the stage. He was joined by pianist Cordaro Rodriguez, who sat behind a keyboard with a guitar nearby. Then towering Mason Morton slid in alongside a harp. The last to arrive on stage was singer Micah Christian. These were the Sons of Serendip, who had come in fourth place on TV’s “America’s Got Talent” show competition in 2014. The foursome had gotten together following their graduate studies at Boston University.

Micah Christian, Kendall Ramseur and Mason Morton

Micah Christian, Kendall Ramseur and Mason Morton

Micah warned the audience that a couple of the songs would require their involvement. Such a threat usually has people heading for the door or ducking pretty far down in their chairs. Not in this case. Whether it was singing along or clapping, the guests really got into it. The quartet’s singing and music impressed even the most diehard basketball fan.

In between the tunes, the audience learned:

  • Coming from Boston that was being hit with a late snowstorm, Micah told how impressed the group had been with Dallas. Not just the weather, but everyone being so friendly. In Boston he said motorists tend to drive over pedestrians, but here they actually stop to let the people walk by. And Dallasites actually smile back at you.
  • How the foursome had gotten together. Cordaro was actually a lawyer and Kendall, Mason  and Micah were teachers.
  • Kendall and Cordaro initially had needed to make money to pay off their education loans. So they tried playing traditional tunes in the Boston subway. At first it didn’t seem to be a good fit. But then they tried playing their own music, and it changed their lives.
  • When the foursome went to Madison Square Garden to try out for “America’s Got Talent,” it was also the scene of a basketball game. Despite Mason toting along his harp, security kept telling them to head to the location of the basketball event.