Ben Siegel’s Lonestar Charity Two-Step Brought Out Young Beauts, Buckaroos And Highfalutin Boots For Fundraising

For the past three years, Ben Siegel and his Lonestar Charity Two-Step have staked out the Saturday after Thanksgiving to party it up with a two-fold goal — 1) “to engage collegiate students in Dallas philanthropy” and 2) “to channel event proceeds to worthy, educational non-profits, which nurture, educate, and expand opportunities that transform the lives in Dallas’ youth.” Once again this young fundraiser provided funding for a area nonprofit with loads of young people. Here’s a report from the field:

Ben Siegel and Lynn Siegel*

Caroline Oden and Sarah Stukalin*

Lonestar Charity Co-Founder Ben Siegel, with Event Chair Caroline Oden, welcomed nearly 250 partygoers to Gilley’s Dallas for the third annual Lonestar Charity Two-Step on Saturday, November 26.

Carla Calabrese, Ava Grob, Dawn and Will Budner*

Eliza Klein, Ryan and Allie Romo*

Cody Patterson, Reagan Loftus and Sarah Stukalin*

Brant and Clemie Bernet*

Partygoers including Eliza Klein, Ryan and Allie Romo, Carla Calabrese, Ava Grob, Dawn and Will Budner, Sarah Starr, Cody Patterson, Reagan Loftus, Sarah Stukalin, Clemie and Brant Bernet, MacKenzie Cohoe, John Hand, Georgia Zogg, Caroline Wilson, Tilley Neuhoff, Olivia Whittaker and Tilley Neuhoff arrived and mingled while enjoying cocktails and an hors d’oeuvres buffet including chicken flautas, bacon and jalapeno mac and cheese shooters, meatball sliders, chicken bruschetta bowl and Steel City Pops popsicles for dessert. The casino gaming tables were the place to be with attendees placing their bets for chances to win gift cards to Bistro 31 and Mr. Mesero restaurants.

As the party got underway, Highland Park grad and Nashville singer/songwriter Chap Bernet took the stage, delighting the crowd with an hour-long performance, including a duet with his sister Daisy Bernet.

Chap Bernet and Daisy Bernet*

Following his performance, Ben and Caroline welcomed attendees and sponsors and thanked them for their support of Lonestar Charity Two-Step that encourages philanthropy in college students. They announced that this year’s fundraiser will benefit Vogel Alcove and will be used to continue to provide daily early educational, developmental and therapeutic programming and care for the 200 of Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty.

Auctioneer Louis Murad then got the auction underway, starting with a fun game of “Heads or Tails” with the winner receiving a new Apple TV, and the runner-up receiving NorthPark gold. The live auction followed with bidding on luxury items including Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott autographed jersey, 4 Dallas Stars tickets with Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin autographed jersey, an Argentina dove hunt and an oval shaped diamond ring with .5 carat brilliant cut round diamonds courtesy of deBoulle.

Emerald City*

The Emerald City Band, one of Dallas’ favorite dance bands, then hit the stage performing top-40 hits that kept the crowd on the dance floor the rest of the night. As the evening came to a close each patron received a commemorative t-shirt as a thank you for their support.

* Photo credit: Celeste Smith

Much To Everyone’s Delight, Philanthropy Day Luncheon’s Spotlight Was Once Again Hijacked By The Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy

There are those who worry about the importance that the next generation will place on philanthropy and fundraising. But all they need to do is attend the annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon put on by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Each year, it seems like the recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy knocks it out of the park. This year’s presentation at The Hyatt Regency Dallas on Friday, November 18, once again had youth showstopping despite the eloquence of the elders. Here is a report from the field:

The Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 31st Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, held Friday, November 18, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, honored six of Dallas’ finest philanthropists and volunteers for the differences that they have made in our community. This year’s awards honored Mike Myers as Outstanding Philanthropist; Holly Mayer as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Jim Lewis, CFRE, as Outstanding Fundraising Executive; The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation as Outstanding Foundation; Bank of America as Outstanding Corporation; and the Garage Sale Girls as Outstanding Youth(s) in Philanthropy.

Jeanie Wyatt, Holly Mayer, Jim Lewis, Kristen Lee, Scott Murray, Mike Myers, Victoria Beasley Vanderslice and Bob Beasley*

Judy Wright*

Event chair Tara Judd Longley, CFRE, CPECP, shared a message of gratitude with the crowd of 500, thanking them for their philanthropy, service, dedication, and investment in the future. 2016 AFP Greater Dallas Chapter Board President Judy Wright recognized additional major sponsors South Texas Money Management, Dini Spheris, The Dallas County Community College District Foundation, Texas Health, M. Gale and Associates, Parkland Foundation, Texas Capital Bank, and Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern.

Judy also thank longtime event emcee Scott Murray, along with son Doug Murray, who came on board with Murray Media as the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, producing the videos of the award recipients speaking prior to receiving their awards. 

The Most Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy video was one of the most memorable of the day showcasing the creativity, sense of humor, and hard work of the Garage Sale Girls – a group of childhood friends from Lewisville, who each had one parent diagnosed with cancer within a short time frame. The girls, stunned that cancer had entered each of their families’ lives so close together, decided to make a difference by organizing a garage sale. From 2011-2015, Kristen Lee, Cailee Dennis, Stefanie Doyle and Anna Elkin, raised a combined total of $90,000 to benefit cancer research at the American Cancer Society. 

As Kristen spoke on stage she said they could not believe they were able to make so much money. “I thought the first year we might make $1,000, and we made $5,000! We couldn’t have done it without the help of the community – it was amazing!” The audience roared with laughter at the video which not only showed the girls and their moms organizing the garage sales, but also included comical scenes of group driving around “dumpster diving” to find items to sell. The final scene in the video showed the group – cue the theme song from “Sanford and Son” – driving off in a red truck loaded with lots of “stuff.” Kristen Lee accepted the award on behalf of the other girls who were competing in the NCAA soccer tournament that day and could not attend the luncheon. All of the girls are freshmen at the University of Arkansas. As Scott Murray visited with Kristen on stage, he suggested they might take a selfie showing the audience behind them to text to the girls who couldn’t be there. 

Kristen Lee and Scott Murray*

He asked her for advice to the audience. She concluded, “If you have a dream, go for it! She referenced her conversation (at the age of 12) with her mom about her garage sale idea. She said her mom said, “Sure, honey, whatever…you’ll raise $10.” But she went for it anyway, and her mom and dad are her biggest cheerleaders.  

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Jim Lewis shared the most rewarding thing about fundraising is that it’s a team game, humbly acknowledging that “any significant gift in which I have been involved has had many fingerprints in it.” He went on to say his role is merely one of a facilitator working on behalf of a cause and assisting those who are the difference makers through their philanthropy.  He also gave a moving tribute to his late wife Cheryl, whom he lost last January, and gratefully accepted the award on her behalf and in recognition of countless other spouses who have made great but significant contributions “ to support folks like me who endeavor to serve the greater good through our work.”

Sammye and Mike Myers*

Outstanding Philanthropist Mike Myers shared that his personal inspiration for giving was his mother. “As a school teacher and Sunday School teacher, she taught me the importance of giving. She not only talked the talk, she walked the walk.  It was through her example and guidance that I developed a compassion for and a commitment to those who need a helping hand.”

Attendees included Mary Brinegar, Brent Christopher, Ruben Esquivel, Ed Fjordbak, Sarah Losinger, Michael Meadows, Jay McAuley, Lynn McBee, Helen and Frank Risch, Bob Thornton, Lynn Vogt and Jeanie Wyatt.

Scott Murray concluded the luncheon, thanking all for coming to celebrate the impact philanthropy has in our communities and encouraging everyone to note the date for next year – Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos May Be Leaving WFAA And News 8 Daybreak But Not The Nonprofits

Alexa Conomos (File photo)

For those nonprofits who worried their botoxed brows about word that WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos was leaving WFAA’s morning show, take a chill pill.

It was 16 or so years ago that Alexa’s journey from California brought her to North Texas and TXCN. Then, as TXCN went bye-bye in 2002, Alexa transitioned to co-anchoring with Ron Corning to wake folks up from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Over the years, Alexa personally went from adorable single girl to glowing married lady to multi-tasking mama of three. In recent months, Alexa realized that her priorities needed a revisit and that making breakfast for her kidlets and having date nights with her hubby Bradley trumped all.

Luckily knowing Alexa, her support of the North Texas nonprofit world will continue beyond her days at the conclusion of her contract with WFAA in June.

MySweet2017Goals: Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Ros Dawson Thompson (File photo)

According to Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson,

“Professional Goal: My goal in 2017 is to inspire the incredibly generous heart of this community to increase its investment in our women and girls. Women are the face of poverty here, just as they are everywhere else in the world – and we need everyone’s commitment and support to help us expand resources that improve education and quality of life, give voice to the issues, and cultivate strong women leaders for the future.

“Personal Goal: My goal in 2017 is to make more time for learning instead of doing, to spend more time with my family and friends, and to stop ‘changing this occurrence’ on the calendar when it comes to my intended gym schedule!”

A Passing: “The Exorcist” Author William Peter Blatty, Multiple Myeloma And A Long Ago Story About A Dallas Encounter

MySweetCharity

Today CancerBlows Co-Founders Niki and Ryan Anthony were meeting with CancerBlows Co-Chairs D’Andra Simmons Lock and Anne Stodghill and a production crew from around the country for the upcoming May 8-10th multiple myeloma fundraiser at the Meyerson. (More about that in the days to come.)

While they were finalizing plans for the event that will have the world’s greatest horn players perform to support research and treatments about the disease that struck Ryan, multiple myeloma proved just how deadly it is. Academy Award-winning screenwriter/acclaimed author of “The Exorcist” William Peter Blatty died the day before as a result of the blood cancer.

Blatty’s death recalled an incident that took place in Dallas back in 1973. A very young and green society writer at The Dallas Morning News was assigned to cover a party hosted by Polly and Dick Hitt and Jeanne and Jim Butler for a novelist named William Peter Blatty. In a Google-less world, she wandered the newsroom asking reporters if they had ever heard of Blatty. All she got were shrugs. Well, there was one writer who said he thought the guy had written about teddy bears.

So, off the society writer went to the party at a mansion on Preston Road, where she encountered all types of local celebs like KVIL’s Ron Chapman and Hugh Lampman and Bettie and Fairmont Hotel General Manager Julian Abio. Once again, she asked, “Have you heard of William Peter Blatty?” Again, the responses were shrugs and side-shaking of heads.

Wandering into a small sitting room, she found a man seated in a chair whom she didn’t know. After exchanging “Hellos,” she again asked him if he knew of William Peter Blatty. He responded, “As a matter of fact I do. He wrote a book called ‘The Exorcist.’” Innocently, she asked if he had read it. He nodded. She followed that up with, “Is it any good?” He said he thought so.

She was on a roll and asked if her new friend could point Blatty out. He then aimed his index finger at his chest.

She smiled and they both laughed.

Now, having experienced the most awkward moment that could possibly happen in their relationship, she said, “Do you know that you look yellow? Is it the lighting or are you wearing some kind of makeup?” He said he hadn’t been feeling all that great and appreciated her concern.

After a few minutes, she departed.

The next day the society writer received a call from host Jim Butler saying that after she had left the party, Blatty had been taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with hepatitis. “He keeps asking for you,” Butler said.

Over the next few months, the movie version was released and the phone calls between the society writer and Blatty continued. He would talk about his life and how the movie’s popularity had been both flattering and weird. After she had seen the movie, she acted like a movie expert and wondered if it would have been better done in black and white. He laughed and said that he had lobbied for that, but the director and money people were totally opposed to that idea.

While staying in Colorado, Blatty called and insisted that the writer come to Colorado to meet his mother, Mary Blatty. He had spoken of his mother often and had told her about the writer. Bill just knew the two ladies would hit it off. The writer suggested that Blatty put Mary on the phone, so they could chat.

It was then that the relationship took a definite “exorcist” turn. He couldn’t put his mother on the phone. She had died in 1967. It was the last time the reporter and Blatty would talk.

JUST IN: Sons Of The Flag Endowment For Burn Care Supplies Is Established At Parkland Health And Hospital System

Over the years Parkland Health and Hospital has become renowned for being the only adult and pediatric center in North Texas verified by the American Burn Association. In addition to its reputation for its specialized treatments, it has provided it for those who are uninsured.

Yesterday afternoon, the Sons of the Flag established the Sons of the Flag Endowment for Burn Care Supplies with a $12,500 contribution that was matched by anonymous donation via Parkland Foundation.

Mary Meier-Evans, Herb Phelan, Ryan Parrott, Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell, Kathy Doherty and Beth Dexter*

The results? The $25,000 total will “support and enhance burn care at Parkland Health and Hospital System by providing wound kits and supplies for uninsured burn patients.”

According to Sons of the Flag President/CEO Ryan Parrott, “This is an exciting opportunity for Sons of the Flag to live out its mission and expand access to critical supplies and treatment for many in our community who cannot afford them. To partner with Parkland Foundation in supporting the Parkland Burn Center through this endowment is an important step in ensuring we are doing everything we can to improve burn care throughout North Texas.”

On hand for the announcement in addition to the media were Sons of the Flag Director of Development Mary Meier-Evans, Parkland Foundation Development Officer Beth Dexter and Parkland Burn Center’s Dr. Herb Phelan, Dr. Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell and Kathy Doherty.

The Sons of the Flags has also provided more than $10,000 in in-kind donations of Go Bags, clothing, toys, snacks and holiday decorations thanks to its supporters and volunteers.

Parkland Foundation President/CEO David Krause said, “We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of Sons of the Flag and their commitment to helping the patients in Parkland’s burn center. Their most recent gift to establish an endowment to support the burn center will help Parkland provide life-saving care to burn patients for generations to come.”

Sons of the Flag “is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting military, first responder, and civilian burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research, technology and education. We bring together passionate community leaders, pioneering physicians, experienced military service members, dedicated first responders and purposeful civilians to complete our mission.”

* Photo provided by Sons of the Flag

A Passing: Liener Temerlin

During the ’60s and ’70s when Dallas had two daily newspapers and three TV stations, there were a handful of creative types and sales execs who gave birth to advertising/public relations/marketing agencies. Unlike the TV version of “Mad Men,” the Dallas men — Sam Bloom and his son Bob Bloom, Morris Hite, Stan Levenson, Stan Richards and Liener Temerlin — weren’t as much into martinis as they were into giving the New York ad community a run for their money. They were also helping the city of Dallas make it through the slow recovery from November 22, 1963.

Liener Temerlin (File photo)

Today it was reported that 88-year-old Liener died yesterday at his home in Austin.

According to The Levenson Group Co-Founders Barbara and Stan Levenson, “We always will be grateful to Liener for enriching both our personal and professional lives. Second to none, he was an industry icon and inspiring leader.”

With his bride Karla, the Ardmore native moved to Dallas to take a job a copywriter at Glenn Advertising in 1953. Over the years, he rose through the ranks becoming president of Glenn Bozell and Jacobs in 1974. Eventually the agency became Temerlin McClain in 1992 and TM Advertising in 2004. During his tenure, the agency handled such national accounts as American Airlines, Bank of America, Hyatt Hotels, J.C. Penney and countless others.

And he always seemed to be on the cutting edge. For instance, when his daughter Dana was married in the 1970s, he surprised locals by having a film crew tape the wedding reception at the Fairmont.  

But Liener’s life outside of the office was just as dynamic and visionary. He joined with the late Mayor Annette Strauss in orchestrating the building of the Morten H. Meyerson Symphony Center. That was unheard of back in that day with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra playing at Fair Park’s Music Hall.

And Liener’s foresight extended to still another art form — film. In 2006 he and Michael Cain sowed the seeds for the Dallas Film Society. In fact it was their connection to the American Film Institute that gave birth to the AFI Dallas International Film Festival that evolved into today’s DFS’s Dallas International Film Festival.

According to DFS President/CEO and DIFF Executive Director Lee Papert, “The Dallas Film Society is terribly saddened to learn of the passing of Liener Temerlin, our Founder and Chairman Emeritus. He was instrumental in the creation of the Dallas Film Society and the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. His passion and vision for film knew no bounds. That passion for this unique art form was limitless and he strived daily to bring a greater awareness of film to Dallas through the Film Society and the Dallas International Film Festival and the nation through his involvement with the American Film Institute. But beyond that passion, Liener was kind, genuine, and helpful – serving as a mentor to so many in the formation of a fledgling arts organization. He exuded class and most of all — he was our friend. We will miss our friend and we will continue to do our best to further his desire to celebrate this great medium.”

A Linz Award recipient, Liener was also involved with the Vogel Alcove, UT Southwestern Medical Center, SMU and a host of others.

Despite all these involvements, Liener’s top priority for more than six decades was his wife Karla Temerlin, their daughters Dana Temerlin Krebs and Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and their families.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., a memorial service will be held at in the Stern Chapel at Temple Emanu-El.

MySweet2017Goals: Lynn Davis

Lynn Davis (File photo)

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

“The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s goals for 2017 are to operate as a data-driven organization utilizing research and insights, to optimize direct impact by ensuring that all children who need services receive them, to ensure all kids who need to receive services are being served through coordination and collaboration with partner agencies, and to advance best practices regionally and nationally though innovation and training.”

JUST IN: New Crystal Charity Ball Members Announced

2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella just revealed the seven new members of the 65-year-old children’s nonprofit fundraising organization. The frosh class includes the following:

Dianne LaRoe (File photo)

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Candace Winslow (File photo)

  • Meredith Miller BeBee,
  • Dianne Bradshaw LaRoe,
  • Kim Novel Quinn,
  • Lisa Bailey Singleton,
  • Shannon Saalfield Thompson,
  • Dee Dunk Velvin and
  • Candace Plummer Winslow

The work is already underway for the black-tie gala on Saturday, December 2, at the Hilton Anatole. Next on the agenda is the selection/announcement of the 2017 beneficiaries and the goal.

The Great Girl Scout Cookie Debate Nearly Results In An Elf Brawl

The debates have not ended! The MySweetCharity espresso barroom was the scene of a near brawl this afternoon. With her eminence Queenie sitting on her throne as judge, she listened to two teams of elves argue, complain and decry the lack of knowledge of the other group. At one point it got so ugly that one debater stuck his purple tongue out.

Girl Scout S’more*

Girl Scout Samoa*

The subject? Which Girl Scout cookies were better — old favorite Samoas (aka Caramel Delites) or the new cookie on the block S’mores? The S’mores team argued that there are S’mores and then there are S’Mores. The Samoas group claimed the other side was nuts not to love the coconut-laden Samoas.

Girl Scout Thin Mint*

At one point it got so ugly that one debater stuck his … that’s right … purple tongue out. Queenie had had enough and ordered a time out. After 10 minutes Elder Elf notified the old gal that it hadn’t worked. In fact the elf gallery was now complaining that both sides were wrong. Thin Mints topped the other two and they were staging a protest in front of the MSC headquarters.

Making a Solomon decision, Queenie told Elder, “Get me a crate of each and I shall make the final decision.”

Elder sought the request here to provide Queenie with crates of cookies. One can only suspect that Queenie’s New Year’s resolution of losing that 50 pounds was history, as she waddled to her chambers with a wheelbarrel filled with the boxes of cookies.

But don’t wait to learn Queenie’s decision. The Girl Scouts are officially kicking off sale of the cookies (Girls Scouts S’more, Thin Mints, Caramel deLites/Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Shortbread/Trefoils, Do-si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lot, Toffee-tastic and Trios) on Friday. They (the cookies, not the Scouts) can be ordered directly from a Scout or online.

Girl Scout cookie sales*

And look to downtown Dallas Friday night for dazzling signs of the great cookie takeover. The Bank of America Plaza will shine green and white; One Arts Place’s unique green square will dazzle; and the Omni Dallas Hotel will feature “the Girl Scout logo in green displaying the message, ‘Cookie Time.’”  

* Photos provided by the Girl Scouts