MySweetWishList: Dallas CASA

According to Dallas CASA Volunteer Manager Sandra Teter,

Sandra Teter*

“My wish for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) this holiday season is that more community members will join me and serve as volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes and are in foster care or alternative placements.

“I joined CASA’s cadre of volunteers 20 years ago in 1997. Since then I have worked 24 different cases involving 47 children. I have always been pretty altruistic and when I found CASA I knew I had found my place.

“Though I have always been one to speak up, CASA gives my “voice” the ability to affect real immediate change.  As an advocate you have to ask the tough questions and the best decision is not always the easy one. These kids deserve someone that will really listen to them and go to bat for them to ensure their wellbeing. The healing that often occurs in whole families can make positive change for future generations.

“People tend to be afraid of volunteering at places like CASA because they worry about seeing things they do not want to see. The truth is these situations happen whether we see them or not. The toughest job out there is a Child Protective Services caseworker. They see the situations the children are removed from in real time. CASA is assigned after the children are in protective care and safe and it is time to pick up the pieces.

“CASA has taught me to be more compassionate and look at every side to a story. Every time I read a new case, I get angry. I have learned there are truly so many sides to every story. Many of the children’s parents have been victims themselves and are repeating learned behavior. Though we wish there was not a need for the process, the court’s intervention provides access to services such as counseling, drug and alcohol treatment and mental healthcare. I have gained perspective and balance as a CASA volunteer and feel I gain as much, if not more, than I give.

Dallas CASA*

“I hope you will join me on this walk as a Dallas CASA volunteer. As of Tuesday, November 7, 1,264 volunteer advocates have served 2,928 abused and neglected children in Dallas in 2017. The numbers are heartbreaking but the results are amazing.

“There are more children who need advocates. Dallas CASA is currently able to provide advocates for three out of four children in need. As proud as we are all of that, it is the child without an advocate I can not stop thinking about. These children deserve our care and attention, not just during the holidays but year round.

“The first step is to go to an information session at Dallas CASA.

“New volunteer information sessions are offered weekly, go to DallasCASA.org to register.”

-By Sandra Teter, Dallas CASA volunteer manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA

A Passing: Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler (File photo)

Perhaps it was just selfish, but no one ever thought Dallas would be without Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler. She exemplified the city with her energy, determination, humor and ability to rise above loss. That’s why her death Friday night will cause many to recall their favorite stories about “their Ruth.”

There won’t be many who will remember the little girl who started life in 1924 on Swiss Avenue. Five years later when the Great Depression threw the country into a financial nightmare, her family’s resources protected her and her two brothers (Carr Collins II and Jim Collins) from the poverty that ravaged others.

At the age of 21, she was widowed when her first husband’s plane was shot down during World War II. A couple of years later she met and married her second husband Charles Sharp. Together they made a striking couple and their marriage of 40 years would produce three children (Sally, Stanton and Susan). It would also test the part in the wedding vows — “in sickness and health” — when Charles was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Ruth Altshuler and Susan Sharp (File photo)

It was during their marriage that she joined the Junior League and took on a lifelong mission to support the nonprofit sector including the Crystal Charity Ball, SMU, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Dallas County Medical Society, The Salvation Army DFW, Susan G. Komen, Dallas Summer Musicals, North Texas Giving Day, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Family Gateway, I Stand For Parkland, Laura Bush’s Foundation for America’s Libraries and countless others. 

In 1963 both the 39-year-old Ruth and the city of Dallas faced a turning point that would determine the city’s fate when President John F. Kennedy was killed in downtown Dallas. Overnight the city became internationally synonymous with hatred. But eventually the city rebounded, thanks to the leadership of the late Mayor Erik Jonsson and others including Ruth, who was on the grand jury that indicted Jack Ruby the day after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

The following years were indeed challenging on a personal level as well for Ruth with Charles’ disease progressing until his death in 1984. Still she carried on, juggling her family’s needs and her community involvement.

Ruth and Ken Altshuler (File photo)

With the children grown and, widowed once again, Ruth threw herself into helping others. Eventually, she found the perfect partner in Dr. Ken Altshuler, who shared her sense of humor and her commitment to others. Just this past Tuesday, they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

True to form, Ruth was always a magnet for attracting people. Whether it was U.S. Presidents (four of them to be exact — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George Bush and Barack Obama), movie stars like Ginger Rogers and Sophia Loren, noted intellectuals like David McCullough or just a child in need, Ruth treated all the same with appreciation and that legendary quick wit.

For instance, at the 2014 Callier Center for Communications Disorders luncheon when she presented the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Cares Award to her longtime friend Sara Martineau, she “admitted that her own grandchildren had held ‘an intervention,’ because no matter what they said, their grandmother would say, ‘What?’ She then reported that in her own household, she and husband Ken constantly exchange, ‘What?’ As Ken choked hearing Ruth tell the group of their personal experience, Ruth admitted that Ken had already gotten a hearing aid and she had ordered one.”

In the days, weeks and years ahead, it’s going to be difficult to imagine a world without Ruth. But on the other hand, if one just looks around, they’ll see her in the programs, buildings and people that have benefited from a life well lived.

According to The Dallas Morning News, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane. A reception will follow at the Umphrey Lee Center at SMU in the Margaret Mack Ballroom. Both will be open to the public.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Gentle Reminder: 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend Will Have Runners On Area Roads Both Saturday And Sunday

BMW Dallas Marathon*

Back in 1971 the very first Dallas White Rock Marathon was held on March 6. Over the years the name and date changed. In 2012 “White Rock” disappeared from the name and it became Dallas Marathon. Over the years some things stayed the same like Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children being the beneficiary and thousands of participants including world-class runners.

2017 Coors Light 5K and 10K*

This weekend the annual runathon has been expanded. For starters, it’s going to be a two-day run including

If you’re not planning on being part of those running or volunteering, you might want to check the road closures that will be in place. They range from Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge through downtown Dallas on Saturday to Sunday mega-run starting at City Hall and heading around White Rock via Turtle Creek and back to City Hall.

* Graphics courtesy of BMW Dallas Marathon

MySweetWishList: Wilkinson Center

Jane Shouse*

According to Wilkinson Center Volunteer Jane Shouse,

“As a Wilkinson Center volunteer for many years, I’ve come to understand how deeply felt the desire to have seasonal traditions, the kind most of us take for granted, is for families who struggle day to day with poverty.  Their children dream of Santa, toys and treats of the season, and parents look forward to special times, shared meals and the happiness that comes from celebrating together. Yet for many of these families, the holiday season also represents a time of hardship. Even small amounts of generosity during the holiday season can make an inspiring impact on these families’ holidays and carry meaning we may not realize.

“The Wilkinson Center’s holiday wish, easily fulfilled by an individual, group or business, is for food pantry items to fulfill families’ needs for holiday meals, specifically baskets with a frozen turkey and your choice of fixings.

“Turkey baskets given to Wilkinson Center clients mean much more than providing food or a doing a good deed; these baskets lift their load, not only for the tangible contents, but also because of what they represent. They provide families with the ability to celebrate in a manner that they look forward to all year.

Wilkinson Center*

“Your help in fulfilling these wishes enables Wilkinson Center to make this season happier for one Dallas family of 2,600 families that the Center serves. Please join us in making holiday dreams come true in your community.

“For more information on how to help the Wilkinson Center this holiday season, please contact Teresa Norton at [email protected], or visit our website at www.wilkinsoncenter.org.”

– By Jane Shouse, Wilkinson Center Volunteer

* Graphic and photo provided by Wilkinson Center

Star 102.1 Personalities To Broadcast “Miracle Day Radiothon” Friday From Children’s Medical Center Dallas From 6 a.m. To 7 p.m.

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker (File photo)

Friday is going to be a bit warmer, but there’s still going to be a holiday chill in the air. That translates into the taste of hot chocolate at the desk and the aroma of homemade bread baking away. But what would be the ideal sound to go with all these senses of the holidays?

It’s “Miracle Day Radiothon”! Presented by Neighborhood Credit Union, iHeartRadio  Star 102.1’s Leigh Ann, Amanda Flores and Rick O’Bryan will be broadcasting from Children’s Medical Center Dallas. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., there will be patients like Kristin Alcaraz, Shantisa Anderson, Julissa Garcia, Sadie Granberry, Emmy Kaighan, Maddox Kindiger, Katie Kramer, Braden McCollum, Jacob Mowl, Samantha Raack, Makenna Rodolph, Sim Scott, Ace Shelton and Miguel Soto and their families telling memorable stories about their relationship with Children’s.

Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates (File photo)

In addition to reminding listeners of the true meaning of the holidays, the hope is that listeners will reach in their pockets to support program at Children’s Health, in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Donations can be made online or by calling 800.800.7277.

Factoid: Last year the Children’s Health system provided care for more than “278,000 unique patients at its hospitals, specialty centers and pediatric group practices. It is the second-busiest pediatric health system in the nation in terms of admissions and pediatric emergency department visits.”

Joining the effort to provide health care for children will sponsors Albertsons/Tom Thumb, Granite, AT and T, Cisco and The Residences at Rough Creek Lodge.

Prepare Flower Children For First Freeze Of The Season

Dallas Arboretum pansies (File photo)

As confusing as the weather has been for wardrobes, the poor residents of the Dallas Arboretum are in a blooming quandary. One day it’s sunshine and temperatures in the 80s. The next day it’s cloudy, windy and a drop of 30 degrees. And to top it all off, tonight there is a threat of a freeze that would make a pansy shiver down to its roots.  

Dave Forehand (File photo)

But no need to worry about the Arboretum plants. The staff is taking action to protect the little critters thanks to Dallas Arboretum VP of Gardens Dave Forehand, who has shared the following tips for your garden:

 

  • Water plants before freeze: First, water plants before a freeze, particularly the plant root zone. Water acts like a blanket insulating the roots. This makes the plant stronger against a freeze. When plant cells are full of water, they are less likely to be subject to frost damage. If possible, water a day or two before a freeze and make sure to water the entire root zone of the plant. This is especially important in newly planted trees and shrubs. Try watering early in the day so plants have time to absorb water before a freeze. If at all possible, avoid watering the foliage. If you have an irrigation system, hand watering might be the best option for certain locations. Keeping water off the foliage prevents the formation of ice on leaf material which can cause breaks and more damage.
  • Cover cold sensitive plants: Cover them with blankets, sheets or towels. Do not use plastic because it is not breathable and will freeze to the plants causing damage. When daytime temperatures rise above freezing, it is important to remove the cover because, if left under cover all day, temperatures under the blankets can get too warm, damaging the plants and waking them from dormancy. 
  • If possible, use frost cloth: Frost cloth acts as a blanket and helps trap heat. Make sure that you secure the cloth entirely around the plant and tighten to the soil using fabric pins or bricks (anything that will hold it down firmly will work). Frost cloth is made from a product that “breathes,” and this cloth helps against burn caused by other materials. Purchase frost cloth months in advance, if possible. When the threat of a freeze is coming, frost cloth sells out quickly. Do not use frost cloth when there is a chance of snow. Otherwise, it will cause more damage breaking plants from the weight of the snow.
  • Take care of plants constantly: The healthier your plants are, the more prone they are to handle stress. Proper water and maintenance throughout the growing season will help in the winter months. It is also important to select the right plant for your area.  Check to make sure that the plant material you select is appropriate for your location. Check out USDA plant hardiness zone map to see what zone you live in. This information will help you purchase the best plant material for your zone. 
  • Move plants inside, especially with high winds: When high winds are a threat, it is a good idea to move potted plants into a shed or garage. Although plants don’t feel wind-chill, cold winds quickly dry them out.  Most plants can survive upper 30-degree temperatures easily in a shed or garage because these areas usually don’t drop below freezing until severe weather in February. 

Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs Continue The Conversation Of “Not In My Home And Not In Yours Either” For The Next Generation

The problem of domestic violence is not a current problem. It’s a multi-generational tragedy. Like a hand-me-down, the abuse within the home is shared through the ages. Tackling the break in the generational cycle of violence has been the mission of the Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s HeROs (He Respects Others). To take their message to more in the North Texas community, Jennifer and Travis Armayor and The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated hosted “An Evening With Gentle Men” on Thursday, November 9, at Harlan Crow‘s breathtaking library. Here’s a report from the field:

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support and its men’s group, Genesis HeROs (He Respects Others), hosted the second annual “An Evening with Gentle Men,” presented by Jennifer and Travis Armayor and The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the Crow Library. Along with Event Co-Chairs Jennifer and Travis Armayor and more than 40 host committee members, the room was filled with 230 men and women who share zero tolerance for domestic violence.

Jesse Barnett, Chris Petrawski and Zach Townsend*

Guests like Jesse Barnett, Chris Petrawski and Zach Townsend stepped into the elegant, historical library of Harlan Crow, surrounded by historical treasures dating back centuries. Antique cigar boxes overflowing with succulents were arranged by Dallas Petal Pusher, making the perfect centerpiece arrangements. Guests were treated to beer-tasting sponsored by Four Corners Brewing Company and complimentary shoe-shining. Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond scotch whisky were also available for tasting, courtesy of Mary Bowman Campbell. Attendees explored the three-story library, lingering in front of historical gems from figures like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill. Pianist Scott Willis played in the grand library, providing live entertainment sponsored by Crossmark.

An Evening with Gentle Men at the Crow Library*

The informal program began with a welcome by Genesis Women’s Shelter Senior Director of Fund and Community Development Bianca Jackson. Guests gathered in the main library, while attendees on the second story peered over the balcony to hear her remarks. Shortly thereafter, HeROs Board President Crayton Webb shared how men must be known as more than simply a part of the problem – in order to effect real change and make a difference in the fight against domestic violence, men must become a part of the solution by taking a stand. “Not in my home, and not in yours either.” Jennifer and Travis then closed with comments about having the tough, important conversations with the next generation – it is not enough that girls are taught how to protect themselves and stay alert, boys should be taught to respect and value women.

Bianca Jackson*

The rest of the evening was open for guests to mingle and network, and take in all the wonders of the library. Thanks to Ormsby Catering, attendees enjoyed heavy appetizers like Ahi Tuna sashimi, sweet corn empanadas, pulled pork and blue corn tamale tartlets, and individual beef bourguignon pot pies paired with a mushroom and port wine sauce. Nearly 20 men joined the HeROs organization during the event. Favor bags included men’s shaving cream and lotion thanks to gift sponsor Mary Kay, along with information on how to become involved with Genesis HeROs.

* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter and Support

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.