2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Is Presented With The Former Chair Bracelet

The makeup from Halloween’s haunting had hardly been scrubbed off than news of 2017’s final fundraising push as underway. Over at the Dallas Country Club Founder’s Room, the Callier Center’s Callier Care Luncheon leadership was doing double duty at noon on Wednesday, November 1.

Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Libby Hunt

Launched last year, the past luncheon chairs come together to present the recent chair with a bracelet. This year past luncheon chairs Libby Hunt (2012),  Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014) and  Angie Kadesky (2016), Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Dr. Tom Campbell and Jennifer Fowler were on hand to present 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson with the Tiffany sack containing her new trinket.

Angie Kadesky and John and Barbara Stuart

The gathering was also the official handing over of the baton to 2018 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele fresh from her chairing the Equest Luncheon and Style Show in October.

Emilynn Wilson, Tom Campbell and Beth Thoele

Joining Beth for the Callier Center for Communications Disorders fundraiser on Tuesday, April 17, at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Co-Chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte. Receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award will be The Meadows Foundation.

As for Emilynn, she’s still recovering from the record-breaker fundraiser and a nasty cough, as well as preparing to chair The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon on Monday, May 7, at Dallas Country Club.

1,300 People Had A “Hinge” Experience By “Connecting” With New BFF Jamie Lee Curtis At The Celebrating Women Luncheon

Editor’s warning: This post is a very long one, but it’s worth the read. So, settle back to find out why the 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon was one of the most memorable get togethers of the year.

It depended on your age when it came to Jamie Lee Curtis. Those with decades on their meters remembered her as the darling daughter of Hollywood’s golden age couple of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Then there was the generation that immediately thought of her being terrorized in “Halloween” and “Terror Train.”  Others recalled her as the “bod” in “Trading Places” and “Perfect.” And, yes, there’s a current generation who have read her 14 books to their children.

The question at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon was, “Who really is Jamie Lee Curtis?” That’s because Jamie (“Just call me Jamie, not Jamie Lee”) was going to be the featured speaker at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

Before heading down to the VIP meet-and-greet in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room that Thursday morning, Jamie showed the first signs of how the day would go. She told an event staffer that she was wearing no makeup and had done her own hair. But if they wanted someone to do her makeup, it was up to them. No need; Jamie was just fine in her own skin. Earlier someone had asked if she wanted to review the questions that would be posed to her in the chat with Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson. Nope. She would just take them as they came.

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

Before she entered the room, the crowd including Kristen Hinton, Norm Bagwell, Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay, Jimmie Westcott, Lisa Cooley, Tanya Foster, Aileen Pratt, Kate Swail, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Debbie Robinson, Polly Tadlock, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Julie Ford, Rich Enthoven, Trisha Wilson, Tiffany Divis, Jennie and Stuart Reeves, Caren Kline and Dallas Morning Newsies Deborah Fleck, Selwyn Crawford and Mike Wilson was happily chatting and drinking coffee. Only a handful of people were getting in line for the grip-and-grin. That would quickly change.

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

Like a quarterback preparing for the big game, Jamie checked out the setup and approached the event photographer and suggested a place where she would stand with guests. As another photographer took a photo from the side, Jamie called the second photographer over and gave instructions to shoot directly in front of her. It wasn’t an order. She was advising the team on a game plan that would seamlessly score success. 

Even the guests became part of the team effort. Jamie would talk with each one and make sure that all were picture-perfect. When Gretchen Minyard arrived for her photo, Jamie adjusted the flower on Gretchen’s jacket. One young woman quickly put the finishing touches on her own makeup as she went through the line. She was thrilled for the photo opp. From the big smile in being photographed with Jamie, no one could tell that she had just had her first round of chemo the day before. Linda Custard, who had successfully gone through a year of treatments, had a special glow about her as she and Jamie embraced.

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

After having her photo taken with Lindalyn Adams, Jamie called time-out and went to the side of the staging area to talk with Lindalyn, who had initiated Celebrating Women 18 years ago.

Now, the guests were starting to take notice and lined up for their picture with Jamie. A handful of guests stood back, saying they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie. That would change. Soon enough the line was winding past the stanchions, and in the line now were those who’d said earlier they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie.

Observers started taking note of how in each shot, Jamie would hit her mark with her legs crossed at the ankle, confidently hold her head high, smile with lips together and have an expression on her face as if she was truly proud to be in the picture. Her arms would adjust a bit with each photo, but they never struck the “sorority girl” pose.

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Selwyn Crawford, Deborah Fleck, Jamie Lee Curtis and Mike Wilson

When the final photo was taken, one of the photographers approached her and thanked her for her earlier direction, adding that each photo had turned out great. Jamie smiled with a twinkle in her eye and said, “I knew where the lights were.”

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

As the doors opened to the Chantilly Ballroom, the 1,300 guests like Tom Thumb President Dennis Bassler with Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates, Sara Martineau, Vicki Chapman, Joan Eleazer with daughter Layne Pitzer, Debbie Raynor, Nancy Dedman, Jill Smith, Gene Jones, Anita Arnold, Al Hill Jr., Linda Perryman Evans, Jan Langbein, Leslie Gosnell and sisters Nancy Marcus and Nelda Cain were taking their places. Before things got underway, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell stood behind Jamie, who had taken her place at the table next to Honorary Co-Chair Leonard Riggs. The Powells had their cellphones ready to snap a photo with her. When Jamie realized the situation, she stood up and took hold of the phone for a selfie with the girls.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Soon, the program was underway with London Hibbs entering the center aisle singing “Heroes” and joined by dancers en route to the stage.

London Hibbs and dancers

They were followed by Event Chair Tucker Enthoven, who welcomed the guests and told how the monies raised at the luncheon stayed in North Texas. To emphasize the point, she told of 43-year-old attorney/wife/mother Carolyn Brown, who just the year before had been diagnosed with stage III tripe-negative breast cancer.

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

Following a video about Carolyn’s journey, an army of 20 men and women lined up along the back of the stage. Through the group entered Carolyn, who explained that these people had been the ones who had taken her through nine months of surgeries, chemo and radiation, resulting in her being cancer-free. 

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

Following lunch, Tucker returned to the podium with her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, who acknowledged Lindalyn, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation staff, the committee, presenting sponsor Tom Thumb and the mega donors. Ola then got the activity meter raised, explaining that at each table there was one program that was marked for the holder to receive an $80 gift certificate for Kendra Scott. 

Jim Hinton

Tucker thanked Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs, announced a matching challenge of $25,000 and introduced Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton. Jim told how his life had been influenced by the women in his life, including his daughter, 12-year-old Nora Hinton, who the morning after the recent presidential election announced that she could still be the first female president. He emphasized the importance of the Celebrating Women Luncheon by announcing that, over the past 18 years, it had raised more than $30M, and more than 100,000 women had been screened last year at the Darlene Cass Imaging Center.

Following Jim, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson introduced Jamie for a chat on stage. It would be a chat to be remembered.

Before getting started, though, Jamie addressed one part of the audience. “I was raised well. Not really, but I was raised semi-well. I actually made them move the chair so my back wasn’t to you. But I apologize that my back is to you, and I will try to pin it like a Rain Bird.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

Who is her hero? Robin asked. “I am almost 60, and I have spent a lot of time in ballrooms sitting around tables of 10 with well-heeled, well-dressed people like yourselves advocating for causes in ways to come together to raise money for important causes,” Jamie replied. “And I have seen myriad ways that these are done. I have never in my life seen a more moving example of what this is, the reason we are here, than that team of people coming up on the stage. I’ve done a lot of these and I think that’s why that challenge grant … and I hope we make it … I’d like to see a show of hands of 25 people in this room who will give a thousand dollars with me.* I want it right now. 25 people to give $25,000. [Hands went up throughout the room.] I want to know that $50,000 extra was raised in one minute for the work of those people who stood here for her and work for people you will never know. There is no more important thing for us to do today than to support them. I’m just privileged to be here.” 

Hands raise for the challenge

Did you have a cancer scare? Robin then asked Jamie. “I did, and in coming here I recalled it,” she answered. “My memory of it was the wait in that room for the diagnosis. Either an all-clear, which was my case, or the diagnosis of breast cancer and then the eventual treatment plan and care team stepping in. And what I remember about it, and the reason why I try to stay active, is that moment of feeling alone, even though my sweet husband Christopher [Guest] was sitting with me. It is a profound moment of truth. I was prepared for it. And as I got the ‘All clear’ from it, I was grateful to my doctor who found it. It was not noticed on the mammogram. It was not noticed radiologically. It was done from palpitation, by actually laying on his hands. I’m incredibly luck, but I’ll never forget that moment.”

In receiving the tough news from your doctor, Robin asked next, do you want her to ask how your life is going, or do you want straight talk? “Me? I’m coming up, if I’m lucky enough, on February 3rd of next year, I’ll be coming up on 19 years sober from drugs and alcohol,” Jamie answered. “In my opinion [addiction] is hereditary—my dad, my mom, my brother. And [for me] it was an opiate addiction. It was a small plastic surgery moment that led to an opiate addiction. It is no accident today that we have an epidemic in this country. I’m in recovery, and I want it as straight as you can give it to me. I’m as straight a person as it is. I want no subterfuge. I want it unvarnished. I want you to tell me the truth. I try to live an incredibly truthful life.”

How do you select the causes that you support? Robin asked. “I think like all the rest of us, I get touched by something,” Jamie replied. “As it is with breast cancer, it is a concentric circle in our lives. There is no place that I would go in the world and not come in contact immediately with someone either recovering from breast cancer, undergoing treatment or they have a sister or mother with breast cancer. I was in Los Angeles at a surprise wedding. I was seated at a long table, as we all were.

“I was chatting with three people across the table, and the woman seated directly across from me was from Italy. Lovely. I found her charming. And then another woman introduced herself and said that she and her husband were from Dallas. I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to Dallas in four days.’ She asked why and I said, ‘I’m going to speak at the breast cancer luncheon connected to Baylor.’ And she said, ‘Oh, those are my people! You’ll meet my oncologist.” She’s a 15-year survivor. And then the woman directly across from me, the one from Italy, said to the woman, ‘I just had a double mastectomy.’ Here we were a triangle. Three women connecting about breast cancer at a surprise wedding. To me the reason we’re here is to connect. We are not here to do anything but connect.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Then Robin asked, “What got you into acting?” “It was an accident,” Jamie said. “There is a book that I love, ‘Special Topics in Calamity Physics,’ by Marisha Pessl. In it there is this great quote. She says you know, most people think life is all about like where you go to school, what degree you get, what college you get into, who you marry, what your first job is, what your starting salary is, blah, blah. She said, and I roughly quote, ‘It’s not. Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming, and what you decide in those seconds determines everything from then on. And you’re not going to know what to do until you’re there.’ That’s my life.

“I was a D+ student, who got into the only college where my mother was the most famous alumnus. I majored in track. I was a non-student. I could barely spell ‘student.’ I came home for Christmas and ran into a guy who was a tennis teacher at my friend’s court and he said, ‘Hey, Jamie, I’m now managing actors, and they’re looking for someone to play Nancy Drew. Why don’t you go up for it?’ I was like ‘Okay.’ I didn’t get it, but then I ended up literally signing a seven-year contract with Universal Pictures (because they used to have contracts then). My point is that I went over to my friend’s house and a tennis teacher said, ‘Hey they’re looking for actors,’ and the next I knew I quit school and I connected in the exact same way the rest of my life.

“I never thought I would write a book in my life. As I mentioned, my SAT scores—I proudly say this for all you underachievers out there, you could be up here with your—excuse my French, your shitty SAT scores! My four-year-old daughter walked into my room one day and said, ‘When I was little, I used a diaper. But now I use the potty.’ And she walked out of the room. I just thought that was hilarious. I wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I wrote the list of things that she couldn’t do and could do and at the end I wrote three things,

  • When I was little, I didn’t know what family was.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know who I was, but now I do.

 

“When I was finished writing that, I was sobbing and I realized I could write a book. Though I never dreamed I’d write a book, I sold it that day to a publisher in New York, and it was the first of 14 books I’ve written for children. I say it because the last thing in the world I thought I would do is write a book, and yet a book popped out.

“I’m going to tell you one more thing about life hinging on seconds you never see coming. It was 1984. I was single, sitting my apartment with my friend Debra Hill, who is no longer here, and I was getting ready to do the movie ‘Perfect.’ I opened Rolling Stone magazine. There was a picture of three guys with their arms around each other like guys do with shirt sleeves. There was a guy on the right who had a face like this [she made a funny face]. And I said to Debra, ‘I’m going to marry that guy.’ She said he was Chris Guest. I called his agent the next day, who told me he knew I was calling about Chris Guest. Debra had already called. He never called me.”

Jamie went on to tell how she continued with her life, and was even dating a fellow. After taking him to the airport one day, she drove to West Hollywood for dinner with Melanie Griffin and her husband Steven Bauer. A couple of tables away, Christopher was sitting there. Recalled Jamie: “He looked at me and went like this” [she shrugged her shoulders and made a face]. She responded in a similar fashion. As he got up to leave, he repeated the expression, to which she once again responded in the same way. The next day he called her, and they were married four months later.

Did you have mentors who helped you focus on what is important? Robin asked. “No. I’m not going to lie to you,” Jamie replied. “My mother was a surviving woman. She had a rough life. But she was a very grounded human being, and I credit her with a lot of the way I walk through the world. To be perfectly honest, mostly men hired me. It was because the business that I was in was predominantly male. Over the years I’ve partnered with women. My editor is a woman.”

Then came the moment that would become “the talk” for days to come.

Robin asked how she used her platform to address the issue of people using power over others. Looking at the floor clock, which showed that the time for their conversation was running out, Jamie said, “And that’s the real time we have left?”

Replied Robin: “I’ll tell you when we’re finished.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie said nothing. To the delight of the 1,000+ women in the room, she just held her index finger up and looked out at the audience as if to say, “Did he really just say that?”

And she let that expression and silence sit there for what probably seemed like an eternity for Robin. The oxygen in the room had been replaced with laughter.

With perfect timing, she said, “We need to talk. You’ll tell me when I’m done? I was merely trying to play by the time rule. I saw that the clock was running out. I was just asking … you’re blushing.”

The laughter only grew, and it was suspected that Robin was wishing that he could have taken back his “hinge” moment.

But like a great conductor, Jamie brought the room back to the serious subject that Robin had introduced. “What is happening today has been happening since the beginning of time,” she said. “And it always takes show business to be a catalyst for change. In recovery, I always knew that someone super-famous was going to have to die from an opiate overdose, before we changed the way we thought about opiates. Prince, a brilliant artist, was a fentanyl addict and he died from that. And now we change the rules. Now the president is convening a whole epidemic group to combat this.

“Sexual harassment and abuse have been in play since men in power have been in place. Through every generation, every business, every field, every color—there is no boundary. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it is a beast. And we are taking a look at it through the lens … pardon the pun … of Hollywood.  And it is going to create transformative change. It is going to take a little time. It is going to be a very challenging time for all us to look deep in ourselves and really figure out how we feel about it.”

She predicted that, as a result, more women would be put in positions of leadership.

Robin then said, “With your permission, I have one more.” Laughter.

Jamie answered, “That was flirting.” More laughter. “Yes, dear.”

His final question was, “What was the best moment of your life?”

She replied that it was being an adoptive mother of two children, Annie and Thomas. The moment was when, at 12:58 in the morning, Annie’s birth mother had called to say that she had given birth. Said Jamie: That was the “most transformative moment in my life. It began what has continued to be the greatest thing I will ever do in my life besides being sober. It is to share a life. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It has made me look in the mirror more often about myself. It has brought us a lot of grief in our family, and a lot of healing. A child wants connection. They don’t want stuff. They want people to lean in and look at them and hear them and cherish them. The modern world makes that very difficult. We all have to work very hard to counteract that. ” 

Thanks to Jamie, 1,300 people experienced hinge moments allowing them to connect with a very special cause and person.

So, who was Jamie Lee Curtis? On Thursday, October 26, she was the BFF for more than 1,300 people—and she’s welcome back anytime she wants.

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

* Follow up on the match challenge: Jamie’s invitation for people to join her in meeting the match not only met the goal, it surpassed it resulting in $60,000 from the challenge. And, no, the Celebrating Women organizers had no idea she was going to ask people to join her in donating $1,000.

Crayton Webb Heads Into “Sunwest” Thanks To A “Stern” Buyout

Folks have been wondering whatever happened to fundraising Crayton Webb, since his departure last month from Mary Kay Inc. Had he left his wife, Nikki Webb, and their four kids to join the Foreign Legion? Had he been whisked away by space aliens? Had he become a recluse living in The Joule?

Crayton Webb (File photo)

Andy Stern (File photo)

None of the above. He was in the final negotiations to “buy” Andy Stern’s 35-year-old Sunwest Communications. And now the deal is done.

Crayton admitted that the timing was perfect for him and he was flattered that Andy would entrust him with his company.

Crayton reported, “Thanks to Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications is highly respected in the reputation business, boasting an impressive list of clients and an amazing team of public relations professionals. I look forward to the privilege of building upon 35 years of outstanding public relations counsel, communications and senior-level service by standing on the shoulders of a giant in the industry like Andy.”

As for Andy, he’s really not going anywhere. He’s just moving down the hallway. As Senior Counsel, he’ll still be a part of the public relations firm whose clients include Exxon Mobil, CBRE, the Catholic Foundation, Rosewood Property Company, KDC, Victory Park and XTO.

The reason for Andy’s “selling” the firm was not a spur of the moment decision. He applied the same strategy to his plan that he has for his clients. Looking at the future of his staff and company, he didn’t want to sell to a mega public relations operation. But he did want Sunwest to move ahead providing strategic communication services. In considering in whom to entrust Sunwest, he recognized that he and Crayton shared common values, both personally and professionally.

According to Andy, “After 35 years, I had to be sure Sunwest Communications was left in the good, capable hands of an expert communicator and leader. Sunwest is a family business and that feeling of family extends to our team and clients. I’m confident in Crayton’s ingenuity and leadership to take Sunwest Communications to elevated levels of success, as well as his integrity and wisdom to carry on the company culture that has defined us.” 

Both men have worked in the political sector (Andy as Staff Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Crayton as chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller) and in the media (Andy as a print reporter and Crayton at KTVT), and both have heavy ties and leadership positions in various community and nonprofit organizations.

Andy has held leadership roles in AMN Healthcare Services, Medical City Dallas Hospital, the Texas Healthcare Trustees, the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Public Relations Society of America, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sixth Floor Museum, North Dallas Chamber and Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf. 

On the other hand, Crayton has been involved with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Arbor Day Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber, SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Leadership Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs.

When asked if Crayton’s new responsibilities as a CEO would curtail his involvement in the nonprofit sector, he was surprised that the question was even aired. With his young family and his new staff, he is even more dedicated to supporting the programs and organizations that build the North Texas community.

The Sounds Of Campers’ Laughter And Cheers Filled Callier Center’s Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp In July

Imagine a vacuum of sound. At first blush, it may not seem like a big deal. For oldsters, it may mean say, “What did you say?” to a spouse on a regular basis. But real true loss of hearing means that the other senses like sight, touch and taste are ramped up to sensory overload to compensate. Someone appears without warning. A slight pat on the shoulder is a shock.

That’s why cochlear implants have been a breathtaking development for those with hearing challenges.

But the implants are just part of the journey for those with hearing challenges. Especially youngsters going through the usual aging process may feel like they are truly the only ones in this world of audio developments. True, they are unique, but they are not alone.

And that’s why Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp from Monday, July 24, thru Friday, July 28, was so important. During this time, 43 munchkins from four to 11 years old and a team of graduate students from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas serving as counselors gathered at Cross Creek Ranch in Parker County to discover that they could play games, scamper through the outdoors, dance, do crafts and just be playmates.

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Despite the 90-degree temperatures, the kids didn’t mind one bit racing with beach balls and trying to captures bubbles.

But the big eye opener was grownup Richard Neely. He had an aura of happiness and success about him. But what got the kids’ attention were his cochlear implants. With his smile and proudly letting them see his cochlear implants, he was a rock star.

Another standout adult was a counselor, who had been one of these munchkins years ago.

Eavesdropping on the activities were the Callier Cares and Chi Omega representative Jane Porter. Callier’s Cochlear Implant Program had been selected to be one of the 2017 Chi Omega Christmas Market beneficiaries.

Jane Porter

John Stuart

Beth Thoele

Tricia George

Bennett Cullum and Tom Campbell

Kristi Shewmaker and Linus Wright

As the Callier Center types like Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart, Bennett Cullum, Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele, Sara Martineau and Tricia George watched, they were amazed that despite the July weather, the campers were in overdrive laughing, teasing and just being kids.

As one counselor smiled looking at the campers running about, “They’ll sleep well tonight.”

For more photos of the Callier Camp, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Awardee Kern Wildenthal Highlights A ‘Perfect’ Callier Cares Luncheon At The Dallas Country Club

Even before the doors opened to the Dallas Country Club ballroom, the Callier Cares Luncheon VIP reception filled the Founders Room on Thursday, April 20. Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson was with husband Claude Wilson and Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and all smiles over the sold-out Callier Care Fund fundraiser.

Kern Wildenthall, Emilynn and Claude Wilson

In another part of the room, Beth Layton was sporting a new haircut and talking with Chick Lit Co-Chair Tricia George.

Beth Layton and Tricia George

Barbara and John Stuart

Dee Wyly and Jill Rowlett

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

Others in the crowd were Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and his wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, Dan Branch, Angie Kadesky, Brent Christopher, Heidi Cannella, Lindalyn Adams, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Dee Collins and Kern’s wife Marnie Wildenthal and longtime assistant Cyndi Bassel.

Callier Cares Luncheon table

When the doors did open to the ballroom, it was pretty obvious that Emilynn had definitely filled the room to capacity. It was surprising that she didn’t try to put a table on the stage.

As guests like Keith Cerny, Caren Prothro,  Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Lynn McBee, and Dr. Lynn Markle made their way into the room for lunch—Southwest Roasted Chicken Chop Salad and Chocolate Caramel Cake were on the menu—Tom welcomed everyone and kicked off the program. The annual Callier Prize in Communication Disorders Award, it was announced right off the bat, would go to Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa, an associate professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kujawa graciously accepted the award, which came for her groundbreaking work that has instigated a paradigm shift in the way researchers and health workers think about noise-induced and age-related hearing loss and inner ear injury. She gave way to luncheon Chair Emilynn and then to Stuart Bumpas and Dr. Ken Altshuler, who presented the annual Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award to Kern.

During his many years as president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Kern had helped nourish a relationship between UT Southwestern and the Callier Center that resulted in the Callier Child Development Program, the Cochlear Implant Program, and a joint program to evaluate and treat children with autism.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased, knowing that Emilynn Wilson would chair this event, because I knew it would be perfect in all regards,” Kern told the guests. “Callier is an organization I heard about many years ago. It epitomizes the best of what all academic institutions try to do … and it does so in an impeccable manner, and in collaboration with other institutions.

“For four decades I’ve wanted to add Ken and Ruth Altshuler’s name to my name,” Kern concluded with a smile. “And, now I can!”

Then, following an informative video and just before keynote speaker Richard Neely was to deliver his remarks, the podium microphone went dead for some reason. That gave Richard—an emeritus trustee of the Callier foundation and a profoundly deaf person who has cochlear implants—the perfect opening to begin his talk. “When the mic went out, I thought, to the people who could hear: welcome to my world!” Richard joked.

The former CFO for a local real estate investment company and a former SMU football star, Richard recounted his struggles with hearing loss and, ultimately, how he overcame them—with no small thanks to the cochlear implants. After he got his “first one in 2008,” he laughed, he complained to his wife that “she was crinkling the newspaper!” 

According to Emilynn, the 2017 luncheon will provide a whopping $278,450 for the Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas. 2018 Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele was already making plans for her effort to help “ensure that resources are available for patients and families” in need of financial assistance for speech, language and hearing disorders..

Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson’s Smile At The Patron Party Indicated Her High Expectations For The Fundraiser Would Be Achieved

Emilynn Wilson

On the evening of Thursday, April 13, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for about 80 guests to be chauffeured via golf carts over the bridge past the tennis court and around the fountain to Lisa and Clay Cooley’s mansion.

Inside, the Callier Cares Luncheon patron party was under way, with Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson looking quite happy. It seems that she had set her sights high for the Callier Care Fund, and gave all indications that she was right on target for the April 20th fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club.

Ken and Ruth Altshuler

Bob Dyer

Di Johnston

David and Sara Martineau

While Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and wife Marnie Wildenthal were in New York and unable to attend the patron party, there were plenty of other high rollers in the crowd. They included Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart and wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, 2014 Callier Care Awardee Sara Martineau and her husband David Martineau, Claude Wilson, Cindy Turner, Tricia George, Kyle Edgington, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Di Johnston, Bob Dyer, and Ruth and Ken Altshuler, who had created the Callier Care Award.

Also arriving as some were leaving were Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson, as well as Brent Christopher. Cracked Brent: “As long as the hors d’oeuvres are still out, I’m okay!”

JUST IN: 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Nets $278,450

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson is a very happy camper. After chairing the sold-out Callier Cares Luncheon on Thursday, April 20, at the Dallas Country Club, she just heard from the number crunchers about the day’s results.

Whoa! The net proceeds from the event were $278,450. The funds will benefit the Callier Center for Communication Disorders‘s Callier Care Fund.

Of course, Emilynn is sharing the glory with her Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt and the honorees Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Next year’s Callier Cares Chair Beth Thoele has her work cut out. Next Tuesday she’s chairing the Can Do! Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. In September she’s chairing the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, October 3. But she’s already got Brook Hollow locked down for the Tuesday, April 17th Callier Luncheon. Looks like Beth is gonna be a busy camper.

Grovel Alert: Callier Cares Luncheon

With the Callier Cares Luncheon still 10 days away, Event Chair Emilynn Wilson and Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt report that the tickets are nearly gone with the wind. They’ve nearly filled the entire Dallas Country Club’s ballroom thanks to having the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award being presented to Dr. Kern Wildenthal and the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders awarded to Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

While Kern is well known for his leadership in healthcare administration, clinical medicine, education, biomedical research and philanthropy, Sharon may not be a familiar name. That’s because she’s not a local. She’s the director of audiology research and a senior scientist at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Her focus is “to clarify mechanisms and manifestations of common forms of acquired sensorineural hearing loss in humans; particularly, those due to aging and exposure to noise and ototoxic drugs.”

In addition to receiving the Prize at the Thursday, April 20th luncheon, she’ll be the keynote speaker at the Callier Prize Conference at Callier Dallas the following day.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Callier Care Fund that was created by Ruth and Ken Altshuler to “help children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Suggestion: Don’t put off buying that ticket much longer, because it just not be there.

Three Days Of Letter Signing Got Underway For Callier Cares Luncheon At Beth Layton’s Dining Room Table

Beth Layton

All was not clear Tuesday, January 10, at Beth Layton’s home. While  Callier Care Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson arrived early to arrange stacks of letterhead and envelopes on the dining room table for a three-day-athon of letter signing, hostess Beth was already head down, hand-signing the letters.

Looking up briefly, Beth complained the windows looking out on the street weren’t pristine. Instead of grabbing a bottle of Windex, Beth just got back to signing.

Missing in action was Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Dr. Tom Campbell, who is usually one of the first ones at the signing. Instead he was under the weather and not in the sharing mood.

Jill Edgington and Emilynn Wilson

For the next three days, peeps like Marybeth Conlon, Stacy Crouch, Marie DeCamp Dean, Jill Edgington, Louise Griffeth, Stephanie Haley, Angie Kadesky, Jean Lattimore, Vicky Lattner, Pat McEvoy, Richard Neely, Barbara Stuart, Betty Suellentrop, Beth Thoele and Kristina Whitcomb would converge on Beth’s home to personally address letters to friends and supporters about the Callier Cares luncheon honoring Dr. Kern Wildenthal with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award.

The event will take place at the Dallas Country Club on Thursday, April 20, and the luncheon speaker will be announced in the days ahead. If you haven’t received your letter, go ahead and get your seat reserved.

MySweet2017Goals: John Stuart

According to Foundation for the Callier Center President John Stuart,

John Stuart*

“My personal goal for the Foundation for the Callier Center is to build on the vision of Past President Bennett Cullum and continue to improve the visibility of Callier through a strong board, strong development and strong awareness within the greater community.

“My goal as Foundation for the Callier Center President aligns with our mission to support the Callier Center for Communication Disorders by increasing recognition of the center regionally and beyond, as well as boost our fundraising efforts that benefit patients with speech, language and hearing disorders who otherwise could not afford their care. I am hopeful that our annual Callier Cares Luncheon, scheduled for Thursday, April 20, at Dallas Country Club, will be another sold-out event thanks to the leadership of Chairman Emilynn Wilson.

“I want the citizens of Dallas and the greater Metroplex to know that right in their own backyard is the Callier Center – the crown jewel of treatment, training and research in communication disorders. Not only does Callier have brilliant researchers and clinicians, the people at Callier truly care and build relationships with individuals and families that last a lifetime.”

* Photo provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorders

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.

Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Announces Dr. Kern Wildenthal To Receive Ruth And Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award

Before the flurry of snow Friday became a convention of snowflakes stymieing afternoon traffic in North Texas, 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson held an intimate luncheon at the Warwick Melrose’s The Landmark Room’s private dining room. The purpose was the formal announcement of plans for the Thursday, April 20, luncheon benefiting patients in need through the Callier Care Fund.

Tom Campbell, John Stuart, Emilynn Wilson and Kern Wildenthal

With Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorder Executive Director Tom Campbell in attendance, she revealed that former president of UT Southwestern/former president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation/community leader Dr. Kern Wildenthal would be the recipient of the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award and that Dr. Sharon Kujawa would receive the Callier Prize in Communication Disorder.

Kern, who just recently retired from Children’s Medical Center Foundation as president, reported that the day after his retirement he was called back to duty as a consultant for the foundation.

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Cyndi Bassel (File photo)

Joining Emilynn in orchestrating the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt and a host committee of hundreds including Kern’s former associate/Children’s Medical Center Foundation Senior Vice President Cyndi Bassel, who retired from the foundation Thursday. When asked what her future plans were, Cyndi responded, “I plan to light my fireplace and stay near it with a good book. A wonderful way to begin my new chapter.”

While tickets aren’t available, sponsorships are.

Callier Center Kicks Off A Whole Tradition For Callier Care Chairs With Paloma Picasso Bracelets

While a major golf tournament created a crammed parking lot at the Dallas Country Club, making it look like a luxury used car lot on Wednesday, October 12, a gathering of champs was taking place inside the clubhouse.

The “gathering” was the Past Chairs Luncheon with former Callier Cares Luncheon Chairs Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014), Tiffany Divis (2015) and Angie Kadesky (2016), 2017 Chair Emilynn Wilson, Callier Center Foundation Board President John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell and Callier staffers.

From the left: (standing) Sissy Cullum, Tiffany Divis, Emilynn Wilson and Angie Kadesky; (seated) Betsy Cullum, Tom Campbell, Barbara and John Stuart

From the left: (standing) Sissy Cullum, Tiffany Divis, Emilynn Wilson and Angie Kadesky; (seated) Betsy Cullum, Tom Campbell, Barbara and John Stuart

Tom recalled how it was back in 2011 that Pam Busbee, Tricia George, Tincy Miller and Sara Martineau decided it was time for Callier to have an event and that the first chair should be Libby Hunt. Since that first luncheon in 2012, the annual fundraiser has provided more than $725,000 “to help provide care for patients in need.”

As Tom put it, “This is all due to the leadership of each one of you around this table. There really are no words to adequately express our gratitude — not just for the dollars raised but also for helping to educate our community about the Callier Center.”

While lunch was being served, the former chairs discussed “things that worked well” for the fundraiser and possible suggestions on how to improve on it.

Just before the group finished, Tom reported, “We want to carry forward with the tradition of holding the past chairs luncheon each fall. It will give us the opportunity to keep you all in the loop of the luncheon plans and allow you to share your wonderful thoughts and ideas related to the venue, speakers, awardees and details.”

In creating this “new tradition,” Tom then notified them that the Tiffany gift bags at each of their places contained “a keepsake” for each of the past chairs to wear to all the Callier Cares Luncheon and the Past Chairs Luncheon.

Inside were boxes containing Paloma Picasso’s “Loving Heart Bracelet.”

Goes nicely with the Callier Center’s heart logo.

And only goes to prove that leadership does warrant perks.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: OurCalling

“Nonprofits fighting poverty in North Texas are facing an uphill battle. With one of the highest poverty rates in the country and a rapidly growing population, this recipe yields a growing mass of people struggling to survive. On top of that, nonprofits are strapped for resources to meet these growing challenges.

“It’s in this desert of resources that the North Texas Giving Day provides an oasis to replenish and restore hope to our city. They allow us to raise our flag to encourage every-day citizens to be a part our team, support our cause, and join the mission.

OurCalling*

OurCalling*

“And what does a small nonprofit like OurCalling do with money from local donors? We work on projects like our mobile app to help the homeless (ourcalling.org/app). The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post and countless other media outlets throughout the country have written about our app. It’s unlike any other app on your phone. It enables every cell phone user in Dallas to assist the homeless by pointing to shelters, rehabs, domestic violence centers, food resources and more. The app uses your GPS location to show you the closest resources to where you are standing. It also uses your location to allow you to report a homeless encampment so our qualified teams can respond, visit that location and help the people living on the streets.

OurCalling*

OurCalling*

“There is no other app like this on the App Store and this is another example of Dallas leading in the fight to help the homeless. Nonprofits from the East coast, West Coast and throughout the country have contacted us about how to develop similar apps. We also produce a printed booklet listing the top 50 most accessible service providers in Dallas County (ourcalling.org/directory). This provides a handy and healthy alternative to give to someone on the streets. These projects and more are funded by local Dallas donors to help local Dallas needs.

“We also use funds from Giving Day to feed hungry people, support addiction recovery classes, provide daily Bible studies, life skills classes, and support mentoring programs to help rebuild and transform homeless individuals.

“Giving Day is a beautiful day for nonprofits like OurCalling. We serve 8,500 homeless individuals living in 1,200 encampments throughout the city of Dallas. We couldn’t do this without community-wide support driven by the North Texas Giving Day. This year, one of our great donors has provided a matching grant to be a catalyst for even more giving. What an exciting opportunity!”

-By Pastor Wayne Walker, OurCalling Executive Director

* Graphics provided by OurCalling

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support OurCalling by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

Oops Alert!: Local Monthly Publication Suffers Awkward Boo-Boo In Publishing 2016 Crystal Charity Ball “Ten Best Dressed”

Some of the best things end up on the cutting room floor. For instance, Kevin Costner’s speaking role as Alex Marshall in the flashback scenes in “The Big Chill” didn’t make it to the big screen. Johnny Depp’s performance in “Platoon,” Charlie Chaplin in the “Keystone Cops,” and John Lithgow’s super-agent Harry Zell in “L.A. Story” all suffered the same fate.

Whatever the reason, directors lived to regret the elimination of such talented types.

So, folks at a local newspaper are wringing their hands about their recent publishing of Crystal Charity Ball‘s “Ten Best Dressed.” It seems that in their September issue, in which they printed Q&As with the 2016 crop, they had an “oopsie.” They left out one of the 10 and ironically it was the one who dutifully followed instructions, filled out the questionnaire and promptly returned it.

While her absence from the article was in all probability not intentional, it was awkward and unfortunate at best.

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Pat Harloe (File photo)

Oh, you’re wondering: Which one was MIA? None other than one of everybody’s favs, the adorably diminutive Pat Harloe.

Unbeknownst to Pat, the MySweetCharity crew managed to get a copy of her questionnaire and present it here for your consideration:

  • Tell us about your family — “I am married to John (an investment manager), and we have five adult children — ages 30 to 37 — with careers running the gamut:  law, medicine, design, marketing and sales — and all living east coast to west coast and in between –“
  • List three community/charitable/civic activities in which you are currently involved or you currently support (with a sentence or two about the cause) — “(a)  TexProtects — past event chair and current supporter; TexProtects’ mission is to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect through research, education and advocacy. (b)  One Heart Project — current supporter; One Heart Project’s mission is to mentor incarcerated and at-risk youth, ages 13 to 17, in six Texas counties so that they have a positive re-entry into their community (c)  And, of course — my heart — Crystal Charity Ball — active member and life supporter.”
  • What is your current support/involvement in the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball? — “I am working hard in three areas:  Underwriting, Children’s Book, and Silent Auction/Special Gifts (my favorite — love bringing in top hotels and resorts).”
  • What is your educational background? — “Greenbrier College for Women and Southern Methodist University.”
  • What is your current/previous career or work history? — “Always sales and marketing:  up until five years ago, residential and high rise real estate; prior to that, high-end 19th and 20th century art.”
  • Please complete this sentence: My favorite thing about the Crystal Charity Ball is … — “Hands down, the impact we have with at-risk children’s lives.  Sitting through long days of Charity Selection, there are times when there is not a dry eye in the room, and we wish we could fund every candidate put before us.  In the end, it is all about giving every child a shot at a better life …”
  • My favorite fashion icon is — “Coco Chanel — who could not resist a woman who embodied humor, grand gestures and drama all at the same time?”
Carolina Herrera (File photo)

Carolina Herrera (File photo)

And, don’t go worrying about the Friday, September 16th presentation at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Pat will be there along with the other nine BD-ers (Anita Arnold, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Tucker Enthoven, Heather Esping, Mary Clare Finney, Margaret Hancock, Julie Hawes and Piper Wyatt), Hall of Famer Betsy Sowell and legendary designer Carolina Herrera, who will receive the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award.

If you already have your ticket to the ultra-sold-out fundraiser, we’ll see you there. If not, we’ll see you here following the fashion fest!

WAIT LIST ALERT!: August 19th Media Panel For Nonprofits

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

Oops! That post about groveling got a response. Within minutes of the post going up, the August 19th Media Panel was filled to capacity. But…and you just knew there would be a “but”… a waiting list has been put into place. So, if someone can’t make it due to a conflict (example: your boss wants to meet with you about that raise), they’ll be replaced by folks on the waiting list.

And if you think waiting lists never work, rethink that. Thankfully, the past waiting lists have been very successful. Why? Because signed-up guests actually notify of their being unable to attend.

PlainsCapital's Mo the Buffalo

PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo

So, if you’ve signed up, congrats! Remember to get there early (preferably before 8:45 a.m.). There will be friendly people in the PlainsCapital Bank headquarters lobby to direct you to the site of the panel. It’s a very cool room that overlooks Victory. Remember to bring along your questions, whether they’re in your mind to ask or on a piece of paper for the bowl. You’re gonna be in mighty fine company. Yes, the panelists (Kristina Bowman, Ron Corning, Jane Rozelle and Jeanne Prejean) are interesting, but your fellow guests come from all walks of nonprofiting. Please consider making time before and after the panel to meet others in your industry. The collection of professionals is a wealth of experience and knowledge.

And if for any reason you can’t make it, send your regrets here. And while we’ll miss you a ton, we won’t ask for a written excuse from your boss or doctor.

On the other hand, if you haven’t signed up, don’t give up. Register for the wait list and keep those manicured fingers crossed.

BTW, we tried to get PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo to make a personal appearance at the panel, but he has this thing about elevators and thought it best to take a pass.

JUST IN: Media Panel For Nonprofits Is Nearing Done-Deal Status

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

Oh, dear! With such short notice, the prediction for the nonprofits’ media panel on Friday, August 19, was that perhaps a baker’s dozen would sign up. But, oh, no! So very wrong.

Understand that the sign-ins are coming in nonstop. Guess word has gotten out that PaperCity’s Jane Rozelle is gonna have all the scoop about the new format that the monthly publication will be introducing in September. Or, maybe it’s WFAA’s Ron Corning’s additional duties as commentator and doing lengthier interviews with the likes of Tyler Perry. Or, perhaps it’s photographer Kristina Bowman’s fessing up on how to work with photographers and what types of photos to submit.  Everyone is hoping that MySweetCharity’s Jeanne Prejean will take her friendly medication and explain the easiest way to get coverage on MSC and answer any questions about the lifestyle of elves.

Since one of the most popular parts of the past panels has been the Q&A, it will be nicely in place and open to all questions. One surprising development that took place at the last panel was the nonprofit representatives networking and exchanging ideas with each other afterwards.

The conversation will once again be an honest effort to help those working with nonprofits to get their message across to both established and potential fans.

One nonprofit marketing staffer is even bringing along her CEO to help her boss better understand why their stories aren’t on CNN. Another PR firm that doesn’t normally deal with nonprofits is sending a couple of their associates to learn the unique issues facing nonprofit media pitching.

PlainsCapital Bank*

PlainsCapital Bank*

And, thanks to PlainsCapital Bank, the whole morning of chatting is free. They’re even gonna provide a great view of Victory plus a continental breakfast!

But there is a catch. You’ve got to register here and do it pronto. All you have to do is provide your name, the nonprofit that you work with and a phone number. (BTW, your information will NOT be used for any solicitation by anyone or any group.) Then mark down August 19 for an 8:30 check-in at PlainsCapitals headquarters. After the panel, go have a leisurely lunch and take a nap with visions of headlines promoting your nonprofit!

* Graphic provided by PlainsCapital

PlainsCapital To Host A Free Media Panel With The “Four Hoarsemen” For Nonprofits

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

It ain’t easy being in charge of a nonprofit marketing. That’s especially true when it comes to dealing with the press. Those media types seem downright cranky at times and they are so persnickety. They make all types of demands like

  • the release should have been sent a year in advance,
  • the type should be in a certain font
  • a release should be sent in PDF format
  • a release should not be sent in PDF format
  • a TV crew won’t cover a shoe drive for centipedes
  • the photo has to be in some kind of resolution

Gee! Talk about difficult people.

For this reason, a media panel was held twice this past year for nonprofits to hear the good, the bad and the ugly from four media veterans. Not only were the sessions filled to capacity, but another open forum has been demanded.

And once again, it’s free! Thanks to PlainsCapital, the gathering will take place on Friday, August 19. Check-in will start at 9 a.m. and guests will be out just in time for lunch or to dash off for the weekend.

Returning to face the nonprofits will be the original “four hoarsemen” (photographer Kristina Bowman, WFAA anchor Ron Corning, MySweetCharity’s Jeanne Prejean and PaperCity’s Dallas Social Editor Jane Rozelle).

It’s open to anyone who deals with area nonprofits and the media. Yes, even veteran PR folks who have a nonprofit client are invited to attend.

The only caveat is that it’s first-come, first-registered. So, send in your registration here. You’ll need to provide your name (duh), the nonprofit that you work with and a phone number, just in case the event is cancelled due to snow. Once you register, you will be provided with directions and parking instructions.

And, if you haven’t attended a previous “chat,” you’ll want to leave your “this-is-so-boring” expression at home. There is no telling what is gonna be said or what insider info will be shared. The one thing for sure is that it’s informative and fun.

A Behind-The-Scenes Peak at Corporate Philanthropy In Times Of Disaster

Since Thursday night’s tragedy, Dallas’ fortitude has amazed people throughout the world. From the city leadership to the memorial building at Dallas Police Headquarters, the shooting has only brought the community closer together to heal. One group that deserves a pat on the back includes the various companies that have immediately stepped in to help the victims and support first responders, especially the Dallas Police Department. Reports have been flying into MySweetCharity about restaurants offering free meals for police, Uber providing free rides to people who were stranded in downtown Dallas Thursday night, and offices making space for workers who were unable to get to their own offices located within the crime-scene zone.

Those in the philanthropic sector have not only been finding ways to provide funding, but have joined in lockstep to find the best ways to help. Thanks to their mutual interest in supporting North Texas, many already had a network in place to help each other immediately. One example is the note sent by Neiman Marcus Director of Charitable Giving Kevin Hurst. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the philanthropic process undertaken by many corporation and reveals why North Texas is a standout when it comes to pitching in. For your consideration, here is Kevin’s note:

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

“It is certainly crazy times…not just in Dallas, but across the land.

I saw your story on Topgolf this morning.  Having been through my first major crisis in Dallas, I was amazed at how the community came together so quickly to support those in need.  In fact, I thought you might appreciate a behind the scenes look on the corporate philanthropy side.

“Like everyone on Thursday evening, I watched the late breaking news to see how things unfolded.  When I finally turned off the television, the devastation was not at its worst. When I awoke Friday morning at 4:30, I immediately checked the news.  That is when reality set in. That is when I went into ‘philanthropy’ mode. As the Director of Charitable Giving at Neiman Marcus, among other things, I oversee the Disaster Relief fund. Although we are a National Disaster Relief Partner with the American Red Cross, there are some crises that need different attention. It should be noted that the Neiman Marcus Disaster Relief fund is entirely funded by the generosity of associates during the annual giving campaign.

“The first step to determining support is to understand the need and identify the appropriate partner(s). In the case of the Dallas attack (and even the recent massacre in Orlando), it is about victim support. This is where the research and due diligence begins. For me, Assist the Officer Foundation (ATO) immediately rose to the top. What most of Dallas may not realize is that there is a network of philanthropy professionals from Dallas companies both large and small. I immediately reached out to my peers at the Dallas Corporate Citizens Network. Although we meet in person on a regular basis, we often email and talk to share best practices and collaborate. Friday, July 8, was one of those days that the spirit of teamwork excelled. We immediately started sharing ideas and names of organizations that we were each considering. As we learned of new initiatives and funds being established during the day (United Way, Dallas Foundation, and Communities Foundation of Texas…to name a few), we shared. In the end, we were all able to make informed decisions about what we deemed best for the community and our respective companies. It was truly remarkable to see how expeditiously and efficiently decisions were made and instituted.

“Throughout the corporate offices of Neiman Marcus, a similar decision-making process began in the wee hours. Decisions and recommendations included staff from the executive offices, human resources, security, marketing, public relations, internal communications, corporate visual, social media, and philanthropy. In the end, the corporate offices and Downtown store remained closed on Friday (safety concerns for associates and greater community), internal messages from the CEO were sent to associates, a corporate message was posted to our clients through social media, memorial windows were designed and installed in the two Dallas stores, and charitable partners were identified. The store memorial window was installed on Friday at NorthPark and on Saturday at Downtown once the store was re-opened. The Neiman Marcus family is always extraordinary; however, there was something about the day and the efforts that made Friday uber-extraordinary.

Neiman Marcus window at NorthPark*

Neiman Marcus window at NorthPark*

“The Neiman Marcus story is certainly not unique. I think there is an opportunity to highlight the amazing efforts of the corporations that react and support the community on a regular basis…more than the usual gala and event support…the quiet support that happens behind the scenes. I personally collaborated with American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte, WFAA, Fossil, and of course, our valued partner, Communities Foundation of Texas.

“I personally hope that we never have to go through this process again in Dallas…or anywhere…but the reality is that we are in different times.  It is comforting to know that we have the compassion, professionalism, and ability to collaborate for the good of the greater community.”

* Photo provided by Kevin Hurst

In Addition To Chairing 2017 Callier Cares, Emilynn Wilson Will Receive KidneyTexas’ 2016 Sue Goodnight Award

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson is going to be a busy gal in the months ahead. Not only is she chairing the 2017 Callier Cares fundraiser for Callier Center for Communications Disorders, she’s gonna be on the receiving end of accolades. On Tuesday, September 20, she’ll be presented the Sue Goodnight Award at KidneyTexas’ “The Runway Report” luncheon and fashion show at Brook Hollow that’s being chaired by McKamy Tiner.

The 2016 beneficiaries include Children’s Health/Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal – National Kidney Foundation, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Dallas Methodist Hospitals Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

Callier Cares Luncheon Honors Stuart Bumpas And Reveals Results From Research And Development For The Hearing Impaired

Brook Hollow was jammed on Tuesday, April 19, for the Callier Center’s Callier Cares. In the Oak Room, where the VIP reception was being held, a lucky few were telling tales of the Sweetheart Ball chaired by Perot sisters Nancy Perot, Suzanne McGee, Carolyn Rathjen and Katherine Reeves the previous Saturday at Brook Hollow. It was one of those nights when the younger members headed home early perhaps to relieve babysitters. But the older set like Ross Perot took the mic while Roger Horchow donned a top hat and tickled the ivories in the Oak Room. Just in case, Margot Perot had songbooks printed for the sing-a-long. There was even a rumor that a cigar was seen being lit up.

Stuart Bumpas

Stuart Bumpas

But back to the luncheon’s VIP reception. Looking around the room, it was pretty much even-steven gals vs. guys thanks to honoree Stuart Bumpas and Honorary Co-Chairs Michal and Lloyd Powell.

Eventually the crowd including Mike McCullough, Libby Hunt, Beth Thoele, Di Johnston, Kevin Kadesky, Tricia George, Kristina Whitcomb, Hobson Wildenthal, Lisa Cooley, Debbie Oates, Shelle Sills, Ann Dyer, Don Glendenning, Robyn Conlon, Jill Rowlett, Tiffany Divis, Christie Carter, Louise Griffeth, Kern Wildenthal, Lisa Longino, Barbara Stuart and Stuart’s wife Diane Bumpas and son Joe Bumpas heard the chimes and made their way to the ballroom. Now to get them in their chairs? That was a challenge. One person suggested starting a prayer and another recommended drafting Melissa Macatee do her call-to-order whistle. Luckily, neither was necessary as the guests took their seats.

Tricia George, Di Johnston and Kristina Whitcomb

Tricia George, Di Johnston and Kristina Whitcomb

With Callier Center Executive Director Tom Campbell serving as emcee and videos briefly and beautifully showcasing Callier’s services and accomplishments, the rest of the luncheon continued hitting home runs.

Kevin and Angie Kadesky

Kevin and Angie Kadesky

This luncheon was a very personal one, as was proven by Luncheon Chair/mother of six Angie Kadesky. With her daughter Erin Kadesky at her side, Angie told how Callier had been instrumental in Erin’s adapting and overcoming the challenges of hearing loss. The results have been Erin’s flourishing in school.

And then there was Mandy and Jaime Palmer, whose infant son Howard Palmer was diagnosed with hearing loss. A video proved the success of Howard’s cochlear implants showing the moment when toddler Howard heard sound for the first time.

Stuart Bumpas, Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Tom Campbell

Stuart Bumpas, Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Tom Campbell

To back up the testimonials, Ruth Altshuler took the podium to present Stuart with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. She admitted that she had risen from her sick bed to celebrate honoree Stuart Bumpas, who had once been the kid next door. Thanks to Ruth’s off-the-cuff remarks, everyone felt as if they had lived next door to Stuart and bought Cutco products from him when the Locke Lord attorney was a 13-year-old.

Stuart in accepting the award tapped the knowledge and experiences of the late actor Lon Chaney, whose parents were deaf, and Academy Award winning/hearing impaired Marlee Matlin. Ever gracious, he thanked everyone associate with Callier.

Bailey Turfitt

Bailey Turfitt

The final testimonial was presented by a Callier hero, Bailey Turfitt, who told how her loss of hearing hadn’t held her back from her love of music. The Highland Park graduate recalled how she had played the clarinet and flute, earning awards and graduating with honors and being inducted as a National Merit Scholar.

Following Bailey, Foundation of Callier Center President John Stuart proved a charming and talented closer. He applauded the Callier staff for their support, especially after he initially pointed folks in the wrong direction to pick up their cars. With humor, he corrected the error. But before dispatching guests, he revealed that Emilynn Wilson would chair the 2017 luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Callier Cares Luncheon

Callier Cares once again proved to be educational and entertaining, while honoring Callier Center’s longtime supporter Stuart Bumpas on Tuesday, April 19, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.

Stuart Bumpas, Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Tom Campbell

Stuart Bumpas, Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Tom Campbell

While the post is being prepared, pictures of the luncheon can be seen over on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Distributed Record-Breaking $6.5M To 11 Dallas Children’s Non-Profits

There are hundreds of children…no, make that thousands of children…who went to sleep on Tuesday, April 12, never having heard of a gal from Andrews, Texas, by the name of Michal Powell or an organization called Crystal Charity Ball.

That’s just peachy keen for the 2015 CCB Chair Michal and her gall-gal committee of 99. For a little over a year, they made calls, hand delivered contracts and championed the cases for Dallas children to net a record-breaking $6.5M.

Some of that money would go to healthcare, ranging from sexual abuse to hearing and sight challenges. Other funds would assist homeless and hungry kids and those working through the challenges of autism.

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

But on this evening, it was Christmas with Michal and her team including Underwriting chair Tucker Enthoven presenting the real-thing checks to the 11 recipients thanks to host Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew. Among the crowd of more-than-smiley recipients and guests were Dave Woodyard, Ola Fojtasek, Robyn Flatt, Cara French, Sandra Session-Robertson, Bob Sweeney, Elizabeth Gambrell, Tom Turnage, Pam Busbee, Ona Foster, Daffan Nettle, Dr. Tom Campbell, Beth Thoele, Michael Craven, Margaret Hancock, Kimberly Williams, Anne Reeder, Doug Adkins, Tricia George, Tom Black, Mary Martha Pickens, Jan McAuley, Fredye Factor, Pat McEvoy, Vinnie Reuben, Leslie Diers, Mary Clare Finney, Susan Farris, Barbara Stuart and 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter.

Here is a breakdown of how the checks were distributed:

  • Catholic Charities of Dallas — $575,000 for the School Readiness Program
  • Dallas Children’s Theater — $564,400 for Sensory-Friendly Performances and Classes
  • Dallas Life — $546,919 for the Kids Life Program
  • Dallas Services — $646,064 for the Vision for Children Program
  • Family Compass — $600,000 for the Healthy Families Program
  • Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders — $630,000 for The Pediatric Hearing Aid Project
  • H.I.S. BridgeBuilders — $539,450 for the Crossover Athletics Program
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition — $500,000 for the Childcare and Youth Services Center
  • Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers —$500,000 for Ewing’s Sarcoma Pediatric Cancer Research Program
  • North Texas Food Bank — $750,000 for the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation — $459,124 for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

Wanna bet what the first thing the 11 recipients did the next morning? Deliver the checks to their banks, of course. The second thing was to put that money to work.

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.