JUST IN: Crayton Webb Reveals His Last Day As Mary Kay Inc. VP, But Remains Tight-Lipped About Future Plans

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

In the North Texas nonprofit world, Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb has established quite a stellar reputation as a major champion in the war against domestic violence. Besides chairing HeROs, Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s men’s auxiliary, and co-chairing the recent Genesis Luncheon with wife Nikki Webb, he has served on the board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

An example of his blending his professional life with his personal advocacy has been his being front and center for the annual “Suits for Shelters” program, providing clothes for area domestic violence shelters.

What some folks don’t realize is that his involvement and leadership have not been limited to Mary Kay Inc. and domestic violence. Need proof? Since landing in North Texas in 1998, he has been part of a vast variety of organizations and programs, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board, the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Communications Studies at SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to name a few.

Prior to joining Mary Kay Inc., he was an award-winning reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller from 2002 to 2005.

In the past 19 years, he has received the 2015 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, was named to the Dallas Business Journal‘s class of “40 under Forty,” was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It was just learned that Crayton announced that he has given his notice to Mary Kay. Ironically, his final day with the Dallas-based mega-company will be on the 54th anniversary of the founding of Mary Kay Inc. — Wednesday, September 13.

What’s in his future? Crayton is tight-lipped on that question. However, the answer will be revealed in September. But never fear. He and Nikki are still staying true to North Texas and its nonprofit world.

Stay tuned.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Patriot Party

According to 2017 Patriot Party Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon,

Dennis and Laura Moon (File photo)

There are many reasons why people become homeless. Sometimes it’s because of bad decisions that spiral out of control. Others end up on the streets because of factors beyond their control. Mental illness and domestic violence are two major culprits.

Housing Crisis Center works to put those who can take care of themselves back on the road to self-sufficiency. For those who are permanently disabled, we’re here to make sure they have a safe place to call home and access to the services they need. Help us make it happen.

Housing Crisis Center has been preventing homelessness for almost 40 years. Many of our clients are veterans with crippling mental disorders such as PTSD. They typically are unable to live on their own, but with supportive services can remain safely housed.

We make sure they live with dignity. Others are families with children who have recently becomes homeless due to domestic violence, an unforeseen expense, or bad decisions resulting from lack of financial education. Through financial assistance and intensive coaching, we get them back on their feet with the skills they need to avoid becoming homeless ever again. 

Housing Crisis Center 2017 Patriot Party*

You can be a part of the solution by supporting the Patriot Party on Friday, November 3, at the George W. Bush Institute. This year’s theme, Colors of Courage, reflects our respect for the brave women and men who have so ably served our country.

The evening’s festivities include cocktails, silent and live auctions, buffet dinner and entertainment. Please make plans to join us by visiting www.hccdallas.org.


* Graphic provided by Housing Crisis Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 16th Annual Boots and Bandanas

According to 16th Annual Boots and Bandanas Co-Chair Meg Frainey,

It’s that time again ladies and gents! Grab your Stetsons and get ready to have a boot scootin’ good time in support of campers with disabilities. Camp Summit‘s 16th Annual Boots and Bandanas Benefit Dinner and Auction will be held on Thursday, November 2, at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Downtown Dallas. You don’t want to miss it! With good ol’ Texas BBQ and entertainment, including live and silent auctions, wine pulls, and live Texas music from Shoot Low Sheriff, it’s sure to be an evening to remember!

Bonnie Webb, Amy Trammell and Brittany Bradberry*

Every year, hundreds of professionals, business leaders, donors, and supporters in the DFW area attend Boots and Bandanas, bringing in thousands of dollars in support of our remarkable campers. All proceeds from the event benefit Camp Summit and our barrier-free camping programs for children and adults with disabilities. The support of our sponsors, donors and volunteers ensures that our remarkable campers will always have a camp to call their own.

We have numerous sponsorship opportunities available, so grab a ticket, reserve a table, or even sponsor our saloon!  Register online to secure your tickets today! Visit the event website at www.campsummittx.org/boots for more information and to complete your online registration. 

If you would like to donate an item for our auction please contact Jeanie Lawson at [email protected] or 972-484-8900 ext. 109.  Small and large items are welcome! If you are interested in volunteering for the event or becoming involved with the event committee, please contact Georgia White at [email protected] or 972.484.8900 ext. 107.

We look forward to seeing you there!

* Photo provided by Camp Summit


JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Co-Chairs Reveal Location, Date And Llama Of Honor For The Family Place Fundraiser

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

After weeks of begging, demanding, cajoling and stalking 2107 ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl, they finally fessed up the plans for The Family Place fundraiser.

Llama (File photo)

Last year’s dinner and live auction were part of the opening festivities of  downtown’s Forty Five Ten. So what could top that?

Well, the Dixes and Hoyls have managed to do it. They’ve arranged to be “one of the first public events” at the 21st century reawakening of The Statler. The evening will start off with a cocktail reception on the ground-level garden followed by a three-course dinner upstairs in the grand ballroom. After the live auction, the celebration will continue around the pool with the Dallas skyline serving as a backdrop.

And what would an event like this be without a celebrity? Forty Five Ten had Donna Karan. The Statler will have a representative of the hotel’s original mascot, Llinda Llee Llama, at the cocktail party. It’s doubtful the llama will be able to stay for dinner.

The night of modern-day fundraising in a legendary landmark will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8.

BTW, individual tickets are gonna be extremely limited, so consider being a sponsor to guarantee your spot. Check with Mary Catherine Benavides at 214.443.7770 about the various levels of sponsorship. 

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Mission Ole

According to 18th Annual Mission Ole Co-Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spellings,

Ann Schooler (File photo)

Margaret Spellings (File photo)

Trinity River Mission (TRM) provides educational and social opportunities that inspire K-12 students and their families to dream, believe, and achieve.   It our hope that you will join us in raising much needed funds by attending the annual Mission Ole event on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry. The evening will be a fun-filled Dia de los Muertos in West Dallas.  Festivities include cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing.   We are pleased to have generous donors Lisa and Clay Cooley serving as honorary co-chairs of the event.

Mission Ole 2016 (file photo)

Trinity River Mission is a volunteer-based community learning center serving the intergenerational education needs of children, youth, and families in West Dallas. TRM began in the early 1960s by a devoted group of volunteers to help in the relocation of Native Americans from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Various church and civic groups later joined in to provide, food, clothing, transportation, and educational assistance.

Trinity River Mission*

Since 1988, TRM’s focus has been to promote literacy, augment academic skills, and develop educational success among children, youth, and families, with the understanding that language proficiency and educational achievement opens doors to satisfying jobs and productive futures. TRM services the needs of all children without regard to race or ethnicity. At present, however, TRM’s program participants are overwhelmingly Hispanic because of the agency’s location in West Dallas.

Please visit www.trinityrivermission.org to join in the festivities for a great cause.

The Conner Gals And Julie Bagley Will Bring The Inner Child Out For Dallas Afterschool’s Annual Recess At The Dallas Arboretum In March

Even in the oldest codger, there is a kid just looking for an excuse to get out. Sure, doing a cartwheel may be out of the game plan, but there are other activities that are just too good to resist. And those activities and food groups will be part of 2017 Recess according to Event Co-Chairs Anne Conner and her daughter-in-law Ryan Conner, who will be joined by Honorary Chair /former Co-Chair/Recess Co-Founder Julie Bagley.

Ryan Conner and Anne Conner (File photo)

Julie Bagley (File photo)

The trio has arranged to have the Dallas After School fundraiser at the Dallas Arboretum’s Rosine Hall on Friday, March 23. If you’ve ever been to Recess, the you just know it will be a total kid event for big kids with a night of music, games, food, and adult juice boxes. And even the most gelled nails will be digging in Recess Sandbox for prizes galore.

Recess*

While school uniforms will not be the dress of the night, neither will business attire. This one is strictly comfy clothes.

Proceeds will support Dallas Afterschool’s mission “to improve the quality and availability of afterschool and summer programs in our community.”  Sponsorships are available now!

*Graphic courtesy of Dallas Afterschool

 

 

Crystal Charity Ball Midpoint Luncheon Recognized Their Fundraising Stars And That They’re Halfway Home To Their $5.83M Goal

After days of rain, Tuesday, June 6, turned out to be an oven hitting the 90s and drying things out. Perhaps it was an indication to escape North Texas heat for cooler terrain.

But before the Crystal Charity Ball ladies headed to beaches and mountains, they gathered at Salum for their Midpoint Luncheon, where they learned about those who have risen to the fundraising cause for Dallas children’s charities (Autism Treatment Center Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days, Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy, The Crystal Charity Ball Educational Scholarship Project and The Crystal Charity Ball Endowment Fund).

2017 Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries

 

 

Before the gals arrived, Salum proprietor Abraham Salum told about his recent trip to Lebanon. It was had been his father’s wish to see the country, so father and son made the trek. One of the highlights for Abraham was seeing that buildings devastated by past military action had been shored up and used for offices, retailing and residences. The purpose was not to forget the past. Abraham admitted that he had used his father’s wish to take an unforgettable trip.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner, Pam Perella, Abraham Salum, Leslie Diers, Kristina Whitcomb and Anne Besser

Just before the committee members arrived, 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and her lieutenants (Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner and Kristina Whitcomb) tried on berets. Why berets? Because Pam’s internal working theme was ’70s TV. and Pam’s fav show was the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Ah, so that’s why the day’s gathering was entitled “CCB Emmy Awards.”

Emilynn Wilson and Gina Betts

Before lunch and the awards were announced, the talk included Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn  Wilson and After-School All-Stars Chair Gina Betts sharing tales about the record-breaking events that took place within a couple of days of each other at the Dallas Country Club… Elizabeth Gambrell reporting that she would be heading down to Lake Mystic on Friday to take her daughter to Austin for the ACT and then returning to Dallas Saturday for La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas…Speaking of La Fiesta, Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser said the threat of rain for Friday’s La Fiesta’s “Under the Stars” event was not that big a concern. The whole event could be moved inside. Plus, this year’s attendance had been reduced to 200…As for fashion, it was definitely prints, but one had to look closely at Susy Gekiere‘s dress. Unlike others with floral prints, Susan’s was a kennel full of white pooches against a blue background.

Suzy Gekiere and Susan Farris

After a lunch of traditional Cobb Salad with grilled chicken, chopped greens, bacon, egg, avocado and blue cheese followed by Texas peach cobbler with vanilla gelato, the following awards were presented:

Happy Days Award (popcorn): First contract delivered

  • Underwriters — Tucker Enthoven
  • Children’s Book — Linda Secrest
  • Silent Auction Special Gift — Leigh Anne Haugh

Jennifer Dix and Kim Quinn

Mission Impossible Award (TV dinner tray and TV Guide): Most new dollars

  • Underwriters — Meredith Bebee
  • Children’s Book — Kim Quinn
  • Silent Auction Special Gift — Margaret Hancock

Libby Allred

Piper Wyatt, Lynn McBee and Laura Downing

Fantasy Island Award (Snuggies): Most contracts in/Most grants written

  • Underwriters — Libby Allred
  • Children’s Book — Lynn McBee
  • Silent Auction Special Gift — Katherine Coker
  • Foundation — Susan Farris

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Award (Games): Most dollars in

  • Underwriters — Meredith Bebee
  • Silent Auction Special Gift — Kim Miller
  • Foundations — Alicia Wood

Wonder Woman (Brady Bunch cookie jar): Most contracts in by a new member

  • Kim Guinn

A-Team Award (muds): Overachievers

  • Underwriters — Emilynn Wilson
  • Children’s Book — Suzy Gekiere
  • Silent Auction Special Gift — Shelle Sills
  • Foundations — Fredye Factor

Tiffany Divis, Sarah Gardner and Shelle Sills

Cheers Award (wine glass and champagne): Most active inactive

  • Sarah Losinger

And while the awards were well earned and appreciated, the women realized that this event also meant that they only had six months until the Saturday, December 2nd gala to raise $5.83M for the beneficiaries.

For more photos from the luncheon, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Midpoint Lunch

It’s perfectly normal for any fundraising group to take the financial temperature halfway through their campaign. Usually it takes place in the accountant’s office or at a boardroom with grim faces. But leave it to the Crystal Charity Ball gals to do it with a flare at a fav restaurant with smiles on all faces in raising money for Dallas-area children’s nonprofits. Instead of calculators spewing out numbers, there were awards for those who had been most successful in bringing in the checks, contracts and cash.

2017 Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries

That’s what happened on Tuesday, June 6, at Salum Restaurant at their annual Midpoint Luncheon with CCB Chair Pam Perella setting the tone with a 1970s TV theme.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner, Pam Perella, Abraham Salum, Leslie Diers, Kristina Whitcomb and Anne Besser

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

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Celebrates National S’mores Day With News Of Last Year’s Winning Cookie Return And Online Purchasing

The Girl Scouts scored a new big hit last year, and they ain’t gonna let it be a one-time wonder. It was the debut of Girl Scout S’mores Cookie. Not only was it a hit, but it was “the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies.”  

And the Girl Scouts are smart cookies themselves, so  they’ve taken advantage of today being National S’mores Day with news — the S’mores Cookie will return to the cookie lineup in 2018.

Girl Scouts S’mores*

Jennifer Bartkowski (File photo)

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “We are excited for the return of Girl Scout S’mores, which our girls and hungry customers alike have loved! S’mores have strong ties to our organization’s history, and this cookie brings a new delicious way for consumers to support girls and the experiences that help them develop leadership skills through Girl Scouts.”

To celebrate the day and the return of the marshmallow, chocolate and cracker cookie, GSNT will host 100 Girl Scouts at its STEM Center of Excellence today from 10 a.m. to noon “to make traditional campfire s’mores, creates s’more GORP, invent a s’mores recipe and more” s’mores stuff.

There is just the slightest hiccup in the news. The S’mores are going to be a tad bit more expensive than some of the other Girl Scout cookies. The reason? In addition to being embossed with the Girl Scout’s Outdoor badge, it “contains no artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, making it the first cookie of its kind at Girl Scouts.” Oh, how much more? Relax. It will just be a dollar more, making the price $5 a box.

Old-fashion S’mores*

Girl Scouts S’mores and Somoas*

It will be interesting to see the Samoas fans ramp up their purchases to top S’mores.  Maybe the two cookies could get together for a “S’moroas”?

Funds netted from the GSNT 2018 cookie program that runs from Friday, January 12, thru Sunday, February 25, will stay put in North Texas.

Girl Scout at computer*

Another new development for the GSNT cookie program will be the availability of the cookies. In addition to personalized customer service from every Girl Scout in the neighborhood, all the cookies (Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Savannah Smiles, Toffee-tastics and Girl Scout S’mores) will be on sale at the online portal Digital Cookie that will be up during the cookie sale-athon. That means you can stay in your jammies while ordering a couple of crates of cookies. Stock up because as you have learned from years past, they seem to be gobbled up within weeks.

BTW, the GSNT have provided some “fun facts” about their cookie program:

  • In 2017, our girls donated over 90,000 packages of cookies to military troops
  • In the past five years… our girls have sold nearly 16 million packages of Girl Scout cookies
  • In 2017, the average troop profit in Northeast Texas was almost $1,200
  • In 2017, over 140,000 boxes of S’mores were sold throughout Northeast Texas

Girl Scouts around the campfire*

P.S. — The GSNT provided loads of photos for the announcement. However, most of the girls were bundled up in down vests, knitted scarves and sock caps. Evidently, they weren’t photographed in Texas recently.

* Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Families, Friends And Four-Legged Types “Step Up For Hope” Cottage’s Centennial Celebration Kick Off

Starting back in 1918, Emma Wylie Ballard launched what would be Dallas’ oldest non-profit, non-faith based adoption agency — Hope Cottage. And while it may be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Hope Cottage is still known for being for the young and the young-at-heart. That’s why it kicked off its 100-year celebration on Saturday, June 3, with a walk around it new digs in the Wilson Historic District with families, friends and the four-legged types. Here is a report from the field:

Carmyn Neely, John Dickey, Melissa Tamplin Harrison, Scott Sams and Brooks Quinlan*

The damp weather on Saturday, June 3, did not deter stalwart families, fans and supporters from turning out for the 1st Step Up for Hope charity walk kicking off Hope Cottage’s yearlong centennial celebration. Participants began their walk at the agency’s spiffy new home in the Wilson Historic District.  Moms, dads, kids, friends and pets ambled along a scenic path winding through the bucolic streets of the Wilson, past turn of the century homes, lovingly restored and maintained by the Meadows Foundation. KRLD anchors Melissa Tamplin Harrison and Scott Sams, Adoption Ambassadors for Hope Cottage’s centennial year celebration, served as celebrity MC’s.  Both Melissa and Scott are adoptees and Melissa was adopted from Hope Cottage at the age of 16 months. 

Ranger*

Nathan “stepping up for Hope”*

Team BKD was the team raising the most funds with Team Stevens raising the most funds as a family.  Ranger and his sassy bandana won the award for the Best Dressed Pooch at the Pooch Parade.  Sponsors for the event included BKD, LLP (Premier Sponsor), RGT Wealth Advisors (Water Sponsor), Gensler (Pooch Parade Sponsor), Bioworld (T-Shirt Sponsor), Carlotta Rhoades (Breakfast Sponsor) and Jenny L Womack, P.C. (Entertainment Sponsor).

Hope Cottage is Dallas’ oldest nonprofit, non-faith based adoption agency. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing families through education, counseling and adoption services. Those interested in learning more about upcoming centennial celebration events, should contact Hope Cottage Chief Development Officer Leslie Clay at [email protected] or 469.917.2535. 

* Photo provided by Hope Cottage

Family Gateway’s Raffle Offers Courtside Seats, Movie Audience VIP Status And Fashionable Designs And Pampering

Talk about variety! That’s exactly what the Gateway to Opportunity raffle line up offers to benefit Family Gateway. There are just five items, but run the gamut from sports to self-indulgence. Here is the lineup:

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

  • Start off the evening with Abraham Salum’s team preparing dinner for four of you at Salum’s. But make it early because you’ll want to get to the Mavericks game at American Airlines Center early to watch the teams warm up from your two courtside seats and two additional nearby seats. Thank heaven, you’ll have limousine transportation, so you can wear yourself out urging on Dirk and waving on the Mavs Fancam.
  • Who needs a media room when you have a Studio Movie Grill Black Card for two for a year? Just imagine, you’ll be able to skip the hassles of buying tickets and settle back to watch the latest movies. Let’s see. If you and a bud go every day for a year, that would run you between $4,380 and $7,665. Pass the popcorn, but don’t pass up this opportunity.
  • Your fav follicle engineer at Truvy’s Beauty Shop is gonna be heartbroken if you win this item — $1,000 gift certificate for services at the Michael Flores Salon at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Ah, the stories you’ll be able to tell your pals about being glamorized by Michael Flores and his team. Think of it a little like dining from soup to nuts. Instead it will be a feast from roots to pedicure.
  • What’s better than a nip and tuck? Jewelry. It lasts forever, don’t you know. And this 18k rose-gold amethyst pendant necklace with diamond accents designed by Lisa Nik for Bachendorf’s will simply dazzle your neckline. And to show off this dazzler valued at $3,360, what better place than Javier’s, where you’ll have a $200 gift certificate for top-shelf margaritas with Grand Marnier, Fajitas De Cabrito and Flan Al Kahlúa.
  • Is there anything more embarrassing that showing up at a black-tie gala only to see you gown on someone else? Ah, but this item can prevent that from happening thanks to Dallas’ one and only designer extraordinaire Michael Faircloth. The man with notches on his belt for dressing some of the best dressed and a former first lady will create a suit or dress valued at $4,000. And if you’ve ever experienced a Faircloth creation, then you just know Cinderella would have replaced her fairy godmother with Michael.

Going for $50 a ticket, Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz have arranged an extra incentive. If you buy five tickets, they’ll throw in an additional one gratis. And if you’re gonna be out of town and unable to attend the luncheon featuring Laura Bush at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Thursday, September 7, not to worry. Paula and Betty will let you know which package you won.

The Family Place’s Dream Of 50,000-Square-Foot Ann Moody Place Became A Reality For Those Escaping A Nightmare Of Abuse

Paige Flink

While gobs of women gathered in the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom to learn about leadership and opportunities at the D CEO Women’s Leadership Symposium on Friday, June 2, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink was standing on a couch in the Ann Moody Place lobby. She had wanted to attend the Anatole event, but on this day her priority was leading the army of workers and staffers in preparing for the Sunday reception for the new Ann Moody Place, with an expected attendance of 300. At this moment she was personally placing the artwork so it was just right.

Major donors for Ann Moody Place

But the artwork on two other walls in the reception area were Paige’s pride and joy. They were masterpieces — simple signs with the names of the major donors who had made this remarkable place come into being.

When TFP opened in the 1970s, domestic abuse was still in the closet and remained there for a couple of decades. According to Paige, who first volunteered at TFP and then was named executive director in 1997, that all changed dramatically in the mid-1990s. When asked what the turning point was, Paige explained, “Thanks to OJ Simpson, the world changed.” It was a wake-up call that if “a celebrity, who had made a phone call and tried to get her husband arrested and couldn’t,” how could a regular human being get help? As a result, domestic violence “became a household word,” laws started to change and “then our visibility grew starting in 1996.”

The need for shelter spurred TFP to create its Safe Campus with 110 beds in the early 2000s, but more was needed as the number of clients and their needs grew. It was in the early 2010s that Paige and TFP board undertook a daunting project to build another campus — a $13M, 40,000-square-foot facility in the medical district that would provide shelter, office and programming areas and child-care facilities. In May 2015, TFP acquired the site for their 2.42-acre dream child. Then on Thursday, October 1, 2015, it was announced at the annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon that the The Moody Foundation had donated $5M for the project’s “The Legacy Campaign” chaired by Lynn McBee.

But as they delved into the effort, they realized more square footage and funding were needed. The size was increased to 50,000 square feet, and the goal was a whopping $16.5M.  And then there were construction surprises, like having to drill down 70 feet to hit bedrock. Still, TFP team and board directors not only managed to meet that goal, they raised $16.898M.

The facility is projected to handle 2,000 clients a year. Paige said that while the average age of their clients is 29, they do get seniors — “The oldest person we have ever served was 78 years old.”

But back to the tour of the three-story buildings that now make up the compound of safety and education.  On a wall there was a healthy smudge, evidently resulting from the non-stop moving of equipment and furniture. Paige was not a happy camper spying the imperfection. TFP VP of Development Melissa Sherrill understood, saying, “It’s like a new car. You don’t want to see the first imperfection.” But then she assured Paige that it would be gone with the final sweep of the touch-up crew.

Children’s pantry shelves

As busy as the move-in scene may have sounded, the years of planning, designing, discussing and fundraising were coming together, with the results being bigger and better than even Paige had first imagined. Nothing had been left out. There were various dining, food preparation, counseling, training, meeting, quiet and groups rooms, as well as a computer lab, a one-chair hair salon (“JoAnn’s Room”) and a wing for children’s needs provided by Crystal Charity Ball. Proudly, Paige pointed to a large storeroom with shelved walls for canned goods and toys. Why would canned goods be needed? Paige explained that for clients making the transition out of an abusive home life, they might have to explain their whereabouts to their abuser upon returning home and could simply say they went to the food bank.

Food pantry shelves

Thanks to a relationship with UT Southwestern Medical School, second-year residents will be brought to the Place by a doctor to see the clients at the in-house mini-clinic that includes examination and dental rooms. But, always searching for more, Paige adds, “The other volunteer opportunities here are for medical doctors to come to give me some night-time clinic. I have a pediatrician, but I could use more pediatricians and general medicine and gynecology.”

Dental facility

Examination room

Throughout the multiple levels were signs re-enforcing the purpose of TFP — “Take a breath. You are safe,” “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other” and “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” Even the pillows from the Pillow Bar are embroidered with “Dream BIG.”  

Ann Moody Place signage

Ann Moody Place bed

Bedroom suite bathroom

The residential area of apartments were painted in a blue that Paige had discovered in Charleston, South Carolina, because it was both soothing and timeless.  There are family suites and individual rooms with bathrooms and closets.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

In the center of the campus was a two-level courtyard. The upper level was the Make It Count Children’s Playground. The lower was the Paige Flink Healing Garden. When asked if the children’s area could use a misting system to combat the summer heat, Paige didn’t hesitate, “If someone would give me one, I wouldn’t hesitate!”

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

Judy Walgren’s photos

There were interior designers  like Jan Showers, Mecox, Shay Geyer, Wisteria, Christy Drew and Mary Cates, who had provided directions and resources to create a safe and nurturing environment. Utilizing art as therapy for both adults and children, Moody Place showcases local talent. In addition to encouraging artists to contribute, art-loving Joyce Goss curated “Retail is Art” for high school students to provide the collection of art showcasing food in one of the dining rooms. It turned out that all the artists were women. Rebecca Aguilar helped get Latina artists to contribute. A former client had given two sculptures. One was a woman holding an open cage in one hand and a freed bird in the other. On the wall of Paige’s corner officer overlooking the campus were photographer Judy Walgren‘s Pulitzer Prize winning photos of past TFP clients.

Lockers

Travis Hollman and his company had created walls of lockers for the clients to safe keep documents and paperwork. Paige admitted that the need was the result of client focus groups.

Melissa Sherrill in Barkingham Palace

The SPCA had been a fabulous resource on how to run the Barkingham Palace, a kennel that included a washing machine, dryer and even a quiet room for families to spend time with their pets. While that had been underwritten, Paige admitted that the food was still in need of financial support.

Looking out on the grounds from a third-level terrace, Paige limited photography of the exterior of the building or the surrounding area. No photo could be taken that might hint of Moody Place’s location. Security had been a priority in every aspect of its creation because that was the first step for her clients’ recovery from lives of fear and abuse. As Paige said, “Once you’re behind the walls, you’re totally secure.”

Ann Moody Place is breathtaking and unfortunately so needed. That’s why Paige admitted that her future will be filled with fundraising for its operation. Her hope is you will support Moody Place, but never need it.

For more photos of Ann Moody Place, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Ann Moody Place

For years, the Ann Moody Place was just a dream for those living in a nightmare. It was the hoped-for place of safety, where women could escape lives of domestic abuse and learn how to make a new and better life for themselves and their families.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

But thanks to The Family Place’s CEO Paige Flink, her staff, Legacy Campaign Chair Lynn McBee, TFP board and the North Texas community, Ann Moody Place became a 50,000-square-foot facility in the Medical District. Just before the Sunday, June 4th reception for supporters and the full-blown opening in July, a tour was conducted of the three-story complex with everything from an mini-clinic, kennels, a center courtyard, pillows embroidered with “Dream BIG” to artwork throughout.

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

While the post on the tour is being prepared, check out pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Chances are you’ll never need Moody Place, but it needs your support to provide annually for the estimated 2,000 clients.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Community Partners Of Dallas’ 24th Annual Back To School Drive

According Community Partners of Dallas President and CEO Paige McDaniel,

Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Back to school is just around the corner and Community Partners of Dallas needs your help!  

We are gearing up for our 24th annual Back to School Drive, benefiting abused and neglected children in Dallas County. Beginning Tuesday, August 1, through Friday, August 25, CPD, individuals and organizations throughout Dallas will collect new school supplies for abused and neglected children served by Child Protective Services, and will prepare more than 3,500 children to start school with school supplies and uniforms.

The Back to School Drive is one of the most important activities we do all year and our goal is to serve a record-breaking 3,500 children to ensure they are ready to start school with brand new supplies, backpacks and uniforms. Each year the support we receive from the community continues to grow, and we are so grateful for their commitment to improve the school year for abused and neglected children in Dallas County.

Pencils (File photo)

In addition to supplies, such as scissors, colored pencils, glue sticks, markers, and construction paper, CPD especially needs backpacks, pencil sharpeners, block erasers, manila paper and pencil pouches. Those interested in supporting the Back to School Drive can do so through in-kind or monetary donations through Friday, August 25. All donations can be delivered to Community Partners of Dallas’ Central Location, 1215 Skiles Street in the Wilson Historic District  or visit  www.communitypartnersdallas.org for additional supply drop-off locations.

For a full list of school supplies needed, visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org or contact Corinne Karp at 214.624.7588.

WFAA Provides $46,000 With Melted Crayons And Ringing Phones For Community Partners Of Dallas’ “Back To School Drive”

WFAA was on a tear the past week. Last Thursday they wanted to do something different to showcase North Texas three-digit weather. Sure, they could have tried cooking some food product on the sidewalk, but that’s been so overdone (no pun intended). Somebody got the bright idea of positioning a 22” by 28” white canvas against a wall in the afternoon sun between a clock and a thermometer. At the top of the board were 64 crayons pointed downward. As the clock ticked and the mercury rose, the crayons drooled down the board creating a waterfall of rainbow colors.

So, that was nice, but what do you do with this hot (okay, so this pun was intended) artwork? The WFAA brain trust decided to auction off the artwork with the proceeds going to help Community Partners of Dallas’ Back to School Program that provides school supplies for children who are in the Dallas County Child Protective Services.

WFAA’s melted crayons masterpiece*

The winning bid of $3,150 came from Create Church, but when they arrived to pick up their new masterpiece, they pumped the number up to $5,150!

Then word arrived that the Friends of Wednesday’s Children was shutting down operation on Monday. The folks at WFAA realized that the timing was right to rally viewers to pick up where the Friends had left off in providing for children in need. So, they held a phone bank on Monday at their 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to start the wheels turning for the CPD drive that would officially start on Friday, August 4. The receivers rang off the hooks to the tune of $40,850!

Cynthia Izaguirre (File photo)

Those two undertakings brought in a total of $46,000, all of which will be used to provide backpacks, construction and manila paper, colored pencils, folders, pencil sharpeners, block erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, markers, pencil pouches, red pens and scissors.

According to CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, “We are so grateful to WFAA, and especially to Cynthia Izaguirre, for their longtime commitment to and tireless advocacy on behalf of the foster children in our community. Additionally, to everyone who called in with their generous donations, thank you! We had so many wonderful donors support this cause — with gifts from a grandmother on a fixed income to people with charitable foundations. Dallas really stepped up to help children in foster care and we are appreciative!”

Congratulations to WFAA for connecting the dots to provide assistance for children in need. In the wake of the Friends closing, WFAA managed to help fill a void financially and spread the word.

If you would like to join the supply-the-kids program, here is a list of what they need. But if you don’t have time to shop, you can always donate money.

* Photo courtesy of WFAA

 

Friends Of Wednesday’s Child Is Closing

Sorry to start the week off with some sad news, but The Friends of Wednesday’s Child is ceasing operation.

Whoa! Before you go thinking that WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre won’t be doing her “Wednesday’s Child” segments, stop thinking that. These are two separate organizations dedicated to supporting foster children in need of permanent homes.

Friends of Wednesday’s Child (File photo)

Founded by a couple in 1985, Friends of Wednesday’s Child “provided for all their unmet needs while they are in foster care. These unmet needs include many of the things that establish a healthy, productive childhood; from tutoring to medical/dental care to summer camp to birthday gifts.”

According to the Friends of Wednesday’s Child’s website,

“It is with heavy hearts we write that Friends of Wednesday’s Child is closing its doors. We do not have the financial support to continue. The good news is North Texas has some outstanding allies in the community of people who serve children living in foster care. We are in discussion with these great groups who are interested in absorbing Friends of Wednesday’s Child programs and services. We hope to announce something in the coming weeks and months. An education can transform the lives of these children and put them on a path to success in school and life. Thank you for your support in making it possible. It is an honor and a privilege. Please continue supporting them. You are the difference.”

It must have come as a surprise for the staff, since they had just recently submitted a MySweetCharity Opportunity about its Top Kids at TopGolf fundraiser in November.

On the other hand, WFAA’s Wednesday’s Child program is still in operation finding adoptive parents for foster children. As a matter of fact, WFAA will be holding a phone-bank drive today at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. to raise money for Community Partners of Dallas’ annual “Back to School Drive.”

A Gentle Reminder: Hot Times In The Old Town

Today is supposed to be the hottest one so far this year. The thermometers should hit 101 degrees around 3, but it’s gonna feel like 108. The good news is that the weather guessers are promising a cold front is on its way. Did you get start putting your sundresses in rest mode and reawake those cashmere sweaters?

Oops! The guessers’ understanding of “cold front” is different from normal folks. Their weather maps are transitioning from Dragon’s Breath red to a Carolina Reaper red.

Now that’s a real cold front (File photo)

Even the thought of heading to the pool and slathering on sunscreen seems like a prison sentence. Others have scattered to such places as the Hamptons, Colorado and the West Coast. For the rest of those left behind, it’s chilling under misters on patios with icy drinks or sidling up next the air-conditioning vent.

However, for kids, the elderly and pets, the heat can be dangerous. Consider how

  • Vehicles can become ovens within minutes.
  • Dehydration drains strength.
  • In an attempt to save money, some cut off on electricity resulting in suffocating conditions.
  • Normal friendly playground playsets can sizzle burning munchkins.
  • Hot pavements may not bother stilettos and sneakers, but they can hurt feet and paws.

Realize that the most vulnerable in the community are very susceptible to the raging temperatures.

Houston Texans Rookie Quarterback Deshaun Watson Brings His Life-Changing Story To Dallas Habitat For Humanity’s Dream Builder’s Dinner

While there appears to be no doubt who will be the starting quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys this year, down in Houston it’s a different story. The decision is making headlines whether it will be first-round pick rookie Deshaun Watson or veteran Tom Savage. Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien suggested that Savage has the edge after working with the team for the past three years. But perhaps O’Brien was too busy last year to notice what happened up I-45 when the Cinderella story took place in North Texas.

And while a showdown between Deshaun and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott would be a ticket well worth the purchase, only time will tell if that ever happens.

Deshaun Watson*

Dale Hansen (File photo)

However, Deshaun will be in North Texas and he’ll be facing someone who intimidates even the hardiest athlete — WFAA’s Dale Hansen. The newbie NFL-er and the seasoned pro interviewer will get together at Belo Mansion on Thursday, October 19, for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s first annual Dream Builder’s Dinner. But chances are they may talk about more than passes, touchdowns and predictions.

It’s because of something that happened just before Thanksgiving in 2006, when Deshaun was just 11 years old. For the first ten years of his life, he and his mother and siblings had lived in public housing. But his mother Deann Watson was bound and determined to get her family into their own home with a backyard. While holding two jobs, she put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work, made an application and received a brand new Habitat for Humanity house.

As Deshaun and his family approached the door of their new home, there was former NFL star running back Warrick Dunn with keys to hand over to the Watsons. Immediately, Deshaun headed straight to his new bedroom. That first night all was in place including furniture and food provided by Warrick.

According to Deshaun, “The home gave him a chance to get out of difficult surroundings and start moving toward the goal of being in the NFL.”

For Warrick, it was a pay-it-forward moment. He “knew from experience how important it was to give a helping hand, but not a handout, to single mothers and their children.” His own mother, who had been a police officer, had been murdered when she escorted a businesswoman to a bank to make a nighttime deposit. At the age of 18, Warrick became the head of the family. He would also be a leading force in NFL players supporting charities. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he “challenged all NFL players, except those who play for the New Orleans Saints, to donate at least $5,000 to the effort.” It resulted in more than $5M in contributions.

Over the years, Deshaun embraced the pay it forward. During his years at Clemson, he and his teammates were part of the Habitat for Humanity program.

Just this past October he was presented with the Lowe’s AFCA Good Works Team Award for his Habitat for Humanity efforts in college.

Now, as a professional football player, Deshaun’s using his “celebrity” to help families achieve their homes by supporting Habitat for Humanity.   

And that’s why Deshaun is making time during the football season to be at Belo Mansion to support Habitat for Humanity. It should be quite a night and quite a chat.

Diane and Mike Gruber (File photo)

Jennifer and Tom Karol (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

In addition to DeShaun and Dale, the evening will honor Phil Wise and the Carpenters for Christ of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Co-Chairing the event will be Diane and Mike Gruber, Jennifer and Tom Karol and Lynn and Allan McBee.

* Photo provided by Dallas Habitat for Humanity

 

First Ladies Of Children Charities Fundraiser Were Feted And Photographed At The Annual Former Crystal Charity Ball Chairs’ Dinner

Clay and Lisa Cooley

It was the gathering of vets on Wednesday, May 24, not the military type, but rather the fundraising variety. As the golf carts sped guests from the street past the tennis court, the bridge, the fountains and the manicured grounds of Lisa and Clay Cooley‘s estate, the occasion was the annual former Crystal Charity Ball chairmen’s dinner. Each of these gals had headed the CCB in providing more than $137M for Dallas County children’s charities since its founding in 1952.

The evening Chair Jennifer Dix had earlier in the day had all the furnishing in the sunken living room overlooking the lush lawn, pool and creek removed. Flawlessly, roundtables were put in place complete with place cards and centerpieces by Garden Gate.

As guests arrived via the mini-limos, they were directed for a couple’s photo shoot and then past the open kitchen and the formal dining room to the great room, where a mammoth table was set up with a feast of food. And that was just for the cocktail party.

Cynthia Mitchell, Bob and Jill Smith and Gloria Martindale

Becky Bright and Rob Adair

Margo and Bill Goodwill

Barbara Stuart, Tincy Miller and Bette Mullins

Tucean Webb

Caren Kline

In between takes, the talk was about  Cynthia Mitchell’s pooch having to possibly have eye surgery following a mishap at the groomers… Nickey Oates arriving sans 2009 Chair/wife Debbie Oates, who was grandma sitting… 1976 Chair Lindalyn Adams was a no-show due to a fall.

While this crowd of former chairs, their spouses/dates, the 2017 CCB executive committee and representatives of the evening’s sponsors from Bank of America, US Trust Private Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch, could have easily spent the night ooh-ing and ah-ing the Cooley estate or just catching up, they finally took their places with pianist Tommy deSalvo playing the Star Wars theme.  

Pam and Vin Perella

After 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella welcomed the crowd, she invited the guests to settle back and enjoy the evening. But just as servers starting placing plates on the tables, Pam flashed her Mary Tyler Moore smile and asked the former CCB chairs — Christie Carter (2016), Michal Powell (2015), Caren Kline (2013),  Aileen Pratt (2012), Connie O’Neill (2011), Cynthia Mitchell (2010), Gloria Martindale (2008), Debbie Snell (2006), Jill Smith (2005), Margo Goodwin (2004), Karen Shuford (2000), Becky Bright (1999), Tincy Miller (1997), Barbara Stuart (1994), Tucean Webb (1992), Linda McFarland (1979) and Sally Bos 1960) — to gather in front of the mansion’s fountain in the driveway for the annual group photo. (Bit of CCB historic trivia: When Sally Bos chaired the 1960 gala, she was still in college.)

 

Linda McFarland, Debbie Snell, Tincy Miller, Margo Goodwin, Jill Smith, Sally Bos, Caren Kline, Christie Carter, Gloria Martindale, Cynthia Mitchell, Michal Powell, Aileen Pratt, Tucean Webb, Connie O’Neill, Karen Shuford, Becky Bright and Barbara Stuart

In front of the fountain, the photo was taken and the ladies returned to their chairs for a Cassandra dinner of baby green salad with madeira port poached pear, goat cheese, celery and honey pearls; pan-seared beef tenderloin, twice backed potato, crispy onions and saved Brussels sprouts; and warm gala apple crisp and cinnamon ice cream.  

More photos of the evening can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Tracy Rathbun’s Husband Will Celebrate His 20th Anniversary Heading Up The March Of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction

When the March of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction was just three years old back in 1997, there was young fellow who was making a name for himself in these parts. In addition to his day job of cooking in area restaurants, he offered to take the lead for the fundraiser.

Tracy Rathbun and her husband (File photo)

Back then he was known as Kent Rathbun, but due to a legal quagmire he’s known nowadays as restaurateur “Tracy Rathbun’s husband.”  

But the namelessness hasn’t stopped his support, involvement and leadership in the March of Dimes Dallas’ “premiere fundraising gala,” that will take place on Thursday, November 2, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

To celebrate his 20th anniversary as Lead Chef of Dallas Signature Chefs, Mr. Rathbun has once again assembled some of the top and most generous chefs to provide chef samplings, as well as a live auction “featuring unique dining experiences.”

David Holben (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum (File photo)

The gathering of chefs includes: Damian Avila of Lockhart Smokehouse, Jermaine Brown of Great Scott, Carlos Capistran of Shinsei, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice – Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Fish Market Grill, John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbecue, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Chad Houser of Café Momentum, Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly – Hotel Zaza, Carlos Mancera of Republic, Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime Dallas, Tom Parlo of The Mansion Restaurant – Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Janice Provost of Parigi, Mico Rodriguez of Mesero and Meso Maya, Abraham Salum of Salum Restaurant, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier and Rapscallion, John Tesar of Knife and Chris Vogeli of III Forks.

Jim Severson (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

This one is a true graze and gaze around with loads of people watching. Start those diets now, because the tickets are available here.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party At Tootsies Proves That It Pays Off To Show Up

With the sizzling heat growing, there is a hesitation to venture out of one’s air-conditioned comfort zone, even it if means just moving from the office to the car to the destination.

But for some domestic abuse nonprofits, it paid off big time in the pink.

But first let’s back up. Tootsies hosted The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual Suits for Shelters kick-off party on Thursday, July 13. Despite June being tepid, July was making up for lost time in the temperature department. Still, the place filled with supporters of the program including some of the domestic abuse nonprofits that would benefit from the clothes collection.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Despite the decision not to have a fashion show, the raffle commenced. It was an unusual raffle. One of the prizes would have the winner go home with just great feelings. Their win would be deciding which domestic abuse nonprofit would receive $5,000 thanks to Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (aka Mary Kay’s grandson).

But when Piers Hurley’s name was called, he couldn’t pick just one recipient.

Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the solution. They decided that each of the seven nonprofits in attendance would be awarded $5,000 each. So, those walking away in a daze with $5,000 were Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army and The Family Place.

See, it does pay to show up!

Speaking of which, it also pays to contribute to the clothes collection. In return for the donation, the donor will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tootsies. But better hurry, because the Suits for Shelter program ends on Friday, August 4.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 8th Annual Steaks On The Lake

According to  8th Annual Steaks on the Lake Co-Chairs Polly and Mike Campbell, Susan and Evan Griffiths and Bev and Alan Vuckovich,

Polly Anderson, Bev Vuckovich and Susan Griffiths*

Imagine a crisp fall evening, a delicious steak dinner, live music by Downtown Fever, a wine and whiskey pull and an exciting auction. All landing on Friday, November 17, at the impressive Frontiers of Flight Museum. Imagine having this much fun while supporting Grant Halliburton Foundation as it works to promote better mental health for kids, teens and young adults.

We are honored to be serving as co-chairs of this wonderful event while raising money for a cause that has directly touched each of our families. We have experienced firsthand that helpless feeling of learning that your child is struggling with a mental illness. 

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of Grant Halliburton, a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before taking his own life at the age of 19. The foundation that bears his name exists to help prevent similar tragedies. Its mission is to strengthen the network of mental health resources for children, teens and young adults; promote better mental health; and help prevent suicide.  

According to The Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and the third leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds.  Through Steaks on the Lake, and with your help, we hope to raise awareness and erase the stigma of adolescent mental illness.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Grant Halliburton Foundation at 972.744.9790. Tickets available in September.  To learn more, visit granthalliburton.org.

* Photo provided by Grant Halliburton

 

Guests Came From Near And Far For The Sweet Sounds At The Sapphire Gala For Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra

It takes more than talent to perform at such venues at the Meyerson. It takes money to fine tune that talent. So The Sapphire Gala under the leadership of Venise Stuart did just that for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra on Sunday, May 18. Guests came from as far away as Colorado for the evening of dining, bidding and listening to young musicians at the Meyerson. Here’s a report from the field:

Through the ages, sapphires have been treasured for their sparkle, romance and beauty. The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) glittered with brilliance at the Sapphire Anniversary’s Spring Gala and Season Finale celebrating 45 years in the community. It was held on Sunday, May 21, at the Meyerson Symphony Center and is the only fundraising event for the youth orchestra.

Dallas Jazz Institute*

The shimmering Gala included a silent auction and buffet dinner with music featuring performers from the GDYO Jazz Institute. It was followed by a full concert of the top ensemble featuring guest violinist Chee-Yun, and ended with post-concert desserts.

Dolores Barzune, Venise Stuart, Larry Barzune and Larry Stuart*

Venise Stuart was extremely proud and honored to be chairing the Gala.

“The young talent the Metroplex has is amazing,” said Venise. “It takes a true passion and commitment from everyone involved to deliver the amazing experience you will have this evening. The GDYO is a hidden gem in the city and these young musicians soar under the direction of Maestro Rick Giangiulio.”

Cynthia and Brice Beaird*

Honorary Co-Chairs were Cynthia and Brice Beaird, longtime supporters of the Dallas community. Cynthia is a founding Partner/Executive VP with Allie Beth Allman and Associates. Brice is the owner of the Beaird Agency, Inc. and also a singer/songwriter. 

GDYO provides DFW’s most talented young musicians with high quality instruction, challenging repertoire and the opportunity to come together and perform at world class venues like the Meyerson Symphony Center. It was founded in 1972 by parents, educators, and members of the Dallas music community to provide music education and performance opportunities for youth with demonstrated musical ability. The program includes over 450 talented musicians, ages 8 to 18, performing in two full orchestras, three string orchestras, a wind ensemble, a flute choir, and eight jazz combos, and socializing with a diverse group of highly talented peers from more than 50 communities.

Sherwood Wagner and Marena Gault*

“Many GDYO alums continue to study music at schools like Julliard, Cleveland Conservatory and others,” said GDYO Board Member Sherwood Wagner. “Regardless of the path they choose for their career, the students receive a world class music education/performance experience and a lifelong appreciation for arts.” 

There are a few notable alumni of the orchestra. Cathy Hernandez, the recently appointed Executive Director of GDYO, has come full circle by having been a musician with the orchestra while in high school, and now many years later, she heads the organization. Another familiar alumna from the program is Denise McGovern, who is currently Vice President of Communications at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Cathy Hernandez and Don Nebhan*

Gerald and Dana Sampson*

Attendees included Marena Gault, Delores and Larry Barzune, Dana and Gerald Sampson, Norma and Don Stone, Heather and Jerry Moore, Doug Haloftis, Becky and Brad Todd and Sharon and Maurice Ballew.

Gerry and Dana Sampson moved to Colorado nearly two years ago, but flew back for the event. They were both wearing purple because Gerald is on the National Board of Alzheimer’s Association. Even his shoes were purple.

The proceeds from the evening will benefit the GDYO Scholarship Fund and the GDYO Tour Fund, allowing deserving students a chance to not only experience the GDYO Program, but to be further enriched by experiencing new cultures while traveling and preforming with their peers. Each year, young musicians in GDYO receive $20,000 in scholarships, and that number doubles in a tour year.

For more information:  www.gdyo.org

* Photo credit: Chuck Clark

25th Anniversary Partners Card Program Kicks Off At Highland Park Village Despite The Threat Of Stormy Weather

While some hunkered down due to threats of storms on Thursday, May 18, The Family Place folks weren’t gonna let a few drips hold them back from kicking off the 25th anniversary of its Partners Card program. Everybody from former chairs to longtime sponsors were on hand at Highland Park Village for the launch of the 2017 shopping extravaganza that will take place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. For more deets, here’s a report from the field:

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village Thursday, May 18, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.

Joanne Teichman, Lynn McBee and Charles Teichman*

Remarks were given by Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, Beyond, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith*

“Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year,” said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. “The Family Place’s mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It’s a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it’s a reality for too many, and we’re very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people.”

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill Martin*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20% discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

David and Sheryl Pidgeon*

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee and Diana Hamilton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala