MySweetWishList: 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball

According to 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball Co-Chairs Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat,

Hayden and Sarah Godat and Kirstin and Holden Godat*

“This holiday season, our wish is for women and men across Dallas to help end domestic violence by purchasing tickets to attend the 2018 black-tie Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, an organization that provides safety, shelter and support to women and children fleeing abuse.

“The fifth annual Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, at the hit event venue Sixty Five Hundred. Hundreds of young professionals will come together to raise funds and awareness for Genesis Women’s Shelter while treating themselves to a formal night out. 

Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support*

“The evening promises to be one to remember, with live entertainment, casino games and a silent auction you won’t want to miss. Whether you make plans for a date night or a night out with friends, make sure to mark February 17 on your calendar. Last year’s Masquerade was a sold-out event, so get your tickets quickly. Tickets and more information can be found here.

Have a magical holiday season, and we can’t wait to see you on February 17!

“Questions? Contact Amy Norton at 214.389.7705 or [email protected].”

-By Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat, 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball co-chairs

* Graphic and photo provided by Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support

Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves And Their MistleCrew Want You To Kiss-Off Hunger With Jingle Bell Mistletoe Starting Friday

The countdown is underway for Christmas. It’s ten days filled with parties, gift wrapping, cooking and kissing. Whoa! What was the last one? Yup. Kissing. There are all types of smooching. There’s the air kiss, the pucker planting, the kiss blowing, the hand kissing, the cheek pecking and the blissful buss to name a few.

Quinn and Stella’s Jingle Bell Mistletoe*

But this indoor/outdoor activity can be enhanced with a little inspiring decoration like mistletoe. While the greenery may be considered a parasitic plant to a tree, it is the seasonal good luck charm for a lucky locking of the lips.

And if you don’t want to haul out the extension ladder and perhaps break a bone or two by cutting some greenery out of the trees, 12-year-olds Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason, Trevor Godkin and their MistleCrew have it all under control.

Starting Friday, their Jingle Bell Mistletoe will be back in operation for a fifth year selling mistletoe with the hope of raising $60,000 for the North Texas Food Bank to feed 180,000 children in North Texas. Just last year, Stella and Quinn were awarded the North Texas Food Bank’s Golden Fork for their seasonal project.

Stuart Reeves, Quinn Graves, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Stella Wrubel, Jennie Reeves and Katherine Reeves (File photo)

Here is the schedule for the pop-up plant stations:

  • Highland Park Village
    • Friday, December 15: 2 to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 16: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Monday, December 18: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday, December 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

xxoo

* Photo provided by Jingle Bell Mistletoe

MySweetWishList: Frazier Revitalization

According to Frazier Revitalization Community Engagement Advisor Hank Lawson,

Hank Lawson*

“Hopelessness becomes a way of life early for children in the Frazier neighborhood south of Fair Park, where poverty and urban decay are rampant. But, when you look into the eyes of the children here, when you peer deep into them, you can see and feel them saying, ‘Show me, show me the way…. Help us to believe in ourselves, to have hope.’

“That’s why the nonprofit Frazier Revitalization started the Frazier Kids afterschool program. This program is successfully getting elementary-aged children off the streets and into positive experiences, supporting their academic and social growth. It is a part of our broader strategy to bring positive growth and change to the Frazier neighborhoods.

“A majority of the children in our program attend the Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, where only 1 out of 5 children in grades three and above meet grade-level for reading and mathematics. Our program provides these high-need students educational enrichment and targeted tutoring programs.

“Additionally, we holistically address the complex social-emotional needs of these students, many who have faced poverty-related trauma. Our Social-Emotional Learning activities create a positive and proactive environment that enhances peer relationships and helps reduce incidents of teasing, aggression and bullying. 

Frazier Revitalizaiton*

“My wish this holiday season is for critical funding to serve the children of Frazier Kids. We will provide tutoring and literature circles; physical activity and recreation; arts and crafts; enrichment activities; and a snack and dinner to every child four days a week. We are also expanding our technology to bring students iStation, an interactive learning program that engages students in reading and math.

“You can be part of the answer for these children, as they search for hope, look for guidance and seek to believe in themselves and others. Your support of Frazier Kids will give them the opportunity to succeed in school and the skills needed to face poverty-related trauma.

“To learn more about Frazier Revitalization’s programs, visit frazierdallas.org or contact me, Hank Lawson, Community Engagement Advisor, at [email protected].”

-Hank Lawson, Frazier Revitalization Community Engagement Advisor

* Graphic and photo proved by Frazier Revitalization

JUST IN: Golden Globe’s Nominee “This Is Us” Chrissy Metz To Be Keynote Speaker At The Elisa Project’s Life Lessons Lunch On February 28

The Golden Globe nominees were revealed Monday and Chrissy Metz is once again nominated for her role as Kate Pearson on NBC’s “This Is Us.” But her success and fame didn’t come overnight or easily. Chrissy’s life story is one that screenwriters dream of. Sure, she went through the trials and tribulations that many actresses face like being out of work, surviving thanks to friends and family, watching roles won by others and learning to accept rejection.

Chrissy Metz*

But Chrissy dealing with a literally “bigger” issue — her weight. Admitting that she was born chubby, she was just 11 when she went to Weight Watchers. Her weight jumped up and down the scales at one point losing 50 pounds only to “gain back 100 pounds due to depression and ‘eating my feelings.’”

Then the moment came when all the stars were in alignment and she landed the role of Kate, whose storyline was so akin to Chrissy’s. But even more than the role, Chrissy’s popularity has been due to her being so open about her dealing with her weight issues.

For that reason, The Elisa Project organizers are thrilled that they have just gotten word that Chrissy will be at the 13th Annual Life Lessons Luncheon on Wednesday, February 28, at Brook Hollow Golf Club for a conversation with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman.

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman (File photo)

Kim Bannister (File photo)

According to Luncheon Chair Kim Bannister, “As an organization dedicated to the development of healthy children and adolescents by raising awareness of body image and self-esteem issues and the prevention of life-threatening eating disorders, we know Chrissy will truly captivate attendees as she shares her own inspirational stories of courage and self-acceptance. This year’s luncheon is not to be missed!”

Honorary co-chairs will be Sandra Estess and Elizabeth Estess Hughes.

Starting at $2,000, tables are available for purchase now. If space permits, individual tickets will go on sale in early February. Suggestion: Gather up pals and get a table locked down now. Don’t depend on those individual spots coming available.

* Photo provided by The Elisa Project

MySweetWishList: Callier Center For Communication Disorders

According to Callier Center for Communication Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell,

Tom Campbell*

“You probably know the song, ‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.’ Please bear with me for a refresher of the chorus:

‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
‘My two front teeth
‘See my two front teeth
‘Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth
‘Then I could wish you, “Merry Christmas’

“As I was brushing my teeth this morning, I wondered, what if the lyric was ‘All I want for Christmas is the ability to hear and speak.’ It doesn’t have the same ring to it as the song, but I know that children who are deaf or hard of hearing feel this way.

“This holiday season, most of us will be able to hear and even sing Christmas carols and holiday songs. We will be able to hear and speak with family members and friends, as we gather at holiday parties. But not everyone is able to hear and speak, communicate with their loved ones, hear music and sing.

“To complicate matters, many insurance plans, even Medicaid, only partially cover the cost of audiology and speech-language services. Thus, many families cannot afford the clinical care necessary to treat a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. These families seek a place that will help them, but unfortunately many clinics across North Texas have stopped seeing patients with Medicaid. Where do these children go? The Callier Center.

“I am proud that the Callier Center has chosen differently. We are committed to transforming the lives of all patients regardless of their income level or insurance coverage. It is a privilege to serve those who are less fortunate, but we cannot do it without you.

“When you give to the Callier Center, you open the door for a family in need. We provide the expertise of audiologists and speech-language pathologists, leading-edge technology, research and care.

“The ability to hear and speak should be a given, but that is not always the case. You have the power to ensure that a family’s limited finances do not become a barrier to care. Will you open the door for someone in need today? Will you grant a child’s wish to hear and speak?

“Please give to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.”

-By Dr. Tom Campbell, Callier Center for Communication Disorder executive director

* Photo provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorder

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Wrap-Up Luncheon

Elizabeth Gambrell, Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner

After a year of work, the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella and her team were tallying up the results for Dallas children’s charities. While the final dollar amount won’t be revealed until 2018, the top producers of the committee were recognized at the annual Wrap Up Luncheon on Monday, November 13, at Forty Five Ten’s Mirador penthouse restaurant.

Meredith Bebee

Caren Kline

Patti Flowers

Before learning the heavy hitters, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for some of the folks lunching and being “charmed.”

MySweetWishList: Christmas In The Park

According to Christmas In The Park Volunteer Nita Clark,

“My wish is to help the SM Wright Foundation achieve its goal of securing 15,000 toys, one for each child attending this year’s Christmas in the Park event on Saturday, December 16! We are closing in, but we can always use your donations:  http://www.smwrightfoundation.org/content/donate-today/ .

Nita and Clark Cullum*

“Christmas in the Park is an annual event serving tens of thousands of residents of Fair Park and South Dallas – an area of Dallas with very high unemployment and scarce infrastructure and support. Christmas in the Park has grown beyond giving a toy or a bike to each child, but now provides winter coats, mattresses for kids who have no bed, plus books, a job fair, a college fair, hot meals, groceries, clothing, bus passes, gift cards for Walmart and help with utilities payments. 

“The Rev. SM Wright II pulls this off every year through the help from volunteers, members of the South Dallas community and corporations and donors from the greater Dallas community. Please help by supporting the toy drive.  You can also help by volunteering at the event!  Just email [email protected] to register. Like any great Christmas party, it’s sometimes chaotic, but always fun!

“The Christmas in the Park event is the best opportunity of the year for the SM Wright Foundation to reach families in the Fair Park area for the first time. Once the Foundation makes contact with a family, it can bring the adults into the computer skills training program, and kids into the South Dallas Top of the Class Community Tutoring Center. The Foundation helps people throughout the year with various immediate needs- from food at the Operation Hope Food Center, to clothes to help with rising electric bills. Again this year, there is a college expo with a dozen representatives from area colleges present, a job fair, hot meal, gift cards and bus passes. Please join us in participating in this joyous and meaningful holiday event! Christmas in the Park happens on Saturday, December 16, at the Automobile Building in Fair Park.”

-Nita Clark, Christmas In The Park volunteer

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetWishList: Dallas CASA

According to Dallas CASA Volunteer Manager Sandra Teter,

Sandra Teter*

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

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

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

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

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

Dallas CASA*

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

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

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

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

-By Sandra Teter, Dallas CASA volunteer manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA

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

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

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

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

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

Micah Pinson

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

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

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker (File photo)

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

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

Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates (File photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesse Barnett, Chris Petrawski and Zach Townsend*

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

An Evening with Gentle Men at the Crow Library*

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

Bianca Jackson*

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

* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter and Support

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Were Surrounded by A Dramatic Lacquered Entry Hall, A Dining Room Feast And A Treasure Of Diamonds

Hal and Diane Brierley

Typically the chatter at November gatherings of the non-profit set circles around kids playing soccer, spouses being about due to last-minute meetings and plans for the next project. But on Thursday, November 9, that wasn’t the case at the Crystal Charity Ball Underwriting reception at Amy and Corey Prestige’s great home.

The location was convenient for Diane and Hal Brierley, who just walked across the street to dine, wine and catch up with buddies.

Lee Bailey

Michael Sills

Tom Addis

Kim Hext

Immediately upon entering the mansion, guests like Doris and Jack Jacobs, Lee Bailey, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Ginny and Randy Bailey, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Shelle and Michael Sills, CCB event producer Tom Addis, Debbie Oates, Kim Hext, Lisa and Marvin Singleton and Lisa and Kenny Troutt were struck by the eggplant purple lacquered walls of the entry. One chap commented that it was a first for him. While an interior design expert quipped, the paint job was as breathtaking as it was expensive.

Ralph and Barbara Babb

Ginny and Randy Bailey

Now as for the second topic du jour, it was a review of the night before. Many of the group had attended The Family Place’s ReuNight. But the talk didn’t even mention being at the The Statler or the well-behaved llama. Rather, the memory-maker was the live auction that followed the dinner. It ranged from a Saturday Night Live skit to, “it was so robotic.” The auctioneer in question had gained recognition earlier in the season at The Jade Ball for stalking bids in the Belo Ballroom.

Nicole Becker and Kelsey Halford

Shelle Sills

Twas not the case this time. One gent was surprised that the auctioneer started off asking for a high bid instead of easing up low. Even the most Mary Sunshine types were amazed at the auctioneer’s antics.

Liat and Amit Berger

Leslie and Bryan Diers

But all this talk ceased when silver forks clanged against crystal glasses to call the guests like Kelsey Halford, Nicole Becker, Candace Winslow, Piper Wyatt, Anne BesserBrent Christopher and Shelle Sills together in the den for a thank-you from CCB Chair Pam Perella and evening sponsor Diamond’s Direct’s Amit Berger, who had provided sparkly items for Pam, Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and others to wear. At one point in his speaking to the glittering crowd, someone’s phone was loudly heard. Immediately the eyes scoured the room for the hand to reach into the pocket to silence the interrupting cellphone. Amit laughed. It was his phone.

After the brief comments, it was back to chatting and grazing in the dining room. The Cassandra Fine Catering spread at these parties is one of the main reasons that husbands don’t complain about attending. She sets a mighty fine table.

Caroline Kraddick Shares Her Personal Journey Into Philanthropy At Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon

Since Kidd Kraddick‘s death in 2013, his daughter Caroline Kraddick has carried on his legacy of helping children with life-threatening and altering challenges. On Thursday, November 9, Caroline shared her journey at the Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon. Here’s a report from the field:

On Thursday, November 9, about 50 of Dallas’ most philanthropic women attended an intimate luncheon hosted by Morgan Stanley at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. The women gathered together to hear how Caroline Kraddick is growing out of the shadow of her father and into her own.  As “Chief Happiness Officer” of Kidd’s Kids, she is determined to grow the family legacy of hope and happiness which her Dad, the late Kidd Kraddick started over 25 years ago. 

Melanie Schnoll Begun, Caroline Kraddick, Christine Ashmore and Sallie Behnke*

Melanie Schnoll Begun, head of Stanley Morgan’s Philanthropic Management, interviewed Caroline over lunch on a number of topics including Caroline’s new efforts to create more awareness and raise more funding to expand Kidd’s Kids programming, including her signature Teen Trip that was added to the list of offerings this year.

Caroline is the original, “Kidd’s Kid.” Her parents were told she was likely to be born with disabilities, so her dad made a deal with God! She was born healthy, and the mission of Kidd’s Kids to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions was born with her.

Caroline grew up around the Kidd’s Kids families and when her dad, passed away unexpectedly in 2013, she began a very personal journey. After a year of mourning, making music and soul searching, Caroline found her calling and returned to Dallas as the driving force and voice of the foundation, Caroline wants to spread the word about Kidd’s Kids to the world.

As the centerpiece of the foundation, Kidd’s Kids provides an all-expense-paid trip for approximately 50 children and their families to Walt Disney World® in Florida each year. For many families that have children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions, this becomes the trip of their lifetime.

The lively discussion continued with Caroline sharing her personal goals and using her voice (literally with her passion for singing!) for the future growth. Caroline hopes with more donations in the future, she can increase the number of families to take to Disney World. She also started a signature Teen Trip to Florida earlier this year by partnering with Give Kids the World; teens battling life-altering conditions continue to need hope and happiness too! Overall, Caroline’s stories inspired the room full of women who are ready to make a bigger impact in our philanthropic community.

Courtenay DeHoff and Amy Vanderoef*

Jo-Ann Saunders and Celia Saunders*

Among the luncheon crowd were Kellie Rasberry, Amy Vanderoef, Jo-Ann Saunders, Celia Saunders, Christine Ashmore, Sallie Behnke, Jocelyn White, Courtenay DeHoff, Alex Cohen and Carol Charette.

Ways to help this holiday season: Text KIDD to 52000 anytime to donate $10.

Buy your tickets to Enchant Christmas https://enchantchristmas.com enter Promo Code KIDD in the upper right hand box on the ticket purchase page for a portion of ticket and skate rental proceeds to support Kidd’s Kids.

To get involved and get or more information on how to support Kidd’s Kids, please go to www.kiddskids.com

* Photo provided by Morgan Stanley

MySweetWishList: Readers 2 Leaders

Norma Nelson*

According to Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director Norma Nelson,

“My holiday wish is for all third graders in Dallas County to receive the early literacy skills they need to succeed! I’d like to introduce you to three Readers 2 Leaders students: Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina go to different schools, but they have something in common: they all dream of helping others in the healthcare field. Maybe they will become doctors, nurses, or medical researchers! Like all kids, they have big dreams.

“The road from career dress up day at Readers 2 Leaders’ Summer Camp to advanced medical training will be long no matter what, but together we can make it smoother. We know that 2 out of 3 economically disadvantaged children are not reading on grade level by 4th grade, and that makes them six times less likely to graduate from high school, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Imagine if only one of the sweet girls in this photo made it to college! We can’t let that happen.

“At Readers 2 Leaders, children get help learning to read on grade level so they are prepared for the challenges they face on the way to fulfilling their dreams. At R2L, we know that literacy isn’t the only thing kids need to make things go right, but it’s just about the first thing that must! When you support Readers 2 Leaders, you’re helping literacy go right for kids.

Readers 2 Leaders*

“Also, students in Readers 2 Leaders’ programs are making great progress! They gain an average of a year and a half of reading skills in just one year, and 94% of this year’s summer campers did not experience the “summer slide”– in fact, they gained 3.5 months of skills!

“I hope that you will consider donating to Readers 2 Leaders this holiday season.

Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina*

“Your support helps children like Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina get the early literacy skills they desperately need. You can connect with Readers 2 Leaders by donating, attending a tour or volunteering to read with a child in our program. Thank you for helping children in our community achieve their dreams!”

– By Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director

* Photo provided by Readers 2 Leaders

MySweetWishList: Perot Museum Of Nature And Science

Julie Diaz*

According to Perot Museum of Nature and Science Chief Advancement Officer Julie Diaz,

“The Perot Museum celebrates its 5th birthday this December!

“We are grateful for the support of the North Texas community, which has allowed us to serve 5.5 million people since our opening in 2012 and enabled us to fulfill our mission of ‘inspiring minds through nature and science.’

“Our wish this holiday season is to give the gift of discovery to North Texas families who might not otherwise have the means to visit. A contribution in support of the Perot Museum’s Financial Aid Program – which gives over 100,000 school children from all over North Texas the opportunity to experience the Museum’s amaze-your-brain fun and learning – would be meaningful!

Perot Museum of Nature and Science*

“Your gift to this program is a great way to help us spark curiosity in the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. Our goal is to distribute $500,000 in financial aid this year – you can help make that possible! Check it out here. For more info, call 214.756.5808.

-By Julie Diaz, Perot Museum of Nature and Science Chief Advancement Officer

* Photo provided by Perot Museum of Nature and Science

JUST IN: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball’s 452-Page “Children’s Book” Is Unveiled Today Thanks To Wells Fargo Private Bank

Today the Crystal Charity Ball elves committee members donned their “Alpine” sweaters and started schlepping flowers, favors and all kinds of goodies at the Anatole in preparation for Saturday night’s “Evening in the Alps.”

In addition to the activity, 2017 CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers revealed a first for CCB. According to Leslie, the legendary “Children’s Book” that will be given to guests was being sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Leslie Diers, Phil White, Pam Perella and Elizabeth Gambrell

On hand for the delivery and the unveiling of the 452-page book by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and 2017 “Children’s Book Chair” Elizabeth Gambrell was Wells Fargo Private Bank DFW and Oklahoma Regional Director Phil White.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get one of these keepsakes, you’ll have a wonderful time checking the beautiful photos of area children photographed and donated by John Derryberry Photography, James French Photography, Gittings and Haynsworth Classic American Portraiture.

Dallas CASA’s Champion Of Children Underwriters Enjoyed An Evening Of Food, Flowers And A Story About A Little Client

An evening at Lisa and Clay Cooley‘s estate is always filled with loads of delicious food and eye-opening touring of the mansion. But on Wednesday, November 8, the Dallas CASA‘s Champion of Children‘s underwriter party at the Cooley homestead was highlighted by a story about a nine-month client of the organization. Here’s a report from the field:

Lisa and Clay Cooley sure know how to throw a party! Gorgeous house, full of food, flowers and fall décor – everyone really enjoyed the evening of Wednesday, November 8. It was a lovely party and a terrific way to say thank you to the Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children underwriters. Here’s a report from the field:

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley*

Lisa and Clay Cooley opened their beautiful home for Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Patron Party, on Wednesday, November 8. The Cooleys’ home was perfectly decorated with pumpkins and flowers in muted fall shades of orange, cream and burgundy, and guests enjoyed passed appetizers in perfectly bite-sized portions including tiny crab cakes, beef tenderloin and Korean meatballs.

John and Laura Losinger and Priscilla and Corey Anthony*

But everyone was reminded of the purpose of the evening and next week’s dinner when Priscilla Anthony, one of the co-chairs of the Thursday, November  16, and a Dallas CASA volunteer advocate, spoke about the baby she’s been advocating for since May. He was removed from home after his mother was arrested and he was left with no one to care for him. She warmed the hearts of all in attendance when she described visiting the nine-month-old in foster care Monday, and shared that he recognized her and lifted his arms to be held for the first time.

Michael and Christina Swartz and Linda and Rob Schwartz*

Kathleen LaValle and Jim Thompson*

Hannah and Greg May*

The Champion of Child Award Dinner was to be Thursday, November 16, at the Fairmont Dallas. Co-chairs of the event are Priscilla and Corey Anthony and Laura and John Losinger; honorary chair is Christie Carter. The Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award will be given to the Junior League of Dallas for its commitment and dedication to the lives of children in our community. Many longtime Dallas CASA supporters were in attendance, including Sally Hoglund, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates and Jim Thompson. The Junior League’s president Jennifer Tobin was also in attendance.

Dallas CASA board member attendance was strong with Steve Penrose, Janice Davis, Virginia Schaefer, Mike Brosin, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, Scooter Smith, Jonathan Bassham, Linda Swartz, Retta Miller, Aubrey Labanowski and Greg May. Outgoing Board Chair John Gibson and incoming board chair Bob Schleckser ducked out early because the Dallas CASA board of directors was being honored the same evening by the Dallas Business Journal as the top nonprofit board in town.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

ReuNight’s Four-Legged Guest Of Honor Stole The Fundraiser’s Limelight At The Statler And Nary A Person Minded

Just as temperatures and rain were dropping, the fundraising season had hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, November 8. As one vet put it, “Tonight I just have too many fires to put out and it’s cold and wet.” Still that person made the time for The Family Place’s ReuNight at The Statler.

Instead of having a fashion designer like last year’s Donna Karan, the guest-of honor was The Statler mascot llama that could only stay for cocktails.

Thanks to the chill and wet stuff, plans to have the cocktail party and meet-and-pet with the llama were moved to the lobby on the ground level below the ballroom. It didn’t bother the two- or four-legged critters at all.

That person with the fires to put out even made time to have a photo taken the ears-up llama that was picture perfect every time.

Kristi Hoyl and Jennifer Dix

Ron Hoyl, Amy Turner and Richard Dix

ReuNight Co-Chairs Kristi Hoyl was receiving non-stop congrats on her new role at Baylor Scott And White Health…Co-Chair Jennifer Dix was the ultimate hostess greeting guests with a hug…Co-chair Husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl were the supportive and adoring husbands… Speaking of dutiful husbands, Allan McBee hit the couch as soon as he escorted wife/Texas Trailblazer Lynn McBee into the reception. Allan was waylaid by a years-old knee injury that may require revisiting.

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

Allan McBee

The arrival of the Jones clan rallied the photographers with Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson being flashed like the llama in the back of the room.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Ahead of schedule, the crowd including Caren and Pete Kline, Pam and Vin Perella, Mersina Stubbs, Angie and Kevin Kadesky, Amy Turner, Shelle and Michael Sills, Niven Bannister, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Cindy Stager, Neil Patel, Tim Adair, Cara French, Heather Randall, Tia Wynne, Mary Martha Pickens, Brooke Shelby, JB Hayes, Robert Weatherly, Tucker Enthoven with mom Julie Ford and Lisa Ogle, moved to the upper level ballroom which Kim Bannister’s design was simply captivating with columns showcasing the ReuNight icons (Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens).

Neil Patel and Tim Adair

Kim and Niven Bannister

ReuNight ballroom

After dining and bidding on a few luxury packages, they danced into the night with the Jordan Kahn Orchestra on stage.

More than one guest worried about the llama’s stress level as the ever-changing guests and camera flashes. Not to worry. As the final photo was taken, the llama sauntered out the front door like any pooch on a evening walk, as a pizza delivery fella walked in with box in hand for a hotel guest.

For more photos of the llama and other pretties, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetWishList: Educational First Steps

According to Educational First Steps Board Member and Chief Secret Santa Coordinator Jennifer Mosle,

Jennifer Mosle*

Educational First Steps*

“Everyone likes a Secret Santa! Educational First Steps does the extraordinary: transforming low income childcare centers in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods into nationally accredited early learning centers that serve thousands of children in North Texas. Our ‘one wish’ for this holiday season is to help grant a Secret Santa wish for each of the centers that have worked over a three-year period to reach national accreditation – that would be 53 wishes! 

“You see, these centers are so financially strapped they can’t afford vans to transport the children, shade structures for the playground, playground equipment, or even that new stove for the kitchen where they cook up to three meals a day for the children in their care while their parents work. 

“We hope you will decide to be an Educational First Steps Secret Santa and grant a wish for one of our deserving accredited centers.

“Wishes are available in three Secret Santa levels:

  • “$5,000 – will get a Gold Star on our Holiday Tree and 10 books donated to the center in your name
  • “$2,500 – will get a Silver Star on our Holiday Tree and 8 books donated to the center in your name.
  • “$1,000 – will get a White Star on our Holiday Tree and 5 books donated to the center in your name

Educational First Steps*

“Monetary or in-kind gifts like those mentioned above will make a lasting, meaningful gift to these centers that will allow them to create safe and nurturing learning environments for generations of children.

“To become a Secret Santa for Educational First Steps, simply visit www.educationalfirststeps.org or contact Educational First Steps Senior Development Director Judy Schecter at 214.824.7940. Thank you!”

-By Jennifer Mosle, Educational First Steps Board Member and Chief Secret Santa Coordinator

* Photo provided by Educational First Steps

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 ReuNight

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

The llama of honor was picture perfect on Wednesday, November 8, at the Statler for The Family Place’s ReuNight. After standing for more than an hour, its ears were still standing straight up and it never shied away from the camera flashes and the guests taking selfies.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

And when the chimes called the guests upstairs for the seated dinner and live auction, the step-and-repeat, four-legged star made a brief exit out the front door passing by Honorary Co-Chairs Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson on their way in.

While the rest of the soiree write-up is being prepared, check out the llama and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetWishList: Community Partners Of Dallas Toy Drive

According to Community Partners of Dallas CEO/President Paige McDaniel,

Community Partners of Dallas’ annual Toy Drive is now underway!  I wish for the community to help us in providing more than 12,000 holiday gifts for abused and neglected children in the care of Child Protective Services. CPD is accepting donations of new toys through Friday, December 8.

This year we have received 1,000 more wish requests for abused and neglected children in Dallas County, and need the support of the community to ensure that every one is filled. We can send you 2 wishes, 20 wishes or 200 – all donations are welcome!

Paige McDaniel*

Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive is unique in that the wishes are brought to the agency by CPS caseworkers on behalf of the children in their care, and those same caseworkers will have the wonderful opportunity to deliver the gifts personally. For many of the children, these might be the only gifts they receive, and for some the first holiday gift they have ever been given.

A significant need this year is gift cards, valued at $25 or more, for the teens we serve.  Gift cards from retailers such as Target, Wal-mart, Bath & Body Works, Forever21, GameStop, Academy, Old Navy, Ulta and Best Buy are always appreciated as every teen should have the experience of shopping and selecting something for themselves.  As well, popular wishes for kids of all ages include Paw Patrol toys, African American Dolls, Sophia the First toys, Batman, Spiderman, learning toys for toddlers, bath and body gift sets, anything from Disney’s Frozen, light up toys, MP3 players, LEGO Sets, remote control cars, toddler push toys, tablets, LeapFrog toys and basketballs/footballs/soccer balls.

Toys and gift cards can be provided by companies, churches, scout troops, business offices, or individuals. Organizations and individuals can also organize a new toy drive for the undesignated toy collection used to serve additional children who come into CPS’ protective care after the wish list deadline and to fill wishes not selected by donors.

All gifts should be new and not wrapped. Toys must be delivered to the Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive Warehouse at the Peacock Alley Warehouse located at 2050 Postal Way, Dallas, Texas 75212, no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8.  For more information on participating in the Toy Drive or for warehouse hours, contact Corinne Karp, 214.624.7588 or visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org.”

-By Paige McDaniel, Community Partners of Dallas CEO

* Photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Soared With Awards And Former Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison At Women Of Distinction Luncheon

Just days before the Boy Scouts opened their campfires to include girls. That shot over the Girl Scouts’ heads may have shuddered the higher ups, but the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas hardly took notice. They were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon and future plans for their organization.

Led by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Barkowski, they were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon on Friday, November 3, at the Omni Dallas and the vision of their organization.

Marianne Staubach, Linda Perryman Evans and Sarah Losinger

By 11:30, the Trinity Ballroom was already filled with Jan Hegi, Margo Goodwin, Connie O’Neill, Tom Campbell, Linda Perryman Evans, David Martineau, Marianne Staubach, Sarah Losinger, Becky Bowen, Tracy Lange and the Cooley ladies (Lisa, Ciara and Bela). Just minutes later a big voice signaled it was time to fill seats that had boxes of Girl Scout cookies as gifts from Marianne and Roger Staubach. Being dutiful types, they followed orders, so Event Co-Chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer could take their places at the podium to welcome the guests with a dozen of uniformed girls representing all segments of the program standing behind them.

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing with the Scouts

They were followed by emcee Clarice Tinsley, who asked all in the room who had any connections with the organization to raise their hands. Up went 85% of the room.

Jennifer Bartkowski, Shelly Goel, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Emma Rose Shore, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkoski, Todd Williams, Kit Addelman and Clarise Tinsley

She was joined at the podium by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Ambassador Brynna Boyd to co-anchor, but first they had to have a selfie. Clarice thanked various sponsors like AT&T, Lyda Hill and Nancy Ann Hunt. She was then joined on stage by Jennifer and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Chair Kit Addleman, who helped her present the following awards:

  • Young Women of Distinction Award — Shelly Goel and Emma Rose Shore
  • Man Enough to Be A Girl Scout Award — Todd Williams
  • Women of Distinction Award — Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca

Jennifer Bartkowski, Sara Martineau, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Nina Vaca, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Following a video focusing on the Girl Scouts program like the STEM Center of Excellence, Jennifer told the group that girls are the largest untapped resource in the country. She explained the formula for female leadership involved four factors:

  • Girl Potential
  • Girl Scouts leadership
  • STEM programming
  • Caring adults

Describing the Girls Scouts program in Dallas as ground zero thanks to the STEM Center, the plan calls for 2.5M girls to be a part of the STEM program by 2025. Thanks to the support of the community, 4,000 girls will be able to utilize STEM.

When the question of how to make sure every girl can have access to the Girl Scouts opportunities, Jennifer looked out at the crowd and said that if each guest gave $100, it would result in $500,000 to support the Girl Scouts mission.

Just before breaking for lunch, Clarice reported that the day’s goal would be revealed on the thermometer appearing on the room’s four screens.

During lunch, Scouts with sacks collected donation envelopes.

At 12:27, Angela Ross  introduced a video on STEM. When the lights came up Brynna was back at the podium to introduce keynote speaker Dr. Mae Jemison, “the first woman of color to go into space.”

Brynna Boyd

Angela Ross

Immediately Mae group hugged the guests by reporting that she had recently been made an honorary Girl Scouts for Life. She then told the generations of gals that in future dealings “make sure you have a position at the table.”

Mae Jemison

Recalling her youth in the 1960s, it was a time when everyone was being able to participate thanks to civil rights, women’s rights, etc. People wanted to put Mae in a box. Would she be a creative type or a scientist?

Back in those days no one considered that a person…let along a woman could be both. In her love of both the creative and scientific worlds, she took an Alvin Alley poster on her flight into space.

In hindsight, she learned — “I think, I wonder, I understand.”

Currently working on the 100 Year Starship, Mae admitted that in today’s world, “We are living with things that were developed in the 50s and 60s like lasers, genetic research, etc.”

She left the room of women and men with a sobering note. According to a report in the New York Times, in a Google search, parents Google two times as much “Is my son a genius?” and “Is my son slow?” On the other hand, parents searched the following questions about their daughters: “Is my daughter fat?” and “Is my daughter ugly?” 

Mae’s response was that parents “have to support their girls.”

Grovel Alert: Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast with Santa*

Thanks to Toyota, the Dallas Holiday Parade will commence on at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 2, in downtown Dallas. And what better way to kick off the celebration than to have breakfast with the man of the season — Santa Claus.

The Women’s Auxiliary of Children’s Medical Center Dallas have connections with North Pole types and have arranged for the ho-hoing whiskered fellow at the Adolphus at 8:30 a.m. for the 29th Annual Breakfast with Santa.

In addition to delicious breakfast just before the parade starts in front of the Adolphus, there will be face painting, balloon artists, clowns, magicians, character appearances and so much more. Sorry, but Rudolph won’t make it. Seems he has an early morning workout to prepare for his Christmas Eve romp.

So, before basting that turkey, gobble up some of the last remaining tickets for your kids and grandkids. Tickets are available here!

* Photo provided by Women's Auxiliary of Children's Medical Center Dallas

18th Annual Mission Ole Guests Got All Painted Up To Raise Funds For Trinity River Mission At Chicken Scratch And The Foundry

That first wave of winter chill really hit North Texas on Saturday, October 28. But thousands still rallied for area walks/runs in the morning. By evening the brisk temperatures had nonprofits pulling portable heaters out of storage and guests releasing their furs, cashmeres and leathers from closets.

The Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole held forth in jeans, boots, cowboy hats and day of the dead painted faces at Chicken Scratch.

Margaret Spelling

Ann Kellogg Schooler and Matt Schooler

Lisa Cooley, Cindy Turner, Gail Fischer and John Corder

Earlier in the day, Mission Ole C0Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler and Margaret Spelling and Advisor Extraordinaire Cindy Turner had a tent installed over the outdoor picnic tables and stage just in case the rain continued. There was no need. The rain had stopped and the reception took place in the open area around the fire pit and near the portable heaters. For those in need of greater heat, there was the shed with the silent auction items and the never-ending buffet.

Ciara Cooley and Katekyn Fletcher

Clay Cooley and Aaron McWhorter

Hillary Turner and Chris Calandro

Tanya McDonald and Paige McDaniel

As guests like Honorary Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley, Ciara Cooley with Chi O sister Katekyn Fletcher, Tanya McDonald, Paige McDaniel, Carole and Scott Murray, Hilary Turner, Chris Calandro and Luanne McWhorter arrived, mariachis and painted faced models proved the perfect selfie backdrops.

Mission Ole models

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

Web Pierce

Lesley Lanahan

Lauren Thedfor

Face artist at work

While some guests like Yatzil Rubin, Thomas Surgent, Lauren Thedford and Webb Pierce arrived with faces ready made, others like Lesley and Michael Lanahan and Matt Schooler got in line to have customized painted faces.

Charles Haley

Honorary Chair Gail Fischer arrived late in the night. Husband Cliff Fischer was in India on business. As for Gail, she had a couple of reason for the delayed arrival. First the electricity in the family digs had gone out. Just as Gail had set up lit candles to see her way around, the electricity came back on. Then she took a wrong turn on her way to Chicken Scratch resulting in her heading to Fort Worth.

An hour into the event Gail arrived and immediately set about locating longtime Fischer bud Charles Haley. Someone told her that he had arrived early and left. But, no. Gail spotted the tall former Dallas Cowboy surrounded by fans and friends at the far end of the shed. She also laughed that another guests was also sporting the same black shirt with day-of-the-dead accents that her brother John Corder was wearing.

Other points of interests included Sunie Solomon reporting that monies were still being counted for the week-before Cattle Baron’s Ball; Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega telling how the night before they had hosted the past chairs and president of the Junior League of Dallas; rancher Aaron McWhorter preparing to head to Las Vegas with some of his bulls for the bull riding competition.

Steve and Sunie Solmon

Greg Nieberding and Eddie Ortega

For more looks are the faces in the crowd, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.