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.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 18th Annual Mission Ole

Lesley Lanahan, Matt Schooler and Ann Kellogg Schooler and Michael Lanahan

Despite the ghoulish faces and the chill in the air, the Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry was festive, fun and fundraising on Saturday, October 28. With the fire pit blazing and portable heater blowing, the cold factor was nihil. But at times it was hard to know just who was behind the painted faces. Why the face painters were busier than NorthPark Neiman’s cosmetic counter on a Saturday afternoon!

Web Pierce

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

While the post is being finished, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Gingerbread Stroll Returns To HP Village For Viewing And Bidding Thru December 1 For Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer

Yum! The holidays are just brimming with sugary delights and Highland Park Village will be a sweet-tooth stroller’s delight thanks to real estate sweetie Christine McKenny and Event Advisor Lynn McBee, the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll will be delighting all from Friday, November 17, through Friday, December 1.

Christine McKenny (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

This year’s gingerbread house displays will benefit Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer with 100% proceeds going to the nonprofits.

According to Christine, “The Gingerbread Stroll has become a wonderful tradition during the most wonderful time of the year. People of all ages gather with their family and friends to attend, and it’s always exciting to see how the chefs express themselves creatively. Everyone loves a gingerbread house!”

This year’s culinary architects will include Bird Bakery, Architecture Demarest, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel, Charlie’s Pastry Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank and Pastry Works’ Pastry Chef Arielle Sutcliffe.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

Hosting the confectionary cuties will be Beretta Gallery, Bird Bakery, Bistro 31, Draper James, Kiehl s Since 1851, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, The Tot and Trina Turk.

Well known for delicious abodes, Allie Beth Allman and Associates will be the presenting sponsor.

It’s free for the walking and viewing. But to help raise the funds, all can bid on the gingerbread homes via the silent auction. And there will be giveaway prizes, including a holiday carriage ride for six by Threejays Carriages.   

* Graphic provided by Gingerbread Stroll

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

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

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

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

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

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

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

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

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

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

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

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

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

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

London Hibbs and dancers

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

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

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

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

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

Jim Hinton

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

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

Hands raise for the challenge

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

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie Lee Curtis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

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

The Scripps Society Celebrated The Moody Foundation’s Announcement Of A $12M Gift To CRI With Dinner And A Very Special Singer

While Kathy and Harlan Crow were in Washington, D.C., they left “the key under the mat” for The Scripps Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday, October 24.

For newcomers, The Scripps Society was named after Debbie and Ric Scripps, who “have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission.” It’s made up of people who have provided one million dollars or more for the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, better known as CRI.

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

But on this occasion, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and Children’s Health CEO Christopher Durovich had a breathtaking surprise for the group whose funds had generously supported pediatric healthcare.

Following dinner in the Crow Library, it was announced that The Moody Foundation had gifted a whopping $12M for CRI.

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

Despite having coordinated the arrangement of the gift, Foundation Human Resources Director/Regional Grant Director for North Texas Jamie Williams admitted that it had been quite an undertaking, but well worth it. Thanks to the gift, CRI will be able to “attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas to work alongside other researchers at CRI and will fuel their research for the next decade.”

As for Moody Foundation Chair/Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg, they were amazed at the magnificence of the library. It was their first time to visit.

In the crowd were CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Dr. Hao Zhu,Christina Durovich, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sherry Vittrup and CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, and Dr. Hao Zhu.

Hao Zhu, Russell Vittrup and Sherry Vittrup

Another highlight of  the evening was Children’s patient Russell Vittrup‘s singing some “Old Blue Eyes” favorites. Having been diagnosed with leukemia his first  year in college, Russell’s story, like his singing, is mesmerizing.

Thanks to The Moody Foundation and the members of The Scripps Society, medical research is creating life-saving treatments and diagnoses for others like Russell.

JUST IN: Candice Romo And Hollie Siglin To Co-Chair Children’s Cancer Fund’s “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years” Fashion Show

News just arrived about the Children’s Cancer Fund’s annual fundraiser gala. Hold on to your football helmets! In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the fashion show will have the theme “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years.”

Candice Romo*

Hollie Siglin*

And to make a really sweet deal, the co-chairs will be Candice Romo and her longtime buddy Hollie Siglin. In addition to both being moms, the gals are also partners in Hawk and Sloane.

To add some muscle to their team, they’ve drafted Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as honorary co-chairs. Talk about star power!

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman (File photo)

The ladies have already locked down the Hyatt Regency Dallas for Friday, April 27.

This anniversary already has all the signs of being a sweetheart of a fundraiser. Sponsorships are available now!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

The Hope Supply Co. Teddy Bear Was Parked Out Front Greeting Supply Hope Guests

It may have seemed like the Hope Supply Co. team was taking the night off on Thursday, October 19, to party the night away. Actually, they were raising funds to provide homeless children with supplies at their 3rd Annual Supply Hope party with the Hope Supply Co. truck parked out front of Heather and Robert Murphy‘s home. Here’s a report from the field:

Hope Supply Co. truck*

On Thursday, October 19, Hope Supply Co. hosted its third annual Supply Hope! fundraising event to continue awareness of its mission of meeting the critical needs of homeless children in North Texas. 

150 guests attended Supply Hope! at Heather and Robert Murphy’s home. Guests dressed in casual, uniquely Texan attire, enjoyed Southwestern food from Mexico Lindo food truck, appetizers donated by Chili’s Restaurant, cocktails and desserts donated by Norma’s Café and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Guests were treated to an exciting live auction featuring a trip for eight in a private jet to a destination of the winner’s choice, box seats for 4 to the upcoming Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game and a weekend for four at Lajitas Golf Resort near Big Bend.

More than $80,000 was raised from the live auction, sponsorships and admission tickets.

Paula Beasley and Becky Oliver*

George and Susan Hardie*

Ginger and Allan Billingsly*

Tyler and Brenda Pierson*

Hope Supply Co. Board Member Kristin Simenc served as the event chair. Attendees included Hope Supply Co. President Barbara Johnson, former KDFW reporter Becky Oliver, Stream Energy Founder/Hope Supply Co. Board Chair Rob Snyder, Ginger and Allan Billingsly, Judy Luby, Debbie Gray, Susan and George Hardie, Kim Hext, Brenda and Tyler Pierson, Paula Beasley and Samantha and Tim Durst.

Judy Luby and Debbie Gray*

Barbara Johnson, Rob Snyder and Kim Hext*

According to Barbara, “95% of the funds raised from Supply Hope! go directly toward programs for homeless children. These funds will be used to purchase much needed critical items for homeless children such as diapers, hygiene, school supplies and toys. We will also be able to continue our quality recreation activities to get them out of their homeless shelters. Although we focus on North Texas, this year we were proud to be involved in hurricane relief, and sent over $400,000 worth of critical items to Houston for Harvey victims. We want to help wherever we can.”

Guests departed the event with a Hope Supply Co. T-shirt featuring Hope Supply Co.’s beloved teddy bear mascot.

Hope Supply Co. thanks its sponsors including top sponsors: Insperity, ML Gray Partnership LLC., The Snyder Foundation and Pam and Richard Squires.

Hope Supply Co. is a part of the National Diaper Bank Network and was named as a 2016-2017 Crystal Charity Ball recipient.

To learn how to become a volunteer or sponsor for Hope Supply Co., please visit hopesupplyco.org.

* Photo provided by Hope Supply Co.

Mission Ole Patron Partied With Balloons Hovering Above, Mariachis On The Staircase And Green Margaritas At Gail Fischer’s Hacienda

Gail Fischer’s decision to redo her mansion is underway. On Thursday, October 19, guests may have wondered if the multi-colored, helium-filled balloons floating in the living room were part of the new look.

Gail Fischer’s balloon-filled ceiling

Green margarita

Nope. Gail just thought it would be a festive touch for Trinity River Mission‘s Mission Ole patron party. Looking at the ceiling filled with ballrooms, Gail reported that the whimsical look would last for a week as one by one, the balloons would fall to the pull of gravity. On the other hand, the mariachis performing along the winding staircase were just there for the party.

Gail Fischer, Clay and Lisa Cooley and Dolores Sosa Green

Spotted around the mansion were Honorary Co-Chair Clay Cooley sipping a green margarita complete with night of the dead napkin on the eve of his birthday; Honorary Co-Chair Lisa Cooley just back from a girl’s trip to Graceland; Co-Chair Margaret Spelling sporting a new short haircut; Co-Chairs Ann Kellogg Schooler announcing that she would be donning a hat at the Saturday, October 28th party at Chicken Scratch benefiting Trinity River Mission; and Cindy Turner opting for turquoise over diamonds.

Ann Schooler, Cindy Turner and Margaret Spelling

Others in the crowd included Honor Franklin and Bobby Mitchell, Heather Randall and Trinity River Mission Executive Director Dolores Sosa Green.

Treasure Street’s “Color Me Texan” Co-Chairs Niven Morgan And Shelby Wagner Were Bullish On Breaking Records

Before the longhorn steer set hoof on the grounds of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for the annual Treasure Street fundraiser, the numbers were already boding “record breaker”on Thursday, October 19, with way more than 1,000 in attendance. Think 1,300 coming together to “Color Me Texan.”

Shelby Wagner and Niven Morgan

The bovine was the photo opp of the night with all types lining up for a selfie. However, the snap of Co-Chairs Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner got stalled. Niven was searching the grounds for his presentations notes. In the meantime, Shelby looked picture perfect despite Niven’s claims that earlier in the day Shelby had been hauling hay for the event set up.

BTW, this wasn’t Niven and Shelby’s first involvement with Treasure Street. As Shelby put it, “Niven’s been supporting Texas Scottish Rite for years.”

Niven added, “We were just flattered that they asked us to chair Treasure Street.”

Greiner Arts Academy Middle School Mariachi band

The organizers were also smart. This year’s outdoor fundraiser took over the parking lot at the corner of Oak Lawn and Maple. Almost immediately upon leaving their cars, guests were greeted by the 18-piece Greiner Arts Academy Middle School Mariachi band.

Treasure Street hay bar

Following the path to the check-in, they discovered the steer and a micro-version of Cattle Baron’s Ball with food stations (Campisi’s, Haystack Burgers and Barley, Matt’s Rancho Martinez, Parigi and Paul Martin’s American Grill), a stage for Emerald City, towering bars made of bales of hay and tall tables and chairs. And on this night, there was no need for a tent. The sky was perfect.

Janice Provost

Pretty-in-pink Janice Provost womaned her Parigi station and reported that the previous weekend’s Dining On The Prairie Dinner Series for Trinity Audubon had been a grand success despite the challenges of limited facilities.

At 7:30 America’s Got Talent electric violinist Svet surprised the audience by performing.

As for the live auction, it lived up to the record-breaking feel of the night with the tennis package with John Isner going  for $12,500 and the John Lannom terrain-hunting buggies going for $45,000. The results? Thanks to the silent and live auction, the total haul of the night was more than $1.2M.

Gerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons and Kathy and Rodney Woods

Others in the crowd were Honorary Co-Chairs Ginny and Randy Bailey, Annette Simmons and Gerry Fronterhouse, Mark Edgar, Ann Davidson with Mark Porter, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, Carol Seay, Sue and Jimmy Gragg, and Kathy and Rodney Woods.

Tips For Tuesday’s Trick Or Treating

Despite the predicted chill and wet weather for Halloween, costumed munchkins will still be hitting neighborhoods for yummy handouts. Thanks to Remington College Dallas Campus’s Criminal Justice Department instructor Dickey Harrison, here are some tricks to make their search for yummies a treat.

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

  • Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see while they’re out at night, and to help increase their visibility to drivers. For younger children who may not want to carry a glow stick or flashlight along with their candy bucket, consider a non-toxic glow necklace or bracelet instead.
  • Make sure children’s costumes fit them properly. Baggy, loose or improperly fastened clothing could cause them to trip. It’s a great idea to do a “test run” with new costumes, to make sure children are totally comfortable wearing their costume for an extended period of time before the big day.
     

Trick or Treaters

  • Use makeup instead of a mask. Masks can hinder a child’s vision, which is dangerous while they’re out trick or treating. If you must use a mask, make sure it fits properly, that they can see well through the eyeholes in every direction, and that they can breathe properly while wearing it.
  • Teach children to walk safely. That means stopping and looking both ways before crossing an intersection, staying on the sidewalk whenever possible, putting away electronic devices while walking, keeping an eye out for cars and never darting into the street. 

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

 

  • Remember to drive particularly safely on Halloween as well, or whenever there is a Halloween event nearby. Halloween is exciting, and some small children may forget road safety rules on their quest for candy. Take extra time to look for kids, especially in residential neighborhoods. Be especially careful when backing out, turning, entering or exiting a space.
  • Costumes, wigs, props and other materials should also be fire-resistant. On that note, traditional jack-o-lantern candles can be dangerous, especially for children. LED lights are a great safe alternative to use in your pumpkins.
     

Trick or Treaters

 

  • Go over general trick or treating guidelines with your children. I.E., knock on familiar doors, and if a house is dark or isn’t decorated, don’t knock. Never go inside of a house while trick or treating. Keep to the sidewalk and don’t cut through anyone’s yard. Remember, stranger danger applies every day of the year. 
  • Make sure children are properly supervised. Children under twelve should always have an adult chaperon, and older children should use a buddy system and be given clear directions on where they are allowed to go, what time they are to return, and how to contact you if there is an emergency.

Trick or Treater

Trick or Treater

 

  • Check your children’s candy! While recent evidence from Snopes and other urban legend experts suggest tales of tainted Halloween candy have been widely exaggerated, you should still check all candy to make sure it’s fully wrapped, clean and safe. Dispose of any candy that has an open or torn wrapper, no matter how small the opening is. Check candy for discoloration, make sure it isn’t expired, and throw away all homemade candy unless you personally know and trust the individual who made it. Bring along a bag of your own candy to give to children during your walk so they aren’t tempted to eat the candy they collect before you get a chance to inspect it.

Trick or Treater

  • Some houses may give out something other than candy, such as coins or small toys. Make sure these objects are age-appropriate, and clean them before giving them to your children. Remember, for small children, toys and many candies can be a choking hazard.

The Statler’s Justo Blanco Reveals The Menu For ReuNight

ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl flew back to Dallas from business meetings to go over the menu for The Family Place fundraiser with The Statler Director of Events and In-Room Dining Justo Blanco. Good thing! Because the event is nearing sold-out status and this crowd is expecting a fine meal on Wednesday, November 8, at the newly reopened Statler.

Jennifer Dix, Justo Blanco and Kristi Hoyl

The edibles for the evening’s activities will start around the pool with smoked brisket cones with cheddar grits and scallions, seared lentil cake with tomato jam and shrimp cocktail fork with Texas citrus and mint. For beverages, Justo has arranged for a cocktail cart with Manhattans as well as trays of glasses of wine and champagne passed out.

Then guests will move upstairs to the Grand Ballroom for a three-course feast starting off with golden beet salad with roasted baby turnips, pickled carrots and pecan crumble. That will be followed by the entree of pork belly and sea scallop duet with parsnip puree, charred Brussels sprouts and citrus confit. To complete the dinner will be Parisian opera cake with coffee buttercream and gold leaf.  Of course, wines will be served throughout, as well as bar service.

Get your places for the evening of dining, wining and bidding at The Statler now.

A list of the auction items is just being finalized. Stay tuned.

Community Partners Of Dallas’ Change Is Good Was A Multi-Generational Funfest With Sugary Treats, Bungee Cording And Loads Of Coins

As usual, the Community Partners of Dallas were prepared for young and old to feel right at home for its annual Change Is Good fundraiser at Brook Hollow Golf Club. Just in case the Dallas Cowboys game ran into a typical overtime situation, they had TV screens in place for fans. As for the kids, there was everything from sugary treats to sky-high bungee cord flying. But the youngsters were also vying for who could haul in the most ca-ching. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: (front row – Enzo Lange, Asher Lange and Jameson Lange; (back row) Ted and Becky Lange, Reese Lange; Paul and Sandra Keck, Larry and Mary Lange and Paige McDaniel*

Change is Good Chair Family Becky and Ted Lange with munchkins Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo, and Honorary Co-Grandparents Sandra and Paul Keck and Mary and Larry Lange were joined by more than 625 partygoers on Sunday, October 1, at the 11th Annual Change is Good, where kids collected change to change the lives of abused and neglected kids. 

Benefiting Community Partners of Dallas, participating children and teens began collecting change over the summer by emptying their own piggy banks, going door to door, setting up lemonade stands and other fundraisers or starting their own online campaign. Through their efforts 87,640 coins were collected equaling $18,574. 

From the left: (back row) Larry and Rathna Gray; (front row) Caroline Gray, Cate Gray and Brooke* Gray

Cameron Martin, Harper Martin and Kendall Martin”

Emmy Linebarger *

All collections were turned in at the Sunday, October 1st event in exchange for chances to win exciting prizes. This year’s grand prize, a GoPro HERO4 Black 4K Waterproof Action Camera Kit, was awarded to first place winners Brooke, Cate and Caroline Gray, who collected a total of $2,788.22.  Triplets Cameron, Harper and Kendall Martin were in second place with $1,062.16, of which $680 was raised online, the most of all collections. Solo entry Emmy Linebarger came in third place with a remarkable $778.57 collected. The Gray group also received an award for most quarters collected with 9,768 quarters.

Bungee cording*

Held at Brook Hollow Golf Club, the event featured activities for all ages, including bungee jumping, inflatable obstacle courses and slide, prince/princess station, paper airplane zone, GameTruck, Rad Hatter, balloon artist, face painting, bounce houses, and a DJ dance party with CPD’s favorite DJ Bill Cody.

Hula hoops*

President and CEO Paige McDaniel took a few minutes to thank the many sponsors, who had supported the event, as well as all the kids who collected change throughout the summer. She then announced the many prize-drawing winners, and recognized the change collection winners as well as the artists who had the winning designs for this year’s commemorative t-shirt: Jaxon McKinney (front artwork) and Leila Davis (back artwork).  All child attendees received a t-shirt as their parting gift.

Jaxon McKinney and Leila Davis*

Proceeds from Change is Good benefit the abused and neglected children served by Community Partners of Dallas.  This year’s event would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:

  • Change Champion ($5,000) – Shawn Cleveland and Winston and Strawn; Mary and Larry Lange; Becky and Ted Lange and Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo and Greg Nieberding/Digital 3 Printing;
  • Change for the Better ($2,500) – Lena and Derek Alley; Marybeth and Kevin Conlon and Luke Conlon and Quinn Conlon; Grant Thornton LLP; Nicola Hobeiche and Todd Hewes; Barry, Sandy, Ryan and Kennedy Moore; Al G. Hill Jr; Sandra Reese-Keck; Katherine and Eric Reeves and The Tafel Family;
  • Changing Lives ($1,250) – The Barber Family; The Kennington Families; The Clay Smith Family; Adam, Taryn, Walker, Ayla and Rilyn Spence;
  • Jar Sponsor – Park Place Porsche;
  • Media sponsors – Dallas Child and MySweetCharity.

For more information about Change is Good, visit communitypartnersdallas.org.

About Community Partners of Dallas

Since 1989, Community Partners of Dallas has ensured safety and restored dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing crucial resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.  Community Partners of Dallas provides items such as winter coats, diapers and formula, holiday gifts, school uniforms, personal hygiene products, food and more, to send the abused children in our community the message that someone does care.  Please visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org for more information.

* Photo credit: Tara Cosgrove

A Gentle Reminder: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Grant Application Deadline Nears

The clock is ticking and there are a heck of a lot of nonprofit types who are hard at work to meet the Tuesday, October 17, deadline. That’s when the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball applications are due.  

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker are making no exception. The forms have to be physically in the CCB offices by high noon… not 12:01 p.m. No email applications will be accepted. FYI: If you decide to mail the application, it won’t matter what the postmark is. If it ain’t in the CCB office by noon, it ain’t gonna make the cut.

It’s well worth the hard work. Since 1953, CCB has provided $131,244,558 for Dallas children’s charities. If you need proof, check with any of the past beneficiaries.

So, stop reading and get back to filling out those dang forms. And if you’ve put it all off until the last minute, the form is available here.

The 2018 beneficiaries will be selected Thursday, February 1.

Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Flamenco Dancers Kicked Up Their Heels To Benefit Children At Risk’s “A Night In Barcelona” At Hotel Zaza

Evidently Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton have some pull with Mother Nature because the evening of Saturday, September 23, was just made for their “A Night in Barcelona” at Hotel Zaza. Benefiting Children at Risk, the festivities started off with a reception around the pool complete with flamenco dancers and then moved indoors for a delicious dinner. Here’s a report from the field:

Becky Hollands and Alex Abraham*

The evening began with a VIP poolside reception at the always fabulous Hotel Zaza. Chairs Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton visited with guests who included Eric and Kate Sudol, former Dallas Cowboy Timmy Newsome, Stratton and Debbie Horres, Richard Collins, Steve Love, Susannah and Chris Watt, Ron Taylor, Michael Zangoei, Shara McClure and couture designer Becky Hollands.

Flamenco dancers*

Carole and Scott Murray*

Guests enjoyed the picturesque views of the Uptown Dallas Skyline before moving to the ballroom where they were swept into “A Night in Barcelona.” Guests were dazzled by flamenco dancers, bright colors and tropical breezes. Hosted by Children at Risk, this annual fall soiree benefits the children and families of North Texas.

Bob Sanborn*

Once in the ballroom, guests were welcomed by emcee Scott Murray who kept the event lively throughout the evening. As guests dined on grilled hanger steak, shellfish and vegetable paella with baby zucchini, and corn pudding, Children at Risk President and CEO, Dr. Bob Sanborn, and North Texas Managing Director, Dr. Charlotte Carlisle, shared highlights of how the nonprofit works tirelessly to ensure Texas children and families have access to healthy food, quality public education, evidence-based parenting programs and a safe environment free of traffickers.

Charlotte Carlisle*

After a delicious dessert of cinnamon-dusted churro with chocolate dipper and salted caramel pastry cream-filled profiterole and coffee, the Live Auction heated up. The exciting 2018 All-Star Game Package, including tickets to the Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Competitions, and the NBA Legends Brunch, was won by Kyle Jennings; and a Romantic Stay in historic Jefferson, Texas, at the House of the Seasons, one of the Great Homes in Texas, plus dinner at Stillwater Inn and 2 pairs of hand-made slippers from Hadleigh’s, went to Dr. Martin Koonsman. Another big hit was the Aruba Vacation Package which included 5 nights in a beautiful five-bedroom, three-bathroom beachfront home on Malmok, just yards away from one of the most acclaimed snorkeling beaches on the island, and a pair of airline tickets. Pam Humphrey was the lucky winner.

Tom Lewis, Susan Sanders, Calvert and Vince Bratton*

Tom Lewis won the raffle, a 5-day trip to Barcelona, including airfare for two and five nights at the luxurious 5-star Monument Hotel located in the heart of Barcelona on the famed Paseo de Gracia.

The night ended with Dr. Sanborn and Dr. Carlisle thanking the 200 plus stylish guests, and wonderful sponsors and donors for their generosity to Texas children, before inviting everyone to kick up their heals with the Flamenco dancers.

Junior Players’ Annual Future Stars Celebration Will Have Its First Ever Honorary Chair — Kevin Hurst

The Junior Players nearly upstaged “Hamilton: An American Musical”’s Christopher Jackson at the 31st Attorneys Serving the Community luncheon in June. From the pop-up performance to the testimonies by former students, the 62-year-organization showed that it was still as youthful, creative and impressive as ever.

22nd Annual Future Stars Celebration*

Those elements will be on hand at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, November 11, for the 22nd Annual Future Stars Celebration.  In addition to the food provided by Maguire’s Regional Cuisine, live and silent auctions, games, a wine pull, a photo booth and performances by students from Junior Players’ 2017 production of “Rent” and “Junior Players Presents: Metamorphosis,” they’ve added a new twist — an honorary chair.

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

According to Junior Players Board of Directors President Dana Roland, “Junior Players is proud to announce that Kevin Hurst of Neiman Marcus Group will be serving as the first-ever honorary chair for our signature annual event.”

Since arriving in Dallas in 2013, Kevin has been very active in all aspects of the North Texas nonprofit community. From his position as NM’s director of charitable giving to his personal involvement with a variety of charities, he’s been a supporter as well as a call-to-arms champ for the area.

When the crawl tubes from the Neiman’s holiday windows were being retired, Kevin arranged to have them installed at Spark. When the tornadoes hit North Texas, he toured the devastated area with the Red Cross to learn what was needed. When the July 7th police shooting took place, he expanded his reach to “his network of corporate philanthropic partners and focused on coordinating their efforts to maximize the impact of their contributions to our grieving community and the victims of violence.”

According to Kevin, “It is my pleasure to serve as the honorary chair for the Junior Players’ Future Stars Celebration. Since moving to Dallas in 2013, I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact they have on the lives of so many aspiring performers. Their mission to ensure students across DFW have access to and participate in the arts aligns perfectly with the mission of the Heart of Neiman Marcus’ foundation of funding youth arts education and experiences.”

Tyler Foundation has already signed up as the lead sponsor, but there are other opportunities, as well as tickets that are going for $80. Funds raised from the event will “help support all of Junior Players’ free after-school and summer arts education programs, which serve more than 14,000 children and teenagers every year.”

* Graphic courtesy of Junior Players

Dallas CASA’s Young Professional Added Their “Voices For A Cause” At The Rustic With Brandon Rhyder For Fundraising

While North Texas Giving Day had the phones ringing off the hook and the internet donations flowing on Thursday, September 14, the Dallas CASA Young Professionals held its second annual Voices for a Cause at The Rustic. While Signed Out and Brandon Rhyder filled the scene with music, Young Professionals President Jonathan Bassham couldn’t resist reminding guests that it wasn’t too late to donate to North Texas Giving Day for Dallas CASA. Here’s a report from the field:

Jonathan Bassham and Mark Hiduke*

Linda and Rob Swartz*

Nick Berman, Caitlin Dama, Erica Whitten and Michelle Stephenson*

Voices for a Cause at The Rustic was a blast! It was a beautiful night, with great bands and lots of young people and old friends like Robert Schleckser, Woody McMinn, Dana Swann, Reasha Hedke, Madeline Littrell, Linda and Rob Swartz, Kelsey Higginbotham, Nick Berman, Caitlin Dama, Erica Whitten, Michelle Stephenson, Nicki Sherry, Paul Stafford, Mark Hiduke and Cristina and Michael Swartz.

Nicki Sherry and Paul Stafford*

Cristina and Michael Swartz

Dana Swann, Reasha Hedke and Madeline Littrell*

Dallas CASA’s Voices of Hope concert Thursday, September 14, at The Rustic netted $6,640 for Dallas CASA and an evening of fun for attendees. With more than 250 tickets sold and a clear night under the stars, the event marked a second year of success for Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals.

Kelsey Higginbotham and Brandon Rhyder*

Dallas CASA board member Dave Kroencke’s band Signed Out was the opening act. The group played covers of crowd-popular standards like “Billie Jean,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and the crow got into the act by singing along from their lawn chairs.

Headliner Texas country artist Brandon Rhyder, sang to an enthusiastic crowd as the sun set. Young Professionals President Jonathan Bassham gave a final plug for North Texas Giving Day.

Presenting sponsors was PCORE Exploration & Production II/Mark Hiduke. Other sponsors included Linda and Rob Swartz, Sewell Automotive, Accelerate Resources and Christine and Jonathan Bassham.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show And Neiman Marcus Scored A Home Run Bringing The Fundraiser Back To “The Store” With Posen And Pearls

Thomas Wolfe once declared, “You can never go home again.” Leave it to Neiman Marcus and Crystal Charity Ball to prove that old adage is so off base. On Friday, September 15, the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show and Luncheon was a love fest bringing the more-than-popular children’s fundraiser back home to the Neiman Marcus Downtown flagship.

Unlike the past couple or three years when the CCB Fashion Show took place in the store and an OMG tented venue in the adjoining parking lot, it was decided to move the whole package into the building’s various floors.

Sixth floor

Entrance to Michael Flores Salon

While regular shoppers and visiting tourists were surprised at the hundreds of top-tier fashionables filling the first floor for the official reception, one gent was gently turned away from dining in the sixth floor Zodiac. It wasn’t due to his natty Bermuda shorts. Rather, the restaurant was closed for the day due to the CCB, as well as Nancy C. Roger’s reception in the Michael Flores Salon celebrating the 10 Best Dressed (Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Katherine Coker, Janie Condon, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven, Pat Harloe, Julie Hawes, Amy Hegi, Piper Wyatt) and Hall of Famer Charlotte Jones Anderson.  Before the elegant 11 arrived for the Cristal doings after their run through of the show on the second floor, NM Downtown PR Marjon Henderson admonished them that they were to be back on the second floor no later than 11:15 a.m.

For first timers, it was a shock-and-awe moment when they saw how Fancy Nancy, Michael F. and her go-to-Gro designer Nathan Johnson had turned the entry into a whimsical tunnel of greenery, white flowers and rose petals strewn along the way and highlighted by chandeliers. Nathan admitted that he and his crew had worked around the clock to create and install the masterpiece that would be history by noon.

Michael Flores and Nancy Rogers

Pam Perella, Robyn Conlon and Claire Emanuelson

And, of course, the flutes on the silver trays screamed Cristal. You were expecting Kool-Aid? BTW, the “C” in Nancy C. Rogers does not stand for Cristal.

Just past 10:30 a.m., the hostess arrived to greet guests like 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson, 2014 CCB Chair Robyn Conlon, Dallas Snadon, Gina Betts, Vicky Lattner, Di Johnston, Nancy Carter, Angie Kadesky, Mike Wyatt, Vin Perella with daughter Lauren Perella, Ryan Wilson, Debbie Breard, Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner, Joan Eleazer, Bela Cooley, Sue Gragg, Becky Bowen, Dixey Thornton, Ginger Auer, Tanya Foster, Alicia Wood, Leisa Street, Lynn McBee, Nancy Carlson, Capera Ryan, Sam Boyd, Beth Layton, Muffin Lemak, Ann Dyer, Shelle Sills and DeeDee Lee.

Vin Perella, Lauren Perella and Ryan Wilson

Vicky Lattner, Di Johnston, Nancy Carter and Angie Kadesky

Second floor

In the meantime, the rest of the store was buzzing. As NM special events mastermind Sandy Marple was finishing up with the dress rehearsal, fashion show featured designer Zac Posen arrived with Celine Mariton on the second floor that had been turned into a red carpeted showroom cloaked in black and as narrow as an arrow’s shaft.

Sandy Marple, Zac Posen and Celine Mariton

On three sides were tiers of gold chairs with comfy red, purple and taupe cushions. Down the middle of the room was a back-to-back row of the chairs. At one end of the room was Zac Posen spelled out in gold on both sides of the runway entrance. Zac was blown away by the reconfiguration of the couture salon that he knew so well. Whipping out his cellphone he took a shot of the room.

Fourth floor

Luncheon table

Just two floors up,tables were in the final stages of being set up for the seated luncheon. Table hosts’ assistants were making sure that place cards were in the right spots. Even fashion show featured designer Zac Posen’s team had provided mementos for the guests. Some were gifted with Zac-designed scarves and others received Zac sunglasses.

Back to the second floor

Then the bewitching minute arrived with the 10 Best Dressed and Charlotte scurrying down to the second floor for the presentation. Eventually the guests from both the first-floor reception and Nancy’s party made their way to the second floor with elevators and escalators moving nonstop.

As the sold-out crowd of more than 500 started filling the gold chairs, CCB Reservations Co-Chair Paige Slates looked over the setup and smiled. She and Tiffany Divis had been in charge of reservations and admitted that until all the derrières were in place, they weren’t going to be satisfied.

Laura Bush and Lee Ann White

Nancy Dedman and Joan Schnitzer

Sarah and Ross Perot and Lisa Troutt

Kelli Ford

Mary Clare Finney

As guests finally settled down, a voice announced NM Fashion guru Ken Downing, who arrived from backstage to the podium set up midway across the aisle from Annette Simmons, Nancy Dedman, Joan Schnitzer Levy, Lee Ann White, former first lady Laura Bush, Sarah and Ross Perot and Lisa Troutt. Like a fashion version of a Texas A&M yell leader, Ken extolled his love and support of Zac — “My mother has pictures of Zac all over the house. There’s not a picture of me anywhere.” According to Ken, one of Zac’s first ventures outside NYC was Neiman’s in Dallas and he fell in love with “his girls.” Upon learning that he would be the featured designer for the CCB event, Zac texted Ken and asked him to put the show together for “our girls.” Ken continued saying the show wasn’t “just a fashion show. The show is a gift from my heart and from Zac’s heart to all of you.”

Karen Katz

He then introduced NM President/CEO Karen Katz who welcomed the group and said it was only right to bring the fashion show back to “our house” for the company’s 110th anniversary year. Karen was followed by 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and Fashion Show Chair Christi Urschel, who thanked all for supporting the organization providing millions of dollars for Dallas children’s charities.

Julie Hawes

Charlotte Jones Anderson

With that Ken returned to the podium to present the 10 Best Dressed and Hall of Famer. It came off without a hitch. Ken provided the commentary with touches of ad libbing. Blonde Julie Hawes dropped her red fur jacket midway and dragging it the last lap.

Zac Posen fashion

Zac Posen fashion

Zac Posen gown

Zac Posen gown

Then Ken stepped aside, the podium was removed and the models took their turn in Zac fashions — adorable frocks for cocktail parties, black short shorts and billowing ball gowns. One or two appeared to channel Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress.

Margot McKinney

Margot McKinney jewelry with Zac Posen gown

Highlighting the outfits were necklaces, earrings, bracelets and all sorts of exquisite bling provided by fourth-generation Australian jeweler Margot McKinney, who made headlines when she bought a harvest of 85,000 baroque pearls.

Zac Posen

For the finale, it was a standing ovation with Zac doing a victory lap.

Back to the fourth floor

As the fashionable guests made their way to the fourth floor for lunch, the 10 Besties and Charlotte took their places for group photos with Zac, Margot, Ken, Pam and Christi.

From the left: (standing) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Pat Harloe, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven and Julie Hawes; (seated) Janie Condon, Christi Urschel, Pam Perella, Amy Hegi and Piper Wyatt

From the left: (standing) Katherine Coker, Anita Arnold, Delilah Boyd, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Pat Harloe, Lisa Cooley, Tucker Enthoven and Julie Hawes; (seated) Janie Condon, Margot McKinney, Ken Downing, Zac Posen, Amy Hegi and Piper Wyatt

Then they joined the others for the meal “inspired by” Zac’s new cook book, “Cooking With Zac” due out in October. Guests donned their new found sunglasses for photos. Fancy Nancy sent bottles of Cristal to the10 BD tables. Ken and Zac shouldered it up. Karen joined up with three generations of Jones girls (Gene, Charlotte and Haley Anderson)…Christi celebrated with her mom Linda Carter, husband Hal Urschel and BFF Sarah Perot.

Haley Anderson, Charlote Jones Anderson, Karen Katz and Gene Jones

Linda Carter

Elsa Norwood, Susan Palma, Patty Leyendecker and Tiffany Divis

As the guests dined on the fourth floor, a truck parked along South Ervay was being loaded with the gold chairs, the black showroom was being disassembled and the couture salon was back in business.

For more than 85 pictures, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Celebrated The Close Of Family Gateway’s 30th Anniversary Year With Laura Bush Recalling A Little Boy Left Behind

Family Gateway’s CEO Ellen Magnis had a real challenge on her hands. Last year’s Gateway To Opportunity kicking off the 30th anniversary of the organization had really been a hit with Jenna Bush Hager on stage in a chat with WFAA’s Ron Corning in the Trinity Ballroom. The blonde former first twin had also scored points at the meet-and-greet in the Fair Park Room, where she even offered to do selfies with VIPs.

Betty Schultz, Laura Bush and Paula Miltenberger

But this year’s luncheon was to be the grand finale for  the 30th anniversary year of the organization for homeless families established by the late, former Mayor Annette Strauss. Ellen with Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz came up with quite a recipe for success. The speaker would be former first lady Laura Bush and the honorary co-chairs would be Annette’s daughters, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr. Was it a success? Evidently so, judging by the turnout that doubled the crowd from the last year and necessitating the move from the 15,418-square-foot Trinity Ballroom to the 31,733-square-foot Dallas Ballroom.

Janie McGarr, Nancy Halbreich, Penny Tower Cook, Laura Bush, Jeanne Tower Cox, Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt and Christine Schuepbach

All was set for the Thursday, September 7th luncheon with a couple of unforeseen oop’s. But what’s an event without a little challenge. For the meet-and-greet, the floorplan diagram had been created like an architectural work of art. No detail had been left out. Only problem arose when the organizers arrived to find that the Omni crew had done their own interpretation that was nowhere near the diagram. After requests to follow the original POA, Omni managers sheepishly arrived to say they didn’t have enough poles and curtains to satisfy the requirements. Seems there were two other events going on and they just ran out. Quickly, the Gateway team and the Bush folks redesigned the plan to achieve their goal with the limited resources.

Rachael Dedman and Vicki Chapman

Lee Ann White, Michael Faircloth and Gene Jones

Despite starting a few minutes later that planned, the meet-and-greet went so smoothly that it finished on time with all being photographed with Laura including Jeanne Cox, Rachael Dedman, Michael Faircloth, Gina Betts, Alison Malone, Tracy Lange, the Tower sisters (Jeanne Tower Cox and Penny Tower Cook), Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, Christine Schuepbach, Lynn McBee, Becky Bowen and Underwriting Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and daughter Ciara Cooley. The only one who wasn’t photographed with the former first lady was Ellen. Seems that she was in the lobby helping the check-in staff that had been flooded by the number of guests like Gail and Gerald Turner, Vicki Chapman, Gunnar Rawlings, Lee Ann White and Gene Jones checking in. But that situation was resolved, too.

Gerald and Gail Turner, Alison Malone, Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Becky Bowen

Promptly at noon, following KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley‘s welcome and Highland Park United Methodist Church Rev. Paul Rasmussem’s invocation, Ellen briefly told of Gateway’s partnering with Matthews Southwest in the creation of a complex in Hutchins with 336 units for families seeking affordable housing. When a client first works with Gateway, their case manager’s first goal is get them in housing and then to work with them on education completion, job training, financial literacy, parenting education and self-care. But she added that part of their mission was to learn and apply new strategies.

Following a video, Paula told how she had gotten involved with Gateway. It was three years ago and her plan had been to keep her boys occupied. Instead she learned the need for solutions. The boys, on the other hand, suggested that they just have the homeless move in with them.

Robert Munoz and Deanna Reyna Munoz

Deanna Reyna Munoz then provided a testimonial, telling how her mother was 16 when Deanna was born. Her father was incarcerated. That’s when they found Family Gateway and for the first time she had her own room, bed and closet. The Gateway staff then helped her mother change into a responsible person resulting in her having her own home. Deanna became the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She got a job at the Dallas Cowboys and “bought her own home with a pool and married her boyfriend (Robert Munoz) of 10 years. My success stems from the tools provided by Family Gateway.”

That powerful presentation was followed by auctioneer Wendy Lambert’s shout out for funds with a goal to match $225,000. This awkward segment tends to cast an aura of guilt in the room among those who don’t rise to occasion. In this case, the results hauled in $154,000. Or so folks thought as they finished up their meal. But post-event checks and online donations, the challenge was met!

It was now time for the main act with Presenting Sponsor MetroPCS District Manager Brad Pott’s introducing Laura.

  • She started off by thanking all for supporting Family Gateway and provided an update on the Bushes. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coat, Barbara and George H.W. Bush were safe and sound in Maine, where Barb is no longer walking the shores with her dogs. Instead she’s rolling around in a golf cart with the pooches following.
  • George W. Bush’s painting has resulted in 98 wounded warriors being subjects, a book “Portraits in Courage” and displayed at the Bush Center.
  • Laura and George W.’s names as grandparents — “It’s like choosing a name for a cat.” George suggested that his grandchild just call him, “Sir.”
  • Laura Bush bobble head doll — A friend gave it to her and reported that “It was on the clearance shelf.”
  • Tabloids — “My daughters were getting engaged to persons I had never heard of.”
  • 9/11 — She was sitting in Ted Kennedy’s office.

Then she tied her talk back to the subject of the day — early childhood care can change the cycle of poverty. Among the 400 families served by Family Gateway last year, there were 900 children.

Laura recalled that long before her husband was governor of Texas or president, she had worked at an inner-city school in Houston and discovered a remarkable level of poverty. Such conditions result in one in three young people dropping out of high school each year, with single-parent families becoming the norm and one or both parents in jail.

When she had completed her work at the school, she decided to take some of her students to AstroWorld. In picking them up, she arrived at one house where the student came to the door in his underwear. His mother never came to the door to provide permission for him to join the group. Before Laura left, she gave the tyke a long hug.

As Laura concluded her talk at 1:04 p.m., she admitted that she often wondered what happened to the youngster. Was he still alive? Did he have a family? What had happened to him over the past decades? She said the challenge is not to forget that little boy or any of the children in need of compassion and assistance.  

Hurricane Harvey’s Devastating Gulf Coast Was A Chief Topic At Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Patron Party

As the sky was cloudless and the temperatures were unusually cooler for August, the talk at the Gateway for Opportunity Luncheon patron party on Tuesday, August 29, at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s estate was southward. Despite the overwhelming ticket sales for the annual fundraising luncheon with former First Lady Laura Bush, the past days of Hurricane Harvey devastating the Gulf Coast was a concern for both supporters and staff about the evacuees leaving their homes and arriving in Dallas.

Lisa Cooley, Nic Turpin, Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger

Family Gateway CEO Ellen Magnis reported how they had received calls from the media on how many evacuees had sought their help. Ellen explained that the immediate assistance was being handled by the Red Cross, The Salvation Army DFW and city and county of Dallas organizations and programs.

But once the initial shock settles in, families opting to settle in Dallas would seek the services and assistance of Family Gateway.

Louise Eiseman and Richard and Betsy Eiseman

Lynn McBee, Brad Cheves and Nancy Halbreich

As the 70+ guests including Event Co-Chair Paula Miltenberger, Brad Cheves, the Eisemans (mama Louise, son Richard and his wife Betsy), Tracy Lange, Michael Faircloth, Lynn McBee, Debbie Francis and Nic Turpin arrived via cart, Honorary Co-Chair Nancy Halbreich recalled her mother/Family Gateway Founder Annette Strauss’ commitment to help homeless families and children by establishing the organization in 1986.  

David Davis and Michael Faircloth

Debbie Francis and Russ

Community Partners Of Dallas’ Change Is Good Kick-Off Was A Family Affair With T-Shirt Designing, Green Balloons And Coins Galore

Change can be good. And when it comes to the Community Partners of Dallas, change is for good literally. Each year CPD holds one of the most absolutely fun events for munchkins. Not only do they play games, get face painted and have the times of their life, they also have the opportunity to turn in the change that they have collected to support CPD’s efforts. But to get things rolling, this year’s Co-Chairs Becky and Ted Lange their kiddos Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo got this kicked off on Saturday, August 26. Here’s a report from the field:

Community Partners of Dallas kicked off the 11th Annual Change is Good on Saturday, August 26, at CPD headquarters with a celebration and day of volunteering for event sponsors and members of the event’s host committee.

From the left: (back row) Sandra Keck Libby Lange, Enzo Lange, Mary and Larry Lange, Ted Lange, Asher Lange, Becky Lange, Reese Lange, Paige McDaniel; (front row) Jameson Lange*

Chair family Becky and Ted Lange with Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo, welcomed more than 65 attendees like Nikki and Crayton Webb with their brood (Cabot Webb, Nelson Webb, Mitchell Webb and Lucy Webb), Tameka Cass with youngster Jaxon Cass and Kristin Mitchell with Molly Mitchell and Teige Mitchell for a day of fun. As families arrived, the kids in attendance were encouraged to create their own design for the annual t-shirt, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Sunday, October 1, event.  

From the left: Cabot Webb, Lucy Webb, Crayton Webb, Nelson Webb, Mitchell Webb and Nikki Webb*

Tameka Cass and Jaxon Cass*

Kristin Mitchell, Molly Mitchell and Teige Mitchell*

Midway through the event, President/CEO Paige McDaniel welcomed everyone and thanked event sponsors, then gave special recognition to the Change is Good chair family, the Langes as well as honorary grandparents Sandra and Paul Keck and Mary and Larry Lange. She also thanked all the kids for collecting all their pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and bills over the summer to help change the lives for other kids!

Attendees were then separated by age to help CPD put together hygiene kits and back to school supplies for the abused and neglected children they serve. 

The 11th annual Change is Good will be held on Sunday, October 1, from 3 – 6 p.m. at Brook Hollow Golf Club. The fun-filled day will feature activities for all ages, including bungee jumping, prince/princess station, paper airplane zone, GameTruck, Rad Hatter, balloon artist, face painting, bounce houses, and a DJ dance party. Participating children and teens will turn in the change they collected over the summer in exchange for chances to win exciting prizes.

Tickets are $75 per adult and $35 per child and are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for more information visit communitypartnersdallas.org or contact [email protected].

* Photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas

‘Draft Day’ Celebrates Cristo Rey-North Texas Business Work Study Partnership

Bishop Edward J. Burns of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas gave the invocation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings served as emcee for a while. Mike’s son, Gunnar Rawlings, executive director of the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program, also helped out. Sports personality Michael “Grubes” Gruber and Erin Hartigan, Fox Sports Southwest host, provided commentary. Even Rachel Lindsay, star of TV’s “The Bachelorette” series, put in an appearance.

Kelby Woodard, Rachel Lindsay, Edward Burns and Mike Rawlings*

The occasion: Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep‘s third annual, NFL-style “Draft Day,” presented by Frost Bank. The event, attended by more than 500 guests, was held at the school on July 28 to match the school’s 148 incoming freshmen and sophomores with their corporate work assignments for the 2017-2018 school year. The students earn more than 60% of their tuition by working one day each week at such iconic North Texas companies as Mary Kay, AT&T, Hunt Oil, Deloitte and Jackson Walker.

Mike “Grubes” Gruber, Erin Hartigan, Mike Rawlings and Gunnar Rawlings*

CEOs or senior leaders from these and more than 100 other companies turned up for the event at Cristo Rey, which is one of 32 Catholic prep schools in the Cristo Rey network. Under the work study program, the school’s economically challenged students receive work experience as well as leadership training.

David Leach and Melanie Duarte*

Noah Barron, Scott Moore and Daisy Garcia*

With top business luminaries in the audience including Greyhound CEO David Leach, PWC Managing Partners Scott Moore and CBRE Vice Chair Jack Fraker, the students were called to the stage one by one to meet their new employers. As they did so they exchanged high-fives and hugs and checked out a variety of “swag” items from their new companies, including logo t-shirts and ball caps.

“This year we are welcoming more than 35 new partners to the Corporate Work Study Program, with job teams now working in Downtown, Uptown, Richardson, North Dallas and beyond,” said Kelby Woodard, Cristo Rey Dallas’s president. “In addition to contributing more than $3 million toward the cost of tuition, the Corporate Work Study Program provides students with hands-on work experience in a real-world setting and a chance to develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime.”

BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas at Cristo Rey Draft Day*

Other companies participating in the school’s Draft Day program included HKS, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas and Tenet Healthcare.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

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

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

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

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

Jane Porter

John Stuart

Beth Thoele

Tricia George

Bennett Cullum and Tom Campbell

Kristi Shewmaker and Linus Wright

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

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

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