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

The Harvey Weinsteins Aren’t Limited To Hollywood

MySweetCharity

Allow me to tell you a story: There was a young woman who had been doing PR for a high-profile local company back in the late 1980s. As part of her responsibilities, she was to accompany the executives and personalities to special events and introduce them to the right people. 

It was at one large charity fundraiser that her “#Me too” took place. As the crowd gathered to hear the headliner, she stood next to the region’s top executive. Without warning he grabbed her hand and clutched it to his crotch. While there wasn’t much there, she still knew what had happened. Shocked, she looked at him and saw a smile, not of enjoyment but of conquest. Immediately she retrieved her hand and headed to the company’s table and told the second-in-command’s wife. She blew it off, saying, “Oh, yeah, he does that.”

On the way home, the young woman told her friends that she was in shock. She hadn’t had a drop to drink and never had any relationship with the man, who was married. Her friends comforted her, but felt helpless because one of them worked for “Handy Man.”

The following Monday the victim had a meeting with the company’s marketing director, telling her that she had to resign due to the episode. The marketing director was sympathetic but could do nothing because she, too, worked for the Handy Man. The young woman called a lawyer friend, telling him what had happened, and that she wanted to put a stop to this man’s abuse before it went any farther with other women. The lawyer bravely took the case on, despite the fact it wasn’t his forte.

Fast-track forward: After the suit was filed, she heard through the grapevine that the mother company had held interviews with management and staffers. Supposedly only one manager had claimed that the young woman was a troublemaker.

A mediation took place one day with the young woman making only four requests:

  • That the man not be in the room during the mediation.
  • That the company would provide a letter saying that her work with the company had been professional.
  • That the man not be fired. She wanted the company to keep an eye on him and prevent him from scourging others.
  • That the remaining months of her contract be fulfilled financially.

The first request was agreed to. He would not be present at any point. What a relief. One down and three to go.

For eight hours, the lawyer and the young woman waited it out in one of the mediator’s office. They talked  about their families. Occasionally, they were brought in to discuss developments with the company’s legal team and the man’s own lawyers, and yet nothing seemed to transpire.

By the end of the day, they were sent home with a wait-and-see comment.

The following Monday, the lawyer called with good news and not-so-good news.

Yes, they would fulfill the contract financially.

Now, for the not-so-good news:

They wouldn’t issue a letter.

But then the real blow hit: The company had cut ties with Handy Man. That one was a knife to the heart. He would inevitably move on to a new company and be allowed to stalk and abuse others.

Shocked, the young woman told her lawyer that the offer wasn’t acceptable. She couldn’t un-fire the man, but she wanted that letter. Her lawyer/friend said it wasn’t going to happen, and that she should accept the offer. She told him that she realized he was working with her on a contingency arrangement and she would compensate him, but, no. She either got the letter, or she would pursue the legal journey. He told her that they wouldn’t budge. She told him that she understood, but she had to proceed. They hung up. 

With that hangup, she felt as if she was in a vacuum. She had done nothing wrong, yet still she felt she was being victimized again. This time it wasn’t a man’s groping hand. It was a company’s denial of a piece of paper validating her.  

What kept her going was defiance. She had lost her demand for the company to keep him from spreading his problem to other unknowing organizations. It was obvious that the powers-that-be wanted to wash their hands of him. But she was not going to allow the company to have their way with her now. Their inquiries and interviews with staff members had already triggered rumors about her own reputation and her own disassociation with the company. She was not going to be victimized again .

Four hours later, she got a call from her lawyer friend. He sounded almost amazed in revealing that the company had agreed to the letter. Would she agree? Hell, yes.

In the days afterward, she received a call from a 20-something woman who had worked for the company. She had been stalked and received voicemails from the man intimidating her. She was grateful that he was out of her life for good.

The perpetrator went on his industry, got an executive job in another part of the country, and stayed married to his wife. The young woman moved on with her life, knowing that she had immediately taken a stand and legally tried to prevent his wanton ways.

So when people like Academy Award winners, political leaders and others write “#Me too,” one can’t help but think, “What did you do about it—and when?”

Texas Trailblazer Keynote Speaker Gretchen Carlson Connects The Dots Between Domestic Violence And Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Since being a little girl in Minnesota with a love of playing the violin, Gretchen Carlson has made the rounds. From being embarrassed … no, make that humiliated … when a sales clerk announced, “We need the biggest little girl bra for the chubby girl,” to taking on one of the country’s mega-media powerhouses, she’s not only rounded the track, she’s landed in the winner’s circle.

That was the feel for the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon crowd on Friday, October 6, at the Anatole.

But first, the backstory. Gretchen, who had landed in Dallas back in the late 1990s as a reporter and anchor at KXAS, was the keynote speaker for The Family Place‘s annual fundraising luncheon that celebrated Elizabeth Grandell and Lamisa Mustafa as the 2017 Verizon Scholarship Recipients, TexProtects as Advocacy Awardee, and Lynn McBee as Trailblazer of the Year, who received a standing ovation.

Initially the day was sort low-key with the VIP meet-and-greet in the Peacock Terrace. Unlike last year’s line around the room for the grip-and-grin with Ronan Farrow, this year started off a bit slow. One guest, who arrived 10 minutes into the by-invitation event, had a touch of a shock in his/her voice, “Where are all the people?” This answer was, they were chatting it up in the opposite side of the room.

Cindy Stager, Lynn McBee, Gretchen Carlson and KJ Sanger

But Co-Chairs Kristen “KJ” Sanger and Cindy Stager and Lynn McBee as well as Nancy Gopez were on hand as well as Jan Miller in a new haircut and a touch of tear in her eye. It seems that the legendary Miller-Rich household beagle Schumacher had suffered a stroke a couple of weeks before and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Jan Miller and Gretchen Carlson

In the meantime, the Chantilly Ballroom was being set up with an open feeling. As one person pointed out, there were generous aisles between the tables. Still, the count of 680 was down from the jam-packed TFP luncheon of 2016 with Ronan. On the screen were names of sponsors including Trammel (sic) S. Crow. That second “l” in Trammell is a tricky one.

At 11:46 a.m., a big voice announced that the program was going to start. He was a man of his word. The lights dimmed and a video was shown followed by Co-Chairs KJ and Cindy welcoming the group and Rev. Susan Robb providing the invocation.

Before Gretchen talked to the crowd including Connie O’Neill, Claire Emanuelson, Joanna Clarke, Paige Flink, Jill Tananbaum, Travis Hollman, Carol Seay, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink told of “Naomi,” who just the day before had met with her for a one-on-one. It seems that Naomi’s abusive situation had driven her to the breaking point. Her suicide note was written; she was going to take her five kids to the fire station and then she was going to a bridge from which to jump. After talking with Paige and understanding that the newly opened Ann Moody Place would provide shelter for her family, Naomi and Paige finished their chat, tearing up the suicide note.   

Paige added that had it not been for Ann Moody Place, Naomi might have become part of the statistics like the 194,000 violent acts and 158 murdered last year. That latter number was an increase over the year before. On a light noted she announced that the facility had received its first dog, Buddy, with his family. She finished her report on a positive note, saying that thanks to The Family Place, more than one-half million people had been saved thanks to the community’s support.

In addition to Paige’s celebrating her 26th anniversary with The Family Place, she had another 26-year Family Place vet, Betty Regard, join her on stage. Betty issued a $25,000 match challenge at 11:58 a.m. By 12:20 p.m., the challenge had already hauled in $15,948.

At 12:38 p.m., Gretchen arrived at the podium and showed her Stanford education smarts by telling the group of her days at KXAS back in 1998 when she did a 30-part series on domestic violence. While she admitted that a lot has changed, it hasn’t been enough.

Seamlessly, she transitioned into the eye-opening connection between domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace that she knew all too well from her 20s, when a man accosted her, to her headline-making split with the Fox News network. Both domestic violence and sexual harassment continue due to fear, embarrassment, and a lack of support, she said.

Highlights of her talk included:

  • Her mother suggested that she enter the Miss America pageant. Gretchen told her mother there was no way she would win because she was short, played a violin and “Minnesota is not a pageant state.” She entered anyway and won, despite pageant judge William Goldman’s describing her as Miss Piggy and admitting that he hated the violin.
  • After winning Miss America, she was interviewed by a reporter [Editor’s note: New York reporter Penny Crone], who quizzed her with such questions as which presidents were on the $5 and $20 bills. Ten years later, Gretchen spotted the reporter and asked if she recalled her when she was Miss America. Then Gretchen gave it to her, saying, “When I was Miss American, you tried to take me down. I just want you to know I’m a correspondent for CBS and you’re not.”
  • She was stalked for four years.
  • Her first encounter with sexual harassment was when she was in her 20s, when a TV cameraman asked her if she liked it when he put her mic on her breast.
  • 70% of women never report sexual harassment.
  • Misconceptions about sexual harassment include: women can just leave; women bring it on themselves; women make it up; women who do report it are after money or fame.
  • She has become an advocate about sexual harassment because of her children — “It’s all about the next generation.”
  • All proceeds from her book — “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back,” which was coming out the following week, will go her “Gift of Courage” effort.
  • She pointed out three things that were needed to end such treatment:
    • Bystander support
    • Education
    • Government legislation

In closing, Gretchen made a surprise announcement: she was giving $10,000 to The Family Place.

But Gretchen isn’t gone. Come November, she’ll return to the area as part of the across-the-nation launch of workshops to empower women.

BTW, Gretchen didn’t talk about her headline-making situation with the late Roger Ailes. But just a few days later, women in the entertainment industry started following Gretchen’s lead, according to an article by Ronan about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual harassment. They, like Gretchen, were not going to be silenced.

JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Honorary Chairs Include Such Dallas Icons As Andersons, Joneses, Kirks, Nasher-Haemiseggers And A Pickens

The 2017 ReuNight Co-Couple Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl are taking full advantage of having The Family Place’s high-roller fundraiser at the legendary Statler on Wednesday, November 8. After all, the former hotel had been the site of some of Dallas’ most memorable galas way back when. Ah, memories! For instance, that October 20 night in 1973 when oil baron Ed Cox threw a little soiree for his daughter Chan Cox. The grand ballroom was turned into an undersea grotto with aquariums placed in the walls and Skitch Henderson and his orchestra performing in a pirate ship. Just around 10 p.m. the Jackson Five performed on stage to the delight of the thousand heavy hitters.

But over the years, the hotel was upstaged by newcomers like the Hilton Anatole, the Hyatt Regency, the Ritz Carlton and the Omni Dallas Hotel. The Statler fell upon hard times. But thanks to a recent gazillion-buckaroo renovation, she was rejuvenated into a multi-use, luxury high-rise complex with residences, hotel rooms, offices and restaurants.

Charlotte and Shy Anderson (File photo)

Gene and Jerry Jones (File photo)

While the Dixes and Hoyls had already scheduled “unofficial Statler mascot” Llinda Llee Llama … no, not the original, but one of her great, great grandllamas… to be available for photo opps with the 200 guests in the Statler Courtyard Garden, they weren’t satisfied. They wanted something to “pay homage to Dallas icons.” So, they set their sites on some local heavy-hitting headliners to serve as honorary chairs. Boy, did they land ’em — Charlotte and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Goodness! Talk about having folks who represent everything from sports and politics to retailing and energy. Makes perfect sense, since these are the elements that have made Dallas the powerhouse of Texas kingdoms.

The three-course dinner with wine pairings in the Grand Ballroom will be followed by a “curated live auction of luxury goods and trip packages.” Then it will be dancing on the original Statler dance floor and/or having a nightcap or two at Waterproof, the pool-deck bar.

Want to join the llama and other mamas and papas to support The Family Place? Here‘s where you can get your place at the dinner table.

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.

Calvert Collins-Bratton And Vince Bratton Announced Plans For Children At Risk North Texas Chapter’s “A Night In Barcelona” Fundraiser

Dick Collins sat in his den checking his cellphone with his longtime friend Dale Robinowitz, as the entry of his Bluffview mansion filled to capacity with guests on Thursday, June 22. Just proved that everyone hadn’t evacuated the North Texas heat.

Vince Bratton, Calvert Collins Bratton and Stratton Horres

But then, what would you expect when Dick’s blonde daughter Calvert Collins-Bratton and her husband Vince Bratton put out the shout for the Children at Risk North Texas Chapter‘s kick-off party for A Night in Barcelona, which is slated for Saturday, September 23, at Hotel ZaZa?

Standing on the winding stairway, Children at Risk North Texas Managing Director Dr. Charlotte Carlisle welcomed the crowd, including Calvert’s mom Susan Collins, Children at Risk North Texas Chairman of the Board Stratton Horres and his wife Debbie Horres, Maddy Kulkarni, Lee Papert, Angela Nash, Ron Taylor and Timmy Newsome.

Angela Nash and Lee Papert

Timmy Newsome

Children at Risk COO Dr. Katie McConnell told of her days working in the public school system when she encountered children like Umberto, who was facing challenges each day while his mom worked three jobs. It was organizations like Children at Risk that offered programs to assist Umberto.

Charlotte Carlisle

Katie McConnell

Charlotte then told about two major problems that Children at Risk deal with:

  1. Food deserts where there are areas in which children don’t have access to food beyond junk food
  2. Human trafficking — “85-90% of reported child-sex trafficking cases occur to children, who were born in the United States”

After Charlotte handed the program over to Calvert, who described the evening’s festivities, including a raffle for a five-night stay at 5-star Monument Hotel In Barcelona with air fare for two, flamenco dancers, a sangria bar and tapas and a live auction that will include a package to the NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles. VIP ticketholders will attend a pre-party poolside before joining the rest of the guests in the Uptown Ballroom.

A Night In Barcelona

After that buildup, who could resist “a night in Barcelona”?

Among the sponsors that have already signed up are

  • Las Ramblas ($15,000) — Istation
  • Arc de Triomf ($5,000) — Energy Transfer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Methodist Dallas, Wilson Elser, Debbie and Stratton Horres, Shara McClure and Deborah and David Roylance
  • Museum Picasso ($2,500) — UMB, Steve Love, Kate and Eric Sudol and Jan and Ron Taylor

JUST IN: Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris To Receive Attitudes And Attire’s Kim Dawson Attitude Award

Attitudes and Attire Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman has just revealed that Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris will be the recipient of the 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award on Friday, February 23, in the Dallas Trade Mart’s Grand Pavilion.

Cindy Morris*

According to Lyn, “Cindy is a successful role model for all women, and we are thrilled to introduce her as our 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award recipient. I am grateful to Cindy and Dallas Market Center for their continued support of Attitudes and Attire over the past 21 years.”

Established in 1998 to “honor individuals whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the potential of all women. Named after the iconic Kim Dawson, the award recognizes individuals who are confident and committed with a high degree of integrity.”

Past award recipients have included Karen Farris, Caroline Rose Hunt, Sarah Losinger and the late Ebby Halliday.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the 22nd Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show will be Susannah Denney and Jeff Hensley of Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Veterans Program.  

Since its founding in 1996, Attitudes and Attire has helped more than 21,000 women have their confidence restored through three programs

  • Core Program (Job Readiness and Self-Esteem Workshops),
  • Hopeful Smiles Restorative Dental Program and
  • Boots to Heels Women Veterans Program.
* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire

Our Friends Place’s 14th Annual Gala – Auction And Casino Night Celebrated With Awards, Partying And Alumnae Accomplishments

There was a heck of a lot of celebrating over at the Omni Dallas on Saturday, April 29, thanks to Our Friends Place‘s 14th Annual Gala. From handing out awards, playing casino games, dining, dancing and most importantly hearing success stories from OFP graduates, it was a night to remember. Here’s a report from the field:

Tonnette Easter, Barbara Milo and Leslie Simmons*

Our Friends Place (OFP) celebrated their 14th Annual Gala – Auction And Casino Night on Saturday, April 29, at the beautiful Omni Dallas Hotel.  Honorary co-chairs included LuAnn and George Damiris and Debbie and Jack Gibson. Gala – Auction and Casino Night co-chairs included Tonnette Easter, Leslie Simmons and Barbara Milo.

Despite the blustery and rainy forecast, the event was well attended with those eager to bid on auction packages, play casino games and get their dance feet moving. 

Suzan E. Fenner*

Sharyl Weber and Sharon Pope*

The night started off with the presentation of The 13th Annual Ebby Awards to Suzan E. Fenner and the Northwood Woman’s Club represented by NWC President Sheryl Weber and Board Member Sharon Pope. Each recipient was honored to be recognized for their significant contributions and achievements in the advancement of girls and/or women in North Texas. The award is named after Ebby Halliday Acers, who was a tireless and passionate advocate for women in the community, and she was the first recipient of this award in 2005.

Another heartfelt highlight occurred when a few OFP alumnae were recognized for their achievements and growth through the program. We introduced Morgan and Shabnam, recent alums who shared their story about being homeless through video to a completely silent room of over 450 people. The impact of the OFP program was evident when both young ladies came to the stage to share updates.

Morgan finished her Associates Degree at Richland College while at Our Friends Place and is now living in an apartment and going to school at Texas Women’s University in Denton.

Sue Hesseltine and Cindy Tonnessen*

Shabnam is continuing her Year Up program through El Centro College and will graduate in late summer. She also works with Dallas ISD as a Homeless Youth Advocate at a local high school.

“Thanks to everyone who made our 14th Annual Gala – Auction and Casino Night such a success,” said Our Friends Place Executive Director Sue Thiers Hesseltine. “With the record number of guests, we were able to increase awareness of Our Friends Place, while having a great time raising funds to help the young women who call Our Friends Place home.” 

Gala sponsors, whose contributions made the evening an even greater success, included:

  • Diamond ($15,000) – Ben E. Keith Co.
  • Ruby ($10,000) – Suzan and Peter Fenner and Debbie and Jack Gibson
  • Emerald ($5,000) – BDO, Ebby Halliday Realtors, HollyFrontier, Paladin Partners, PWC, Laura and Jerry Fonville, Jan Wilkes/Debbie and Clarence Woosley and The Lee Family Charitable Fund
  • Jade ($3,000) and Sapphire ($2,000) – EY, The Fab Four, 12 General Contracting Services, Heather Bennett/Angela Maverick/Micki Seager/Cindy Tonnessen, Diane and Curtis Hawkins, TDKrause Consulting and Peggy Busby, Leslie Simmons and Rick Johnson, The Ryan Foundation, Brenda and David Snitzer and Jill and Brad Svoboda 
  • Underwriters — Bradford Commercial Real Estate, Frost Bank, Sue and Jack Hesseltine, Hunton & Williams LLP, Angela Maverick and Sean Baxley, Leslie Simmons and Rick Johnson, Jackson-Shaw Foundation, and Sutton Frost Cary LLP
* Photo provided by Our Friends Place

The Family Place Crew Prepares 50,000-Square-Foot Ann Moody Place For Sunday’s Invitation-Only Open House

Paige Flink

It’s been years in the making, but The Family Place’s Ann Moody Place is in the final stages of preparation for its Sunday open house. Like Gen. Eisenhower preparing for D-Day, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink is managing every last minute detail for the by-invitation-only event. (You might not want to let your children see this photo because they might get the idea that it’s okay to stand on the couch.)

Thanks to women and men, companies and foundations and professionals and volunteers, this 50,000-square-foot facility is a work from the heart, mind and pocketbook .

Everything from the brilliant layout to the little touches like beds with pillows embroidered with “Dream Big” has been painstakingly created to help women and their families escaping domestic abuse and taking the journey to a safe and better life.

Perhaps it can all be summed up on a sign that welcomes clients (see last photo). 

Ann Moody Place sign

BTW, don’t get your cute nose out of joint because you didn’t score an invite to the opening. The reason for the “by-invitation-only” status is due to the need to keep the facility’s location “confidential” for the protection of its clients.

However, if you know someone in need of the services provided at The Family Place, please do not hesitate to have them contact the staff at its hotline: 214.941.1991.

33rd Annual Care Dallas Breakfast To Feature Actress/Author Mackenzie Phillips And Breathe Life Healing Center Founder Brad Lamm

Perhaps Mackenzie Phillips was the first one to spot Harrison Ford as a hunk in 1973 when she and Paul Le Mat drag raced with him back in “American Graffiti.” She was just 14 years old and already part of the celeb universe being the daughter of The Mamas and The PapasJohn Phillips. The hit movie had hardly made the rounds before Mackenzie was in the TV comedy “One Day at a Time.”

By the third season of the show, the 19-year-old Mackenzie was already in hot water that included arrests for disorderly conduct, drug and alcohol abuse, two near-fatal overdoses and various stints in rehab. Despite efforts to deal with her addictions, she relapsed time and time again even admitting to using cocaine when she was pregnant with her son Shane Barakan.

While she appeared to have cleaned up her act by 2010, she also made headlines in 2009 with her telling Oprah Winfrey that “she was raped by her father in a hotel room when she was 18 while passed out after a drug binge but continued to use drugs and have consensual sex with him for years.”

Since that time Mackenzie’s life has gained a sense of normalcy. In 2013 she became a Primary Substance Use Counselor and began working in the addiction field as a counselor. Just last year she joined the Breathe Life Healing Center’s staff.

Mackenzie Phillips*

Brad Lamm*

According to Breathe Life Healing Centers Founder Brad Lamm, “We are thrilled to have Mack join the Breathe family. Our clients will no doubt benefit from her expertise in the field and her personal journey to recovery. She has recovered so much – a life rich in value and substance and I cannot wait to collaborate with her. She is a brave warrior who has trudged a long road, and has built a true bridge back to life. Plus, she’s not a glum gal!”

33rd Annual CARE Dallas Breakfast Chair Mary Martin just reported that both Mackenzie and Brad will be the featured guests at the Care Dallas fundraiser at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, at the Dallas Country Club. Honorary Event Co-Chairs are Lindsay and George Billingsley.

In addition to the talk by Mackenzie and Brad, Charles Carneal will receive Margaret Sharpe Award and JDs Chippery will be presented the Community Partner Award.

While individual tickets are not available now, tables and sponsorships are. Check here to get your spot.

* Photo provided by Care Dallas

14th Annual New Friends New Life Luncheon Speaker Ashton Kutcher Testified On Human Trafficking And Blew A Kiss To Sen. John McCain

Ashton Kutcher*

New Friends New Life speaker Ashton Kutcher proved yesterday why he was the pick of the litter to be the keynote speaker for the 14th New Friend New Life Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Wednesday, May 10.

The 39-year-old father of wee ones Wyatt Kutcher and Dimitri Kutcher gave an “emotional” presentation before a Congressional committee including Sen. John McCain about human trafficking.

In appreciation for Sen. McCain’s response, Ashton blew him a kiss.

The young actor/businessman/co-founder of Thorn is proving to be a force to be reckoned with on the subject matter by ramping up his public voice on this crime against the innocents.

At this time only sponsorships are available. If space permits, individual tickets will become available in late March. But why wait? Get your pals together and go for a sponsorship.

* Photo provided by New Friends New Life

MySweetWishList: New Friends New Life

According to New Friends New Life Executive Director Kelly Cruse,

Kelly Cruse*

“My wish is that Dallas will become a city free of human trafficking! The Dallas sex trade is a $99-million enterprise, and I wish for this to be fully eradicated.

“I wish for an end to the entrapment of our most vulnerable girls and women into this horrific crime. The average age of entry into the American sex trade is only 13 years old.

“I wish for the continued growth and success of New Friends New Life as this team bravely stands on the front lines each day to restore and empower formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and their children.

“I wish for the increased sharing of the manKINDness curriculum in local schools to educate the next generation of young men on how to properly respect and value women and themselves, and to encourage them to become part of the solution.

“I wish for more companies to stand up and join the No Harm Network and publicly state that they will maintain efforts that protect teen girls and women from the harm of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

“I wish for a sold out New Friends New Life luncheon on Wednesday, May 10, to ensure we have the necessary funds to deliver current and expanded services to survivors in our community.

“And I wish that anyone passionate about joining this important mission acts now by donating time or resources to stand with the team at New Friends New Life as we say ‘not our girls, not our city!’ www.newfriendsnewlife.org.”

-By Kelly Cruse, New Friends New Life executive director

* Photo provided by New Friends New Life

Genesis HeROs’ Gentlemen’s Night Had Cigar Rollings, Whiskey Tastings And Membership Sign-Ups At The Crow Library

The rain gods, “Drip” and “Sprinkle,” decided to hedge their appearance in North Texas on Wednesday, November 2. Perhaps it was because of the seventh World Series game, or the CMAs. Whatever.

Nearly 200 gents and their fav gals held forth at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library, complete with shoes shines and cigar rolling on the covered side terrace and whiskey tastings in Harlan’s better-than-real-life Oval Office.  

Harlan Crow's Oval Office

Harlan Crow’s Oval Office

In the main room, a huge drop screen was on the stage where there is usually a piano. Instead guests could see live play-by-play of the Fall Classic.

And what was the uproarious occasion demanding stogies, drops screens, shoe shines and all those guy-like activities? Why, it was the inaugural Gentlemen’s Night created by Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Genesis HeROs program. “We wanted to do something that was fun for the guys,” said Jan Langbein, the Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO.

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Morgan Meyer

Morgan Meyer

And what a gathering of eagles it was, including Texas State Rep. Morgan Meyer, Judge Nancy and Chris Mulder, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Kristen Howell, Daniel Roby and Amber and Josh Ragsdale, the W.H. Adamson High School football coach who was the recipient of the 2015 HeRO Award for “taking a public stand against domestic violence by serving as a role model, mentor and change agent for W.H. Adamson High School football players and the greater Dallas community.”

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

For some, it was a return to one of country’s most outstanding private collections; for others, it was a first time at a wonderland of historic treasures. As one young woman pointed out Lincoln’s itty-bitty desk in Congress, Carolyn Miller in the adjacent alcove was focused on Lincoln’s death mask.

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Dang, but it almost got embarrassing as CEO Jan and HeROs President Crayton Webb exchanged platitudes on stage with each other. Said Jan, of Crayton’s heartfelt speaking style: “I don’t know whether to vote for him, or to pass the collection plate. Ladies and gentlemen, the Rev. Crayton Webb!”

Crayton said, “I’m here to say, the good guys have got to do their part” against domestic abuse. He encouraged the multitude of men to join up and take a pledge to “create safe homes and a safe community for domestic violence survivors” and to commit to zero tolerance for domestic abuse in the community. Already on board are Jason Adams, Travis Armayor, Chris Ayres, Elias Bahar, David Camp, Chief (Ret.) Lowell Cannaday, David Carlock, Kendall Castello, Randy Golden, Taly Hafffar, Holt Haynsworth, Clint Hennen, Bill Howell, Heath Hyde, Chris Kolczun, Andrew Marcus, Tony McGuire, Prentis Murphy, Scott Murray, David Novak, Bryon Sanders, Lt. (Ret.) Miguel Sarmiento, Jim Savage and Rev. R. Casey Shobe.

Memberships range from the active members ($100 annually) to lifetime members (one-time payment of $1,000). Concluded Crayton: “We need your help.”

Dallas City Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates Receives Mosaic Family Services’ 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award

Accidents happen and the MySweetCharity elves with Queenie at the helm experienced one yesterday. Instead of posting coverage of the Mosaic Family Services 7th Annual Gala honoring Dallas City Counilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates, they reposted the September 20th patron party. Well, duh!

So, here is the report from the field about the Thursday, October 20, fundraiser at The Empire Room. Our apologies to all for MSC’s dying brain cells.

Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green*

Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green*

Co-chairs Melissa Green and Elizabeth Weathersby, along with honorary chair Lana Byrne welcomed over 330 attendees to Mosaic Family Services 7th Annual Gala on Thursday, October 20, from 7–11 p.m. at The Empire Room in the Dallas Design District.

Partygoers including Joe Byrne, Camilo Munar, Yujin Heo, Jo Mattison, Bert Smith, Ashley Anderson Smith, Jenny and Matt Ozee, Sue de Mille Minyard and Jim Minyard, Noosia and Scot Sookarow, Vicky and Doug Lattner, Beth Conner, Hannah and Adam Forbes, Sylvia Gutierrez, Le Ta and the Gates clan (JohnGates, Jordan Gates and Jessica and Will Whitsitt) arrived and mingled as they enjoyed cocktails and light bites courtesy of Stock & Barrel. Guests perused the silent auction, curated by auction chair Nusia Sookarow, and enjoyed the casino tables, while DJ Lamont Carlis provided the music.

John Gates and Jennifer Staubach Gates, Jordan Gates, Jessica and Will Whitsitt*

John Gates and Jennifer Staubach Gates, Jordan Gates, Jessica and Will Whitsitt*

As guests were seated for dinner, master of ceremonies Steve Kemble took the stage to welcome everyone. Stock & Barrel’s wood grilled romaine salad with Bartlett pear, Danish blue cheese, garlic croutons and toasted pecan vinaigrette was served family style as co-chairs Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green thanked attendees for their support of the clients served by Mosaic Family Services.

Kemble then introduced Dallas Police Department’s Interim Chief David Pughes for the presentation of the 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award to councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates. Chief Pughes shared his admiration for Gates and the tremendous work she has done on behalf of Dallas’ City Council as the Domestic Violence Taskforce Chair, helping to bridge communication between the Dallas Police Department, the District Attorney’s office, judges and community partners in an effort to end domestic violence in Dallas.

Interim Chief Pughes was followed by Gates’ mother, one of Dallas’ beloved philanthropist and community volunteers, Marianne Staubach. Staubach shared personal stories of Jennifer’s persuasiveness, persistence and compassion for others, which started as a young girl, laying the foundation for the successful woman she is today – wife, mom to two daughters, grandmother to two grandsons, passionate volunteer, registered nurse, Dallas City Councilmember and much more.

Jennifer Staubach Gates, David Pughes and Marianne Staubach*

Jennifer Staubach Gates, David Pughes and Marianne Staubach*

Pughes and Staubach then jointly presented Gates with the 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award. The Champion of Human Rights Award is presented each year to individuals and/or groups who strive to ensure the protection of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. Councilmember Gates has shown remarkable dedication to making a difference in the lives of Dallas residents, particularly survivors of domestic violence. Her extraordinary work with the Domestic Violence Task Force and Public Safety Committee continues to bring awareness to human rights abuses and empowers the clients we serve.
 

Past award recipients include director and filmmaker Libby Spears; fashion designer Abi Ferrin; Judge Roberto Canas, Jr., presiding judge of Dallas County Criminal Court No. 10; Genesis Women’s Shelter Executive Director Jan Langbein and The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink; Ambassador-At-Large Luis CdeBaca; and local philanthropist/women’s and human rights activist Lauren Embrey.

Kimberly*

Kimberly*

Kimberly, a survivor of domestic violence and sex trafficking, followed with her personal story. After becoming pregnant by her trafficker, she knew that she wanted a better life for herself and her son. Through Mosaic Family Services, she was able to find counseling, find a place to live, help gaining employment and life-skills guidance. With her son seated nearby, Kimberly was given a standing ovation for her courage to share her story and in celebration of her success.

Stock & Barrel’s family-style dinner continued with harissa honey glazed chicken with Thai basil and mint and kalbi style grilled short rib steaks with watercress salad and crispy shallots, served with goat cheese dumplings with Brussel sprouts petals, grilled corn, green curry and coconut.  Dessert of warm toffee croissant bread pudding with butter caramel cream and salted English toffee followed.

After dinner partygoers hit the dance floor, tried their luck at the casino tables or placed last minute bids in the silent auction. As the evening came to a close, patrons received a take-home treat of a mini-bundt cake donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes, a gift certificate to Stock & Barrel and a gift card from SoulCycle for one free class.

* Photo credits: Bob Manzano and Wesley Holmes