JUST IN: Another School Closes Due To The Flu

As a result of the flu, Jesuit College Preparatory has joined the list of area schools temporarily closed. This notice was just posted today:

“Jesuit’s campus will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 23 and Wednesday, Jan. 24 in the effort to support the health and safety of our community. During this time, all on-campus activities will be cancelled. Community service scheduled for Wednesday will also be cancelled, although away athletic events will continue as planned. The School will take the closure time to disinfect all campus spaces. On campus activity will resume as normal after 4 p.m. on Wednesday.”

While it may seem drastic, Jesuit and the other schools are doing the right thing to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Here are some reminders:

  • If you think you might have the flu or even a cold, stay at home and try to isolate yourself from other members of the household. Call your doctor. Be patient (sorry, no pun intended). There is a good chance that your doctor is probably being overwhelmed with similar calls
  • Stay put for at least 24 hours after the fever has broken.
  • Wash your hands with soap.
  • Stock up on tissues.
  • Take showers and use vaporizers to keep your surrounding steamy.

    Flu shot coupon offer (File photo)

  • Get vaccinated if you haven’t. While the recent vaccine may not be a cure all, it may reduce the killer effects. Check with your drugstores and grocery stores about special offers that “boost” your getting vaccinated there.
  • Instead of handshaking, air kissing or hugging, do the knuckle bump or just wave.
  • Since the flu virus can lead to pneumonia, baby boomers should make sure that they’ve had their pneumonia shots.

Please consider using these precautions and sharing them with your kids and grandkids.

Friends Of Wednesday’s Child Is Closing

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

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

Friends of Wednesday’s Child (File photo)

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

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

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

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

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

Attention, Campers: Ark-Building Activities Are Underway In North Texas

Why did Thursday seem like a dress rehearsal for this afternoon’s tsunami? According to WFAA weather guy Pete Delkus, North Texas is out of the drought condition that was in place on May 31. He also said that his normal 20-minute drive to work took about an hour and half.

Another hit-and-run victim of the thunder, lightning and waves of wet stuff was Fair Park Sparks! The official word was, “Flooding and power outages have now prompted cancellation of Fair Park Sparks. We’re sorry!”

Fair Park Sparks!*

Not to worry. When the rains are dismissed by the solar heat, there will be plenty of activities over at Fair Park.

In the meantime, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League didn’t let the damp stuff prevent the reveal of the 2018 debs from taking place over at Stanley Korshak.

An unofficial statement from Mother Nature was just received: “You complained about a drought. I gave you rain. Now, you’re griping about the rain. Gee, are you people ever happy?”

This weekend the accessories du jour will be Better Brellas and water wings.

* Graphic courtesy of Friends of Fair Park

JUST IN: Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade Is Canceled, But A Get-Together Breakfast With Santa Is Still On At The Adolphus

There are just times when words have to be eaten and this is one of them. In an earlier post, the declaration was made that this year’s Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade would not be canceled.

Word just arrived from Children’s Scott Summerall, that indeed the parade is canceled.

No, there will be no frigid roads nor frozen tundra. But WFAA’s Colleen Coyle, who has a cot in the backroom at the studio, is warning that Saturday morning is gonna be ugly. With this in mind, wiser minds realized that the conditions just didn’t allow for safer health-conditions for participants and spectators.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

The long story made short — the parade is canceled, not postponed.

The official word is, “Despite today’s beaming sunshine, weather forecasts for DFW include a high probability of heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday. Due to these impending weather conditions and the fact that many of the acts cannot perform in the rain, we are canceling the Children’s Health Holiday Parade out of concern for the well-being of the patients and families we serve. We sincerely appreciate all of the incredible patients, volunteers, participants, sponsors and attendees who help bring the parade to life each year, especially Santa. You can still tune in to WFAA channel 8 on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to watch last year’s parade!”



However… and you just knew there would be a “however”… the Auxiliary’s breakfast with Santa is still on from 9:30-11:30 at the Adolphus with “traditional photographs with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon artists, breakfast treats and other fun festivities, we have also added special celebrity appearances and costume character visits.”

For those, who bought tickets to attend the parade and want a refund, no problem. But, gee whiz! Tis the season, so why not just let the unused tickets go to support the efforts at Children’s Health.

So snooze in on Saturday and dream that your contributions are helping youngsters at Children’s. Or attend brunch with Santa and make sure that you provide the old codger with a list of your wishes.

* Photos provided by Children's Health

Change Of Plans For Stiletto Strut Slated To Benefit Community Partners Of Dallas

Remember back  in April 2014 when Community Partners of Dallas’ Paige McDaniel pulled out a couple of gorgeous stilettos from a gift box at the annual Chick Lit Luncheon? The reason was the announcement that CPD would be the recipient of the 2015 Stiletto Strut at NM Downtown. The response to the announcement was cheers. And, of course, everyone want those heels.

Jennifer Morris and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Jennifer Morris and Paige McDaniel (File photo)

However, the 2015 Strut had to be put off due to construction on the street and other issues. Now, with CPD in the middle of its big push to complete funding for the new facilities, there just ain’t time to wedge in the Strut.

And besides the downtown traffic is so bumper-to-bumper, the days of stiletto strutting may have marched into the sunset.

Family Compass’ 2016 “A Legendary Evening” Is Postponed Until 2017

On the heels of the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society’s change of plans announcement, another one was pointed out. No, it has nothing to do with PCHPS. It’s the Family Compass’ annual A Legendary Evening that was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 9, is going to take the year off.

According to Family Compass Board Member Whitney Strauss, “We are working on big plans to make it spectacular!”

But not to worry. There are plenty of other things going on that night like the WaterTower Celebrate Gala, the Aware Affair Celebrate the Moments, No Tie Dinner and Dessert, A Little Night Music and the Mosaic’s 19th Annual Heart and Soul Gala.

JUST IN: Dallas Zoo’s Halloween Nights Canceled For Tonight

Dallas Zoo penguins (File photo)

Dallas Zoo penguins (File photo)

Guess who’s back in town? Yup, old grumpy Mother Nature and is she unloading. The good news: the drought is drenched. The bad news: the Dallas Zoo has canceled tonight’s plans for Halloween Nights.

According to Dallas Zoo’s Lydia Jennings, “The spooky affair will resume Saturday and Sunday evenings as planned.”

If you pre-purchased a ticket, it will be good through Sunday.

BTW, the penguins are enjoying the rainfall, but none of the critters are too keen about the accompanying thunder and lightning.

Follow Up: A Pat On The Back For TACA And The Hilton Anatole

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Last week the TACA Silver Cup Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole was canceled due to icy streets and the well-being of guests. Despite efforts to notify folks, 100 still showed up.

The Anatole team handled it like true hospitality-industry professionals. They fed the 100.

But there was more. Instead of tossing the food or feeding fellow staffers, they packed up the hundreds of leftover luncheon meals and had them delivered to The Bridge. The timing couldn’t have been better. It seems that The Bridge was being hit for meals and wasn’t quite prepared for the onslaught.

Thanks to TACA and the Hilton Anatole, guests were safe and sound and art-loving philanthropists ended up providing the needy with a meal on a frigid day.

Folks Who Have To Carry On Despite Ice And Snow

What’s that? Could it be? Why, yes, it looks like the sun is peeking out like an embarrassed late-arriving guest at a seated dinner. If only it had shown up earlier, it would have saved a lot of agitation, frustration and cancellations for schools and long-planned fundraisers.

Still, while organizations, like the Dallas Zoo and Dallas Arboretum, are closed today “for business as usual,” life goes on. Those staffs aren’t sitting around drinking hot cocoa and coasting around the Internet. Heck, no! Like so many others, their work requires them to be on the job regardless.

One group that especially needs appreciation is the area road crews that have been battling the ice that only melts during the day and freezes overnight. These people have a thankless job and been working around the clock in pretty miserable conditions.

Yeah, life is inconvenient with this March Mayhem, but there are those whose efforts continue regardless of the conditions. If you know one, thank them. If you don’t, perhaps it’s time to find one to thank.

UPDATE: 2015 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon Canceled

Yes, yes, yes! Earlier the 2015 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon was on. But after discussing it with various experts including WFAA weather guy Ashton Altieri and honorees Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning, TACA Executive Director Becky Young made the gut-wrenching decision to cancel.

So typical of Don, his comment was that if one car ended up in trouble, he would have never forgiven himself.

Therefore, the luncheon is called off. The organizers are scrambling to stop folks from heading to the Anatole. But they’re also planning another event to salute Catherine and Don and to thank the major sponsors.

Stay tuned and we’ll share the developments. But right now, we’ve gotta get folks to stay home and stay safe. Do everybody a favor and help spread the word.

JUST IN: Dallas Zoo IS Closed Today

African penguin (File photo)

African penguin (File photo)

The Dallas Zoo is closed today. Don’t worry about the critters. The staff is making sure that the animals are safe, fed and warm.

Even the penguins are pretty fed up with all this February Freezer.

JUST IN: Cowtown Marathon Cancels Some Activities And Delays Others

Fort Worth always seems to get the bad weather first. And that’s what happened earlier this morning.

Due to the conditions predicted to only get worse over night, Saturday’s Cowtown Marathon has been canceled and Sunday’s race has been delayed.

Tuesday Ain’t Lookin’ So Great, But Don’t “Skip” Out

Skip Hollandsworth (File photo)

Skip Hollandsworth (File photo)

The Dallas Independent School District and others are already shuttering down due to the predicted overnight freeze that will create Tuesday morning’s “Auto Ice Rink.”

On the other hand, Les Femmes du Monde is charging ahead with its “members only” meeting with Texas Monthly‘s Skip “Be Still My Heart” Hollandsworth.

The chat with one of the Dallas media’s most charming fellers is taking place at a private resident. So, it takes membership to get the deets.

If you’re not a Les Femmes member, sign up just to attend Skippy’s talk. He’s quite a storyteller. So many stories that he discovered and told beautifully. In fact, he’s the one who brought “Bernie” to the public eye. Just ask him about his daughter, Tyler‘s take on who was more adorable  Matthew McConaughey or Jack Black.

Announcement: Monday Closures

According to our buddy Steve McCauley and the KXAS team, tomorrow’s closures are already checking in.

If you’re a boss, cut your staff some slack. If you’re a parent, take a deep breath and realize this is an opportunity to be with your kid-lets and make a lasting impression on both you and them. Use it or lose them.

Under No Circumstances Go To Artists Against Alzheimer’s Tonight

Remember, if you were planning on attending the rescheduled Artist Against Alzheimer’s, don’t go. Tonight’s event has been once again moved. This time it won’t be a stay alone. Instead, it will join up with the Thursday, April 17 event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Alzheimer’s fundraising efforts at the Anatole.

Just didn’t want you to show up and have a cute fellow with blue eyes and the name tag  of “Zoli” turn you away with a smile.

Sure, you’re disappointed that you didn’t get to get an eye-opener of Museum Tower, but just save that eye-opening for the evening at the Anatole with Bart Starr reliving the Ice Bowl and a delish auction courtesy of Heritage Auction, that will feature three major artworks online — an oil on canvas by Syd Solomon, Bob-Stuth-Wade’s Terlingua Creek, Evening, 2010, watercolor on Whatman paper, and the always adorable Mary Vernon’s Seed Pods, 2012 oil yupo.

So, rest at home and save your pennies for the biggy event in April.

Union Bank Steps Up To Fill Funding Gap For New Friends New Life’s Canceled Holiday Home Tour

Snow-covered Dallas

Snow-covered Dallas

Today’s chill and scenes of the northeast deep in snow recall that first weekend in December, when traditional events like the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade and the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon Run were canceled due to the weather.

One of those events was New Friends New Life’s 14th Annual Holiday Home Tour.

Luckily, there are outstanding people and businesses in North Texas, like Union Bank.

According to Union Bank Executive VP Todd Gregory, “Union Bank was introduced to New Friends New Life by the Crystal Charity Ball organization. When we learned the NFNL had to cancel their annual fundraiser, we wanted to find a way to fill that funding gap and help them meet their financial goals.”

Union Bank stepped up with a $25,000 gift “to fill that funding gap”!

“We are so grateful to Union Bank for their generosity,” said Katie Pedigo, Executive Director of New Friends New Life.  “Because of this gift, we are able to continue our mission to help transform the lives of women and their children in our community.”

And The Beat Goes On: The Dallas Arboretum Is Closed Today

Got this note from the Dallas Arboretum team, who have really be hit with power outages and very unhappy vegetation:

 “Again, the Dallas Arboretum will be closed on Sun., Dec. 8 due to cleanup from the weather.

“The Year of the Children’s Garden workshop, scheduled for Sunday at the Arboretum, is also canceled.”

Just In: New Friends New Life’s Holiday Home Tour Is Canceled

Just heard from New Friends New Life Executive Director Katie Pedigo about Sunday’s Holiday Home Tour:

“Due to impending weather conditions, New Friends New Life Home Tour organizers cancelled Sunday’s event.  The safety and well-being of our volunteers, homeowners, sponsors and patrons are our utmost concern. Thank you for your understanding.  We are grateful for your support of our mission to restore and empower formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and their children.”

This is another heartbreaking decision, but again it has been made with wisdom. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact New Friends New Life at 214.965.0935 .

Update: Dallas Arboretum Will Remain Closed Saturday

The brutal ice may look spectacular from inside your home, but it’s not nice at all. For this reason, the Dallas Arboretum folks have decided to remain closed through Saturday.

We’ll let you know about Sunday once a decision has been made.

Just In: Metro PCS Dallas Marathon Is Canceled

Once again wisdom has prevailed. The announcement has just been made that the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon has been canceled.

Like the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, the Marathon was to benefit a hospital for children. The well being of others trumped the need to hold the event. So, when making your holiday donations, please consider Children’s and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

JUST IN: Arboretum Requests No Mow At Winfrey Point

The unfortunate parking issue that has involved mowing Winfrey Point to accommodate the Dallas Arboretum visitors for the Dale Chihuly exhibition has taken another step. . . but in the right direction.

Just received the following from Arboretum CEO/President Mary Brinegar:

“On Tuesday, May 8, the leadership of the Dallas Arboretum asked Paul Dyer, Dallas Park and Recreation Department director; Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board president; Councilman Sheffield Kadane, City Council District 9; and Gerry Worrall, District 9 Park Board not to proceed with current plans to mow the previously approved area at Winfrey Point.  

“Over the past couple of weeks, the Arboretum has heard the opinions of its friends and neighbors and recognizes any plans to temporarily park at Winfrey Point have resulted in serious misunderstandings that need to be addressed. We are committed to being a good neighbor and steward to the citizens of East Dallas, the metroplex and all of North Texas.

“We are looking forward to working with city officials and neighborhood associations in the immediate future to develop a plan that best serves the interest of all parties involved. It is our pledge to endeavor to make such planning transparent.

“Thank you for your patience while we work to find a solution to the City’s and our parking needs.”

Now, let’s get on with life and enjoying the beauty of White Rock, both inside and outside the Arboretum.

Tonight’s Event Planners Are Breathing A Sigh Of Relieft

Game 6 of the World Series has been canceled due to inclement weather in St. Louis. So, no need for flatscreens at events tonight. 

Alas, tomorrow night is possibly going to be another story. TV’s may be in high demand.

The Women’s Museum Is Closing

Christina Rosales at The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Women’s Museum at Fair Park is closing. It will remain open through the State Fair and until October 31, but then no more.

While it is always sad to see an effort for education and progress end, it may also be a sign that society is veering away from he-said, she-said way of thinking ala Shana AlexanderJames Kirkpatrick. Perhaps it is the fact that people have moved on to greater levels of equality and understanding.

When it opened 11 years ago, Cathy Bonner, who had been a part of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards‘s posse, was a driving force. She is now president of Service King Collision Repair Centers.

Let’s salute the people who had a noble cause and created the Women’s Museum.

Just In: Bernadette Is Out And Kristin Is In At The Nasher

Let’s get the not-so-good news over with. Broadway babe Bernadette Peters had to cancel her chat at the NasherSalon Series due to her starring role in the revival of “Follies” on the Big White Way.

Now that you’re recovering from that disappointment, gear up. Itty-bitty-cutie-pie Kristin Chenoweth has been scheduled for a November 15th salon at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Oklahoma native is simply amazing. Whether it is television (“Pushing Daisies,” “American Idol,” “The West Wing”) or the stage (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Wicked,” “Promises, Promises”), she’s absolutely steals every scene in which she appears.

And, she also proves you can’t judge a talent by its size. Kristin is about as big as Tinkerbell (4’11”) and has a voice that has a range that knows no limits.

Since the seating at the salon will be limited to 200, you’ll want to sign up for Nasher membership. Why? Because members get first dibs on tickets, of course. Don’t bother calling about the tickets yet. They won’t even be available until Tuesday, October 4.

Oh, and did we mention that Kristin is starring in a new television show for ABC? Something called “Good Christian Belles.”

Speaking of GCB, word is coming down the pipeline that executive producer Darren Star is no longer on set of the series. Seems that the fictional female characters of the dramedy weren’t the only ones having friendship problems.