Due To Demand, MySweetWishList Series Is Doubling Up This Week

MySweetCharity

With Christmas and the end of year getting near, the MySweetWishList series is going to double up this week.

If you’ve blown off reading some of these wishes, you’ve missed out on some incredible programs and organizations. Some of them have been so hard at work that they’ve never had time or a hope for a wish to come true.

So, take a break from shopping, wrapping gifts and cooking up feast and perhaps you’ll be able to play Santa Claus for a stranger. Chances are you won’t get your name on a building or even a thank-you note, but you will be able to see a wonderful person in the mirror.

We apologize if this doubling up is an inconvenience and hope that you will understand.

A Gentle Reminder: 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon Weekend Will Have Runners On Area Roads Both Saturday And Sunday

BMW Dallas Marathon*

Back in 1971 the very first Dallas White Rock Marathon was held on March 6. Over the years the name and date changed. In 2012 “White Rock” disappeared from the name and it became Dallas Marathon. Over the years some things stayed the same like Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children being the beneficiary and thousands of participants including world-class runners.

2017 Coors Light 5K and 10K*

This weekend the annual runathon has been expanded. For starters, it’s going to be a two-day run including

If you’re not planning on being part of those running or volunteering, you might want to check the road closures that will be in place. They range from Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge through downtown Dallas on Saturday to Sunday mega-run starting at City Hall and heading around White Rock via Turtle Creek and back to City Hall.

* Graphics courtesy of BMW Dallas Marathon

National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Guests May Want To Rethink Their Route Friday

Those planning to attend the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Friday might want consider taking a different route to the event or getting an earlier start. Why? Because despite Veteran’s Day officially being on Saturday, the Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade honoring vets starts at 11 with streets in the area being blocked off just as guests arrive for the luncheon.

2017 Dallas Veterans Day Parade Route*

On the other hand, if you don’t have plans, why not check out the parade honoring the men and women, who have served this country?

*Graphic courtesy of Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade

Due To Bernadette Peter’s Signing Up For NYC’s “Hello, Dolly!,” Brian Stokes Mitchell And Sutton Foster Are On Their Musical Way To Save The Days

The busiest person in the entertainment business is songbird Bernadette Peter’s agent. In New York, s/he is celebrating Bernadette’s taking over Broadway in “Hello, Dolly!” in January. In North Texas, it’s another story. S/he is breaking hearts.

Seems that the signing of Bernadette for the iconic role meant she had to cancel her appearances locally. As a result, there have been a lot of calls made for replacements.

Due to rehearsals, Bernadette won’t even be able to headline the Dallas Summer Musical Gala on Saturday, November 4. Yipes! That’s less than three weeks away. But Co-Chairs Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld have signed up Tony Award-winning Brian Stokes Mitchell for the fundraiser at Fair Park’s Music Hall with a special performance by Katharine McPhee.   

Brian Stokes Mitchell*

Sutton Foster**

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra had planned on Bernadette for their April 6-8 concerts. They’ve just announced that they arranged for another Tony Award winner to appear — singer/dancer/actress Sutton Foster.

While Bernadette’s absence is a heartbreaker for her fans, it’s the opportunity to see and hear talents that have also made their Tony mark in the Big Apple. Who knows? They just might mend those broken hearts.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals 
** Photo courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra

 

Former Barrister Nick Even Named WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager

Change takes place quickly. No sooner had WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager Greg Patterson announced his departure than the board announced his replacement. It will be blonde, legal eagle Nick Even, who proclaimed his love of the arts when he resigned from the law profession to pursue his arts passion after 30 years.

Nick Even (File photo)

According to Nick, “I am thrilled to share that as of October 1, 2017, I will begin serving as Managing Director of WaterTower Theatre. For my friends outside the Metroplex, WTT is a leading professional theatre company here in North Texas and – as fate would have it – served as my entry into arts non-profit boards after moving from New York. Eventually, I served as Board President in 2008. The theater has developed substantially since then, both financially and artistically, and I could not be more excited to help lead it in its next era of growth.

“I will be joining WTT’s recently named Artistic Director Joanie Schultz. Joanie came to WTT at the first of the year from Chicago, where she was Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater and a freelance director at both the Goodman and Steppenwolf, among numerous other theaters. Joanie has already been cited for Outstanding Direction by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum for her WTT directorial debut: ‘Hit the Wall.’

“WTT’s new season will open officially on Monday, October 16 with the regional premiere of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ adapted from the Jane Austen novel by Kate Hamill, so I will be wasting no time in getting up to speed. 

“Other season programming includes The Great Distance Home (world premiere) by Kelsey Leigh Ervi; Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue (regional premiere) by Quiara Alegría Hudes; Bread (world premiere) by Regina Taylor; Jason Robert Brown‘s musical “The Last Five Years; and Hand to God” (regional premiere) by Robert Askins. The season will also include “Detour,” a four-day festival of new work in March 2018. It’s a diverse and exciting season, to be sure. If you’d like to read more, you can visit: https://watertowertheatre.org/coming-soon.”

Sounds like Nick is already settling into his new role as things are shaking up north of LBJ.

Crayton Webb Heads Into “Sunwest” Thanks To A “Stern” Buyout

Folks have been wondering whatever happened to fundraising Crayton Webb, since his departure last month from Mary Kay Inc. Had he left his wife, Nikki Webb, and their four kids to join the Foreign Legion? Had he been whisked away by space aliens? Had he become a recluse living in The Joule?

Crayton Webb (File photo)

Andy Stern (File photo)

None of the above. He was in the final negotiations to “buy” Andy Stern’s 35-year-old Sunwest Communications. And now the deal is done.

Crayton admitted that the timing was perfect for him and he was flattered that Andy would entrust him with his company.

Crayton reported, “Thanks to Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications is highly respected in the reputation business, boasting an impressive list of clients and an amazing team of public relations professionals. I look forward to the privilege of building upon 35 years of outstanding public relations counsel, communications and senior-level service by standing on the shoulders of a giant in the industry like Andy.”

As for Andy, he’s really not going anywhere. He’s just moving down the hallway. As Senior Counsel, he’ll still be a part of the public relations firm whose clients include Exxon Mobil, CBRE, the Catholic Foundation, Rosewood Property Company, KDC, Victory Park and XTO.

The reason for Andy’s “selling” the firm was not a spur of the moment decision. He applied the same strategy to his plan that he has for his clients. Looking at the future of his staff and company, he didn’t want to sell to a mega public relations operation. But he did want Sunwest to move ahead providing strategic communication services. In considering in whom to entrust Sunwest, he recognized that he and Crayton shared common values, both personally and professionally.

According to Andy, “After 35 years, I had to be sure Sunwest Communications was left in the good, capable hands of an expert communicator and leader. Sunwest is a family business and that feeling of family extends to our team and clients. I’m confident in Crayton’s ingenuity and leadership to take Sunwest Communications to elevated levels of success, as well as his integrity and wisdom to carry on the company culture that has defined us.” 

Both men have worked in the political sector (Andy as Staff Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Crayton as chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller) and in the media (Andy as a print reporter and Crayton at KTVT), and both have heavy ties and leadership positions in various community and nonprofit organizations.

Andy has held leadership roles in AMN Healthcare Services, Medical City Dallas Hospital, the Texas Healthcare Trustees, the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Public Relations Society of America, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sixth Floor Museum, North Dallas Chamber and Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf. 

On the other hand, Crayton has been involved with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Arbor Day Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber, SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Leadership Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs.

When asked if Crayton’s new responsibilities as a CEO would curtail his involvement in the nonprofit sector, he was surprised that the question was even aired. With his young family and his new staff, he is even more dedicated to supporting the programs and organizations that build the North Texas community.

Dallas Zoo’s Cat Row Is No Mo With Its Closure And Residents Being Rehomed

There’s an old wives’ tale that bad news is revealed on Friday afternoons. Not is always the case. This afternoon Dallas Zoo’s Lydia Jennings apologized for the late release of the news that the Cat Row in Zoo North would be closing with the residents (ocelots, mountain lions and bobcats) headed to other digs.

Dallas Zoo*

It seems that the “current exhibit — Cat Row in Zoo North — does not adequately reflect the updated, naturalist habitats the zoo strives to provide for animals.”

According to Dallas Zoo VP of Animal Operations and Welfare Harrison Edell, “As one of the nation’s top zoos, we pride ourselves on continuously evolving and building bigger and better habitats for our animals. Cat Row doesn’t reflect Dallas Zoo’s progressive philosophy of care. There’s no doubt our cats are well cared for, and live enriched lives here – their home just doesn’t represent our growth and vision, and it’s time for change.

“Moving these amazing cats wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s what’s best for them. We’re confident they’ll live safe, healthy lives in their new homes. We want nothing more than for our guests to fall in love with wildlife in the right setting, and to support us as we find ways to create a better world for animals.”

The good news is that plans call for bobcat Rufus to leave on Tuesday, September 26, for the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona; for ocelots Joaquin and Milagre to call New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo home; and for mountain lion fellas Apollo and Lakai to go to Bridgeport’s Center for Animal Research and Education.

In its place the plan is to “use Cat Row as a much-needed extension to its outdoor event space” lie Halloween Nights and Dallas Zoo Lights.

Official going-away-festivities will take place on Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October, 1.

Wasn’t it earlier this month that the Zoo announced the departure of the Australian critters due to construction along I-35E? Such is progress.

Greg Patterson Takes A Final Bow As WaterTower Theatre Managing Director This Month

Change continues at WaterTower Theatre. It was just a year ago that the Addison-based Theatre’s Artistic Director Terry Martin left and a search commenced for a replacement. That search resulted in bringing on board Joanie Schultz, who made headlines with her first local production — “Hit The Wall.”

Greg Patterson and Joanie Schultz (File photo)

Now word arrives that Managing Director Greg Patterson will be leaving the company at the end of the month, when his contract ends.

According to Greg, “I’ve so enjoyed my nearly 10 years here at WaterTower Theatre. My tenure at WaterTower Theatre has been the happiest time for me professionally. Over a year ago, when WTT was embarking on the search for a new Artistic Director, I committed myself to ensuring the transition from Terry Martin to Joanie Schultz would be as smooth and easy as possible, and to play a role in setting the Company on the right path going forward. I always knew that after that transition was completed, it would be time for me to look for new and exciting life adventures, and that time is now. I love WaterTower Theatre and all the donors, board, and staff who have made this Company so successful during my 9+ years of service. WTT has an exciting, bright future with Joanie at the helm and I couldn’t feel more pride and confidence in this great Company than I do at this point.”

In the meantime, “WaterTower Theatre’s Board of Directors has established a transition team comprised of the Executive Committee and Artistic Director Joanie Schultz to manage the theater’s operations until a new Managing Director is named.”

Neiman’s Malcolm Reuben’s Retirement To California Will Result In Losing Energizer Bunny Rabbit Volunteer Vinnie Reuben

Dallas Morning News’ Maria Halkias reported that Neiman Marcus NorthPark GM/VP Malcolm Reuben announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of the year and heading to California to be closer to the grandkids.

Vinnie and Malcolm Reuben (File photo)

Surprised? No. It’s been in the works for a while. The loss? A double knockout. Besides the loss of a stellar retail executive, North Texas will be losing Malcolm’s fundraising wife, Vinnie Reuben.

No, she hasn’t chaired one of the hoop-la events. Rather, Vinnie has earned the reputation of being the behind-the-scenes “Energizer Bunny Rabbit.” She has taken on the art of handling reservations like Jaap van Zweden’s conducting an orchestra.

North Texas’ reputation for philanthropy has been built on the hard work and juggling of arrangements by people like Vinnie. California’s gain will be North Texas’ loss. The non-profits were lucky to have her as along at they did. Now, Vinnie’s and Malcolm’s grandkids will be the beneficiaries of her presence.

Change Of Plans: MySweetCharity Will Continue One More Day Due To Overwhelming Response

MySweetCharity

Evidently the MySweetCharity Opportunity series has grown in popularity. This year’s crop of opportunities was nearly double the number of posts submitted last years.

While the series was originally scheduled to end today (aka the last day of August), it has been extended to Friday, September 1. A big thanks goes to all those who contributed to the series and “the friends,” who sponsored the series. These are the people and organizations that make North Texas the land of opportunity.   

If you missed the opportunity to share an opportunity, start thinking about the next series — MySweetWishList. It will run from the Monday after Thanksgiving until the end of 2017.

Change Of Plans: MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Is Going Into Overdrive

MySweetCharity

Whoa! With all the MySweetCharity Opportunities being submitted for the annual series, the upcoming months are gonna be gangbusters. Already this year’s crop of opportunities has surpassed last year’s number, thanks to North Texas nonprofits taking full advantage of the series.

Since it will conclude on Thursday, August 31, the series is ramping up the posts to share with you the programs that provide some pretty amazing opportunities.

BTW, the MSC elves are putting in for overtime because the MSC Calendar emailbox is busting with new submissions. Keep ’em coming in. Here’s a link to the submission form.

Remember, busy elves are happy elves.

JUST IN: Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron Has Retired

Jeff Byron (File photo)

Gee, whiz! Talk about starting the week with more boo-hoo news. It seems that Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron’s last day was Thursday.

After being in the luxury retailing industry for nearly 40 years, the mustachioed baby boomer decided to retire. Despite reach-outs for confirmation that he’s burned his Brioni suits and Zegna ties and headed to some Caribbean island, he is staying put in  North Texas.

During his four years at the downtown store, he “enjoyed the privilege of working with so many great people both at Neiman’s and within the community,” and admitted that he “will miss interacting with all on a regular basis.”

Regarding his involvement with the area’s non-profits, Jeff revealed that his three-year term on the Equest board had ended, but he still plans to continue volunteering for various North Texas charities…that is, when he’s not enjoying the landscape at his lake house.

Hopefully, Jeff’s replacement will be on hand for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon hoop-la with cutie pie Zac Posen’s fashion brightening up the runway on Friday, September 15, at the flagship store.

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.”

Update: Daisy Mae Has Less Legs To Stand On, But More Love To Support Her

It’s amazing that Daisy Mae, the white Labrador pup, managed to pull herself out of the gangbuster collision on Tuesday, July 11, and survived in a nearby ravine for days without water and comfort. Thanks to Mutts and Mayhem, she was found, rescued and taken to a vet.

Posted by Mutts & Mayhem Animal Rescue on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

But after checking with canine orthopedic specialists and her loving owner Erica Cruz, Daisy’s back left leg had to amputated due to the devastation.

She is now on pain killers, recovering and looking forward to a reunion with her family.

Nigel

According to four-year-old Nigel (a three-legged Pyrenees/poodle), “We tripods really get along quite well. Why there are even websites dedicated to our  ‘tripawd’ situation. In some way we feel so sorry for you humans with only two legs. Daisy is young and has a loving family. In no time she’ll quickly adapt to her new way of getting around.

“By the way, can you fix me up on a date with Daisy when she’s up and about?”

While Daisy and Erica are still recovering from the shock of the accident and their physical damage, their being together will help the mending.

But there’s still the funding for Daisy’s medical treatment.  Mutts and Mayhem is still trying to help ease the financial challenges that Daisy’s facing. It’s simple. Just go to this page and right under the amount of donation, click “Animal(s) you would like to sponsor.” That’s where you write “Daisy Mae.”

If you can help show your appreciation with ca-ching, wonderful. If the money just ain’t available, just send good thoughts.

* Video courtesy of Mutts and Mayhem

The Wilkinson Center Is Dealing With The Loss Of Volunteer Vickie Thompson And The Need For The Can Do! Lunch To Change

Vickie Thompson (File photo)

The Wilkinson Center’s Anne Reeder admitted that the past week has been tough. Longtime Wilkinson volunteer and “Lakewood Mom” Vickie Thompson suddenly died of a heart attack following the Lakewood 4th of July parade. It was just a year or so ago that Vickie had been named Wilkinson’s volunteer of the year. Whether it was pitching in to help the community or rallying others to the need of an individual, she exemplified the very word “volunteer.”

For those who knew Vickie, it’s hard to imagine the Lakewood neighborhood and the Center being without the blonde powerhouse leading the charge.

Anne had hardly adjusted to that news when she learned that the Sixth Annual Can Do! Luncheon was going to have to change. No, not the event itself, but rather the traditional date and possibly the location. Since its inception, the fundraising luncheon spotlighting entrepreneurship had been held at the Dallas County Club on the second Tuesday of May.

But it seems the Club had recently notified event planners and members that a new policy limited events with more than 100 guests to Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

What’s a girl to do?

Luckily, Anne had already arranged for fundraising force-of-nature Emilynn Wilson to chair the 2018 luncheon. It was Emilynn who hauled in a whopping $283,435 for the Callier Cares Luncheon this past April at the DCC.

Comparing notes the ladies bit the bullet and booked Monday, May 7, at the DCC.

So, white out May 8 and ink in the new date for the 2018 Can Do! Luncheon. This one is going to be tough without Vickie, but one can’t help but suspect that her spirit will fill the room.

Baylor Scott And White Health CEO/President Jim Hinton To Remain CEO, But Adds Pete McCanna As System’s President

Baylor Scott and White Health CEO/President Jim Hinton is not your everyday leader. Having taken over his new role in January as head of the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas, he’s been very busy looking to the future growth of the organization. Evidently, he decided that an adjustment was needed moving forward.  And that adjustment was in his role. While he’ll remain CEO, Jim has tapped Northwestern Memorial Healthcare Executive VP/COO Pete McCanna to be president of Baylor Scott and White.

Jim Hinton (File photo)

Peter McCanna*

According to Jim, “This new office will further expand the capabilities of our already talented leadership team, helping us more rapidly evolve. We are committed to extending Baylor Scott and White’s long history of success by transforming into a nationally recognized, high-value integrated delivery network; and to transform, we must drive costs down, while making the right investments in key areas.

“Pete is a highly respected senior executive with a track record of helping to grow organizations, create and implement successful, long-range strategic plans and lead financial turnarounds. He is one of the best and brightest in health care.”

These two are no strangers. They have a track record when Jim was CEO at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico and Pete was CFO.

Pete and his family are in the process of moving from Chicago to Dallas, so he can assume his new role in September. BTW, Pete already knows how to speak Texan. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Texas and is married to a native Texan.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Lexus TACA Party On The Green

Tia Wynne, Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhardt

Katherine Wynne

Michael and Amy Meadows and Charmaine and George Tang

In celebrating its 50 years of supporting the performing arts, TACA has been undergoing some changes like expanding its fundraising efforts to include the visual arts. Another big change was its annual Lexus TACA Party On The Green that for ages has taken place at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Lisa Garza-Selcer

John Tesar

Janice Provost

Nicolas Blouin

But on Friday, May 12, the whole kit and caboodle was relocated to Sammons Park in the Arts District. Made perfect sense and resulted in success, with loads of the pretty peeps grazing from food station to food station and dancers, singers, actors and musicians performing throughout the night.

Dancers

While the post is being written, the photos are ready for you to check out at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery now!

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert To Exit The Popcorn World

Sarah and Lee Papert (File photo)

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert is leaving the dark theaters of the film world and looking to a brighter future. As soon as the official word on his departure is received, it will be posted.

In talking with Lee, he admitted that six years ago he started a whole new world, both personally and professionally. Just the week before being named to head up the DFS, he married Sarah Papert, who is executive director of the Vickery Meadows Learning Center.

Lee will still be at DFS through June. After that, he’ll probably have to go through popcorn-withdrawal treatments.

Not Even A Rainy-Day Delay Could Put The Whoa For The Equesters Galloping Ahead From Their “Field Of Dreams” Gala

One thing is for sure. Those horse-loving Equest folks are flexible. When radar showed threatening weather storming into North Texas for Saturday, April 29th’s Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park, cool minds ruled, coordinated with vendors, sponsors, guests and the ponies and moved the whole kit-and-kaboodle to the next day. Here’s a report from the “field of dreams:”

Kelly Howard, Blair Dwyer and Elizabeth Schwartz*

Ray Johnston*

The Equest Gala, themed “A Field of Dreams,” was truly an inspirational evening of hope, determination and joy. With Saturday’s forecast of severe storms, a difficult decision was made to reschedule the gala to Sunday, and the Equest team, Gala committee, and event planner Katy Sky Group produced the unthinkable: a beautiful fundraising gala for 450 guests complete with all the bells and whistles. The 36th annual Equest Gala was another example of Equest’s can-do spirit.

Jocelyn White and Jody Dean*

Finely dressed in their equestrian best, guests perused the magnificently decorated Equest barns and arena at Texas Horse Park. Ray Johnston performed an acoustic set during the reception – providing the perfect soundtrack to the blue skies and cool temperature. Sipping on signature “Field of Dreams” margaritas and sampling the Bourbon and Biscuits Bar, guests cozied up with the lipstick-wearing Equest Mini-Ambassadors Cisco and Dare at the Mini Kissing Booth. Just as festive was the Tequila with Taco station where delighted guests enjoyed Milagro tequila and a photo with Equest’s famous donkey, Taco.  One of the best parts of the night was seeing the proud smiles worn by the Equest riders during Horse and Rider demonstrations.

Andy Steingasser*

Guests enjoyed a family-style southern gourmet dinner from Farm to Market Catering, while Emcees Jocelyn White of Designing Texas and Jody Dean of KLUV 98.7 FM introduced Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, and Equest Gala Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder, among others.

Kathy Fielder, Bella Fielder and Jeromy Fielder*

Cary Pierce*

A compelling video touched charitable hearts before the start of the live auction. Over $50,000 was raised during the fund-a-mission and five Equest therapy horses were sponsored by generous donors. Other guests bid on stellar live auction items including a four-night vacation in Breckenridge, a Napa Valley Getaway, a live painting by Dace Lucia Kidd, and a Belize Dream at the Las Terrazas Resort. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items, and purchase a key for $100 that the lucky winner could use to unlock a $2,500 Neiman Marcus gift card.

An equestrian chic gala – especially one located in a barn – would not be considered a success without two-stepping. Dancers from Arthur Murray Dance Studio opened the dance floor, quickly followed by guests’ cowboy boots shuffling to the musical lead of Cary Pierce, and surprise musical guests Crystal Yates and Jon Christopher Davis.

Phyllis Comu and Susan Schwartz*

Darin and Margot Ruebel*

Additional attendees included: Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz, Bill and Lezlie Noble, Monique and Reed Williams, Margot and Darin Ruebel, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Phyllis Glazer, Bridget and Tom Black, Jessica and Michael Barnett, Ricky Callahan and Jennie Healy, Connie Sigel, Mimi and Rich Sterling, Patrick and Kristy Sands, Carolyn and Romy Anderson, and Alanna Smith of WFAA Good Morning Texas, among others.

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza

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

The Stewpot Alliance Crowd Gathers At Margie And Ray Francis’ Home For Soup’s On! Check Presentation And To Hear About 2018 Lunch Move

Margie and Ray Francis*

On Thursday, April 27, Soup’s On! Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Margie and Ray Francis opened their home for guests like Hank and Barbara Schlachter, Stewpot Alliance board members Zac Evans and Kristine Schwope, Susan and Rob Dillard, Eric and Carla Moore and Carol Adams to hear about the past Stewpot Alliance fundraiser and the upcoming one.

Hank and Barbara Schlachter, Zac Evans and Susan and Rob Dillard*

It was such a perfect evening that folks enjoyed the terrace overlooking Turtle Creek.

Carla and Eric Moore and Carol Adams*

First on the agenda was the presentation of the check by Alliance President Julie Marshall and 2017 Luncheon Chair Heather Sauber to Stewpot Alliance Executive Director Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan in the amount of $230,000!

It was then time to reveal plans for next year’s luncheon. The 2018 co-chairs will be Mary and Mike Terry Family Foundation Executive Director Allison Salas and US Trust Philanthropic Relationship Manager Kelly Donohue.  

Kelly Donohue and Allison Salas*

The ladies announced that the fundraiser is shifting direction in locations for the Soup’s On! tenth anniversary. It will be held at The Statler on Monday, January 29.

Both gals have another special event in their future. They’re planning September weddings. Allison is marrying Christopher Fasy and Kelly is getting hitched to Grant Garlock.

In the meantime, why not check out Brad Oldham‘s and Christy Coltrin‘s Sculpture Wall at The Stewpot’s Encore Park. It’s free for the viewing.

* Photo credit: John 
Strange

JUST IN: Annual Downtown Holiday Parade Is Looking For A New Host

UPDATE: The Adolphus Hotel that was one of the original sponsors of the mega-holiday festivities has signed up for the 2017 parade. Don’t you just know that Santa will have plush digs the night before.

The annual parade that marches through downtown Dallas in early December has had some “adjustments.” In recent year’s Children’s Health has hosted the parade. Out of the past five years, it’s had to be canceled twice (2013 and 2016) due to inclement weather. Describing it as “inclement” is like saying the summer is North Texas is warmish.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade (File photo)

It was just announced that Children’s Health would not be the official host of the event. According to Children’s Health spokesperson Scott Summerall, “After hosting the parade for nearly three decades, we have decided to move forward with other new and meaningful ways to bring cheer to families in our community this holiday season. We are considering ways to celebrate and honor the parade’s history in its 30th year, but are still ironing out details of a potential event. We will continue hosting the other treasured holiday events across our system, including the annual Holiday Tree Lighting at our Dallas and Plano campuses, Breakfast with Santa with the Women’s Auxiliary, and our Holiday Patient Party for families in the hospital. These events are beloved by our patients, families and team members, and are an important component of fulfilling our mission to make life better for children.”

But don’t go thinking that the parade is a goner. According to a report on WFAA at noon, THE Dance Director Jeffrey Giles and former Parade Director Cassie Collins “have filed a permit with the City of Dallas to host the parade, and will be reaching out to sponsors soon.”

BTW, over the years the parade has had such corporations as Southwest Airlines, Neiman Marcus and the Adolphus Hotel provide major support.

George Washington Will Be Subbing In For “Hamilton’s” Sister-In-Law At Attorneys Serving The Community Luncheon

There was a chance of kicking off the three-day Memorial Day weekend with some disappointing news. However, it turned out to be good news.

Let’s get the bad stuff over with first: The Attorneys Serving the Community Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, June 23, was to have Renée Elise Goldsberry, who played Alexander Hamilton’s sis-in-law from “Hamilton.” Yup, you read it — “was.”

According to Luncheon Co-Chair Kara Altenbaumer-Price, “We learned yesterday that an unavoidable scheduling conflict had arisen for Ms. Goldsberry and she is no longer able to serve as the 2017 ASC Luncheon Speaker.”

Well, double darn it. But, wait! Here comes the good news.

Christopher Jackson*

Kara reports, “While a change at this late date is not what we would have wished for, we are excited to announce that Christopher Jackson, who originated the role of George Washington in the Broadway production of ‘Hamilton,’ has graciously agreed to step into the role of luncheon speaker on short notice. Mr. Jackson was awarded a Grammy and nominated for a Tony for his role in ‘Hamilton.’  He won a Drama Desk Award for his role in ‘Hamilton’-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s last show, In ‘The Heights,’ as Benny.”

How did they manage to land Christopher? Luncheon Co-Chair Beth Bedell reported, “Rather than simply cancelling when it became clear that her current project would not wrap on time, Renée took responsibility and personally secured Christopher as her replacement.”

In addition to appearing in “The Lion King,” “Memphis,” “After Midnight” and “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” Christopher has also been seen on “The Good Wife,” “Bull” and “Oz,” as well as being “nominated for three Emmy Awards for composing music and lyrics for television and winning the ‘Outstanding Original Song’ Emmy Award in 2011 for his lyrics to ‘What I Am,’ which he co-wrote for ‘Sesame Street’ with Bill Sherman.”

So, keep Friday, June 23, inked in, because instead of a sister, a father of this country is going to be speaking to benefit the Junior Players.

* Photo provided by Attorneys Serving the Community

WFAA’s Sonia Azad To Fill In At yCPD Field Day For KDFW’s Jen Myers

Well, darn it! KDFW‘s Jen Myers isn’t gonna be handling the emcee duties at Saturday’s yCPD Field Day. Ah, shoot! She’s always so much fun. But the red, curled meteorologist has a note from her doctor ’splaining why. Her planned cataract surgery was moved up a week. So, she’s definitely good for the excuse.

Jennifer Myers (File photo)

Jenny Anchondo (File photo)

Normally, Jen would have her besty morning pal/KDFW anchor Jenny Anchondo fill in for her. Not so. She has a doctor’s excuse, too. Jenny is due to deliver her first-ever munchkin any day now.

Booty Shaking (File photo)

Not to worry. The Community Partners of Dallas crew has gone across the channels and will have WFAA medical reporter Sonia Azad doing the play-by-play at The Rustic. Hope someone has warned her that the event is a combination of the Olympics and the pie fight in “The Great Race.”

Doesn’t matter. It’s more fun than having Six Flags all to your own and still helps the kids in need through CPD. Festivities start at 2 p.m. and, if you can’t pull a team together, why not just show up and watch the fun!