North Texas Food Bank Makes Changes In Its Annual Food Raising Event With Cowboys And Chefs

Change is in the air. The North Texas Food Bank has made changes for its fundraising “Taste of the NFL.” First, the name has readjusted. It’s now known as “Taste of the Cowboys.” And they don’t mean rodeo types.

Taste Of The Cowboys*

Second, the location has been moved from AT&T Stadium (the home turf for the Dallas Cowboys) to The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco (aka the new home base for the Dallas Cowboys).  

But what stays the same is the involvement of past and present Dallas Cowboys, entertainment (Reckless Kelly) and top-area restaurants and chefs participating Shinsei, The Capital Grill Plano, Seasons 52, Asador, Lockhart Smokehouse, Texas de Brazil, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Bistro 31, Kent Rathbun, Taverna, Toulouse, The Common Table, Perry’s Steakhouse And Grille, Cane Rosso, Howard Wang’s China Grill, il Calabrese Ristorante And Bar, Yucatan Taco Stand, Mayfield Ice Cream, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen And Bar, Legends Hospitality, Cowboys Club, Off the Bone Barbeque, Frosted Art, Omni Frisco Hotel/Neighborhood Services, Rye. Craft Food And Drink, La Duni and Mi Cocina.

Reckless Kelly*

The shindig takes place on Sunday, May 7, with the Main Event taking place from 6 to  10 p.m. For a few bucks more, the VIP Event (5 to 6 p.m.) is available.  Tickets are online now!

Presented by Caliber Collision, all proceeds from the tasty event will benefit NTFB’s child programs.

* Graphic and photo provided by North Texas Food Bank

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Moms Celebrated The Gala’s French Flair At Chanel Dallas Boutique With Sips And Lipsticks

Making the rounds Thursday, February 23, was a killer. As awards were being handed out by Rainbow Days at the Bush Center, it was a scamper to Highland Park Village’s Chanel, where Chanel Dallas Boutique Director Pilar Bleakley hosted a reception for the mothers of the 2017 La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas duchess and escorts.

Nancy Monning, Pilar Bleakley and Rebecca Gregory

Can you say, “Blow out!”? La Fiesta Co-Chair Nancy Monning admitted that it was a true honor to have had Chanel hold the event that was being chaired by last year’s La Fiesta Co-Chairs Eloise Meachum and Missy Rothwell. And evidently all the moms agreed with their presence.

Missy Rothwell, Maria Constantine and Eloise Meachum

But the 80 or so ladies didn’t just succumb to being honored, they just loved the video with designer Karl Lagerfeld, the timeless Chanel designs, getting to know each other and shopping. Of course, the hottest item was lipstick, with Nancy laughing that “we’ll have La Fiesta Lips by Chanel.”

As for the refreshments, they were donated by Two Sisters Catering’s Connie Chantilis, who just so happens to be the sister of Rosanne Beck, who creates the custom La Fiesta invitations.

This year’s theme for the Saturday, June 10th fundraiser will be French, in honor of the French connection with Texas. So having the moms’ reception at the French couture Chanel boutique was a natural.

But Nancy and her La Fiesta Co-Chair Rebecca Gregory have proved their flexibility on another event. It seems that the La Fiesta “Tips and Tidbits” was scheduled on Wednesday, May 10. Oops! After it was announced that the New Friends New Life Luncheon with Ashton Kutcher would be taking place at the same time, Nancy and her La Fiesta Co-Chair simply “moved our event until 1:00 the same day, so we can attend both.”

Another change of plans was the location of the presentation gala itself. Despite being originally scheduled to hold the fundraiser gala at the Anatole, the hotel had to pull back due to a pharmaceutical convention. No problem. A couple of phone calls by Nancy, Rebecca and Presentation Gala Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Michelle Johnson resulted in the gala returning to French-owned Fairmont Hotel. Ooh-la-la.

News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos May Be Leaving WFAA And News 8 Daybreak But Not The Nonprofits

Alexa Conomos (File photo)

For those nonprofits who worried their botoxed brows about word that WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos was leaving WFAA’s morning show, take a chill pill.

It was 16 or so years ago that Alexa’s journey from California brought her to North Texas and TXCN. Then, as TXCN went bye-bye in 2002, Alexa transitioned to co-anchoring with Ron Corning to wake folks up from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Over the years, Alexa personally went from adorable single girl to glowing married lady to multi-tasking mama of three. In recent months, Alexa realized that her priorities needed a revisit and that making breakfast for her kidlets and having date nights with her hubby Bradley trumped all.

Luckily knowing Alexa, her support of the North Texas nonprofit world will continue beyond her days at the conclusion of her contract with WFAA in June.

JUST IN: Equest To Sell Wylie Property, Add Al Hill Jr. Family Arena At Texas Horse Park Facility With Completion Slated For Fall 2017

Equest just revealed a big reduction and expansion of its physical operation. The reduction is the putting up for sale its Wylie property. Despite the “For Sale” sign, it will continue operating from Friday, January 27, thru Saturday, May 13. Handling the sale will be Dave Perry-Miller and Associates’ Andy Steingasser, who is also Equest’s chairman of the board. Just to keep this above board, Andy is donating 100% of his commission to Equest.

Heather Washburne, Al Hill Jr. and Elisa Summers (File photo)

On the other hand, Equest’s expansion will be the addition of a new state-of-the-art arena at its Texas Horse Park facility. Named Al Hill Jr. Family Arena, the new arena will allow the organization to be “a closer step to Equest’s vision to be a model of excellence for worldwide therapeutic riding center. The beautiful energy-efficient clearspan steel covered arena will feature wooden kick boards, a blended equestrian-specific footage, large industrial fans, high-tech audio capabilities, and a platform for announcers and judges. It will increase opportunities for Equest to serve more clients and amplify outreach programming with the Dallas Independent School District, as well as additional audiences and organizations.”

According to Andy, “Al Hill Jr. is a Dallas businessman whom [sic] has had an interest in horses all of his life. Having an involvement using equestrian programs which benefits military veterans and especially handicapped children is a perfect combination of his personal interest. Having a distinguished arena that has multi-use functionality and accessibility will not only impact Equest but also the City of Dallas. We look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks.”

Plans presently call for a March groundbreaking with completion slated for this fall.

TACA Grant Awards Celebration Distributes $1.3M Again, But Opts Not To Reveal Individual Funding For 49 Performing Art Groups

Transparency. That is the sweet spot of all organizations nowadays, especially nonprofits. Whether it’s ‘fessing up the actual net figure or announcing the distribution of dollars to nonprofits, transparency is the key to over-the-top respect.

Perhaps that why it was surprising that, tonight, TACA shifted gears at its annual Grant Awards Celebration at the Wyly. In years past, the organization used the occasion to announce the exact amounts going to the nonprofits and formally present the thrilled representatives with a check, to the applause of an audience full of fellow nonprofits and TACA board members.

This year, though, there were no individual amounts revealed; nor was there a formal presentation. Instead it was announced that TACA had once again provided $1.3M in grants for area performing art programs. The reason for withholding announcement of the amounts, according to a source, was that they did not want “to hurt feelings.”

Ah, shoot! Feelings, schmeelings.

According to organizers, the determination of funding is made by TACA volunteers spending “many hours during the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.”

After being asked about the change of plans, organizers provided the following breakdown of ranges for the 49 organizations:

$5,000-$10,000

  • African-American Repertory Theater
  • Arts District Chorale
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Blue Candlelight Music Series
  • Chamber Music International
  • Chamberlain Ballet
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company
  • Dallas Bach Society
  • Dallas Chamber Music Society
  • Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
  • Echo Theatre
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Plano Civic Chorus
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Teatro Hispano de Dallas
  • Voices of Change

$10,001-$20,000

  • Avant Chamber Ballet
  • Big Thought
  • Bruce Wood Dance Project
  • Cara Mia Theatre
  • Dallas Chamber Symphony
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Plano Symphony Orchestra
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Theatre Three
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • WaterTower Theatre

$20,001-$50,000

  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Dallas Winds
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Junior Players Guild
  • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
  • Lyric Stage
  • Second Thought Theatre
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players

$50,001-$95,000

  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Dallas Theater Center
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • The Dallas Opera
  • TITAS

An additional $200,00 will be distributed via The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundation’s Artist Residency Fund.

Instead of the usual check presentation, the evening included “a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from Magnolia, written by special guest artist Regina Taylor.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Oak Cliff native Regina then told of how the arts had led her into a career of acting and moderated a panel with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Horn David Cooper, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray and Bruce Wood Dance Project Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh.

The evening also marked the kick-off of TACA’ 50th anniversary year with Wanda Gierhart spearheading the plans. With the former Neiman’s exec/Chef Dean Fearing‘s bride-to-be Wanda at the helm, it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping year.

MySweetWishList Series Ramps Up In Hopes Of Local Santas Coming Through

Santa (File photo)

With Christmas just days away, the wishes have been flooding in for the MySweetWishList series. There’s a request for volunteers. There’s one asking for $25 for a new pair of shoes for a child. And there’s another one that hopes for a Christmas tree for a family.

So to try to get the wishes known before Sunday; we’ll be doubling and tripling up on ’em. Why not take the opportunity to check them out. Who knows? You may just find a wish that you can help Santa grant.

JUST IN: The Trinity Trust’s Dr. Gail Thomas To Retire At The End Of The Year

When a mama bird has hatched her eggs and raised her chicks to venture out on their own, she gently kicks them out of the nest to grow and fly on their own.

Gail Thomas (File photo)

Well, for Dallas’ Trinity River Corridor Project, mother hen Dr. Gail Thomas has been leading the effort for 20 years to create the long-envisioned project. During her tenure at The Trinity Trust, more than $105M has been raised, helping create the Dallas CityDesign Studio, the two Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges — Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Margaret McDermott Bridge — as well as the Continental Bridge’s transformation into a pedestrian/bicycle bridge. To accomplish these feats required assembling a stellar group of community leaders to join the effort, hand-holding of philanthropists, negotiating the tight wire of government and politico types and working with a countless variety of organizations.

Back in October it was announced that Annette Simmons had gifted $50M for the Trinity River Park.

Gail’s “chick” is headed to fulfilling her “life-long vision — a central park for Dallas.”

But instead of kicking the chick out of the nest, The Trinity Trust CEO/President Gail is leaving the nest herself at the end of the year.

Deedie Rose (File photo)

It was just announced that she is retiring at the end of December “to focus on the next chapter of her life by completing and publishing her fifth book and spending long weekends at her East Texas home with her large family.”

According to The Trinity Trust Board of Directors Chair Deedie Rose, “When a park is finally realized within the Trinity River basin, it will be due in large measure because of the persistence and careful nurturing by Gail Thomas of a dream held by so many people for decades. Gail believes absolutely in the idea that people from all parts of the city can be connected through nature, through a park, with a river running through it.”

As for the future of The Trinity Trust, it will “move into its next stage, to be guided by a new director and to be renamed the Trinity Park Conservancy.”

For the official press release about the announcement, just follow the jump! [Read more…]

JUST IN: Kenneth Goodgames Named Community Council Of Greater Dallas’ CEO

In its 76-year history, Community Council of Greater Dallas has only had five CEOs. The most recent one was Martha Blaine, who retired this past June after heading up the organization for 22 years.

Just before the year ends, Martha’s successor has been revealed.

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Kenneth Goodgames*

Kenneth Goodgames*

According to Community Council Board President Jennifer Coleman, Kenneth “Ken” Goodgames will take over the role on Monday, December 19.

Formerly serving as president/CEO of Transformance (formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Dallas), Ken has been associated in leadership positions with the American Heart Association and The American Red Cross, as well as “building and managing high-performance teams for Fortune 100 corporations as director, sales and global business development for Microsoft and vice president, Health Care, for NuTex Sciences.”

According to Community Council Board VP Levi Davis, “Ken is energetic and excited about the opportunity to make a significant difference in the Dallas community.  His management experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors will serve him very well at the Community Council.”

Ken admitted that he has already recognized some adjustments will be in the wind for the organization that “improves the health and well-being of people through all life stages”: “To move forward,” he said, “I believe we need to refresh our brand, capitalizing on the organization’s history and accomplishments, yet expanding and innovating to better leverage partnerships with different community sectors.”

* Photo provided by Community Council of Greater Dallas

JUST IN: Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Resigns, Jim Johnston Named Interim President

Methodist Health System’s Stacy Covitz just sent official word that Jim Johnston has been named the Interim President of the Methodist Health System Foundation. He replaces Foundation President/CEO April Box, who resigned last week.

April Box (File photo)

April Box (File photo)

The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s 2016 Annual Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner, an annual event that April launched 11 years ago.

Over her 14 years with Methodist, April’s accomplishments included presiding over “numerous capital campaigns, such as Sammons Tower at Methodist Dallas in 2014, home to the system’s Level I Trauma Center, and the Tower Two Expansion at Methodist Mansfield in 2015, home of the Amon G. Carter Foundation Heart and Vascular Center. Box also created the Robert S. Folsom Award Banquet, which was consistently among the most successful fund-raising events in Dallas, raising more than $15 million for multiple successful programs and projects at Methodist Health System since 2005.”

Jim’s resume lists countless leadership positions in business including “40 years of experience in banking, most recently as vice chairman and board member for Bank of Texas. Prior to that, Johnston was Dallas Regional Chairman of Frost Bank.”

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Among his numerous North Texas nonprofit board associations are “Chairman of the Board for both the Arthritis Foundation of North Texas and Goodwill Industries of Dallas. He actively serves as Chairman of the Board for the Goodwill Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Boy Scouts/Circle Ten Council and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.”

Holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SMU, where he played football, Jim received the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award.

According to Methodist Health System President/CEO Stephen Mansfield, ““All of us associated with Methodist and the Foundation owe April a debt of gratitude for her accomplishments and leadership. I know Jim has the experience and the vision to lead the Foundation to more successes in the future.”

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.

JUST IN: Sale Of Diamond Doctor Will Not Change Store’s Commitments For Area Nonprofits

David Blank (File photo)

David Blank (File photo)

One of the nonprofit gems has been bought. Yup, Diamond Doctor, from this day on, will be known as Diamonds Direct. If proof is needed, the electronic sign out front of the Preston Center jewel box is flashing Diamonds Direct right now!

So, what does this have to do with North Texas fundraising and charities? Former Diamond Doctor proprietor David Blank reports that nonprofits need not worry about the status of the store’s support of their efforts. Things will remain in place, including his commitments. Why, even David is still going to remain in-house adding sparkle to hands, wrists and necklines.

Area Fundraisers Rally To Provide More Shelter And Services For Domestic Abuse Victims

What if someone hollered, “Help!” and no one could respond? Or, if they did, they sadly admitted they couldn’t help? That’s what The Family Place and other shelters have had to admit. “No vacancy!” has been posted, separating those in abusive situations trying to escape.

As of Friday, The Family Place was filled to capacity with 127 clients in the shelter and hotels, of which 83 were children.

Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Jennifer Staubach Gates (File photo)

Jennifer Staubach Gates (File photo)

According to the report presented by Mayor Mike Rawlings and Councilperson Jennifer Staubach Gates Friday morning, the following ugly statistics were revealed:

  • 10,154 women, children and men were turned away in the past year from shelters due to lack of space
  • 29,905 calls were received by the Dallas Police Department that were determined to be related to domestic violence
  • 30 fatalities resulted in the past two years due to domestic violence. Sadly, none of the victims reported concerns about their well-being.

The good side of the report is that victims are rising above their abuse and reaching out for help. The very-not-good-side is that their cry for help cannot be satisfied due to lack of capabilities.

The hopeful news is that major entities like Dallas Women’s Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, Mary Kay and Verizon have come together to defeat the physical violence living in households. But these organizations, as powerful and influential as they are, can’t shoulder the responsibility alone.

To help these people — both men and women — funding is needed from other resources. In addition to The Family Place’s Partners’ Card underway and the Texas Trailblazer Luncheon, there is the upcoming ReuNight.

This mega-must-attend affair was slated to start with cocktails in the shiny, new Forty Five Ten. Then the stellar guests including designer Donna Karan were to mosey over to The Joule’s Terrace for din-din and the lively auction.

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Faisal Halum and Brian Bolke (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

Michael and Shelle Sills (File photo)

That was the plan, but plans do change and this one did a 180-degree turn. Due to the cozy digs at The Terrace and the demands by those on the wait list, Event Co-Chairs Brian Bolke and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills plus Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney arranged to have the dinner/auction moved to the lawn in front of The Eyeball.

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Mary Clare Finney (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

Todd Fiscus (File photo)

Paige Flink (File photo)

Paige Flink (File photo)

So the POA is that cocktails will be served in the brand, spanking new Forty Five Ten. Then guests will stroll next door to The Eye Of Dallas to sup in a tented dining room arranged by event planner extraordinaire Todd Fiscus. In addition to dessert, there will be the live auction. And, baby, this auction is going to have an extremely limited number of to-die-for packages. Stay tuned.

Thanks to the move, folks who were on the waiting list are now on the guest list. So, hustle, hustle because there just may room for you and your fav person.

But let’s get back to where the funds are going. According to The Family Place’s CEO Paige Flink, “This is why we are building a new Central Dallas Counseling Center and additional Emergency Shelter space at Ann Moody Place. You can contribute to the Legacy Campaign and help us build for the future so we don’t have to turn anyone away.

“You can buy a Partners Card now through November 6. The $70 for each card purchase goes directly to The Family Place and provides one night of safety for a woman and her child.”

Hopefully, big funding will take place at ReuNight because there are men, women and children depending upon each penny.

Change Of Plans: The Lowest Greenville Derby Slated For October 29 Is A Victim Of Roadkill

If you were planning on being a part of the first-ever Lowest Greenville Derby on Saturday, October 29, rethink that idea. The Genesis Women’s Shelter fundraising event has been postponed.

According to the website, the change of plans is “due to concerns about construction completion.” By construction, it means the torn-up road and sidewalks that have made lowest Greenville Avenue look like a war zone for ages.

To play it safe, Emily Walsh reports that plans call for the event to be rescheduled for sometime in 2017.

Halloweeners (File photo)

Halloweeners (File photo)

But get over the disappointment. This development means you’ll have more time to pull your Halloween outfit together.

Facing Dallas’ Dante Inferno, The Bridge Announces New Leadership To Help The Homeless And Support The Mayor’s Call For A United Effort

Say the word “homeless” and an array of feelings arise like guilt, apathy, helpless or not-my-problem. And those feelings have been in simmering for decades. For too long, well-intentioned people have driven over the highways oblivious that hundreds of people were living… no make that surviving… there in tents or makeshift shacks. After all, these taxpaying drivers had other concerns like paying bills, getting kids to school or making a meeting. Yeah, the homeless situation was unfortunate, but the thinking was if they wanted to get out, they could roll up their sleeves and get a job and work their way out of it. That’s what “normal” people would do.

But these aren’t your normal” people. They’re people who have fallen into a Dante’s Inferno of despair, drugs, isolation and fear.

For years the situation has only increased because, as one community leader said, “Nobody really cared about them.”

Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Yes, there have been loads of nonprofits that have struggled to help the North Texas homeless. But the situation got to an “out-of-the-closet” dilemma with the recent demolition of the area tent cities. The hope had been that the tent citizens would move from the streets and utilize the organizations and their programs. But that transition has not taken place. There are lots of reasons why — lack of funding, limited services, a lack of cohesiveness among the programs, etc.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is all too aware of the homeless situation. Before becoming mayor, he was known as the Homeless Czar for his efforts to spearhead “The Bridge,” which opened in 2008. Over the weekend The Dallas Morning News reported that Mayor Mike is “calling for the creation of a cross-jurisdictional government agency — ‘like DART’ — that would focus solely on solving Dallas’ homeless crisis.”

Ironically, The Bridge was already ramping up its structure to meet this area-wide problem by announcing “new leadership positions on its board of directors.”

Community leader Lynn McBee, who has served as co-chair of the board, will assume the role as sole chair of The Bridge’s board of directors. She’ll continue in her capacity as CEO of Young Women’s Preparatory Network and as a member of the Dallas Commission on Homelessness.

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

According to Lynn, “I am honored to serve as chair of an organization that is leading the way in providing homeless recovery services to our community’s most impoverished citizens. The growing poverty in Dallas requires us to continue to be innovative in our approach to addressing this important part of our city’s health.”

Other changes will include Dorchester Minerals CEO Casey McManemin serving as the Administrative Committee’s chair; longtime supporter of The Bridge Jennifer Karol continuing as chair of the board’s Development Committee; and attorney Michael Peterson heading up the board’s Governance Committee.

Continuing on The Bridge’s executive staff will be President/CEO Jay Dunn, who has led The Bridge since its inception; COO Sam Merten, the former advisor to Mayor Mike before joining The Bridge staff two years ago; and Chief Development Officer Ashley Harris, who had previously been involved in the fundraising for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

Come Rain Or Shine, Sunday’s “Change Is Good” Is On

If you believe the weather guessers, lower temperatures and wet stuff are coming to the ‘hood this weekend. It will be nice to have the cooler weather. As for the rain, lawns will appreciate it, but event planners like the Plano Balloon Festival, the 6th Annual 5K “One Run” and Flight of the Monarch Festival may be tapping into their back-up plans.

Just heard from Community Partners of DallasJoanna Clarke about the status of Sunday’s 10th annual Change Is Good. Usually the outdoor/indoor kids’ fest turns Brook Hollow Golf Club into a mini-Six Flags Over Texas complete with mammoth bounce houses and bungee jumping.

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Okay, so maybe the bungee jumping won’t be work in the ballroom, but the CPD team has managed to have a bounce house be bopping in the ballroom. In addition, there will be loads of face painting, sugary delights, games, prizes, music by DJ Bill Cody and the Rad Hatter, who will be making super-duper hats. BTW, both Bill and Rad have been part of the fun since it started ten years ago.

Cellphone photo alert: There will a huge “10” in balloons that will be a perfect spot for a photo of the munchkins.

It will be the perfect way to spend a wet afternoon (3 to 6 p.m.) with the kids just before the Cowboys play the Bears at 7:30. And do try to stay until the end because there’s gonna be a surprise.

So typical of CPD, they’re turning a rainy day into a play day. After all a little “change is good.”

Salesmanship Club Of Dallas’ Momentous Institute Opens Availability For Changing The Odds Conference Via Live Streaming

Changing The Odds Conference*

Changing The Odds Conference*

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas’ Momentous Institute is just now announcing that its Changing The Odds Conference — “Compassion: Brain Changer” — that will be held Thursday, October 6 (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and Friday, October 7 (9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.), at the Omni Dallas was sold out last April.

Whoa! That was five months ago. So, why the delayed announcement?

According to organizers, “We have been sold out since April and have had a growing waiting list. We did not announce the sellout back in April since we were exploring options for how to give more people access to the conference. Now that option has arrived.”

The option is the live streaming of the event that will allow “live stream ticket holders to watch the conference anywhere from their own devices.” Translation: you’ll be able to watch and hear the speakers in your jammies if you like.

Brené Brown**

Brené Brown**

And what a lineup they have! How about New York Times bestselling author ofEmotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman; motivational speaker and author Lizzie Velasquez; “the happiest man in the world,” Matthieu Ricard; the emotions expert behind Pixar’s “Inside Out,” Dacher Keltner; neuroscientist and one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People” Richard J. Davidson; Momentous Institute experts and #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown, who hit it out of the park last spring at the Dallas Children’s Appetite for Advocacy Luncheon.

There is a catch, of course. But it’s not a big one. You’ve just got to register to gain access for the live streaming. The price for the two days of live streaming is $300 per individual stream. Sign up here.

* Graphic provided by Salesmanship Club of Dallas 
** Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

DIFFA Dallas’ 8th Annual Burgers And Burgundy Is Moving To Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge On Texas-OU Friday Night

While most folks believe that Texas-OU weekend closes down everything not Longhorn- or Sooner-related, DIFFA Dallas is planning on testing this theory. Instead of like years past, when the organization held its Burgers and Burgundy outdoor fundraiser at a private estate on a Saturday or Sunday, they set their GPS and daytimer for a different location and day.

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

This year’s event will take place on the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 7. Yup, you guessed it. That’s the Friday when local restaurants, bars and hotels will be brimming with Red River revelers.

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

In addition to having Chef John Tesar once again hosting the B and B, Event chair Aileen Roach and Honorary Chair Simona Beal have given a theme to the event — DIFFAcella. It will “feature three live art installations by Jason Reynaga, Anthony Gonzales and Matthew Brinston, as well as three caricature artists and a henna artist.”

John Tesar (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

According to John, “It’s always a great time when I get to bring together my good chef friends, but this event is made even better by the fact that it’s for a great cause. It’s been an honor to work with DIFFA/Dallas for eight years to put on this event and watch it grow year after year, with last year being our most successful. We have even higher goals set for this year!”

There will be plenty of entertainment, Pawkitecture live auction and, of course, food and libations.

And the big news of the night will be the reveal of the 2016-2017 Style Council Ambassadors, who will serve as DIFFA/Dallas representatives “charged with the task of helping DIFFA/Dallas raise awareness about the organization’s cause, as well as continue efforts in the education and prevention of HIVAIDS throughout North Texas.”

Tickets for the 8th Annual Burgers and Burgundy are $150.

Change Of Plans: Texas Trailblazer Luncheon Undergoes A Moving Experience

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Marvin and Lisa Singleton (File photo)

Texas Trailblazer Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton and their crew have been more than pleased with the response for the The Family Place fundraiser on Tuesday, October 4, at the Anatole. With an all-star lineup including speaker Ronan Farrow, honoree Charlotte Jones Anderson, Distinguished Co-Chairs Julie and Jim Turner and Honorary Co-Chairs Pat and Emmitt Smith, they discovered that they needed more room for the turnout.

So, they’ve ramped up and moved the whole kit-and-kaboodle from the 16,402-square-foot Imperial Ballroom to the big mama 28,400-square-foot Chantilly Ballroom.

The good news is there is still room left if you haven’t gotten your ticket/sponsorship thanks to the move. The not-so-good news is that this one is a hot ticket item. Scurry, scurry.

Change Of Plans: MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Ramps Up

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

Well, dang! You did it again. Way more MySweetCharity Opportunities arrived than planned. So in the final days of the annual August series, we’re going to ramp up the posts telling you about programs that provide opportunities within your hood.

Some you know but have a new development; some will be a total and delightful surprise. But all will provide you with the opportunity to make North Texas an even better place. And all would appreciate your consideration.

JUST IN: St. Paul Medical Foundation Is Closing Its Doors

When St. Paul Medical Foundation was launched in 1964, the Daughters of Charity were tending to the patients at the brand spanking new hospital — St. Paul Hospital — at the corner of Harry Hines and Inwood Road. The Daughters had had a long history in Dallas healthcare. They had been brought to Dallas back in the late 1800’s to help the growing young town. They opened the first St. Paul Hospital on June 15, 1898, with nine sisters. About five years later, Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium opened. It would eventually become Baylor University Medical Center. When the influenza epidemic of 1918 struck, “63 tents were placed on the St. Paul Hospital grounds to take care of the overflow of critically ill and convalescent patients.”

But after a century of tending to patients, the hospital was sold a couple of times and the last eight sisters were transferred to other assignments in 2004. Eventually St. Paul became part of the UT Southwestern Medical Center with the 52-year-old “brand spanking new hospital” not fitting in with the stellar 21st century Medical Center’s campus. Last November it literally bit the dust.

As for the Foundation, it grew in its mission with folks like Stanley Marcus, Ebby Halliday and such families as the Haggars and Neuhoffs at the helm.

But as the hospital was absorbed by other healthcare entities, so the Foundation followed the hospital and adjusted to the changes, eventually finding a home with UT Southwestern University “to serve a broader patient base at UT Southwestern University Hospitals, with special emphasis on the underserved and support of heart, lung, vascular and cerebrovascular programs.”

Now, the Foundation leadership has announced it will be making one last transition “to permanently extend our mission by winding down our activities and infusing UT Southwestern with the Foundation’s resources and talent.”

What does that mean? According to St. Paul Foundation President Sally Ridgway, “The staff are [sic] joining the Development Department staff in positions appropriate to their unique skills and abilities (except for me as I had already planned to retire before the decision to close was made).”

In a letter to the board members and friends, Sally and Foundation Chair Vin Perella wrote, “…a permanent endowment with St. Paul’s assets for the benefit of the Medical Center’s patients and program and a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that the funds are spend as directed.”

And while the Daughters, St. Paul Hospital and the Foundation are no longer on the scene, their mission for superior healthcare continues as part of UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Hope’s Door And New Beginning Center To Officially Merge On Thursday, September 1

The news was just official, but word had been making the rounds that Hope’s Door and New Beginning Center were combining their efforts. The first obvious clue was the “Save The Date” postcard that arrived in the mail mid-July. It was for Friday, September 16 fashion show featuring Abi Ferrin clothes at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park.

Abi Ferrin (File photo)

Abi Ferrin (File photo)

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

As impressive as it was that Luncheon Chair Janet Dorsett had arranged for Florence Shapiro to be the honorary chair, it was curious that both Hope’s Door’s and New Beginning Center’s logo were on the card as beneficiaries.

Evidently the rumors proved to be true with the announcement of the pending merger of the two organizations that have been helping those in domestic abuse situations since the 1980s. It all becomes official on Thursday, September 1.

According to Hope’s Door CEO Jim Malatich, “This unification will allow us to gain financial efficiencies in our administration allowing us to shift those resources to serve our clients more effectively. Hope’s Door will be able to offer an increased capacity for emergency shelter, additional services including counseling programs and intervention and prevention classes at seven locations in both Dallas and Collin counties.”

Hope's Door and New Beginning Center*

Hope’s Door and New Beginning Center*

While combining the two staffs and boards, it is interesting to note that both organizations will keep their names.

For the official word, follow the jump for the press release. [Read more…]

JUST IN: YMCA Of Metropolitan Dallas CEO Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp Announces His Retirement After 40 Years With The Y

Another job opening sign was just posted. It seems that after putting in 40 years with the YMCA, Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp has decided to retire. Well, not quite yet. He’ll clean out his desk as YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas CEO in 2017 after his successor has been named “allowing a smooth transition.”

According to YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board Chair Kelvin Walker, “Gordon Echtenkamp’s commitment to the mission and vision for the YMCA certainly has made a major impact on the lives of the children and families here in North Texas. For nearly two decades and through the economic downturn, Gordie has led our YMCA through a period of remarkable growth and community impact, with a strong focus of meeting the needs of our community through relevant programs and impeccable financial stability. Our transition plan will provide a seamless passage of his good works as we build upon the foundation of Gordie’s tenure.”

During his 16 years as Dallas YMCA CEO, “he had led two successful capital development initiatives that raised funds producing $80 million in projects addressing nearly every YMCA facility in the organization including new YMCAs opened in Plano, Frisco, East Dallas the Park Cities communities. Significant renovation of existing community Ys was also completed including the T. Boone Pickens YMCA Downtown, the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA in Rockwall, Grand Prairie YMCA along with the Park South, Moorland and Oak Cliff YMCAs and Camp Grady Spruce on Possum Kingdom Lake.”

Thanks to Gordie’s leadership, more than 300,000 children and families are served in the greater Dallas community with an operating budget of $55M. It is also “the largest provider of school-age children in North Texas serving 4,500 children daily in afterschool and camp programs.”

According to Gordie, “I am so proud to have served the YMCA movement for forty years and the last sixteen years here in Dallas. The opportunity to work not only with an incredible staff team, but also an outstanding group of committed volunteers, donors, city leaders and community partners who are all focused on strengthening the foundation of this community has been such a privilege. I am confident that the Y will continue to meet the high expectations we all have of ourselves in service to the community.”

In addition to conducting an executive search for Gordie’s replacement, a search is already underway for Dallas Y’s COO Carmelita Gallo, who is retiring this year after “a 43-year career with the YMCA.”

Anyone who wants job security might want to check with Gordie and Carmelita for their secrets for attaining tenure.

Author/Sportscaster David Feherty Steps In For Susan Hawk As Keynote Speaker At 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast In November

David Feherty*

David Feherty*

Anyone who has experienced a David Feherty talk knows the former professional golfer/NBC sportscaster/author is a master at storytelling. With a twinkle in his eye and the charm a leprechaun would envy, the bearded Irishman regales folks about people and issues. Whether it’s questioning the return of Tiger Woods to greatness or admitting to his own demons, he doesn’t hold back, but he does it with humor.

In discussing his own struggle with depression and drug/alcohol abuse, he told Golf Digest , “a typical day was 30-40 Vicodin and two and a half bottles of whiskey…real whiskey. Whiskey with an ‘e.’ There was cocaine, there was dope. When I think about it now I’m like, ‘Why am I alive?’”

It’s that self-revelation, plus tales of his shenanigans after winning the Scottish Open in 1986 and the all-too-well-known people who helped him in his recovery, that David will provide at the 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, at Belo Mansion.

BTW, David is stepping in for Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk, “who was originally scheduled for the event.” Due to Susan’s seeking help in fighting her own issues with depression, she had to bow out.

* Photo provided by CARE

Neiman Marcus Downtown’s Crawl Tubes Have Found A New Home-Sweet-Home With Spark!

Believe it or not, North Texas is heading warp speed from this week’s wet and humid conditions to next week’s dry and summer heat. To better survive this transition, how about a thought of cooler times? For instance, remember back in 2013 when Neiman Marcus Downtown’s windows were a holiday showcase with crawl tubes for munchkins to explore, while people on the sidewalk watched the fun?

Spark!*

Spark!*

Say, what happened to the tubes? Did they end up in a dump? Heavens, no! That’s not the NM way of handling such marvels. Checked with NM Director of Charitable Giving Kevin Hurst about the tubes’ whereabouts. And, of course, he immediately had the answer: “When the tubes ‘retired’ in 2013 they went to a great home. I am happy to say they have been completely transformed and re-purposed and are bringing joy to a whole new set of kiddos at Spark! They literally used everything that was donated, but completely re-purposed and added to it. The tubes now extend 30 feet into the air. They built cool stairs and slides (even has a dragon head). It is quite the experience for both little kids and big kids (that act like little kids).”

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

So, what is Spark? A new theme park? No! Spark! is a year-old non-profit that “provides children from second grade to high school with a fully immersive creative environment and hands-on learning that develops their self-definition as creative individuals. Strategically located in the sub-basement of the historic South Side on Lamar building near a large population of low-income families, Spark! provides a fully immersive learning environment, layering a myriad of creative disciplines to spark the imagination, expand the mind, and engage the body. Through an endless roster of workshops and pop-up activities, students exercise their creativity and learn from creative experts, innovators, and artists.”

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

According to Spark! President/CEO Bev Davis, “In 2015 [we] engaged with 13 different schools and have already worked with more than 40 institutions to date. To celebrate serving 1,775 children in the first seven months of operation, Spark! announced that the facility would be open to the public every Saturday starting in June. In 2016, Spark! will aim to serve more than 5,000 students. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance.”

In addition to pop-up activities like Giant Light Bright, Recycled Art, Chalk Art, Poetry Magnets and percussion, June’s Spark! Saturdays provide a 6,000-foot Climb, Crawl, Slide Sculpture that looks suspiciously like some NM crawl tubes.

* Graphic and photo courtesy of Spark!