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.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: TACA 50th Anniversary Gala

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

According to TACA 50th Anniversary Chair Wanda Gierhart,

Everyone chooses to have a 50th birthday celebration because it’s a milestone—a golden anniversary—and TACA has at least 50 reasons to have a party.

It is in this spirit that TACA has set Friday, September 8, for its 50th Anniversary Gala at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. I’ve recruited my fiancé, Chef Dean Fearing, to co-chair the celebration with me. The evening, the kick-off to Dallas’ black-tie season, will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and music.

Directly following, we’ve asked TITAS’ Charles Santos and Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Bridget Moore to produce and direct an exclusive TACA-commissioned celebratory performance featuring dancers from several TACA’s grantees including Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance and Bruce Wood Dance Project.

Front Row At The Bruce Wood Dance Gallery*

Did you know that TACA brought the concept of the luxury live auction to Dallas when it was founded 50 years ago? This year’s auction, which follows the performance, promises to be our best ever. Those of you who know me know when it comes to auction packages, I don’t play around, so you can expect my “A”-game.

After the auction, guests will enjoy a delectable seated dinner throughout the Mansion’s many beautiful rooms. For a high level donor, the wine cellar will be available for an intimate dinner with your favorite people. Following dinner, there will be a lively after-party with music and dancing.

Since this will be the last gala of its type, we’re planning it to be extra special and lots of fun. To this end, we’ve described the attire as “black tie by decade – 1970 to present,” which will give our guests plenty of latitude to interpret their sartorial selections with the same creativity TACA brings to its work on behalf of the arts. Whether it’s a vintage Halston from the 1970s or a brand new creation by your favorite designer, you’ll look smashing on September 8.

TACA believes in the power of art to transform lives, and it has been unfaltering in its commitment to the arts for five decades. Our 50th anniversary gala is a celebration of the past as well as a commitment to the arts community for the next fifty years.

Joining me in planning this festive gala are the co-chairs, who are the entire TACA 50th Anniversary Committee members.

Tickets start at $500, and sponsorships are available. Contact Cassidy Pinkston  cassidy.pinkston@taca-arts.org or 214.520.3926, or visit  http://www.taca-arts.org/.

* Photo provided by TACA



A Gentle Reminder: Hot Times In The Old Town

Today is supposed to be the hottest one so far this year. The thermometers should hit 101 degrees around 3, but it’s gonna feel like 108. The good news is that the weather guessers are promising a cold front is on its way. Did you get start putting your sundresses in rest mode and reawake those cashmere sweaters?

Oops! The guessers’ understanding of “cold front” is different from normal folks. Their weather maps are transitioning from Dragon’s Breath red to a Carolina Reaper red.

Now that’s a real cold front (File photo)

Even the thought of heading to the pool and slathering on sunscreen seems like a prison sentence. Others have scattered to such places as the Hamptons, Colorado and the West Coast. For the rest of those left behind, it’s chilling under misters on patios with icy drinks or sidling up next the air-conditioning vent.

However, for kids, the elderly and pets, the heat can be dangerous. Consider how

  • Vehicles can become ovens within minutes.
  • Dehydration drains strength.
  • In an attempt to save money, some cut off on electricity resulting in suffocating conditions.
  • Normal friendly playground playsets can sizzle burning munchkins.
  • Hot pavements may not bother stilettos and sneakers, but they can hurt feet and paws.

Realize that the most vulnerable in the community are very susceptible to the raging temperatures.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Dianne B. and Mark H. LaRoe,

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Two of the most captivating fundraisers of the fall are First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon and First Night Pre-Performance Dinner and After Party, The Dallas Opera’s season kick-off events. Important revenue is raised and awareness is gained for the company’s splendid 2017-2018 programming. The festivities surround the opening night of the opera “Samson and Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Many North Texas patrons are aware of The Dallas Opera’s world class opera productions, but may not be familiar with all of its activities. More than 87,000 people were reached last year with the non-profit arts organization’s traditional and non-traditional formats. Family Programs, free simulcasts, student dress rehearsals and matinees, school presentations, opera camp, and performances at community partners all help to attract and serve patrons of every background, educational level, and ethnicity.

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

We have long recognized The Dallas Opera as a top notch arts organization presenting magnificent opera productions, and as a company that does tremendous work serving our community with its comprehensive education and outreach programs. We are so pleased to chair the wonderful Season Opening celebrations and invite everyone to join us, take part in the fun, meet new people, and enjoy some quality entertainment! Our hope is that our participation will encourage new supporters of this great company. We are also thrilled that Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are serving as honorary co-chairs of the events.

We believe our guests will be excited to experience the fashions by Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo that will grace the runway at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon with NorthPark Center serving as presenting sponsor. The fete will take place on Thursday, October 19, at 11:00 a.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and culinary master Wolfgang Puck will cater the gourmet luncheon. We know Rhonda Sargent Chambers, of RSC Productions, will produce a magnificent show for us! Lisa Cooley, her daughter Ciara Cooley and daughter-in-law Bela Cooley are co-chairs, so we’re expecting something exquisite! Sponsorships, tables which start at $7,500, and individual tickets at $500, are available.

Then on Friday, October 20, First Night presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be chaired by wonderful patrons Betty and Steve Suellentrop, in Sammons Park in front of the Winspear. We begin at 5:30 p.m. with a red carpet entrance and guests then flow into an elegant black-tie pre-performance dinner, which starts at 6:00 p.m. We hope everyone will enjoy the scrumptious epicurean specialties, also by Wolfgang Puck, in a beautifully adorned tent enhanced by the creative team of Jeffrey Horn and Larry Leathers.

After dinner we will head into the opening night performance of “Samson and Dalila” which begins at 8:00 p.m. The festivities continue following the opera at the After Party. The cast will join us to mix and mingle with guests, more delicious Puck noshes will be on hand, and everyone will dance the night away, reveling in anticipation of more of the incredible season to come! Sponsorships, tables which start at $10,000, and individual tickets at $1,000, are available. Please join us!”

For more information, please visit www.dallasopera.org/firstnight.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball Former Chairmen Dinner

The evening of Wednesday, May 24, couldn’t have been more perfect for the dinner honoring annual Crystal Charity Ball former chairmen at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s estate. To accommodate the 60 guests, 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella and Dinner Chair Jennifer Dix replaced the furniture in the formal living room with round tables topped off with tablecloths, place settings and floral arrangements.

Clay and Lisa Cooley

Pam and Vin Perella

But before dinner was officially on, the group photo of the past chairs took place in front of the fountain in front of the mansion.

Linda McFarland, Debbie Snell, Tincy Miller, Margo Goodwin, Jill Smith, Sally Bos, Caren Kline, Christie Carter, Gloria Martindale, Cynthia Mitchell, Michal Powell, Aileen Pratt, Tucean Webb, Connie O’Neill, Karen Shuford, Becky Bright and Barbara Stuart

Interesting side note: one of the past chairs was a junior in college when she chaired the Dallas County children’s charities fundraiser. Which one? Not to worry. The answer will be in the post that is being prepared. In the meantime, check out the guests at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Women’s Foundation 32nd Annual Luncheon

According Dallas Women’s Foundation Luncheon Co-Chairs A. Shonn Brown and Lisa Singleton,

Lisa Singleton and Shonn Brown (File photo)

If you’ve always wanted to hear from one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Influential People and a New York Times best-selling author, while also supporting the Dallas Women’s Foundation, then we invite you to join us on Friday, October 20, for the 32nd Annual Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

Our speaker this year is Dr. Hope Jahren, a brilliant scientist whose achievements as a paleobiologist are rivaled by her achievements as an author and advocate for gender equity in science.

Hope Jahren*

Dr. Jahren is recognized as a change maker. According to Time: “It is a rare breed of scientist who is both a leader in her field and a great writer, but Hope Jahren is both. (She) has built a career and a reputation in science by unearthing secrets hidden in fossilized plant life. Her work has resulted in at least 70 studies in dozens of journals, but it’s also given her a platform—a megaphone, really—to talk about something else: widespread sexual harassment and discrimination in science. On her blog, in op-eds and in her memoir, Lab Girl, which debuted on the New York Times best-seller list, Jahren wields her influence to call out a culture that has caused women to flee the field she so loves…And whether she’s writing about lab funding, discrimination or deciduous trees, she has a way of making you love it [science] too.”

Special thanks to our current sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: U.S. Trust Company and Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Speaker Sponsors: Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt and The Suzanne Ahn, M.D. Speaker Endowment Fund at Dallas Women’s Foundation
  • Diamond Sponsor: Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Freeman
  • Emerald Sponsors: AT&T, Inc., Ellenore and Kirk Baker/Carter Financial Mgmt., Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Chatham Hill Investment Partnership, Toni Muñoz-Hunt and Dan Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Service King Collision Repair, Betty and Steve Suellentrop and Toyota
  • Gold Sponsor: Bank of Texas, Phyllis F. Bernstein, Nancy P. Carlson, Serena Simmons Connelly, Sheila Gallagher and Kay M. Winzenried, Haynes and Boone LLP, The Hart Group, Inc., Al G. Hill Jr., Alice and Erle Nye and Trinity Industries, Inc.
  • Silver Sponsors: Bank of America Plaza, Julia Bleicher and Gail Griswold, Veree Brown, Melissa Fetter, Marion T. Flores and Margaret Keliher, JP Morgan Chase, Jackson Walker, L.L.P., Junior League of Dallas Inc., Neiman Marcus, Cecilia and Tim Norwood, Julia A. Simon, The University of Texas at Arlington, TIAA and Katrina Watland
  • Media Sponsors: Dallas Business Journal, D CEO, MySweetCharity.

Luncheon sponsorships are still available, ranging from $3,500 to $50,000; individual tickets are available at $500 to $1,000. Sponsorships are available at www.DallasWomensFdn.org/luncheon or by calling 214.525.5318

The Foundation is in the midst of a campaign raising $50 million, with $35 million of that already achieved. Monies raised at the October 20 luncheon will further the cause of investing in women and girls to have positive ripple effects in families, communities and the globe.

JUST IN: American Airlines Exec Bev Goulet’s Recent Retirement Resulted In A $50K Grant For Dallas Women’s Foundation

When an American Airlines officer retires, the company honors them “with the opportunity to direct grants to organizations that mean the most to the retiree.” Recently AA Executive VP/Chief Integration Officer Bev Goulet retired and designated Dallas Women’s Foundation should be the recipient of her grant.

According to Bev, “This gift is a reflection of the great heart of American Airlines, and I am very proud that the company made this grant in my honor to an organization and undertaking that mean so much to me personally. Dallas Women’s Foundation works on behalf of all women and girls, and in particular those who face the greatest social and economic challenges. Their work matters, and I am grateful to American for supporting it with this terrific gift.”

Bev Goulet and Roslyn Dawson*

Whoa! DWF President/CEO Ros Dawson must have thought it was snowing, since it seemed like Christmas when she received the $50,000 grant.

As a DWF board and executive committee member, Bev knew exactly how she wanted the funds used — to support DWF’s “Young Women’s Initiative-Dallas, a new cross-sector effort to empower and affirm young women of color ages 16-24 from Dallas’ southern and western sectors.”

Ros commented, “This generous gift from American Airlines is especially meaningful as it honors Bev, a true champion for women and girls, and provides early support for a critical new initiative that will launch later this fall. Bev Goulet is such an extraordinary example of a strong woman who is dedicated to making the world better for all. We are so fortunate that she is now lending her formidable leadership skills and knowledge to our work and mission.”

BTW, DWF’s Unlocking Leadership Campaign is still underway for its $50M goal. Contact Shawn Wills for more info.

* Photo provided by Dallas Women's Foundation

In Addition To Naming Three New Trustees, Presbyterian Communities And Services Board Has Promoted President Tim Mallad To CEO

Was it just about a year ago that Tim Mallad joined Presbyterian Communities and Services as president? Sure was. Now, word arrives that Tim has been named CEO of the not-for-profit organization.

Tim Mallad (File photo)

According to PCS Board of Trustees Chair Phil Wentworth, “I am continuously impressed by Tim’s genuine passion for our mission and ability to lead our organization in the right direction. Mallad, much like our board, is focused on enriching the lives of seniors, making a meaningful difference and providing exemplary care and support for seniors and their families. We are focused on growth with the expansion of Presbyterian Village North, the opening of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center and the master plan which is currently underway at Grace Presbyterian Village.”

In addition to Tim’s taking on the new title, three new board members have been named — Laura Wright, Liza Lee and Allen Tilley. They will be joining current trustees Ronald J. Gafford, L. Gerald “Jerry” Bryant, Dr. Lisa H. Clark, Cornelius “Neil” Foote, Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, Douglas D. Hawthorne, Cynthia K. Hudgins, Ellen H. Masterson, Andrew Meyercord, Brad Nitschke and Michael Wright.

Phil added, “The new board members are fantastic additions to an already impressive board, and I believe together with Tim, we will expand our mission even further by growing our organization.”

George W. Bush Presidential Center Adds Harlan Crow, Henry Hager, Joel Kaplan, David Miller And Pam Patsley To Its Board

Since its opening in 2013, the George W. Bush Presidential Center has been a gathering place for all types. From international leaders comparing notes to being a favorite spot for nonprofits to centerpiece their presentations, it’s made its mark on the landscape.

To support such a world renowned operations requires a stellar group of board members. The following five new board members have just been announced by Bush Center Chairman of the Board Don Evans and Center President/CEO Ken Hersh: Harlan Crow, Henry Hager, Joel Kaplan, David Miller and Pam Patsley.

Harlan Crow (File photo)

David Miller (File photo)

According to Don, “As the Bush Center grows and expands its influence through domestic and international policy work and community engagement, I’m pleased that we’re also rounding out our Board of Directors to include this diverse and talented set of leaders. Their wisdom and guidance will be critical as the Bush Center continues its mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.”

Laura Bush (File photo)

Ray Hunt (File photo)

Caren Prothro (File photo)

Gerald Turner (File photo)

They’ll be joining the current board that includes Laura Bush, Bill Hickey, Ray Hunt, John W. Johnson, Mark Langdale, Jeanne L. Phillips, Caren Prothro, Craig R. Stapleton, Larry D. Thompson and Gerald Turner.

JUST IN: Tracy Rathbun’s Husband Will Celebrate His 20th Anniversary Heading Up The March Of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction

When the March of Dimes Dallas Signature Chefs Auction was just three years old back in 1997, there was young fellow who was making a name for himself in these parts. In addition to his day job of cooking in area restaurants, he offered to take the lead for the fundraiser.

Tracy Rathbun and her husband (File photo)

Back then he was known as Kent Rathbun, but due to a legal quagmire he’s known nowadays as restaurateur “Tracy Rathbun’s husband.”  

But the namelessness hasn’t stopped his support, involvement and leadership in the March of Dimes Dallas’ “premiere fundraising gala,” that will take place on Thursday, November 2, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

To celebrate his 20th anniversary as Lead Chef of Dallas Signature Chefs, Mr. Rathbun has once again assembled some of the top and most generous chefs to provide chef samplings, as well as a live auction “featuring unique dining experiences.”

David Holben (File photo)

Chad Houser (File photo)

Janice Provost and Abraham Salum (File photo)

The gathering of chefs includes: Damian Avila of Lockhart Smokehouse, Jermaine Brown of Great Scott, Carlos Capistran of Shinsei, Donald Chalko of Texas Spice – Omni Dallas Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Fish Market Grill, John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Dwight Harvey of Off the Bone Barbecue, David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Chad Houser of Café Momentum, Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly – Hotel Zaza, Carlos Mancera of Republic, Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime Dallas, Tom Parlo of The Mansion Restaurant – Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Janice Provost of Parigi, Mico Rodriguez of Mesero and Meso Maya, Abraham Salum of Salum Restaurant, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Nathan Tate of Boulevardier and Rapscallion, John Tesar of Knife and Chris Vogeli of III Forks.

Jim Severson (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

This one is a true graze and gaze around with loads of people watching. Start those diets now, because the tickets are available here.

Plans Announced For Luncheon Celebrating Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary With Giuliana Rancic As Keynote Speaker

Breast cancer all too often was a death sentence or at least an excruciating journey, both physically and emotionally. In the early 1950’s The New York Times “refused to publish an ad for a breast cancer support group, stating that it would not print the words ‘breast’ or ‘cancer.’”

Despite the mammogram being developed in 1969, it still hid behind a cloak of limited knowledge and a patient’s embarrassment. The routine was for a patient to be anesthetized for a biopsy. If the results were positive, a radical mastectomy was immediately performed while the patient was still under anesthesia.

The situation changed slightly in the early 1970’s when such well-knowns as Shirley Temple Black, Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller revealed that they had indeed undergone breast cancer surgery.

Even so, treatments, developments, funding and awareness were limited. Breast cancer continued its charge. But in 1977 the disease picked the wrong person — a 33-year-old woman from Peoria, Illinois. After a three-year battle, the young woman died. But before Susan Goodman Komen succumbed to the disease, her feisty 30-year-old kid sister made a promise — she would “do everything possible to end the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by this disease.”

That sister was Nancy Goodman Brinker, who would establish a world-changing program to bring breast cancer out of the closet with the goal of putting an end to it. In 1982, with the help of Nancy’s husband, the late Norman Brinker, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established.

Since its inception, Komen has “funded more than $920 million in research, more than $2 billion in medical care, community and provider education, and psychosocial support, serving millions in over 60 countries worldwide.”

In addition, millions of people and countless fundraising efforts including Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon program  and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas have risen to fuel the battle to rid the world of the disease.

Gigi Hill Lancaster*

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Linda Custard (File photo)

Gene Jones (File photo)

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the founding of Susan G. Komen, Gigi Hill Lancaster, who lost her mother to breast cancer, is chairing the Susan G. Komen Anniversary Luncheon at Belo Mansion on Wednesday, September 27. Serving as honorary co-chairs are Ruth Altshuler, Linda Custard and Gene Jones.

Giuliana Rancic*

Unlike those days when they used to hold the annual Komen luncheon, where boxes of Kleenex abounded, this one will be an anniversary celebration “honoring those who – for decades – have helped Dallas-based Komen fund breast cancer research and programs that have saved millions on lives.” Emmy-winning TV personality/ entrepreneur/ breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic, who was just seven years old when “the promise” was made, will be the featured speaker.  

Since the luncheon is being held at Belo Mansion, seating will be limited, so book your place pronto.

Thank-you notes should be sent to Co-Presenters Bank of America, Highland Park Village/Al G. Hill Jr. and family, Lyda Hill and Alinda H. Wikert. 

* Photo provided by Susan G. Komen

 

MySweetCharity Opportunity: State Of Mind

According to Second Thought Theatre‘s State of Mind Co-Chairs Jennifer Swift and Nick Even,

Nick Even (File photo)

Jennifer Swift (File photo)

In case you’ve not been yet, Second Thought Theatre is a risk-taking local company performing at Bryant Hall, an intimate black-box theater on the Kalita Humphreys Theater campus on Turtle Creek. Second Thought’s current production of the new play “The Necessities” by SMU’s (and Yale’s) Blake Hackler, directed by Joel Ferrell runs until Saturday, July 29. 

To fund its expanded four-production season for 2018, Second Thought will host its annual “State of Mind” fundraiser on Friday, November 3, at 7:00 p.m. at Sammons Center for the Arts.

The evening will feature a performance by Dallas performance musical theater powerhouse Patty Breckenridge, described by D Magazine as “utterly entertaining.” She was heralded by The Dallas Morning News for her “brilliant” portrayal of Diana in “Next to Normal” (Uptown Players).  She was seen in the world premiere of “Fortress of Solitude” at Dallas Theatre Center and WaterTower Theatre’s world premiere of “Creep, delivering a performance described by the Morning News as a “feisty force of nature.” Ms. Breckenridge will be joined at the State of Mind gala by actor, TV host and producer Rob McCollum, serving as Master of Ceremonies.

A kickoff party for State of Mind underwriters and patrons will be held on Thursday, October 12, at the Turtle Creek home of Lila and Emmett Murphy.

Second Thought Theatre empowers top local theater artists to take risks and showcases writers who tackle difficult questions. Its performers have been regularly cited on the annual “Best of” lists by D Magazine, Dallas Observer and the Dallas/Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum. Second Thought’s 2017 season included two area premieres and one world premiere and its 2018 season of four plays – to be announced in the next month – promises to be equally memorable.

For more information on Second Thought Theatre, visit http://secondthoughttheatre.com. To purchase tickets for the State of Mind gala or to be added to the invitation mailing list, call 972.450.6232.

 

JUST IN: Thanks To Dollar Day! The Dallas Zoo Busted The Million-Human Mark Earlier Than Ever On Thursday

Gregg Hudson (File photo)

Despite the heat, more than 19,000 folks took advantage of Thursday’s Dollar Day! at the Dallas Zoo. In addition to an amazing show of humans, it resulted in the Zoo breaking the million-visitor mark for the third straight year. And this million-breaker was the earliest one yet!

According to Dallas Zoo President/CEO Gregg Hudson, “Once again, more than a million people have turned out to support our mission of engaging people and saving wildlife. Our community knows how hard we’ve worked to make the Dallas Zoo one of the nation’s best zoological parks, so it’s appropriate that we broke the million mark this year on a day when we look to give back to that community.”

The staff attributes the successful numbers to the following:

Dallas Zoo’s “hip” kids

  • The April opening of Simmons Hippo Outpost, the zoo’s new $14 million, 2.1-acre exhibit which is an immersive African waterhole habitat featuring two hippos and okapi. It includes a 24-foot by 8-foot viewing window that brings guests eye-to-nostril with the Nile hippos as they explore their 120,000-gallon waterhole.
  • The April opening of the National Geographic Photo Ark Here through Sunday, October 1, the outdoor exhibition showcases more than 80 stunning images from world-renowned photographer Joel Sartore, featuring some of the most endangered animals on earth.
  • The zoo’s much-celebrated baby boom, including the arrival of Bahati in March, the first lion cub born at the zoo in 43 years; beloved elephant Ajabu, who turned 1 in May; and the May birth of giraffe calf Tsavo, born to world-famous mother Katie.
  • Earning its sixth consecutive Certificate of Excellence award as one of the world’s best businesses by TripAdvisor, the largest travel reviewing and planning web site, and maintaining a four-star rating on Yelp.

Congratulations to the Zoo-sters, both human and critter.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 8th Annual Steaks On The Lake

According to  8th Annual Steaks on the Lake Co-Chairs Polly and Mike Campbell, Susan and Evan Griffiths and Bev and Alan Vuckovich,

Polly Anderson, Bev Vuckovich and Susan Griffiths*

Imagine a crisp fall evening, a delicious steak dinner, live music by Downtown Fever, a wine and whiskey pull and an exciting auction. All landing on Friday, November 17, at the impressive Frontiers of Flight Museum. Imagine having this much fun while supporting Grant Halliburton Foundation as it works to promote better mental health for kids, teens and young adults.

We are honored to be serving as co-chairs of this wonderful event while raising money for a cause that has directly touched each of our families. We have experienced firsthand that helpless feeling of learning that your child is struggling with a mental illness. 

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of Grant Halliburton, a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before taking his own life at the age of 19. The foundation that bears his name exists to help prevent similar tragedies. Its mission is to strengthen the network of mental health resources for children, teens and young adults; promote better mental health; and help prevent suicide.  

According to The Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and the third leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds.  Through Steaks on the Lake, and with your help, we hope to raise awareness and erase the stigma of adolescent mental illness.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Grant Halliburton Foundation at 972.744.9790. Tickets available in September.  To learn more, visit granthalliburton.org.

* Photo provided by Grant Halliburton

 

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

JUST IN: Returning Aware President Venise Stuart Reveals The Grant Recipients And Board Members For 2017-2018

Venise Stuart (File photo)

Venise Stuart’s dance card is getting full. Not only is she chairing the 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, she is once again going to serve as president for Aware .

Venise just revealed the following ten organizations have been named Aware grant recipients for 2017-2018:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Support for the salary of a Ph.D. Neuropsychology Intern for Baylor AT&T Memory Center.
  • Center for BrainHealth – Discovery Group – Support for the Discovery Group, a program designed to help individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias focus on preserving abilities and tapping strengths to promote meaningful engagement and slow the progression of the disease
  • Dallas Museum of Art – Memory Moments – Support for teaching honorariums, supplies, and staffing for Memory Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias ways to engage in art that are revitalizing and gratifying.
  • Jewish Family Service – Support for the salary of a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families/caregivers.
  • Juliette Fowler Communities – Support for group and individual therapy sessions with a Certified Music Therapist for memory care residents, and to help purchase additional instruments and therapeutic tools.
  • NorthPark Presbyterian Church – Casa de Vida – Support the Casa de Vida program, which gives relief to families/caregivers by providing one-on-one care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the church for programs involving art, music, games, and lunch one day per week from 9:30 until 1:30.
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – Support for two concerts by professional musicians in 87 nursing homes and adult daycare facilities that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation – Broad Strokes – Support for the Broad Strokes program at Grace Presbyterian Village that provides music and art therapy to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • The Senior Source – Senior Companions – Support for the Senior Companion Program matching volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and companionship.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center – Support to advance Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research and clinical trials on a DNA Vaccine to clear amyloid plaques in the brain to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship awardees will be Baylor University’s Nora Drutz-Rogney and TCU’s Lindsay Ross.

Part of the grant funding is achieved from proceeds from the annual Aware Affair. This year’s event — Celebrate the Moments — will take place on Friday the 13th of April with a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing. Wondering where it’s gonna be held? And who’s chairing the event? Good questions! That information is coming in the weeks ahead.

Joining Venise on the 2017-2018 Aware board will be Carol Stabler, secretary; Sue John, treasurer; Stacey Angel, membership; Myrna Schlegel, Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship Fund and Janet Broyles, past president. 

JUST IN: Brunettes Roz Colombo And Nancy Gopez To Co-Chair 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon

Roz Colombo (File photo)

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

Summer fundraising ain’t taking a break. Word just arrived that brunettes Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez will be co-chairing the 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon.

When ask about details for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraisers, Nancy and Roz just smiled and said, “Be patient.” Ah, gee.

Don’t worry. MSC will keep digging for developments.

In the meantime, news has been buzzing about a new breakthrough therapy for advanced leukemia that has been approved by the FDA. Don’t just keep your fingers crossed. Get out those checkbooks!

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Each Moment Matters

David and Laurie Peacock*

According to 2017 Each Moment Matters Luncheon Co-Chairs Laurie and David Peacock,

When Laurie and I were asked to chair the 2017 Each Moment Matters Luncheon we had no idea how impacted we would be by the work that Faith Presbyterian Hospice does in the Dallas community. We have heard so many stories from people who wish they had done things differently when their parent or spouse passed away on hospice.  Faith Presbyterian Hospice is the hospice that changes the end-of-life experience for both patients and families. We are honored to be a part of this signature event which supports customized services and excellent hospice care, both at home and at the recently opened inpatient hospice center, the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

Marlee Matlin*

We invite you to join us at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, September 29, with Academy Award winning actress and activist, Marlee Matlin as our guest speaker. With an extensive list of Hollywood career achievements including the movie “Children of a Lesser God,” for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress, Marlee is an advocate for children and those struggling against domestic abuse and addiction, as well as other humanitarian causes. Having lost her hearing at 18 months of age, Marlee never let her challenges dictate her future or deter her dreams.

In its eighth year, the Each Moment Matters Luncheon will once again honor 25 community leaders through the Each Moment Matters Award. The event raises awareness of hospice care and how to navigate tough end-of-life decisions. Funds raised at the luncheon ensure that Faith Presbyterian Hospice can continue to provide services to those needing care regardless of their ability to pay.

Each Moment Matters*

Thanks to the following underwriters, the cost of this year’s event is fully covered allowing sponsorships and donations to go 100% to the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Caring Fund and the patients it serves: Cathy and William Davis, The Don W. Hodges Family, The Billie and Gillis Thomas Foundation, Business Jet Center, Messick Peacock and Associates, Knightvest Management LLC, Marcia and Noe Hinojosa and Margie and Ray Francis.

Table sponsorships start at $1,750 and individual tickets are available for $200.  To purchase a sponsorship or to find out more, please visit www.eachmomentmatters.org.

The 2017 Each Moment Matters Honorees: Arcilia C. Acosta, Stefanie and Steven Ailey, Yasmin Zarolia Bhatia, Thomas CampbellLisa Harper Clark MD, Joy Cruse, Mrs. David Curtis, Alison Doherty, Jane Benedict  Echols, Lisa Englander, Terry N. Ford, Tricia M. George, John Killian, Sandy Massie, Trish Matthews, D.Min., Carlin McDonald Morris, Scott Murray, “Smokey” John Reaves, George R. Schrader, Susan E. Stephens, Andy Kaye Walsh, Stephanie Ward, Pierre Michaela “Mickie” Watson and Janita Hemphill Wells.

* Graphic and photo provided by the Dallas Arboretum

 

Dallas Zoo Residents Are Ready For A Herd Of Visitors For Thursday’s Dollar Day! Special

The Dallas Zoo folks snuck up on a lot of folks. Instead of waiting until August scorches the area, they’re holding the infamous Dollar Day! this Thursday. That’s a $14 saving for adults and a $11 saving for youths and seniors.

Not only is admission going to be a dollar, but the following will be available for a buck each:

  • selected snack items (canned drinks, water, hot dogs and chips)
  • nectar to feed the lorikeets
  • bird food at the Travis and Zach’s Birds Landing

Giraffe (File photo)

And if you want to splurge and look like a big spender, here are some other bargains for this one-day-only special:

  • $2 T-Rex Express mini-train
  • $5 Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail
  • $5 giraffe feedings (and, yes, the giraffes do have long black tongues)

Since parking is going to be $8 and traffic is expected to be limited, try out the DART Red Line.

Hippopotamus (File photo)

BTW, prepare yourself for the Simmons Hippo Outpost. These two are more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

BTW, don’t forget the sunscreen, sunglasses and cameras.

JUST IN: Dean Foods Foundation Is Serving Up Some Delicious Treats For North Texas Food Bank And The Wilkinson Center Wednesday

With the annual DFW Restaurant Week benefiting the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home just a few weeks away, the NTFB is getting an early treat.  Dean Foods Foundation is presenting a check for $125,000 Wednesday morning to NTFB.

North Texas Food Bank*

The hand-off will take place at The Wilkinson Center, which is part of the Christmas in July celebration. In addition to the check, Oak Farms will “be donating 325 half-gallons of their DairyPure® brand milk and will be distributing it to the clients served at The Wilkinson Center during a morning volunteer shift.”

Don’t you just know that NTFB newbie CEO Trisha Cunningham, whose first day was Monday, is gonna think this happens every day. One only wishes!

* Graphic courtesy of  North Texas Food Bank

Don’t Let The Halfway Downers Get You Down

Okay, everybody stop. Did you stop? No, seriously, did you? The North Texas community is at the half-way point in the summer and the temperatures are starting to really hit home. Then there’s that problem of thinking about the rest of the year trying to raise funds. And, heaven forbid, 2018!

Summer doldrums

Whatever you’re doing, stop. Take a chill pill. What’s a chill pill? Some peeps call it a “time out.” Others just say, “Go to that friendly place.” Doesn’t matter if you go to Ninth Planet or snuggle under your yummy Charlotte Thomas sheets, just close those eyes … it may take a bit more effort for those with caterpillar eyelashes… and take deep breaths to fill those inner sanctums of your lungs that haven’t been filled since you could do a cartwheel. Try that five times and don’t forget to breath out!

Now, kick those flip-flops and stilettos off and spread your pedicured toes far apart and then back together. Now point them upward and then downward. Like breathing, try that five times.

Finally, remember that everything will work out, if you relax, put together your “gotta-do list” (must-do lists are so passé) and tackle them one by one. As you check them off, your anxiety will be knocked off bit by bit.

25th Anniversary Partners Card Program Kicks Off At Highland Park Village Despite The Threat Of Stormy Weather

While some hunkered down due to threats of storms on Thursday, May 18, The Family Place folks weren’t gonna let a few drips hold them back from kicking off the 25th anniversary of its Partners Card program. Everybody from former chairs to longtime sponsors were on hand at Highland Park Village for the launch of the 2017 shopping extravaganza that will take place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. For more deets, here’s a report from the field:

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village Thursday, May 18, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.

Joanne Teichman, Lynn McBee and Charles Teichman*

Remarks were given by Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, Beyond, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith*

“Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year,” said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. “The Family Place’s mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It’s a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it’s a reality for too many, and we’re very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people.”

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill Martin*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20% discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

David and Sheryl Pidgeon*

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee and Diana Hamilton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

JUST IN: Jennifer And Richard Dix And Kristi And Ron Hoyl To Co-Chair The Family Place’s 2017 ReuNight

Just when you think no more news could develop in the rising summer temperatures, The Family Place team proved they were filled with news.

But they weren’t sharing all the developments for the annual ReuNight dinner and auction just yet.

What is known is who will be co-chairing the event. It will be a couple of gals who are old hands at bringing the dough — Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl.

The two ladies single-handedly made the 2010 and 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork spectacular.

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

To shore up their efforts, they’re bringing along two R’s — husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl.

As for when and where, the foursome won’t cough up the info yet. But stay tuned. Pressure is being applied to get the details.