Cristo Rey Dallas’ “Grow The Grove” Boasted Cheerleaders, Live Auction, Dinner And Student Panel Discussion On Protecting The Dream

Whether it’s “Draft Day” or a sporting event, the Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School students and supporters always have enthusiasm, commitment and, of course, cheerleaders. Thanks to Co-Chairs Muffin Lemak and Susan Palma and Honorary Co-Chairs Mary and Mike Terry, those ingredients were on hand for the school’s fundraiser “Grow The Grove” at sixty five hundred on Friday, November 17.

Oh, why was it called “Grow the Grove”? Silly! Because the school that is located in Pleasant Grove. Here’s a report from the field:

Mary and Mike Terry*

Susan Jenevein, Susan Palma and Muffin Lemak*

Attendees of the 2nd annual Grow the Grove arrived to a pep-rally style welcome by Cristo Rey Dallas cheerleaders on Friday, November 17. Honorary Co-Chairs Mary and Mike Terry and Event Co-Chairs Muffin and John Lemak and Susan and Gene Palma, were joined by supporters at venue sixty five hundred for the sold-out fundraiser benefitting Cristo Rey Dallas, an innovative high school located in Pleasant Grove that offers students who would otherwise not consider private school a rigorous college prep education paired with a valuable work study program.

Once inside, partygoers mingled over wine, courtesy of Coquerel Family Wine Estates, signature cocktails, including the “ACT ace,” and light bites of wrapped apricots, Parmesan cheese tarts and crab cakes, while enjoying the sounds of the Cristo Rey student musicians under the direction of music teacher Dr. Alex Fraile.

Around the room, students showcased some of the school’s curriculum through interactive activities, including art students working on current art projects using acrylics and charcoal; a Theology Smackdown, in which students and guests, including guest participant Father Joshua Whitfield from St. Rita Catholic Church, competed with each other to get the right answer on questions that CRD students know from their theology coursework; and science demonstrations featuring an extraction of DNA from strawberries; using a universal indicator to show how dry ice goes from a base to an acid as it melts; and the use of a Van de Graaff generator to show how guest’s hair became electrified.

Cristo Rey cheerleaders*

At that appointed time, the cheerleaders made their way through the crowd leading guests to the dining area to be seated. Co-chairs Susan and Muffin took the stage to welcome attendees and thank them for the support of this year’s Grow the Grove. They then asked everyone to hold up the Cristo Rey Rules rulers, that they had placed at each place setting, and to please repeat after them: “I promise that I will try to win the good behavior award by not disturbing my neighbors and table mates. And I will bid high on these fabulous auction items tonight.” Student Ryan Olson followed to ask everyone to join him and his fellow students, who were surrounding the stage, in prayer. Olson then welcomed guests and added his thanks for their support of Cristo Rey Dallas.

Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows*

Scott and Laura Moore and Gunnar Rawlings*

Claire Straty and Steve and Laurie-Jo Straty*

Ellie Lemak and John Karigan*

Guests including Donna Woodard, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Pam and Vin Perella, Christie Carter, Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Shelby Wagner, Julie Hawes, Liesl and Karl Kuby, Beth and Chuck Thoele, Leisa Street, Mersina Stubbs, Ginny and Randy Bailey, Ron Corning, Jonathan Moon, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Shelle and Michael Sills, Debbie Tolleson, Laurie-Jo and Steve Straty, Janie and David Condon and Melinda and Steve Winn enjoyed their first course of a classic wedge salad with a Texas-sized garlic crouton and buttermilk herb yogurt dressing followed by an entrée of petite filet of beef with foraged mushroom demi, mashed potatoes with garlic and herb butter and roasted rainbow of carrots and parsnips, while listening to the sounds of Billy Joel, a hint for one of the highly-anticipated live auction packages.

Craig and Martha Burkert and Janet and Crawford Brock*

Ron Corning and Jonathan Moon*

Kelby and Donna Woodard*

As a trio of desserts was served, Olson returned to introduce Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard, who extended his gratitude to the co-chairs, honorary chairs, host committee and sponsors for helping raise a record-breaking amount from this year’s event.

He then shared with the crowd the state of the school, now in its third year with 375 students enrolled. In academics, results of the Measuring Academic Progress national standardized test had just been released with the class of 2019 having grown at four times the national average in math and reading and the class of 2020 having grown at two times the national average. Through the school’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program, where Cristo Rey students work one day per week offsite for one of 107 corporate partners, students will earn over $3.0 million towards their own education this year. Additionally they are earning strong evaluations from their supervisors, 97 percent of the time meeting or exceeding expectations, which has ranked them in the top four of all Cristo Rey schools across the nation.

He also cited that enrollment continues to increase with anticipation this year of more than 3 applications for every one spot available. And in sports, Cristo Rey students have worked hard on the track, field and the court, competing well against other local schools, including a place in the state semi-finals in soccer against Covenant School.

David Moran, chair-elect of the Cristo Rey Dallas board of directors and managing partner at Jackson Walker, a founding Corporate Work Study Program partner, followed with his firm’s experiences with the student workers through CWSP, and in closing encouraged others to consider the rewarding partnership.

Emily Casanova-Castillo, Alexis Vargas, Rhonda Hughes, Emmanuel Moreno and Dipaouly Shah*

The program then concluded with a panel discussion, “Protect the Dream: A Conversation” led by moderator Rhonda Hughes, a principal of Hughes Strategy, which is a boutique leadership development and communications firm. Joining Hughes onstage, Alexis Vargas, Emily Casanova-Castillo, Emmanuel Moreno and Dipaouly Shah each shared their experiences as students, how attending Cristo Rey Dallas has impacted their plans for the future and their experiences working for some of Dallas’ most prestigious companies through the work study program.

It was then time to let the bidding begin in the live auction with packages featuring a stay at a private home in Colorado; a work of art created by students using acrylic paint pens and wooden Popsicle sticks, entitled “Protect the Dream;” box seats for four to the Big 12 Championship on December 2; a private dinner for eight with Bishop Burns catered by Nick and Sam’s Grill; an earth-moving day of fun for 12 at Extreme Sandbox including cocktails and a catered barbeque following; and New York City trip including tickets to the sold out Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, December 20, tickets to Broadway’s School of Rock including backstage tour and accommodations at the Omni Berkshire, which garnered the highest bids of the night.

The live auction concluded with an announcement of The Partnership, a group of supporters of Cristo Rey Dallas students who co-invest $3,200 each year to bridge the tuition gap that remains after students earn over 60 percent of the education at their corporate work study jobs and their parents pay tuition based on ability.  With students earning the majority of the cost of their education, members of The Partnership are truly partners with the students themselves as they earn their own way. Auctioneer Wes Pool then asked for all in attendance to consider raising a paddle to support this important initiative.

As the evening came to a close, partygoers were treated to a late night snack of coffee and donuts, glazed in one of the school’s signature colors, orange.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

 

JUST IN: Dr. Kern Wildenthal To Serve As Interim General Director/CEO Of The Dallas Opera Following Keith Cerny’s Resignation

With The Dallas Opera‘s General Director/ CEO Keith Cerny‘s announcing his resignation last Friday, the interim stand-in has just been revealed.

According to The Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “As has been the case in the past, there is a need for an executive presence in the office during this transitional period, while the search committee prepares to begin its task of identifying a permanent replacement.

Holly Mayer (File photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File photo)

“The transition team offered the post of Interim General Director and CEO to former Board Chair Kern Wildenthal, who has accepted. Dr. Wildenthal is well known and respected, not only within The Dallas Opera, but throughout the community.”

Until the full-time position is filled, Kern will “be serving with no compensation.”

Business Council For The Art’s 2017 Obelisk Awards Luncheon Was A Salute To The Arts And Business And A Swan Song For Two

Some of the 2017 Obelisk Awardees were wondering why the pre-luncheon VIP reception at the Belo on Wednesday, November 15, was starting at 10 a.m. After all, the luncheon wasn’t scheduled to start until noon. Still there were group photos to be taken and individual ones with VIP types like Business Council for the Arts Chair Nancy Nasher and mic tests. But this group was well versed into production and found themselves done with all the preparations within a half hour.

Luckily, there were plenty of things to catch up about and check out like the arrangement of the awards that were strategically positioned in front of the ballroom. The beautiful pieces of glass were the artwork by Dallas artisan Jim Bowman. This collection would be Jim’s swan song, since he and his wife Mary Lynn Devereux-Bowman were moving to North Carolina.

2017 Obelisk Awards by Jim Bowman

And speaking of swan songs, little did anyone suspect that this would be one of the awardee’s farewell appearances. But more about that later.

David Haemisegger, Nancy Nasher and Larry Glasgow

Carolyn Brown

James Faust

Niki Anthony

Across the room, the late art scribe Patsy Swank’s son, Sam Swank played his guitar as around 500 guests like  David Haemisegger, Business Council for the Arts Larry Glasgow, NorthPark crew (Billy Hines and Lona Crabb), Neiman’s Kevin Hurst, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick, Jo Staffelbach Heinz and Andre Staffelbach, James Faust, Dotti Reeder, Carolyn Brown, Patricia Meadows and Dr. Richard Sachson waited for the ballroom doors to open.

At one point the entry of the guests came to a standstill as one Mercedes driver forgot something in her care and searched and searched for it with cars coming to a standstill in the Belo circular drive.

At 11:41 a.m. the doors opened and the room filled, but it took a couple of call-to-chairs by a voice over the PA. Even after taking their places, the crowd was in a talkative mood. Due to the chatter in the room, many didn’t realized that art-loving/real estate kingpin Craig Hall was appearing in a video on the screens at the front of the room. He was introducing the backstory of Jim’s creating the awards. Too bad because the process was both fascinating and a salute to the artist.

Following the videos, Business Council for the Arts Board Chair Larry Glasgow addressed the group and immediately the talk stopped. Perhaps if he had introduced the videos, more folks would have learned about the work that went into the awards that were underwritten by Craig.  

Steven Roth and Thai-Lan Tran

Luncheon Co-Chairs Dr. Thai-Lan Tran and Steven Roth spoked how the arts contribute to the well-being of people and that Keynote Speaker Karen Brooks Hopkins would be addressing the group in a few minutes.

For the next ten minutes, guests were put to the test of Etiquette 101. At many tables, some guests were served their lunches, while others didn’t. As forks stayed in place waiting for the rest of the table to be served, the chicken Provencal with asparagus and crispy potatoes cooled. A floor managed walked the room appearing to be satisfied with the progress, while more than one guest tried to grabbed the attention of a passing server. Eventually, plates made their way to the empty spots and no one starved.

At 12:15, Karen posed the question if the arts and business can help and provide real service? She believed the answer was a definite, “Yes.” Highlights of her talk included

  • Art is the only thing that endures over the years.
  • Too often art is dismissed as frivolous.
  • The arts only receive 5% of corporate philanthropy.
  • Inclusion of arts in low income neighborhoods results in positive ways.
  • The arts can be a powerful force for change.
  • Businesses must be incorporated in supporting the arts to get the job done.

In emphasizing the need for the need to appreciate corporate support, she recalled that during the 2008 recession, she was involved in a gala at which the head of the sponsoring bank was called to the stage and he was boo-ed. “It would be the long time before the bank would sign up again. I learned a hard lesson that night.”

Ryan Anthony

Finishing her talk at 12:28, Karen said that business should be creative in giving.

Next up was Nancy, who like a general taking command said, “We’re going to keep on schedule.” That said, she didn’t mince words and introduce Dallas Symphony Orchestra Lead Trumpet Ryan Anthony, who played three tunes making it seem so effortless. He finished up with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel.”

At 12:39 North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff took her place at the podium on the left side of the stage to announce the recipients including

From the left: (front row) : Keith Cerny, Nancy Carlson, Alexa Spears, Gail Sachson, Bill DiGaetano and Eddie Reyes; (back row) : Adam Conway, Kevin Hurst, Julius Pickenpack, Kathy Litinas, Javier Martinez and Jacques Marquis

  • The Arts Partnership Award
    • Large Business — Target
    • Medium Business — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
    • Small Business — Angelika Film Center
  • The New Initiatives Award
    • Large Business — Corgan
    • Medium Business — West Village
    • Small Business — C.C. Communications
  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award — The Cliburn
  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award — Nancy Carlson
  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award — Keith Cerny
  • The Arts Education Award — Neiman Marcus Group
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award — Ask Me About Art/Gail Sachson
  • The Community Champion Award — Kathy Litinas

All gave touching and revealing acceptance speeches. They ranged from Nancy Carlson’s “It’s my privilege to support the arts” to Gail Sachson’s “Art is good for your eyes and all your other body parts. But it especially good for your heart. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Ironically, the last recipient was The Dallas Opera General Director/CEO Keith Cerny who sounded like he was doing a Reader’s Digest version of the State-Of-The-Opera. In addition to achieving financial stability and gaining international recognition, his proudest achievement was the Linda and Mitch Hart program for women conductors.

Exactly one month later to the day, Keith would announce he was leaving The Dallas Opera to head up the Calgary Opera.

MySweetWishList: AT&T Performing Arts Center

According to AT&T Performing Arts Center Director of Education and Community Engagement Glynis Brault,

“Happy holidays, fellow Dallasites!

Motown the Musical*

“The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center passionately believes that everyone deserves to experience the power and wonder of the arts. Our wish this holiday season is that you’ll join us in our efforts to educate, entertain and inspire audiences from every part of North Texas.

“The Center has a unique program called Community Partners. Working with social service agencies, we provide tickets to individuals and families who face challenging circumstances or have little to no access to the performing arts. Through this highly collaborative solution to the problem of arts access in North Texas, the Center provides approximately 1,500 free tickets each year to a variety of partner organizations. However, as a nonprofit arts foundation which presents shows rather than produces them, the Center must purchase the tickets we use for this program. Currently, Community Partners is supported by the visionary Donna Wilhelm Friendship Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts and individual contributions to our annual fund – from generous supporters like you!

AT&T Performing Arts Center **

“And the outcomes are exciting! Just ask Kamica King, a music therapist at The Bridge, a Community Partners agency which serves the homeless community. Last year she brought a group to see Grammy Award-winning blues musician Keb’ Mo’.

“’I wanted to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to bring Bridge guests to see Keb’ Mo’,’ said Ms. King, who turned the concert into a classroom and concert experience! ‘The cohort enjoyed learning about Keb’ Mo’ and his music, loved the show and had really great reflections on the experience as well. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. You all do tremendous work to make the arts accessible and we are truly thankful. It is an honor to be a Community Partner!’

Winspear Opera House***

“Well, the feeling is mutual! We’re honored to partner with The Bridge. The same goes for all of our Community Partners which include The Family Place, HopeKids North Texas, Jonathan’s Place, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Lumin Education, Nexus Recovery Center Inc., Resource Center, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory, Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, Wesley-Rankin Community Center and Wilkinson Center.

“Our wish this holiday season? That you’ll help us continue serving all these great partners and the people they serve!

“Likewise, if you represent an agency that you’d like to see involved in Community Partners please let us know.

“Happy Holidays!”

-By Glynis Brault, AT&T Performing Arts Center director of Education and Community Engagement

* Photo credit: Nate Rehlander, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
** Graphic provided by AT&T Performing Arts Center 
***Photo credit: Carter Rose, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

Top-Tier Types Celebrated First Lady Of Dallas Philanthropy Margaret McDermott’s Receiving Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award

The Brook Hollow parking lot looked like the world’s most luxurious car lot with Bentleys, top-tier Mercedes and cousins like Range Rovers, Lexuses and Cadillacs on Tuesday, November 14. No, it wasn’t a glamorous car convention. It was the Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner honoring North Texas First Lady of Philanthropy Margaret McDermott.

While Margaret tends to shy away from pomp and circumstance recognition, the Brainiacs had three things going for her to agree:

  • Margaret’s love for UT Dallas – of which Center for BrainHealth is a part,
  • Margaret’s beloved late husband Eugene McDermott, who had co-founded UT Dallas with the late Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green in 1969 and
  • BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis’ husband, Jim Francis, who sealed the deal on getting Margaret’s blessing. Margaret had grown up in Highland Park with Jim’s uncles and, after the pair had laughed recounting old stories, she emphatically told Jim, “Let’s do it!” and the Legacy Dinner planning was underway.

With nearly 260 of toppest of the types like Edith and Peter O’Donnell, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Linda Perryman Evans, Linda and Mitch Hart and Nancy Dedman, it was a true lovefest for the centenarian.

Caren Prothro, Margaret McDermott and Deedie Rose

But then what else could one expect when Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose were chairing?

Sandi Chapman

As guests arrived for the reception in the Oak Room, Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director Sandi Chapman was there to greet with a smile, a twinkle and a hug.

And that hug wasn’t the only closeness of the evening. After being greeted by Sandi, it was a squeeze-athon rubbing shoulders, elbows and all body parts in the reception. The lady-of-the-hour held her own in front of the fireplace seated in her rolling throne… uh, wheelchair. Pity the poor servers who tried to wiggle their way with tray in hand through the boldface set.

Gail Thomas

Mitch Hart

Nancy Dedman

Lottye and Bobby Lyle

Rena Pederson and Nelda Cain Pickens

Dan Patterson

Dee Wyly

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

And the conversation included retired Trinity Trust maven Gail Thomas was into painting. But instead of sweeping landscapes, she’s leaning toward more contemporary projects…. While Hobson Wildenthal was still receiving congratulations on his being recognized at the Dallas Historical Society’s Awards of Excellence in Community Services, his brother Kern Wildenthal was heading across the pond to present a paper on cardiology… One fundraising vet couple admitted that they were worn out. They had been to five evening events that week and were truly weary. They also admitted that they were surprised at the number of event taking place in November… Ross Perot Jr. congratulated the lady-of the hour McDermott, who had positioned her wheelchair in front of the fireplace. Others in the crowd included Mary Suhm, the Strauss sisters (Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr), Mary McDermott with Dan Patterson, Kaki and Shelton Hopkins, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, Lynn and John Sears, Rena Pederson, Sharon and Mike McCullough, Nancy Perot, Linda McFarland, Delilah and Sam Boyd, Susan and Joel Williams, Ka Cotter, Nelda Cain Pickens, Diane Sealy, Mary Jalonick, Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, Nikki and Crayton Webb, Joan and Alan Walne, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, past Legacy Awardees (Jane and Bud Smith, James Huffines with wife Patty Huffines, Dee Wyly, Lyda Hill and Dan Branch with his wife Stacy) and McDermott Scholars (Dr. Eric Kildebeck, Drs. Jessie and Benedict Voit, Dr. Eric Kildebeck and Dr. Jonathan Coker).

Edith and Peter ODonnell and Debbie Francis

Ross Perot

Sharon and Mike McCullough

Patty and James Huffines

Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Nikki and Crayton Webb

Bypassing the guests jam in the Oak Room, former first lady Laura Bush arrived with little fanfare to congratulate Margaret, Caren, Deedie and her old pal/Legacy Awardee/BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis.

Debbie Francis, Laura Bush, Margaret McDermott, Deedie Rose and Caren Prothro

With clipboards in hand, the BrainHealth staff wrangled the guests to follow the evening’s program. After being called to the ballroom for dinner by the chimes, some just couldn’t fully commit to the POA. They just wanted to stand around and chat. Ah, but the Brainiacs knew how to ease them into the plan. As three string musicians played in front of the stage in the ballroom, the signal was given and violinists entered playing. The errant guests got the message and took their seats.

Brook Hollow ballroom

UT Dallas President Dr. Richard Benson welcomed the guests and said that he wished he could show Eugene the modern-day version of the campus that he and Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green helped establish. He rattled off a list of impressive facts about the university, including its recent distinction as the Times Higher Education’s No. 1 university in the US established less than 50 years ago. “I have no doubt that Mr. McDermott, Mr. Jonsson and Mr. Green dreamed big – but I wonder if they could have dreamed that big?” Dr. Benson wondered.

He said that Margaret had carried on the founders’ tradition of inspiring others in a big way through the transformation and beautification of the campus, the establishment of the McDermott Scholars program, and most recently the establishment of a similar program for outstanding doctoral students at UT Dallas who will go on to careers in research.

Thanks to her involvement in carrying out Eugene’s vision, 222 past and current students have been chosen for The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, which includes a full scholarship to UT Dallas.

It was interesting to note that in the evening’s printed program, the McDermott Scholars collectively expressed that Margaret had taught them to always pursue excellence while giving back to their community, calling her their “greatest champion, genuine friend, and true home away from home.”

Joining Margaret and her family at her table were McDermott Scholars Drs. Felicity and Walter Voit, who had created a living tribute to Margaret, naming their daughter—you guessed it—Margaret.

Following dinner and as dessert was served, Debbie Francis introduced a special tribute video celebrating Margaret’s positive influence on the city in which Mayor Mike Rawlings acknowledged “[Margaret] doesn’t want any credit; she wants to just keep giving back because she feels so thankful” and UT Dallas Executive VP Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, referred to her as a “chief executive of a major enterprise of doing wonderful things”.

Lyda Hill

Sandi joined Margaret at her table to officially present her with the 2017 Legacy Award saying “This will go down as one of the most magnificent nights in Dallas. Margaret, we are honored to bestow the Legacy Award to you this evening. You are immensely valued by everyone in this room. Your friendship and mentorship has inspired each of us. Thank you for letting us have a night to truly express our respect and love.”

Joining Sandi at Margaret’s table, past Legacy Award recipients Dan and Lyda welcomed her to the club saying, “Margaret, you make our hearts and minds sing.”

Lyda shared that Margaret had caught her mother’s wedding bouquet and dubbed Margaret the “Queen of Dallas.” As Lyda put it, Eugene made things happen at UT Dallas and in our city, but Margaret made things beautiful.

Despite the event’s masterminds assuring Margaret that she would not have to speak, she could not let the evening conclude without giving the last word. With her daughter, Mary, and granddaughter, Grace Cook, on either side, Margaret rose from her chair and expressed her gratitude for everyone in attendance and ended with a fitting cheer of “hooray for friends!”  

For more photos of the evening’s gathering, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s GM/CEO Keith Cerny Resigns To Head Up Calgary Opera

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

The Dallas Opera‘s GM/CEO Keith Cerny has just turned in his resignation to take over the position of general director/CEO of Calgary Opera in January.

During his seven-and-a-half years with the Dallas company, Keith presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets and a host of artistic projects, expansions, and technical innovations.  These include a highly-successful simulcast program; regional, U.S. and world premieres; and innovative community outreach programs.  

According to Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy. We wish him every success with his new responsibilities as we turn our efforts to maintaining this company’s impressive forward momentum and strengthening the collaborations with other arts organizations that have marked Keith’s tenure here in Dallas.”

Dallas’ loss is Calgary’s gain.

MySweetWishList: 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball

According to 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball Co-Chairs Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat,

Hayden and Sarah Godat and Kirstin and Holden Godat*

“This holiday season, our wish is for women and men across Dallas to help end domestic violence by purchasing tickets to attend the 2018 black-tie Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, an organization that provides safety, shelter and support to women and children fleeing abuse.

“The fifth annual Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, at the hit event venue Sixty Five Hundred. Hundreds of young professionals will come together to raise funds and awareness for Genesis Women’s Shelter while treating themselves to a formal night out. 

Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support*

“The evening promises to be one to remember, with live entertainment, casino games and a silent auction you won’t want to miss. Whether you make plans for a date night or a night out with friends, make sure to mark February 17 on your calendar. Last year’s Masquerade was a sold-out event, so get your tickets quickly. Tickets and more information can be found here.

Have a magical holiday season, and we can’t wait to see you on February 17!

“Questions? Contact Amy Norton at 214.389.7705 or [email protected].”

-By Kirstin and Holden Godat and Sarah and Hayden Godat, 2018 Genesis Young Leaders Masquerade Ball co-chairs

* Graphic and photo provided by Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support

Star 102.1 Personalities To Broadcast “Miracle Day Radiothon” Friday From Children’s Medical Center Dallas From 6 a.m. To 7 p.m.

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker (File photo)

Friday is going to be a bit warmer, but there’s still going to be a holiday chill in the air. That translates into the taste of hot chocolate at the desk and the aroma of homemade bread baking away. But what would be the ideal sound to go with all these senses of the holidays?

It’s “Miracle Day Radiothon”! Presented by Neighborhood Credit Union, iHeartRadio  Star 102.1’s Leigh Ann, Amanda Flores and Rick O’Bryan will be broadcasting from Children’s Medical Center Dallas. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., there will be patients like Kristin Alcaraz, Shantisa Anderson, Julissa Garcia, Sadie Granberry, Emmy Kaighan, Maddox Kindiger, Katie Kramer, Braden McCollum, Jacob Mowl, Samantha Raack, Makenna Rodolph, Sim Scott, Ace Shelton and Miguel Soto and their families telling memorable stories about their relationship with Children’s.

Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates (File photo)

In addition to reminding listeners of the true meaning of the holidays, the hope is that listeners will reach in their pockets to support program at Children’s Health, in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Donations can be made online or by calling 800.800.7277.

Factoid: Last year the Children’s Health system provided care for more than “278,000 unique patients at its hospitals, specialty centers and pediatric group practices. It is the second-busiest pediatric health system in the nation in terms of admissions and pediatric emergency department visits.”

Joining the effort to provide health care for children will sponsors Albertsons/Tom Thumb, Granite, AT and T, Cisco and The Residences at Rough Creek Lodge.

Crystal Charity Ball Committee Does A “Mary Tyler Moore” Singalong For CCB Chair Pam Perella On The Eve Of The Children’s Nonprofit Gala

T’was the night before Crystal Charity Ball and all through the Anatole the finishing touches were being polished up for the 2017 fundraiser for the Dallas County children’s nonprofits. With nails broken and fashionably torn jeans, the committee had finished their three days of installing the “Evening In The Alps” finery in the Chantilly Ballroom. To celebrate their year of working under the leadership of 2017 Chair Pam Perella, a champagne get-together was held in a suite high atop the hotel.

When Pam started her reign a year ago, she announced that the internal working theme would be TV shows of the ’70s. Still it became known that Pam’s fav program had been “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” How simply wonderful and typical of ever-smiling Pam.

But as CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers noted tonight, “Mary Tyler Moore died just days later.” That might have put a crimp on the POA, but this was a Pam project and the energy and collaboration continued in a MTM spirit.

Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell

Tonight as a surprise for Pam, the committee led by Pam’s chief lieutenants (Anne Besser, Leslie, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell) led the group in singing the theme song of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” with the lieutenants tossing their berets as the end.

Stacey Walker, Lisa Cooley, Caren Kline, Connie O’Neill and Angela Nash

While the CCB team is a gangbuster in raising funds for area charities, they had better not think about going professional with their choral singing. Still, Pam, with husband Vin Perella supporting her, was truly touched by the moment, the laughter and her cohorts.

Vin and Pam Perella

Another surprise was the arrival of Matthew Trent’s donation to the silent auction. For ages, Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner had been crossing their fingers for the arrival of Trent’s handiwork. Alas, it arrived just that night and too late for the catalogue. As the ladies opened the box, they discovered a beautiful gold necklace with a brilliant gold fish highlighted by white sapphires valued at $15,000+.  BTW, Event Producer Tom Addis has truly created an Alpine experience, from a skiers’ hut to the aroma of fresh-cut firs. And that’s just for the cocktail party!

Legendary B.J. Thomas Took The Stage For Northwood Woman’s Club’s Annual Kaleidoscope Fundraiser At Intercontinental Hotel

While the rest of North Texas was resting after a morning of runs/walks on Saturday, October 28, the Northwood Woman’s Club was in overdrive at the Intercontinental Hotel for its annual Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” fundraiser. In addition to having The Triumphs on stage, the star of the night was the legendary B.J. Thomas. Here’s a report from the field that was delayed due to a MySweetCharity elf’s being asleep at the wheel: 

No raindrops fell Saturday, October 28, on the Northwood Woman’s Club Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel. The only raindrops at the event came later in the evening in a song when music legend B.J. Thomas took the stage and sang his Grammy winning hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

Upon arrival, guests mingled and explored the silent auction items and wine pull. As guests moved to their tables for dinner, they viewed a slide show featuring the beneficiaries of the event—Attitudes and Attire, Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UTD, Cristo Rey Dallas, Dallas CASA, Interfaith Family Services, St. Simon’s After-School, and NWC Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Gala chair Leslie Apgar welcomed guests into dinner as the band The Triumphs took the stage to play during dinner. The Triumphs, the original band that recorded with B.J. Thomas, added a touch of nostalgia to the evening with their familiar hits from the sixties and seventies.

Sharyl Weber, Patricia Kay Dube and Vaughn Gross*

To start the evening’s program NWC President Patricia Kay Dube welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the event. She then turned the program over to Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer Dean McCurry, who recognized guests from each of the beneficiary organizations, including Dallas CASA President and Executive Director Kathleen LaValle and St. Simon’s After School Executive Director Maria Vizzo.

To start the live auction, Dean urged the crowd to “bid up” on a variety of live auction items. He kept the bidding lively for hot sports items such as a Cowboys game experience that includes tickets in a suite and on field passes, and a suite at a Mavericks game for twelve people. Travel items up for auction included a vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado and a stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii. The live auction concluded with a trip to New York in December to see the Billy Joel concert, and this item generated so many bids that several additional trips were awarded to bidders.

B.J. Thomas*

Ready for the featured entertainment of the evening by five-time Grammy winner B.J. Thomas, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed B.J. to the stage and filled the dance floor to sing along and dance as he performed his many hit songs, including “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Hooked on a Feeling” and many others.

The Triumphs closed out the evening with more music and dancing.

The best part of the evening was the success of the event in raising funds for NWC’s beneficiaries and scholarship fund.

* Photo provided by Northwood Woman's Club

ReuNight’s Four-Legged Guest Of Honor Stole The Fundraiser’s Limelight At The Statler And Nary A Person Minded

Just as temperatures and rain were dropping, the fundraising season had hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, November 8. As one vet put it, “Tonight I just have too many fires to put out and it’s cold and wet.” Still that person made the time for The Family Place’s ReuNight at The Statler.

Instead of having a fashion designer like last year’s Donna Karan, the guest-of honor was The Statler mascot llama that could only stay for cocktails.

Thanks to the chill and wet stuff, plans to have the cocktail party and meet-and-pet with the llama were moved to the lobby on the ground level below the ballroom. It didn’t bother the two- or four-legged critters at all.

That person with the fires to put out even made time to have a photo taken the ears-up llama that was picture perfect every time.

Kristi Hoyl and Jennifer Dix

Ron Hoyl, Amy Turner and Richard Dix

ReuNight Co-Chairs Kristi Hoyl was receiving non-stop congrats on her new role at Baylor Scott And White Health…Co-Chair Jennifer Dix was the ultimate hostess greeting guests with a hug…Co-chair Husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl were the supportive and adoring husbands… Speaking of dutiful husbands, Allan McBee hit the couch as soon as he escorted wife/Texas Trailblazer Lynn McBee into the reception. Allan was waylaid by a years-old knee injury that may require revisiting.

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

Allan McBee

The arrival of the Jones clan rallied the photographers with Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson being flashed like the llama in the back of the room.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

Ahead of schedule, the crowd including Caren and Pete Kline, Pam and Vin Perella, Mersina Stubbs, Angie and Kevin Kadesky, Amy Turner, Shelle and Michael Sills, Niven Bannister, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Cindy Stager, Neil Patel, Tim Adair, Cara French, Heather Randall, Tia Wynne, Mary Martha Pickens, Brooke Shelby, JB Hayes, Robert Weatherly, Tucker Enthoven with mom Julie Ford and Lisa Ogle, moved to the upper level ballroom which Kim Bannister’s design was simply captivating with columns showcasing the ReuNight icons (Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens).

Neil Patel and Tim Adair

Kim and Niven Bannister

ReuNight ballroom

After dining and bidding on a few luxury packages, they danced into the night with the Jordan Kahn Orchestra on stage.

More than one guest worried about the llama’s stress level as the ever-changing guests and camera flashes. Not to worry. As the final photo was taken, the llama sauntered out the front door like any pooch on a evening walk, as a pizza delivery fella walked in with box in hand for a hotel guest.

For more photos of the llama and other pretties, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Jewelry Designer Jorge Adeler’s His-And-Hers Package Of Historic Note Added To The Array Of Crystal Charity Ball Silent Auction Items

Unlike other fundraisers, the Crystal Charity Ball has no live auction with that arm-raising competition. Heavens, no! Instead, they have a glamorama silent auction of luxury items that would impress the most persnickety Black Card holder. In preparation for the sleek bidding, the CCB committee sends out a fabulous book containing the goodies to guests.

This year Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner really challenged postal carriers with their 230-pager for the Saturday, December 2, so-very-sold-out gala at the Anatole.

But, alas, one of the dreamy items arrived just as the tome had left the printers. Provided by jewelry designer Jorge Adeler, who is sold exclusively at Forty Five Ten, this his-and-hers package is perfect for the gal and guy who appreciate “unique pieces that are seeping in history and tradition, while being transformed into current, wearable art to enhance any wardrobe.”

Jorge Adeler pendant and cuff links*

For the lady, Jorge has created a pendant mounted in 14kt gold featuring the authentic ancient coin of the Constantine the Great’s son, Emperor Constantius. For non-history buffs, Constantius ruled from 337-361 AD in which he made “a concerted effort to promote Christianity at the expense of Roman polytheism.”

As for the gentlemen, Jorge has transformed “authentic ancient Isshu-Gin coins that were minted in Japan when shoguns ruled” into exquisite cuff links.  Mounted by hand in 18kt gold in Adeler’s atelier, the coins were used by Shogun to pay the Samurai.”

Retail value of these historic treasures is $9,476.

Get your credit cards warmed up.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 ReuNight

JB Hayes and Robert Weatherly

The llama of honor was picture perfect on Wednesday, November 8, at the Statler for The Family Place’s ReuNight. After standing for more than an hour, its ears were still standing straight up and it never shied away from the camera flashes and the guests taking selfies.

Kristi Hoyl, Jennifer Dix, Paige Flink, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones

And when the chimes called the guests upstairs for the seated dinner and live auction, the step-and-repeat, four-legged star made a brief exit out the front door passing by Honorary Co-Chairs Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson on their way in.

While the rest of the soiree write-up is being prepared, check out the llama and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

35th Annual Friends Of Dallas Police Banquet Salutes The Heroes In Blue With Fanfare, Elected Officials And Awards

With Dallas’ new Police Chief Reneé Hall and loads of city leaders in attendance, the 35th Annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet was quite a stellar affair complete with Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and the Dallas Police Honor Guard on Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency. In additions to awards being handed out to officers in blue, there was fire fighter / paramedic / new dad William An, who knew firsthand how Dallas’ finest will make the difference in lifesaving situations. Here’s a report from the field:

Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and Dallas Police Honor Guard*

Described as the Oscars for the Dallas Police Department, more than 600 gathered to attend the 35th annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet held Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The stars of the evening were the 115 police officers and non-sworn employees honored for their strong leadership, courage and exceptional service demonstrated throughout the past year. Not only were Medals of Valor and Life Saving Awards presented, but top honors were announced for Officer of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Detective of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Non-Sworn Employee and more. For a fifth year, Highland Capital Management stepped up as presenting sponsor.

George Dunham and the Dallas Police Choir*

The Ticket radio host George Dunham was tapped to keep the jam-packed program moving. The evening began as the Dallas Police Honor Guard and the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums presented the colors in a moving ceremony, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Dallas Police Choir and the invocation given by Dallas Police Chaplain Rayford Butler.

Friends of Dallas Police Chairman Lamonte Thomas described the DPD as “one of the finest police departments in our nation.”

“When I hear of the everyday sacrifice and heroism demonstrated on the streets and behind the scenes by the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, I am humbled, proud and grateful,” he added.

This was the first Friends of the Dallas Police Banquet for Dallas’ new “top cop” – Chief U. Reneé Hall, who was on hand to present the awards and take photos with all 115 winners.

Tennell Atkins, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Mike Rawlings and Omar Narvaez*

Elected officials from local to national levels were there in force to back the blue. In addition to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who delivered remarks at the VIP reception, special guests included Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano and Dallas City Councilmembers Rick Callahan, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Omar Narvaez, Adam McGough and Casey Thomas. Also attending were Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax, Dallas Fire and Rescue Chief David Coatney, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners Dr. Elba Garcia and Theresa Daniel, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, State Senator Don Huffines, State Representative Cindy Burkett and State Representative Toni Rose, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Pete Session and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

Rick Callahan and Elba Garcia*

Mark Okada and Don Huffines*

One highlight was the introduction of Dallas Fire and Rescue firefighter and paramedic William An, who was seriously injured when shot by a suspect. Nine officers – including Sergeant Robert Watson who rescued An, put him in his police car and took him to the hospital thereby saving his life – were awarded Medals of Valor for their bravery under fire. Watson invited An and his family to sit at his table with his family members. (It was the first time they’d seen each other in a very long time.) The Dallas Morning News’ Naheed Rajwani interviewed An that evening and reported the following:

William An, Robert Watson and An son*

“An’s 3-week-old son is named Watson, which An’s wife had picked out before the shooting. The couple realized later that it was the lifesaving sergeant’s last name, too.
“‘Purely coincidental,’ An said, ‘but some people say there’s no such thing as coincidences.'”

Top awards were given to Officer Joe King, who was named the John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year, and Stephanie Mendoza, who was named the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Officer King works in the Legal Services Division, and Mendoza works as an office assistant in the Auto Thefts Division.

Joe King and Reneé Hall*

Stephanie Mendoza and Reneé Hall*

Noe Camacho and Reneé Hall*

Ivan Gunter and Reneé Hall*

Other winners included Detective Noe Camacho named the James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year, Sergeant Ivan Gunter named the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year, Senior Corporal David Feinstein named Field Training Officer of the Year, Reserve Lieutenant D’Andrea Gadbury named Supervisor of the Year, Fernando Garcia named the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year, and Supervisor III Brian Hansen named Non-Sworn Supervisor of the Year.

David Feinstein*

D’Andrea Gadbury and Reneé Hall*

Fernando Garcia and Reneé Hall*

In addition to their awards, the top honorees received a variety of prizes, ranging from hotel stays and entertainment packages, to dinners and VISA cards. 

Also, two $1,500 scholarships were presented to the children of Dallas police officers. The 2017 Educational Scholarship Awards went to Courtney Jones, the daughter of Detective Charles Jones, and Hannah Kim, daughter of Senior Corporal David Kim.

There was no lack of community support! In addition to

  • Presenting sponsor — Highland Capital Management,
  • Chief Sponsors ($10,000-$25,000) — The Men & Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., The Marilyn and Sonny Oates Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Kenny A. Troutt
  • Major Sponsors ($5,000 level)— Cigna, Freeman Auto Group, Don Henley & Family, Al G. Hill Jr., Ellen and John McStay, Scovell Family Foundation, Sewell and Marianne and Roger Staubach
  • Lieutenant Sponsors ($3,500 level) — Central Market, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Kroger and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP.

For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Police, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.

* Photo credit: James Edward