Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Celebrated The Close Of Family Gateway’s 30th Anniversary Year With Laura Bush Recalling A Little Boy Left Behind

Family Gateway’s CEO Ellen Magnis had a real challenge on her hands. Last year’s Gateway To Opportunity kicking off the 30th anniversary of the organization had really been a hit with Jenna Bush Hager on stage in a chat with WFAA’s Ron Corning in the Trinity Ballroom. The blonde former first twin had also scored points at the meet-and-greet in the Fair Park Room, where she even offered to do selfies with VIPs.

Betty Schultz, Laura Bush and Paula Miltenberger

But this year’s luncheon was to be the grand finale for  the 30th anniversary year of the organization for homeless families established by the late, former Mayor Annette Strauss. Ellen with Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz came up with quite a recipe for success. The speaker would be former first lady Laura Bush and the honorary co-chairs would be Annette’s daughters, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr. Was it a success? Evidently so, judging by the turnout that doubled the crowd from the last year and necessitating the move from the 15,418-square-foot Trinity Ballroom to the 31,733-square-foot Dallas Ballroom.

Janie McGarr, Nancy Halbreich, Penny Tower Cook, Laura Bush, Jeanne Tower Cox, Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt and Christine Schuepbach

All was set for the Thursday, September 7th luncheon with a couple of unforeseen oop’s. But what’s an event without a little challenge. For the meet-and-greet, the floorplan diagram had been created like an architectural work of art. No detail had been left out. Only problem arose when the organizers arrived to find that the Omni crew had done their own interpretation that was nowhere near the diagram. After requests to follow the original POA, Omni managers sheepishly arrived to say they didn’t have enough poles and curtains to satisfy the requirements. Seems there were two other events going on and they just ran out. Quickly, the Gateway team and the Bush folks redesigned the plan to achieve their goal with the limited resources.

Rachael Dedman and Vicki Chapman

Lee Ann White, Michael Faircloth and Gene Jones

Despite starting a few minutes later that planned, the meet-and-greet went so smoothly that it finished on time with all being photographed with Laura including Jeanne Cox, Rachael Dedman, Michael Faircloth, Gina Betts, Alison Malone, Tracy Lange, the Tower sisters (Jeanne Tower Cox and Penny Tower Cook), Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, Christine Schuepbach, Lynn McBee, Becky Bowen and Underwriting Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and daughter Ciara Cooley. The only one who wasn’t photographed with the former first lady was Ellen. Seems that she was in the lobby helping the check-in staff that had been flooded by the number of guests like Gail and Gerald Turner, Vicki Chapman, Gunnar Rawlings, Lee Ann White and Gene Jones checking in. But that situation was resolved, too.

Gerald and Gail Turner, Alison Malone, Ciara Cooley, Lisa Cooley and Becky Bowen

Promptly at noon, following KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley‘s welcome and Highland Park United Methodist Church Rev. Paul Rasmussem’s invocation, Ellen briefly told of Gateway’s partnering with Matthews Southwest in the creation of a complex in Hutchins with 336 units for families seeking affordable housing. When a client first works with Gateway, their case manager’s first goal is get them in housing and then to work with them on education completion, job training, financial literacy, parenting education and self-care. But she added that part of their mission was to learn and apply new strategies.

Following a video, Paula told how she had gotten involved with Gateway. It was three years ago and her plan had been to keep her boys occupied. Instead she learned the need for solutions. The boys, on the other hand, suggested that they just have the homeless move in with them.

Robert Munoz and Deanna Reyna Munoz

Deanna Reyna Munoz then provided a testimonial, telling how her mother was 16 when Deanna was born. Her father was incarcerated. That’s when they found Family Gateway and for the first time she had her own room, bed and closet. The Gateway staff then helped her mother change into a responsible person resulting in her having her own home. Deanna became the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She got a job at the Dallas Cowboys and “bought her own home with a pool and married her boyfriend (Robert Munoz) of 10 years. My success stems from the tools provided by Family Gateway.”

That powerful presentation was followed by auctioneer Wendy Lambert’s shout out for funds with a goal to match $225,000. This awkward segment tends to cast an aura of guilt in the room among those who don’t rise to occasion. In this case, the results hauled in $154,000. Or so folks thought as they finished up their meal. But post-event checks and online donations, the challenge was met!

It was now time for the main act with Presenting Sponsor MetroPCS District Manager Brad Pott’s introducing Laura.

  • She started off by thanking all for supporting Family Gateway and provided an update on the Bushes. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coat, Barbara and George H.W. Bush were safe and sound in Maine, where Barb is no longer walking the shores with her dogs. Instead she’s rolling around in a golf cart with the pooches following.
  • George W. Bush’s painting has resulted in 98 wounded warriors being subjects, a book “Portraits in Courage” and displayed at the Bush Center.
  • Laura and George W.’s names as grandparents — “It’s like choosing a name for a cat.” George suggested that his grandchild just call him, “Sir.”
  • Laura Bush bobble head doll — A friend gave it to her and reported that “It was on the clearance shelf.”
  • Tabloids — “My daughters were getting engaged to persons I had never heard of.”
  • 9/11 — She was sitting in Ted Kennedy’s office.

Then she tied her talk back to the subject of the day — early childhood care can change the cycle of poverty. Among the 400 families served by Family Gateway last year, there were 900 children.

Laura recalled that long before her husband was governor of Texas or president, she had worked at an inner-city school in Houston and discovered a remarkable level of poverty. Such conditions result in one in three young people dropping out of high school each year, with single-parent families becoming the norm and one or both parents in jail.

When she had completed her work at the school, she decided to take some of her students to AstroWorld. In picking them up, she arrived at one house where the student came to the door in his underwear. His mother never came to the door to provide permission for him to join the group. Before Laura left, she gave the tyke a long hug.

As Laura concluded her talk at 1:04 p.m., she admitted that she often wondered what happened to the youngster. Was he still alive? Did he have a family? What had happened to him over the past decades? She said the challenge is not to forget that little boy or any of the children in need of compassion and assistance.  

Family Gateway’s Raffle Offers Courtside Seats, Movie Audience VIP Status And Fashionable Designs And Pampering

Talk about variety! That’s exactly what the Gateway to Opportunity raffle line up offers to benefit Family Gateway. There are just five items, but run the gamut from sports to self-indulgence. Here is the lineup:

Abraham Salum (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

  • Start off the evening with Abraham Salum’s team preparing dinner for four of you at Salum’s. But make it early because you’ll want to get to the Mavericks game at American Airlines Center early to watch the teams warm up from your two courtside seats and two additional nearby seats. Thank heaven, you’ll have limousine transportation, so you can wear yourself out urging on Dirk and waving on the Mavs Fancam.
  • Who needs a media room when you have a Studio Movie Grill Black Card for two for a year? Just imagine, you’ll be able to skip the hassles of buying tickets and settle back to watch the latest movies. Let’s see. If you and a bud go every day for a year, that would run you between $4,380 and $7,665. Pass the popcorn, but don’t pass up this opportunity.
  • Your fav follicle engineer at Truvy’s Beauty Shop is gonna be heartbroken if you win this item — $1,000 gift certificate for services at the Michael Flores Salon at Neiman Marcus Downtown. Ah, the stories you’ll be able to tell your pals about being glamorized by Michael Flores and his team. Think of it a little like dining from soup to nuts. Instead it will be a feast from roots to pedicure.
  • What’s better than a nip and tuck? Jewelry. It lasts forever, don’t you know. And this 18k rose-gold amethyst pendant necklace with diamond accents designed by Lisa Nik for Bachendorf’s will simply dazzle your neckline. And to show off this dazzler valued at $3,360, what better place than Javier’s, where you’ll have a $200 gift certificate for top-shelf margaritas with Grand Marnier, Fajitas De Cabrito and Flan Al Kahlúa.
  • Is there anything more embarrassing that showing up at a black-tie gala only to see you gown on someone else? Ah, but this item can prevent that from happening thanks to Dallas’ one and only designer extraordinaire Michael Faircloth. The man with notches on his belt for dressing some of the best dressed and a former first lady will create a suit or dress valued at $4,000. And if you’ve ever experienced a Faircloth creation, then you just know Cinderella would have replaced her fairy godmother with Michael.

Going for $50 a ticket, Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz have arranged an extra incentive. If you buy five tickets, they’ll throw in an additional one gratis. And if you’re gonna be out of town and unable to attend the luncheon featuring Laura Bush at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Thursday, September 7, not to worry. Paula and Betty will let you know which package you won.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

According to Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz,

Paula Miltenberger (File photo)

Laura Bush (File photo)

Here is your opportunity to help Family Gateway provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness.  The Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon, presented by MetroPCS, will feature keynote speaker Laura W. Bush on Thursday, September 7, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  We are thrilled to have civic leaders Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr, daughters of Family Gateway founder Annette Strauss, serving as honorary co-chairs of the event.

Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009) is a leading voice for spreading freedom and promoting human rights across the globe.  She advocated the importance of literacy and education to advance opportunity for America’s young people and to foster healthy families and communities.  Today, Mrs. Bush pursues her work on global healthcare innovations and empowering women in emerging democracies through the George W. Bush Institute.  We are honored to have her join us at this important fund-raising event for Family Gateway.

By supporting the Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon you will enable Family Gateway to address the devastating effects of homelessness in our community. Visit for sponsorship opportunities and ticket information.

JUST IN: Top-Tier Moms And Daughters Are Coming Together For Family Gateway To End Homelessness For Children And Their Families

This year’s Family Gateway’s Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon on Thursday, September 7, at the Omni Dallas is simply brimming with all types of mother-daughter relationships. To begin with, the organization was founded by the late Mayor Annette Strauss 31 years ago to “create sufficient stable housing and to expand availability and access to life-changing services to that every homeless child and their family has a path out of poverty to a brighter future.” With Annette’s inspiration in mind, Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Miltenberger and Betty Schultz have arranged to have Annette’s daughters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr to serve as honorary co-chairs.

Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr (File photo)

But wait! There’s more.

The keynote speaker will be former first lady Laura Bush, whose daughter Jenna Bush Hager addressed the group last year with mom in the audience.

According to Family Gateway CEO Ellen Magnis, “We are honored to have Mrs. Bush’s involvement in our Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon and to have her support of our agency. As an advocate for education and the empowerment of women and girls, Mrs. Bush understands how critical early childhood education is to breaking the cycle of homelessness. Education is an important part of our program at Family Gateway, and we are grateful for Mrs. Bush’s efforts to raise awareness.”  

With MetroPCS as the presenting sponsor, underwriting co-chairs will be another mom-dotter team —Lisa Cooley and her daughter Ciara Cooley.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now. How about getting that Mother’s Day gift locked down now?

Laura W. Bush Institute Provided A Look At The Amazing Universe Of Stem Cells Thanks To Doris Taylor And Jay Schneider

Laura Bush and Lee Ann White

Lee Ann White had had a busy 24 hours. On Tuesday, February 14, (aka Valentine’s Day), she had orchestrated a sweetie of a celebration at the Ritz-Carlton with the Hamilton Park Choir and 50 besties. Alas, Annette Simmons and husband Jerry Fronterhouse and birthday girl Gene Jones had to send regrets. Couldn’t blame them. Annette and Jerry were out of town celebrating their first anniversary and Gene was over the pond to check out her new floating getaway.

But in attendance were Lana and Barry Andrews, Toni and T. Boone Pickens and the usual multi-gillionaires plus Laura and George Bush.

Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Troutt

Debbie Francis

Jeanne Cox

But early the next morning on Wednesday, February 15, Lee Ann, Lana, Jan Rees-Jones, Jeanne Cox and Debbie Francis were looking fresh-faced for the Laura W. Bush Institute gathering at the Dallas Country Club.  

Su-Su Meyer, Gayle Stoffel, Lana Andrew and Meredith Land

Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus

Kimber Hartmann and Angie Kadesky

Monet and George Ball and Tiffany Divis

After the breakfast coffee that included a crash of china coffee cups from the buffet to the tile floor, the group (Tiffany Divis with daughter Monet Ball and husband Dr. George Ball, Libby Allred, Pam Busbee, Ola Fojtasek, Michael Fowler, Kimber Hartmann, Debbie Francis, Lisa Ogle, Joanne Stroud, Kara Goss, Su-Su Meyer, Al Hill Jr., Angie Kadesky, Rhonda Marcus, Diane Howard, Jane Pierce and Lisa Troutt) gathered in the ballroom for “Stem Cells: Building Blocks For Human Organs And Tools For Therapeutic Discovery” by Dr. Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor, Ph.D., introduced by emcee KXAS’s Meredith Land.

Diane Howard and Marjorie Jenkins

Al Hill Jr.

Connie Tyne, Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor

Over to the side of the ballroom stood Laura Bush with Lee Ann, the speakers and Institute hierarchy. While this presentation was Lee Ann’s swan song as president of the Laura W. Bush Institute, Institute Executive Director Connie Tyne and Institute Chief Science Officer Marjorie Jenkins kept things popping.

After Lee Ann introduced Laura, the former first lady updated the group on the Bush family — former first Lady Barbara and President George H.W. Bush both got well in time to flip the coin for the Super Bowl, and Laura’s husband former President George W. Bush has been working on portraits and a book on wounded warriors (“Buy his book because he’s living on a government pension.” Actually, proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior project).

She then discussed the various programs and developments that the Institute will be hosting in the coming months.

It was now time for the two experts to discuss the day’s topic. First up was Doris Taylor on how the body heals itself with its own stem cells. Admitting that she saw the world through stem-cell glass, she saw aging and most chronic diseases as a failure of stem cells.

Her first two points of the day were:

  • Heart disease kills more women than men. Most clinical trials on restorative therapy for heart disease are done on men. Despite more equivalent trials being undertaken involving men and women, the chances are that a woman will still receive treatments designed for a man.
  • Sex is not the same as gender. While the rule of thumb is that at the first sign of a heart attack, it is essential to get to a hospital within four hours. Men usually get there within the four-hour window. Why? Because their wives drive them there. Women, on the other hand. don’t get there within that time period but not because of biologic or sex differences. Rather because of gender-based differences. A woman will delay getting help for various reasons like “The house is dirty,” “The kids are coming home from school,” I don’t want an ambulance guy to come in here when the house is dirty,” etc.  Due to the excuses, a woman doesn’t make it to the hospital in time. It is societal gender difference, not biological. 

Doris then addressed the future of stem cells in aging. Using a simple example, she told how when a young child falls and scrapes their knee, it’s not like they are going to be scarred for life. However, an adult may not be so lucky. That is because of the stem cells that take care of the normal wear and tear of the body aren’t as available as a person ages. 

She explained how inflammation is nature’s signaling that there has been an injury, and stem cells are needed to repair. If you get the right cells there, you can eliminate the inflammation.

Doris then said that she really wanted the audience to take away two points from her talk:

  1. Inflammation for a short time is a good thing, because it tells the body that stem cells are need and those stem cells get mobilized
  2. But chronic inflammation when you don’t get stem cells is a bad thing.

The problem with aging is that we lose stem cells and their capacity to handle the inflammation over time. Through cell therapy, those aging-out stem cells can be replaced.

Regarding heart disease, it occurs in men earlier in life, but then levels off. In women it starts slower and then speeds up. But by the 70s men and women are equal in the heart disease.

During that same time period, it was interesting to note the loss of stem cells take place at the same rate.

Stem cells can self-replicate and they can come from a lot of things. The common sources of stem cells are bone marrow, blood, fat, muscle and amniotic fluid. Thanks to research, almost any cell can be turned into a stem cell.

In a research project that Doris conducted in mice regarding plaque in the heart, she discovered that female stem cells worked in both males and females. But the male stem cells only worked in male mice and they worsened the conditions of the female mice.

Ways to solve the problem of :

  • Prevention
  • Repairing the right cells
  • Finding cogent stem cell
  • Getting the right stem cells from somebody else
  • Storing your cells
  • Picking the right patients
  • Mobilizing your stem cells by reducing stress, exercising, acupuncture, meditation, etc.

Stem cells are already in use in the treatment of arthritis, sports injuries, surgeries, cosmetic applications, etc. It was on that last point that Doris warmed about the problem of medical tourism in getting overseas applications of stem cells:

  • your own doctor will not know what he/she is dealing with
  • they probably haven’t been through the clinical trials

For these reasons, she encouraged the advancement of testing and gaining access to such treatments in this country.

A couple of final points:

  1. Integrated Healthcare Association has recognized that the sexes are different and those difference need to be addressed
  2. American Heart Association published a paper last year about the difference of heart attacks in men and women

Doris then talked about building hearts in the lab. By washing the cells out of a heart and replacing those cells, the heart was able to work, plus the women’s skeletal hearts were stronger than the men’s. Similar tests are being done in other organs.

But with all the advancements, the overall results will only be successful if the differences in the genders are included.

Her final comment was to push for answers and to discuss the topic with doctors and friends.

Next up Dr. Jay Schneider, who opened with the fact that before the day’s meeting with the former first lady, his previous Texas VIP meeting had been Willie Nelson … “This is much better than that.”

 He then turned to his talk, emphasizing that in addition to gender differences, each person is totally unique in their genocode “God gave our souls, but the code determines what our cells are.”

Thanks to the modern technology — CRISPR — the genetic code can be adjusted. Jay was positively high of the development of CRISPR predicting a Noble Prize in the future for those involved in its discovery.

Back story: CRISPR was discovered thank to scientists trying to find out why yogurt went bad. It was due to bacteria.

CRISPR will go through genome — all 46 chromosomes and billions of bases — and locate the basic mistake in the makeup and “actually fix them.”

He then gave two examples of the importance. First was a young man in Dallas named “Ben,” who is suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The disease effects boys, but it is transmitted from the mothers, who do not have symptoms. Using CRISPR, Ben has a single mistake in his gene that causes Duchenne. With the new technology, they can go in using molecular technology, change the sequence, and cure the muscular disease.  Until clinical trials are done, the treatment cannot be done. However, thanks to cells that were made from his blood, muscles can be built.

Jay emphasized that this was being done with Ben’s own blood and not embryonic fluid. He credited the development of creating stems from means other than embryonic fluid to former President George W. Bush, who restricted funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2012, thereby forcing scientist to undertake other alternatives.

His second example was his year-old great niece Allison, who suffers from Acting Mental Myelopathy. Like Ben, she had one mistake in her gene make-up. Only one other child was born with this condition. Thanks to CRISPR, technology is being created that will go into her muscle and release her from her paralysis.

But there is an urgency to solving these genetic situations. As one gets older, it is harder to correct the error.

Jay then smoothly made a suggestion to the former first lady, who was seated nearby. In visiting the Bush Center, Jay was surprised to see barely a mention of the former president’s involvement in changing the world of genetics. His suggestion was to take a tube of blood from the former first lady and use it to demonstrate how stem cells can be created, thereby not requiring embryonic fluid.

Marjorie then held a brief Q&A for Doris and Jay with the audience that addressed the following points:

  • The life span of cells varies.
  • A stem cell circulates for various periods of time. They then go to the injured site or back to the bone marrow.
  • Donating a body to Jay’s clinic for research is invaluable.
  • Ben’s case is already advanced and it will be a challenge to get to each cell in his muscles. However, most Duchenne patients and their mothers tend to die from heart disease. Luckily, the heart is more accessible for using CRISPR.
  • Allison is still much younger and her mass is still developing and more manageable.
  • AIDs is a disease that is having positive results due to CRISPR.
  • One of the great issues facing the use of genetic management: the ethical questions being raised.

A Gentle Reminder: Get Your Mailing And Banking Done Before Monday’s Presidents Day Holiday

If you were planning on doing some banking on Monday, rethink it because it’s a bank holiday thanks to President’s Day. But if you were expecting bills, you can rest easy because there ain’t gonna be any mail delivery either.

History lesson: President’s Day was originally held on February 22 to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. It was started in 1800 following Washington’s death in 1799. It wasn’t until the late 1870’s when it was declared an official federal holiday. But then in the late 1960s Congress got busy and created the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that “sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays. The proposed change was seen by many as a novel way to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, and it was believed that ensuring holidays always fell on the same weekday would reduce employee absenteeism.”

For some folks, the three-day holiday has become a 3½-day holiday, since some folks took off for a very long lunch.

Barack Obama, Barbara and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush (File photo)

If you see a U.S. President, give ‘em a kiss for the day off.

Former First Twin/Author/”Today” Show Jenna Bush Hager Brought The Importance Of Family To Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

Despite a presidential debate taking place the night before, former First Twin Jenna Bush Hager had nary a question about politics at the meet-and-greet for Family Gateway’s “Gateway to Opportunity” on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

One guest at the meet-and-greet in Fair Park II Suite brought a a copy of Jenna’s “Our Great Big Backyard” that she had co-authored with her mom/former First Lady Laura Bush. Another guest also brought her daughter….well, sorta. Seems her daughter wanted to attend but couldn’t. So mom had a head cutout on a stick made of her daughter and held it proudly when she  had their picture taken with Jenna.

As folks lined up to be photographer with the “Today” contributing correspondent, someone noticed that co-author Laura Bush had arrived. Still Jenna was the Bush of the hour.

One event planner admitted amazement how accommodating Jenna was posing for cellphone selfies and flashing a homecoming queen smile for each shot.

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Bay Miltenberger

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Bay Miltenberger

And since Family Gateway is dedicated to help families, it was a family driven event. Co-Chair Paula Miltenberger managed to get shots of her boys (Bo Miltenberger and Brady Miltenberger), her mom (Dianne Bosler) and hubby (Bay Miltenberger) with Jenna. Co-Chair Tracy Lange also had photos taken of husband (Ben Lange), daughter (Livia Lange) and son (Luke Lange) with Jenna.

Jenna Bush Hager, Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Jenna Bush Hager, Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Luke Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Luke Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Ben Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

Ben Lange and Jenna Bush Hager

It was touching to have sisters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr at the luncheon. Their mother, the late Dallas Mayor Annette Strauss, founded Family Gateway to provide “supportive housing, access to early childhood development, after-school tutoring and mentoring” 30 years ago.

Ruth Altshuler, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr

Ruth Altshuler, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr

No sooner was there a last call for a photo with Jenna made, then she left to join the crowd in the Trinity Ballroom. As the guests began to leave the room, some mighty big and fine checks showed up from Matthews Southwest and Sammons Enterprises much to the delight of Family Gateway Executive Director Ellen Magnis.

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth

Tracy and Kent Rathbun

Tracy and Kent Rathbun

Inside the Dallas Ballroom, the guests (Honorary Co-Chairs Tracy and Kent Rathbun, Underwriting Co-Chairs Ciara Cooley and Lisa Cooley, Bela Piertrovic, Bianco Filio, Anne Davidson, Ana Carty, Ruth Altshuler, Lisa Troutt, Michael Faircloth, D’Andra Simmons, Gene Jones, Angie Kadesky, Missy Falchi, Jeanne Cox, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Jack Matthews, Scott Galbraith and Gina Betts with her longtime associate Joan Rose, who is retiring) were taking their places.

Emcee/WFAA co-anchor Ron Corning welcomed the crowd and had Highland Park United Methodist Church Rev. Susan Robb provide the invocation.

Anne Johnson

Anne Johnson

Following lunch, Ron introduce Family Gateway Chairman of the Board Anne Johnson, who told of a client, who was juggling a job, running a household and raising children. When Anne asked her how she was handling it all, the woman responded, “I’m doing great. I have a plan. At Family Gateway they treat me like an adult with respect. My kids see that and I feel for the first time that like I can do this.”

Ellen told how during the first 25 years, Family Gateway served approximately 55 families annually. Last year, it provided safe housing and services to almost 500 families. Of the families help, most are single mom situations. One of the differences of Family Gateway is that they have all types of families. Some have grandparents, single fathers with children and married couples with children. It will also accept boys of a certain age that most shelters will not take in resulting in the youths to be sent to a men’s shelter.

Ellen admitted that one of the frustrations facing Family Gateway is affordable housing for clients. However, she was pleased…no, more than pleased to announce a partnership with Matthews Southwest to develop such housing providing 336 units near the International Inland Port of Dallas in Hutchins.

Shanjula Harris

Shanjula Harris

As proof of their efforts, Tracy and Paula introduced former client/mother of three Shanjula Harris, who told how she rose from the darkest depths of her life as a mother unable to provide for her children thanks to the volunteers and staff at Family Gateway. She admitted that the hardest part was being scared alone. Thanks to Family Gateway, she was freed of that fear and was no longer alone. Today she has a place for her family, a job that she looks forward to and wants to make a difference in the world. “I hope I am living proof that you have made a difference. For those of you who have been a member of Family Gateway family, thank you for believing in me.”

Following a call to offer financial assistance, MetroPCS Director Ethan Stubbs reported that in addition to be the 2016 presenting sponsor, it had signed up for 2017. In addition to financial support for Family Gateway, they were also rolling up their sleeves to provide hands-on involvement on events throughout the year. He then introduced Jenna and went off script saying that he had put her most recent book — “Our Great Big Backyard” — to the test with his six children ranging from 18 months to 13 years. “We read the book and they stayed engaged the entire time which is not an easy thing to do.”

From the left: (seated) Peter Slater, Ethan Stubbs, Barry Carlson, Steve Seay and Luis Reynoso; (standing) Suzy Kelley, Mike Loverde and Christy Harris

From the left: (seated) Peter Slater, Ethan Stubbs, Barry Carlson, Steve Seay and Luis Reynoso; (standing) Suzy Kelley, Mike Loverde and Christy Harris

Before starting Jenna admitted that she cries at the drop of a hat. Throughout her talk, she teared up whether it was talking about her children, recognizing Shanjula for her testimonial, acknowledging Annette for creating Family Gateway and thanking those who have followed her lead.

But her message was one of how important the family was and the lessons that are handed down from generation to generation. Just as her grandfather, former President George “Gampy” H.W. Bush had learned about giving back from his mother. “He wrote about it in a letter in 1997, “Early on my mom gave us profound advice. It sounds simple now, but when I became President I knew just how sound it was — “Be honest; tell the truth; be kind.”

This message of compassion and giving back had really hit home with her since the birth of her two daughters — Mila Hager and Poppy Hager. As she recalled how fortunate her own daughters were to have been born with a home, loving parents and grandparents, with warm water for baths and rooms full of books, her voice choked. Her hope was that she could “teach them the luck that they were born, so they can spread luck to other kids who live in the same circumstances.”

At this point, she decided some comic relief was needed and brought the group up to date on her family.

  • “My mom is now commanding the ex-commander-in-chief to pick up his dirty towels and underwear.”
  • “My grandparents — Gampy and Gammy — are doing very well. You may have heard that my grandfather was sick several years ago and was hospitalized. It was actually Christmas Eve and we were in Richmond, Virginia, where my husband’s family lived. If you think this has been interrupted by emotion, you should have seen that meal when my parents called” to get to Houston “to say good-bye.” In the ride to the hospital, they all agreed they were not going to cry. They were going to upbeat. But Jenna, who was six months pregnant, Gampy touched her stomach and whispered, “The circle of life. I can’t wait to meet this baby.” The entire room broke down crying. While the rest of the family was prepared for the worst, Bush matriarch Barbara Bush knew he would pull through. “She’s known as the enforcer in our family. And when she speaks, we listen. She told him about all the things he had to look forward to — two great grandchildren being born, my dad’s library opening here in Dallas — and he had no choice but to live.”
  • Her dad (former President George W. Bush) has been working on his golf game and his art. “I just can’t believe he’s an artist.” According to Jenna, there was a period when he “would only communicate through his art.” He would send a sketch of an airplane saying “Flying to Arizona.” With a twinkle in her eye, she said that “Barbara (Jenna’s twin sister) and I were actually secretly worried about him.” When they would ask what time he would be landing, he would respond with the drawing of a clock. Jenna described that time, “We were playing Pictionary every day.” His art has moved from portraits to pets to landscapes and “now world leaders. If you haven’t seen his Putin, you really should.”
  • Describing her mom, who was seated nearby, she asked if anyone else in the audience had had a librarian for a mother. When one person responded, Jenna said to the woman, “So you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it seems like the fun would just never end.” In working with her mom on a new book about the national parks, Jenna described Laura as “a tedious editor. I don’t recommend you ever sending anything to her unless the grammar is absolutely perfect.”

Getting back to the day’s mission, she recalled how despite having earned her teaching certification, she still wasn’t prepared for 24-nine-year-olds or the poverty in inner city D.C. and west Baltimore… “No class could have taught me what to say to a child who had witnessed a stabbing on the way to school or comfort a young man who learned his father was going to jail. My kids were/are brilliant, but the odds are stacked against them like many of the kids from Family Gateway. They were hungry. Their parents were working multiple jobs to support them. And society in many ways dictates that they won’t be successful and they won’t graduate. I will say, though, that my sixth grade class from the school in Maryland not only all graduated from high school a couple of years ago, but they all 100% got into a college.”

Jenna Bush Hager and Ron Corning

Jenna Bush Hager and Ron Corning

In the fall of 2006 Jenna moved to Latin America and met Ana, a 17-year-old single mother with HIV AIDs. She, like Shanjula, talked about being alone and how supportive programs helped her. At the women’s conference, where Jenna met Ana, the young mother grabbed the microphone and said, “I want everyone to know that we are living with HIV. We are no longer dying from it. So, let’s make our lives matter. Let’s live to make a difference. Let’s make our lives count.” As a result, they met throughout Jenna’s nine months in Latin America resulting in the book, “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope” and her job with NBC’s “Today” show.

Ron returned to chat with Jenna and opened with, “So who do you think won last night’s debate?” (Laughter) Jenna responded, “I don’t think my mic is working.”

Jenna Bush Hager with "the boys"

Jenna Bush Hager with “the boys”

  • Young volunteers — When asked what got her into this service mode, she responded that it was by her parents’ example. Jenna then pointed out impressed she was by the “little boys,” who had been helping at the luncheon.
  • Teachers — She stressed the importance of today’s teachers and how they do much, much more than fulfill the requirements. “Show the teachers in your community that their job isn’t necessarily ‘cute,’ but it’s hard and it’s really, really important.”
  • Her job on “Today” — She was originally to cover education seven years ago, but it’s evolved to all subject matters. “Tomorrow I’m interviewing Reese Witherspoon.”
  • Cellphones — “It’s not just our kids looking down. Parents need to put their phones down and listen to their kids.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

Blonde Jenna Bush Hager may seem to be living a dream life. Having had a grandpappy and daddy as U.S. Presidents meant home was more than a big, old “white house.” Her post-White House days have been pretty ideal, too, including marriage, motherhood and being an author and correspondent for the “Today” show.

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Tracy Lange

Paula Miltenberger, Jenna Bush Hager and Tracy Lange

But guests at Family Gateway’s Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel, learned that her life has also involved a world of children, who haven’t had the “luck” of a home, a family and security.

Ruth Altshuler, Janie McGarr, Anne Johnson and Nancy Halbreich

Ruth Altshuler, Janie McGarr, Anne Johnson and Nancy Halbreich

While the length post is being prepped, get a gander of the folks who got to meet Jenna and learned about life outside of the White House at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Goodwill Industries Of Dallas’ The Lunch Turned Into A Girls’ Chat Fest For W’s Chicks With Mitts Karen Hughes and Condoleezza Rice

Fall means golden leaves, weekend football games and class reunions. Okay, so The Lunch wasn’t supposed to be a “class reunion” benefiting Goodwill Industries of Dallas at the Omni Dallas Hotel. But that’s what it turned out to be.

David and Carolyn Miller

David and Carolyn Miller

With a front-row lineup of tables looking like SMU Family Weekend, the guests included Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn and David Miller, Mike Boone, Gerald Turner, Cary Maguire, Luncheon Chair Jim Johnston and Goodwill Industries of Dallas Chairman of the Board Brooks Cullum Jr.

But the real reunion was the Bush gals. No, not Laura, Barbara I and II or Jenna. Rather, W’s daytime gal pals from his days in the White House including Harriet Miers, Karen Hughes and Condoleezza Rice.

Throughout the crowded room were smatterings of equally VIP-ish types like Caren Prothro, Nancy Halbreich, Ruth Altshuler, Gail Turner, Norm Bagwell, Laura Stockdale, Claire Emanuelson, Christie Carter, Bridget Goines, Ashley Miars, Pat McEvoy, Heather Smith, Kiley Faulkner and Elizabeth and Jack Wahlquist.

Harriett Miers

Harriett Miers

After an introduction by Harriet, featured speaker Condoleezza took her seat on stage in a chair facing Karen. At times it appeared as if the more than 700 peeps in attendance were eavesdropping on two college roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ days. The exchange was taken two different ways. One, there was a true comfort level in the conversation. Second, it seemed like it was a double bill of Karen talking as much as Condoleezza about her memories.

If anyone had expected headline-making revelations about the upcoming election,  a review of the current administration, or regrets about the Bush foreign-policy strategy, they were left hungry. Despite the softball questions lobbed by her old Crawford ranch roomie/Burson-Marsteller exec Karen, Stanford Professor Condoleezza did rise to the occasion, demonstrating her smarts, diplomacy and humor with such comments as:

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice

  • George W. Bush’s calling the female White House staffers, who worked out with gloves, the “Chicks With Mitts.”
  • Her not-so-keen relationship with Barney. Seems upon first meeting the late Scottish Terrier in the Oval office, he ambled up in a friendly manner. She thought that was nice until she realized he was chewing on her shoe.
  • Karen’s having her over for dinner after one especially brutal week.
  • The importance of  female leadership and education. The K-12 system is in “crisis,” she said, leaving poor kids stuck in failing schools.
  • Her understanding (as a “Russianist”) of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin, she said, sees himself in the mold of Peter the Great and is out to re-establish Russian greatness.
  • Terrorists groups like Isis “just have to be defeated,” she concluded. Their “sexiness” or appeal needs to be degraded, while the western countries “have to have a better story than they do.”

MSC Opportunity: Gateway TO Opportunity Luncheon

According to Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger,

Paula Miltenberger (File photo)

Paula Miltenberger (File photo)

Tracy Lange (File photo)

Tracy Lange (File photo)

“Sadly, more than 5,000 children in the Dallas area do not have a place to call home. These children rely on friends, relatives and the generosity of strangers to help make a difference for their world.  Unfortunately the numbers are growing at a record pace of children and families that do not have home.

Family Gateway opened in October of 1986 when Mayor-Pro Tem Annette G. Strauss saw families living on the streets of Dallas and envisioned a facility where homeless families could stay together as a family unit in a safe place. Today, Family Gateway is the largest provider of supportive housing for homeless families in North Texas. We believe that a family that stays together provides the most stability and long term success for children. Our mission is to end child homelessness in our area and with your help we can do it.

“Our annual luncheon, ‘Gateway to Opportunity,’ will be Tuesday, September 27th at the Omni Hotel. We are honored and excited that Jenna Bush Hager will be our guest speaker. She has been an ongoing advocate for children and ensuring that we all do our part to help the generations to come. Honorary event co-chairs are Tracy and Kent Rathbun. Special Advisors are fundraising experts Gina Betts and D’Andra Simmons.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

D'Andra Simmons (File photo)

D’Andra Simmons (File photo)

“We ask that you partner with us to end child homelessness by purchasing a sponsorship or table, or underwriting necessary funds need to make sure this event is a success. Metro PCS is our Presenting Sponsor. Please visit for volunteer and luncheon sponsorship opportunities.

“On behalf of the homeless children and their families, we say thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni.”

Former First Twin Jenna Bush Hager To Be Keynote Speaker For Family Gateway’s Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

North Texas was starting to take on the profile of Seattle South thanks to the deluge of May rain. It would have been a perfect format for bumbershoot jokes, except the loss of life and property weren’t the least bit humorous.

But thanks to a break in the rain on Wednesday, June 1, the skies cleared for the Family Gateway Kick-Off Party at Lisa and Clay Cooley’s home.

Christie Carter, Angie Kadesky, Lisa Cooley and Anne Davidson

Christie Carter, Angie Kadesky, Lisa Cooley and Anne Davidson

Chef Kent Rathbun told Christie Carter that the rain had indeed filled his towering cisterns. He added that the gallons could easily be drained in a week to water his acreage. What Kent wasn’t talking about was the behind-the-scenes issues that were developing in his relationship with his majority partner Bill Hyde. But who wanted to chat up business entanglements; Kent and wife Tracy Rathbun were focused on their duties as honorary co-chairs for the Family Gateway’s Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel with former first twin Jenna Bush Hager as the guest speaker.

Speaking of acreage, another fellow looking at the Cooley grounds wondered aloud if Clay ever tossed a line for fishing from the bridge over the property’s creek. The answer? According to Clay, he doesn’t fish the property. He feeds the finny residents. Only problem? The koi on the upper pond keep tumbling down to the lower pond. Plans are underway to resolve the southward swim.

Marissa Castro Mikoy, Ben and Tracy Lange

Marissa Castro Mikoy, Ben and Tracy Lange

Others in the crowd were Ben Lange, who will chair the After-School All-Stars, AFAS Executive Director Marissa Castro Mikoy, Britton Lynn, Angie Kadesky and Anne Davidson.

Paula Miltenberger

Paula Miltenberger

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

Ciara Cooley and Clay Cooley

The guests moved into the den to learn more about Family Gateway and plans for the upcoming Gateway To Opportunities that will be co-chaired by Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger. Underwriting will be handled by Lisa and daughter Ciara Cooley, who is the youngest member of Family Gateway’s board.

Sponsorships start at $7,500 and tickets can be snapped up for $

Ebby’s Influence Extended Today At Her Memorial Service To Support North Texas Giving Day

Just back from an incredibly beautiful memorial service for Ebby Halliday. Among the thousands in attendance at Park Cities Baptist Church was Communities Foundation of Texas’ Main Man Brent Christopher.

Despite having the daunting task of being leading the charge to set a record-breaking North Texas Giving Day today, he had taken his place to honor the Duchess of Dallas, along with a former First Lady, Dallas mayors past and present and people of all walks of life.

One of the first to speak was The Ebby Halliday Companies CEO/President Mary Frances Burleson, who said that in addition to the day being a tribute to Ebby, it was also North Texas Giving Day and she knew that Ebby would truly appreciate if friends would donate to one of Ebby’s favorite nonprofits — Happy Hill Farm and Academy, Ebby’s at the YW and The Ebby House Juliette Fowler Communities — before the midnight deadline.

Brent sat amazed that even in death Mary Frances had taken the time to make such a gracious suggestion. But then Mary Frances was just doing what Ebby would have wanted. So, the Ebby legacy continues.


If you hadn’t gotten around to buying your ticket for Goodwill Industries of DallasThe Lunch, you’re sorta out of luck. The Tuesday, September 15th fundraising lunch at the Omni Dallas Hotel is sold out. Not only that but it’s got a list of truly top-drawer types as sponsors who understand and appreciate the importance of Goodwill within the community.

Whoa! What was that? Like who are top-drawer types? Well, how about checking out this list:

  • Carolyn and David Miller (File photo)

    Carolyn and David Miller (File photo)

    Presenting Sponsor ($250,000)The David B. Miller Family Foundation

  • Premier Sponsors ($100,000)The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., Michele and Jack Lafield and The Loyd Charitable Foundation
  • Legacy Sponsors ($50,000) — Belle and Don Berg and Elizabeth and Jack R. Wahlquist
  • Champion Sponsors ($25,000) — Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler, Ben E. Keith Company,Pat and Jane Bolin, Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Dodge Jones Foundation, The Hoglund Foundation, Maryann and Frank Mihalopolous, Victor E. Salvino, Diane and John Scovell and Dorothy (Dee) Collins Torbert
  • Sustaining Sponsors ($10,000) — Anonymous, Aldersgate Charitable Foundation, Baylor Scott and White Health, Suzie Blumenthal and Scott Birnbaum, Ann and Brad Brookshire, Cardinal Midstream, Suzanne and Lance Charriere, Lucky and Brooks Cullum, Melinda and John Dickerson, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Sharon and Steve Folsom, J.M. Haggar Jr. Family Foundation, Kristina Z. and John Hallam, Hamon Charitable Foundation, Fred and Jan Hegi, Kathy and Larry Helm, Jill and Grant Henderson, Matthew and Christina Hildreth, Al G. Hill Jr., Lee and Ann Hobson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Karen and Alan Katz/Neiman Marcus Group, Mary Ann and Alan Lassiter, Lisbeth Minyard and Paul Lokey, Debbie and Mark Low, Bobby B. Lyle, MoneyGram International Inc., Reena Morris, Sarah and Ross Perot Jr., Tim and Heidi Perry, PlainsCapital Bank, Michal and Loyd Powell, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Marcia Rafkin, RGT Wealth Advisors, Dr. Randall and Barbara Rosenblatt, Tom and Dorthy Miller Shore, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, Southern Methodist University, TDIndustries Inc., Tolleson Wealth Management, Turner Construction Company, Mimi and Bill Vanderstraaten, Westwood Management and Robert S. Williams
  • Supporting Sponsors ($5,000) — Anonymous, Amegy Bank, Bailey Construction and Consulting LLC, Bank of America, Bank of Texas, Jayne and John Baumgartem, Cityplace Company, Comerica Bank, Corgan, Crestview Real Estate, Kathy and Harlan Crow, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Lisa and Gabriel Goncalves, Tracy and Jeff Hull, Joanna and Drew Johnson, Jim and Suzanne Johnston, Merrie Ann and Frank King, Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Patty and David Miller, Morgan Stanley Dallas Galleria, Mutual of America, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Northern Trust, Karen Parkhill, Linda and Joel H. Robuck, Scheef and Stone LLP, Pete Schenkel, Texas Legends Care and Thomas Printworks

Yup, these are your kind of folks. So, if you really truly want to join them and “special guest” (aka former President) George W. Bush, you can sweet talk your way on to the wait list by calling 214.638.2800.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Junior League Of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon

According to Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon Chair Hollee Hirzel,

Hollee Hirzel*

Hollee Hirzel*

“We would like to extend an invitation to the entire Dallas community to join us for our fifth annual Milestones Luncheon on November 12, 2015, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. This Luncheon is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the thousands of Junior League of Dallas (JLD) members, who together provide more than 130,000 hours of community service annually and make sure each dollar donated works its hardest to help those in Dallas who need it most.

“This year, we are honored to welcome past Linz Award Recipients and three of Dallas’ most influential women, Lindalyn Adams, Ruth Sharp Altshuler and Deedie Rose for a special panel discussion. For 86 years, the Linz Award has been Dallas’ most prestigious honor and symbolizes the highest form of recognition for civic service and accomplishment, all of which Adams, Altshuler and Rose have successfully and poetically achieved. Jenna Bush Hager, contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today show and editor-at-large for Southern Living Magazine, will moderate the discussion.

“Also at the Luncheon, we will recognize Dr. Kimberly J. Yamanouchi as the 2015-2016 Sustainer of the Year. Each year, one esteemed member of the JLD receives this honor as a reflection of her commitment and dedication to the League and the community. Dr. Yamanouchi continually reflects the mission of the League through her activism in the community, her commitment to health and medicine, and her charitable work with organizations like Children’s Medical Center, Dallas County Medical Alliance, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Interfaith Housing. She is a devoted leader in the community and Junior League of Dallas is proud to honor her this year.

“Check-in will begin at 11:00 a.m. The Luncheon will start at noon. Individual Luncheon tickets are $175, and Patron Luncheon tickets are $250. Table sales begin at $3,000. To purchase tables or individual tickets, please contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822, ext. 118 or visit for more information.

“Proceeds from the Luncheon, along with generous annual underwriting efforts, allow the JLD to grant $1 million to the Dallas community each year. We hope you will mark your calendar for Thursday, November 12, 2015, and join us at the Hilton Anatole Hotel!”

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas

MySweetCharity Opportunity: THE LUNCH™

According to THE LUNCH™ Committee Co-Chairs Kristina and John Hallam,

Kristina and John Hallam*

Kristina and John Hallam*

“This is a historic year for Goodwill Dallas with the launch of THE LUNCH™ on Tuesday, September 15, with keynote guest, George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.

“THE LUNCH™ is completely underwritten by very generous donors allowing 100% of every dollar raised to directly advance the Goodwill mission of creating jobs for individuals in our community who otherwise would not be able to work.

“Poverty in Dallas has persisted with 189,600 workers unemployed and employers have less demand for low-skilled workers. Goodwill provides training to individuals who want to work, so they have the ability to secure sustainable employment no matter the limitations.

“The time to invest in Goodwill is now as 66% of individuals or 2 out of 3 people are turned away each year due to lack of finances and the staffing required to meet growing needs.

“By strategically investing in people, training them with the skills employers in our community are seeking, we can help decrease unemployment, reduce government dependence and strengthen families through improved financial and emotional stability.

“We are asking you to join us in supporting this inaugural event by visiting or calling 214.638.2800 for sponsorship and table sales information.”

* Photo provided by Goodwill

JUST IN: 14th Annual Celebration Of Reading Has New Ticket Pricing Levels And Sponsorship Perks Available Now

Despite Papa George H.W. Bush taking a tumble and in the hospital, Mama Barbara Bush isn’t letting this slow down her 14th annual Celebration of Reading on Monday, October 12.

The tickets just went on sale and this year there’s been some added levels of participation. And they range from less expensive to added perks for sponsorships.

For guests who want to attend the pre-event reception, the presentation of best-selling authors (Harlan Coben, Dana Perino, Jodi Picoult, Scott Simon and Markus Zusak) in the McDermott Concert Hall at the Meyerson plus have “a light dinner” afterwards, the tickets are $250 each.

Michelle Staubach Grimes (File photo)

Michelle Staubach Grimes (File photo)

But for those who just want to hear the authors and skip din-din, the price of a ticket is just $100. They’ll still get to attend the pre-event reception and have a reserved seat. Now, that’s a deal.

At the other end of the spectrum, for generous sponsors there will be the Celebration Luncheon with members of the Bush family and the authors as well as a VIP reception prior to the presentation! Of course, they’ll have reserved seats at the presentation and dinner.

Also, you can expect to see some of the Staubach clan in attendance since children’s author Michelle Staubach Grimes is now chairing the Dallas fundraiser for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Suggestion: After you finish reading “Go Set A Watchman,” check out the Celebration of Reading authors’ handiwork.

JUST IN: Panelists Lindalyn Adams, Ruth Altshuler And Deedie Rose Announced For Junior League Of Dallas Milestones Luncheon

There are women within the North Texas community, who not only witnessed its growth, they were the driving forces. Three of those women are Lindalyn Adams, Ruth Altshuler and Deedie Rose. Time and again, their fingerprints have been all over the area’s most successful developments in history, art, health, education and welfare. They are a true treasure trove of knowledge, experience and memories that needs to be tapped.

Lindalyn Adams

Lindalyn Adams

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Deedie Rose (FIle photo)

Deedie Rose (FIle photo)

And the Junior League of Dallas is going to do just that at the annual Milestones Luncheon on Thursday, November 12, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

The three Linz Award recipients will make up a panel with former first twin/NBC’s Today contributing correspondent Jenna Hager moderating.

All three are known for being articulate, gracious and having wicked senses of humor, so the chat should be a memory maker.

According to JLD President Meredith Mosley, “We are honored for the opportunity to listen and learn from three of Dallas’ most influential women, who have made Dallas a better place to live and inspire each of us to continue to serve, in hopes of making a greater impact on the community at large. Proceeds from the Milestones Luncheon and annual underwriting efforts, allow the JLD to grant $1 million to the Dallas community each year. This Luncheon also allows us to acknowledge the thousands of JLD members who together provide more than 130,000 hours of community service annually and make sure each donated dollar works its hardest to help those in Dallas who need it most.”

Still another highlight of the luncheon will be the honoring of the JLD’s Sustainer of the Year. For 2015-2016 that person will be Dr. Kimberly Yamanouchi, whose charitable work has included the Children’s Medical Center, Dallas County Medical Alliance, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Interfaith Housing.

Tickets are available now. Suggestion: get your reservation in now. This one promises to be a sell-out all too fast.

Goodwill Industries Of Dallas Is Going To Launch The Lunch™ With A Keynote Guest At The Omni Dallas

With all the luncheon fundraisings taking place in North Texas, it’s a wonder how they all have such different names — A Chance to Soar, Meal for the Minds, First Sight, Celebrating Women, Cherish the Children, etc. So, when Goodwill Industries of Dallas decided to hold its first noontime event, they came up with a novel name — The Lunch. How simple, how to the point, how come it hadn’t been used before? Well, nobody was asking, but somebody was smart enough to get it trademarked (™).

Carolyn and David Miller (File photo)

Carolyn and David Miller (File photo)

But even a trademarked name wasn’t going to be enough to draw attention to the Tuesday, September 15th event at the Omni Hotel’s Trinity Ballroom. So, they arranged to have The David B. Miller Family Foundation as the presenting sponsor, Maryann and Frank Mihalopoulos as the honorary co-chairs and Kristina and John Hallam head up the planning committee made up of Suzanne and Lance Charriere, Kelly Compton, Liz Minyard-Lokey and Paul Lokey, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Carolyn and David Miller, Jeanne L. Phillips, Diane and John Scovell and Lynne and Roy Sheldon.

Charles and Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Charles and Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Lynne and Roy Sheldon (File photo)

Lynne and Roy Sheldon (File photo)

Still more was needed to draw attention to Goodwill’s mission for more than 90 years — to provide job training and employment to persons with disabilities and disadvantages to help transform their lives through the power of jobs.

According to Goodwill Industries of Dallas Inc. President/CEO Rodney K. Ginther, “Every organizational accomplishment of Goodwill Dallas is achieved through a collaborative effort by the many community leaders, donors, educators, shoppers and volunteers who choose to support us through great gifts of time, financial contribution and commitment. This inaugural event is our opportunity to thank those who make this possible, because together we create jobs and help put more people in our community to work.”

Just to put the final push for specialness, there will a keynote guest in attendance at the luncheon — former President George W. Bush.

Sponsorship and table sales are available now. As for individual tickets, better call 214.638.2800 now, because they’re extremely limited.

A Celebration Of Reading 2015 May Not Have Bushes, But It Has A Staubach At The Helm

The same old, same old structure of Barbara Bush’s A Celebration of Reading has had some restructuring. Think of it as not a major face lift but rather some nipping and tucking.

Since Barb is staying pretty close to Poppy in Houston and Mandi and George P. have relocated to Austin for his duties as Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, there are no Bushes available to spearhead the annual Dallas fundraisers.

Luckily, a Dallas first family member has stepped up to chair the literary event. Marianne and Roger Staubach’s daughter/author Michelle Staubach Grimes will chair the Monday, October 12, fundraiser at the Meyerson.

And Michelle has just announced the final roll out of authors of her first time. Here’s the play list: Harlan Coben, Scott Simon, Jodi Picoult, Markus Zusak and Dana Perino, who was just here.

The funds raised support various reading programs including Teen Trendsetters that pairs teen mentors with first-, second- and third-grade students. In 2014, “Celebration of Reading help launch 15 new programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.”

The evening will include a presentation by the authors followed by a light supper in the Meyerson lobby. Don’t worry about it being held on a school night. Folks usually are home in time for the 10 p.m. news or the last quarter of Monday Night Football.

Sponsorships are available, but tickets will be on sale at a later date. Stay tuned for that announcement.

As for the full dossier on the authors, just follow the jump. [Read more…]

More Than Designer Fashions Highlighted The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon

Whoopsie! That was the word going through the minds in the blacker-than-black tent at Brook Hollow for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary (SAWA) Fashion Show and Luncheon on Monday, May 4.

For once it wasn’t a case of Ma Nature pulling one of her thunderous blasts, nor was it a terrorist attack.

Checking out the couture designs in the card room

Checking out the couture designs in the card room

As dedicated shoppers elbowed each other to shop the treasure trove of gently experienced fashions in the ballroom and “card room,” all was going perfectly.

OK, so maybe a couple of gals weren’t thrilled that they both wanted a one-and-only item in the card room where couture outfits were displayed, but there were no cat fights. Oh, please! This was Brook Hollow and the event was benefiting the Salvation Army of Dallas/Fort Worth.

Laura Bush and Valerie Bell

Laura Bush and Valerie Bell

Finally the guests found their way from the clubhouse down the steps through the tunnel leading to the darker-than-dark tent for the show. Course, it took some time to take their seats, but eventually all were in place including the no-funny-business Secret Service types who escort former first lady Laura Bush. While she took her place on the front row near her friend Ruth Altshuler, posed for photos with Gene Jones and chatted with Kappa Alpha Theta sister Valerie Bell, the Secret Service took their places along the back of the tent with no smiles. In the meantime, some guests snuck out their cellphones for a quickie, fuzzy shot of Laura in her green suit.

Betsy Chambers

Betsy Chambers



Following a video about “Janet,” who had overcome an abusive relationship thanks to Salvation Army resources, SAWA President Betsy Chambers introduced Janet to the audience and presented her with flowers.

Ginger Sager and Dixey Arterburn

Ginger Sager and Dixey Arterburn

Luncheon Co-Chair Ginger Sager recognized the 2015 honorary mother/daughter co-chairs of Marilyn Augur and her daughters (Margaret Hancock, Anne Hardaway and “Elizabeth Taylor, who is unable to be with us today”) and Sharon McCullough and her girls (Libby Hunt, Debbie Hayhurst, Terry McCullough and Lissie McCullough). They also pointed out “special guests” Sharon’s sister, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and Laura Bush.

Suzanne Webb, Tucean Webb and Tucean Franks

Suzanne Webb, Tucean Webb and Tucean Franks

Lisa Ogle and Nina Thornburgh

Lisa Ogle and Nina Thornburgh

It was becoming apparent that this event was a mom-daughter coming together with Tucean Webb with daughters Suzanne Webb and Tucean Franks, Nina Thornburgh and daughter Lisa Ogle, Faye Briggs still in a wheelchair and daughter Pebble MeGehee.

Betsy Price

Betsy Price

Then just as the luncheon committee chairs were to stand for recognition, the lights went out. Why, shoot! All the electricity including the A/C shut down. Had Brook Hollow not paid its electricity bill? Heck, no! It was some complicated snafu that was basically showstopping….literally.

Margot Perot and Linda Custard

Margot Perot and Linda Custard

But as darkness provided some laughter about holding a fashion show in the dark, it also caused the Bush team to look a tad bit antsy. As the darkness continued beyond the 30-second mark, the Secret Service wasn’t laughing. After two minutes of darkness, Ginger and her Co-Chair Dixey Arterburn persevered and tried to carry on in the dark thanking committee members and telling how the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” theme was selected because the day was the late Audrey Hepburn’s birthday. In the meantime, the Secret Service started easing toward the aisle leading to Laura just as the lights came back on at the two-and-a-half-minute mark. Whew! What guests didn’t realize was the electrical stoppage had also caused the massive A/C units to stop. Now, they were having to reboot from scratch to cool the tent.

Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dixey Arterburn, Ginger Sager and Gene Jones

Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dixey Arterburn, Ginger Sager and Gene Jones

Unruffled Dixey and Ginger continued on script. They introduced Margot Perot on stage and told how the Margot Perot Award had been named after her for playing “a vital part in organizing the Women’s Auxiliary of Dallas over 23 years ago.” It was then that Gene Jones and her daughter Charlotte Anderson Jones joined Margot, Dixey and Ginger on stage as the recipients of the Margot Perot Award for their “work tirelessly to promote good in all they come in contact.”

As the five ladies exited the stage, Shelly returned saying “Where else but the Salvation Army can we talk about Audrey Hepburn, the Dallas Cowboys, Margot Perot and domestic violence in the same conversation?” She then introduced the show, leaving guests to figure out which one of the outfits on the runway had originally retailed for $19,000. (FYI: It was the black gown that was the show’s closer.)

Fashion show finale

Fashion show finale

Once the show finished, Major Michele Matthews was on stage. With her voice breaking, she thanked the SAWA, extolled the greatness of the recycled fashion show project and more or less made a farewell speech. While some might have felt Michele was a bit dramatic, they didn’t realize that this would be Michele’s last SAWA’s fashion show. She and her husband Ward Matthews were being reassigned to Atlanta.

For more photos and loads of clothes, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Former First Lady Laura Bush And Lee Ann White To Host Gratis “Matters Of The Heart” Symposium About Women’s Heart Disease

Laura Bush (File photo)

Laura Bush (File photo)

While some may think Laura Bush has been busy handholding her husband “W” as he finished “41” and serving as a grandmother for Mila Hager, she’s managed to still make the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health a major priority.

Let’s face it. Women’s wellbeing affects all branches of society. One of the issues challenging women is heart health. While there is no denying that cancer, diabetes and depression are major factors facing the health care industry, heart disease is the frontrunner as the #1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. But let’s get down to workable numbers — 1 in 4 women die from heart disease.

Lee Ann White*

Lee Ann White (File photo)

On Thursday, February 5, the former first lady and National Advisory Board Chair Lee Ann White have arranged for a symposium — Matters of the Heart — to take place at the Ritz-Carlton.

Laura will do the introduction of the following experts, who  will honestly address the issues of women’s heart disease that touch all ages:

  • Dr. Wayne Isom -Professor of cardiothoracic surgery and chairman of the department of cardiothoracic surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center University. Dr. Isom is the surgeon of choice for many high-profile individuals, including Larry King and David Letterman.
  • Dr. Holly Andersen — Director of education and outreach for the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Andersen is an authority on cardiovascular disease in women and athletes and speaks extensively on preventive cardiology.
  • Dr. Marjorie Jenkins — Regional director and chief scientific officer of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. She also serves as the director of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Sex and Gender-Based Medicine curriculum program and co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Sex and Gender­-Based Medicine.
  • Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell — President of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and former president and chief executive officer of Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX. Dr. Mitchell will moderate the panel discussion.

Oh, if you’re time crunched and concerned that a “symposium” lasts from dawn to dusk, don’t worry. This one starts at 10 a.m. and is a done deal by noon.

There is no charge to attend the symposium. However, registration is required. Instead of online hassles, just call Diane Howard at 214.252.4103 and she’ll get your name locked in.

Why is there no charge? That’s because Lee Ann and her husband Alan White are “personally matching the money raised by ‘Matters of the Heart’ up to $100,000 with proceeds benefiting the Laura B. Bush Institute for Women’s Health.”

October 9 Round Robin: Thrift Studio Preview, Flora Award Patron And Soup’s On! Announcement Parties

Dallas fundraising exploded Thursday, October 9, for its final hurrah before the city submitted to a tsunami of UT burnt orange and OU red. It was a real hit-and-run evening for those making the rounds. For country western lovers, they had their choices. Either in Arlington, where former First Couple Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were at AT&T Stadium celebrating “Habit for Humanity” at Building Hope Celebration Dinner with Wynonna Judd on stage and loads of swells on the floor of the stadium. Or, there was the Leukemia Texas‘s sold-out Concert for Cure at The Rustic, where car- and people-watching started in the parking lot as the guests jammed the place to hear Jack Ingram on stage. With the weather perfect, it was optimum conditions for the inside/outside venue to showcase its ability to party hearty. Other activities taking place included:

Thrift Studio Preview Party

Thrift Studio preview

Thrift Studio preview

Over in the Design District, Dwell With Dignity’s semi-annual Thrift Studio’s preview party had another lineup of vehicles and guests waiting their turns to get in to see the staging of “available” furnishings donated by area interior decorators and vendors. Dwell With Dignity Co-Founder Lisa Robison was being congratulated once again on the success of the program that “creates inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty.”

Lenard Blackwell and Joe Demoruelle

Lenard Blackwell and Joe Demoruelle

Tara Harper and Brad Harper

Tara Harper and Brad Harper

Event Chair Laura Chancellor arranged for sets designed by CDA Interior Design, Catherine Dolen and Stacy Coulter & Associates and Carlin & Company; Dan Nelson, Vision Desing Inc., Jan Barboglio and Peacock Alley; Denise McGaha Interiors and ID Collection; Eleven 11 Design, Brendan Bass Showroom and Robert Allen Design; Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeira for X+III and David Sutherland Showroom; Joseph Minton; Paul Duesing Partners; and Peter Sandel Design LLC, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. Tara Harper and her brother Brad were upstairs checking out the furniture, while others were checking out Joe Demoruelle’s colorful jacket. Also on hand were Honorary Chair/designer Tobi Fairley and Meredith Hite, who had joined Shay Geyer’s IBB Design Group. Remember, the Thrift Studio like Brigadoon is a temporary wonderland. The pop-up shop is open until Saturday, November 8th with ever-arriving new goodies.

Flora Award Patron Party

Adam and Stacey Beck

Adam and Stacey Beck

Less crowded was the invite-only patron party for the Flora Award that will take place at a black-tie dinner on Thursday, November 6, at the Texas Discovery Gardens. But this evening it was business attire at Joan and Steve Smith’s Park Cities home. It was a natural to have the party there. After all, the Smiths’ daughter Stacey Beck and her husband Adam were co-chairing the fundraiser for the Gardens.

Co-honoree Suzy Rhodes greeted guests, like past honoree Barbara Hunt Crow, Caroline Rose Hunt, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Celeste and Michael Bosco and past Flora Award chairs Marilyn Waisanen and Bettye Slaven, while husband Tom worked the back of the house near the Smith’s Grey African Parrot, Juma, that was entertaining guests with his moves and conversation. Suzy and Tom met in eighth grade at the former Highland Park Junior High School (now McCullough) and have been married 39 years. Tom kidded friends saying, “She would not leave me alone.”

Suzy and Tom Rhodes

Suzy and Tom Rhodes

Texas Discovery Gardens Executive Director Dick Davis told the 70 guests that the gardens were in overdrive with butterflies. In addition to the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House, which had just celebrated its fifth anniversary in September, the newly renovated gift shop had a “spectacular selection of framed tropical butterflies” that has resulted in an increase in sales.

Dick also revealed other changes taking place at TDG, including The Welcome Garden featuring deep shade tolerant plants including the hardy windmill palm, which had won “Best in Show” at the State Fair. It had been “been made possible through donations” from Suzy and Tom, the TDG Board and Board Members Janet Smith and her husband Norman.

Other TDG news included a refreshening of the Minnie Marcus Garden and the building of the Nature Learning Center by hand and “featuring reclaimed materials and serving as an outdoor classroom space, native snake exhibit, greenhouse and green gardening demonstration site.”

Soup’s On! Kick-Off Party

One of winter’s favorite fundraisers, “Soup’s On!,” got kicked off Brad Oldham’s studio and for good reason. Here is a report from the field about The Stewpot Alliances’ big fundraiser as it enters its 40th year in operation:

Anne Besser, Brian Luscher and Jackie Moore*

Anne Besser, Brian Luscher and Jackie Moore*

Stewpot Alliance Soup’s On! Luncheon Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Jackie Moore announced that author, singer/songwriter and foster care advocate Jimmy Wayne will be the keynote speaker of the 2015 luncheon and art sale to be held Tuesday, January 20, at the Omni Dallas. Stewpot Alliance member and civic leader Susie Simon will act as honorary chair of the popular event. The announcement was made at the brand new Brad Oldham Studio at 1200 Ross Ave. The retail studio will open to the public within a few weeks.

Tonya Meier and Kristine Schwope*

Tonya Meier and Kristine Schwope*

Kristine Schwope chaired Thursday’s Fall Kick-off party and membership drive which also collected items for the annual Women’s Christmas Tea to be held Friday, December 4.

Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin*

Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin*

“It was a treat to be at the new Brad Oldham Studio for the Soup’s On! announcement. Oldham has created ‘Birth of the City’ — a lost-wax bronze sculpture wall that stories from the history of Dallas from its founding until the mid-1930’s. This site-specific installation will feature ten-6’ by4’ panels along Park Avenue and Young Street. There will be a public unveiling of the Sculpture Wall @ Encore Park on Friday, October 24, at 3:30 p.m.”

* Photos provided by The
Stewpot Alliance

A Celebration Of Reading Is Going To Be A Feast Of Food For The Mind Benefiting The Barbara Bush Foundation For Family Literacy

Normally Mondays are pretty mundane. But this coming Monday is going to have the Meyerson busting with action. And, no, it won’t have Jaap van Zweden and the DSO. Instead authors will be “performing” on stage along with a bushel of Bushes including Mandi and George P. Bush and Pierce (aka Mr. Personality) Bush hosting Barbara Bush’s Celebration of Reading. What’s really fun about this event is the dark horse. Going into the McDermott hall guests tend to have a fav author already picked out. Walking out for dinner in the lobby, they often have a change of mind. The authors’ talks are like appetizers for the feast of conversation at dinner.

Proceeds from the event go to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

By the way, this year’s lineup includes

  • Eric Draper's "Front Row Seat"

    Eric Draper’s “Front Row Seat”*

    Eric Draper — “Author of Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush, Eric Draper served as the chief photographer for the entire eight years, photographing the president daily in his activities at the office, abroad and in his personal life. Draper was named Special Assistant to the President, and is the first White House photographer to be named a commissioned officer to a U.S. president. Also during his tenure, Draper directed the photographic and archival conversion of the White House Photo Office from film to digital and took nearly 1 million photos documenting the presidency. Prior to joining the White House, Draper was West Regional Enterprise Photographer for the Associated Press. In eight years with the AP, Draper covered an array of domestic and international news and sports including presidential campaigns, devastating natural disasters around the globe, civil unrest in third world countries, refugee crises abroad, five Olympic games, two World Cups and many NBA, NFL and MLB championships.”

  • Kelly Corrigan's "Glitter and Glue"*

    Kelly Corrigan’s “Glitter and Glue”*

    Kelly Corrigan — “Bestselling author Kelly Corrigan has won an avid following from critics, readers, and booksellers for her finely wrought and deeply emotional memoirs about how we connect to the people in our lives. Corrigan introduced us to her father, the lively and optimistic Greenie, in The Middle Place and explored the often-turbulent air around parenthood in Lift. And now, finally, this New York Times bestselling author examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters in Glitter and Glue.

  • Gary Haugen —“Gary A. Haugen is founder and president of International Justice Mission (IJM) – a global human rights agency that protects the poor from violence by partnering with local authorities and law enforcement to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors and strengthen justice systems. The largest organization of its kind, IJM has served thousands of survivors of violence. Haugen was the Director of the U.N. investigation in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, and has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership.
    Gary Haugen's "The Locust Effect"*

    Gary Haugen’s “The Locust Effect”*

    His work to confront violence against the poor has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, The Times of India, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, the Guardian and National Public Radio, among many other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice (Intervarsity Press) and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence. The Locust Effectprovides a much-needed argument for reducing violence against the poor and a demonstration — through first hand stories that are both shocking and true — of why that goal is so vital.”

  • Emily Giffin — “Emily Giffin, a Chicago native, graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, she moved to Manhattan and practiced litigation at a large firm for several years while she paid back her school loans, wrote a novel in her very limited spare time, and dreamed of becoming a writer.
    Emily Giffin's "The One & Only"

    Emily Giffin’s “The One & Only”

    Despite the rejection of her first manuscript, Giffin persisted, retiring from the legal profession and moving to London to pursue her dreams fulltime. It was there that she began writing Something Borrowed (2004). One year later, Giffin’s gamble paid off, as she completed her manuscript, landed an agent and signed a two-book deal on both sides of the Atlantic. The following summer, Something Borrowed, became a surprise sensation, and Giffin vowed never to practice law again. Her six novels, are all filled with endearingly flawed characters and emotional complexity, have been translated into twenty-nine languages, with eleven million copies in print worldwide. In addition, five of her novels have been optioned for the big screen and are in various stages of development. Her current best-seller is thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself.”

  • Brad Meltzer — “Brad Meltzer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of adult thrillers (including The Inner Circle and its recent sequel, The Fifth Assassin).
    Brad Meltzer's "I Am Rosa Parks"

    Brad Meltzer’s “I Am Rosa Parks”

    In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart, I Am Abraham Lincoln and I Am Rosa Parks) and even comic books (Justice League of America). His newest illustrated children’s books were written for his own children, to give them better heroes to look up to. Meltzer has also won the prestigious Eisner Award for his comic book work, Justice League of America. Brad is also the host of the History Channel TV show Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.”

BTW, this event is very G-rated, so if you have a kiddo or a grand-kiddo, why not bring them along?

If you haven’t got your tickets, better hustle, though. And don’t plan on it being a late night. You’ll still have time to hit the sack for bedtime reading.

* Graphics courtesy of A Celebration of Reading

Barbara Pierce Bush Is Bringing Her Baby Blues To The House Of Blues For Third Annual Alley’s House Luncheon On October 1

Laura Bush and Barbara Pierce Bush

Laura Bush and Barbara Pierce Bush (File photo)

There’s a problem in meeting Barbara Pierce Bush. It’s hard to get past the fact that she’s a former First Daughter/Twin, she was an Ivy Leaguer and she’s an international advocate. If you can hold your breath and be cool to slough off those impressive credentials, then when you come eye to eye with the 32-year-old brunette, it’s those sapphire blue eyes. They’re downright gorgeous, outlined with loads of dark brown eyelashes and never flinch.

A couple of years ago, she was guest of honor at a meet-and-greet with her mom for a local fundraiser. The photo opportunity became a jam fest, when Barbara said she didn’t want a stuffy lineup of people to be photographed with. Rather, she wanted to just casually mingle with the guests. The poor photographer shook his head as he watched her surrounded five deep.

Gloria Campos (File photo)

Gloria Campos (File photo)

Since then, Barbara has been back to Dallas on numerous occasions just like any daughter visiting her folks. But on Wednesday, October 1, she’ll be at the House of Blues. No, she’s not going to be attending a concert. Instead, she’ll be the main attraction for the Third Annual Alley’s House Luncheon. Former WFAA anchor Gloria Campos will be honorary chair and Clear Channel Radio’s Anna de Haro will serve as emcee.

If Alley’s House is new on your awareness radar, it was founded by Allison Whitehead Field in 1997 “to provide comprehensive services for teen mothers. Field, who was working towards her Bachelor’s in Social Work at the time, believed that with sufficient guidance and support, these young women can break out of the cyclical situation they find themselves in once they have a baby. For the first eight years, the organization was completely volunteer-based with programs offered in a local church. Eventually, the organization expanded, and now the agency’s offices are located at 4113 Junius Street. Alley’s House has three full-time staff members, three social work interns, and countless volunteers.”

Tickets are available by calling 214.824.8700.