Nasher Sculpture Center’s 2018 Great Create Artists Revealed

One of the ultimate most favorite family events is the Nasher Sculpture Center’s The Great Create. It not only turns the Center’s lush grounds into a colorful playground with food and music for kids, it also has pop-up workshops with some of the area’s most outstanding artists.

Great Create (File photo)

This year’s Co-Chairs Macey and Steve Davis, Nicole and Justin Small and Meredith and Scott Wallace have quite a lineup of talent for the Nasher fun(d)raiser. They include Chesley Antoinette, The Color Condition, Ryan Goolsby, Kyle Hobratschk, Shelby David Meier, Nic Nicosia, Tom Sachs, Allison V. Smith and Giovanni Valderas.  

From 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, the artists will set up along the walkways for kids to try out their handiwork and learn about different forms of art.

The activities are geared for munchkins 12 and under. Oldtimers (13 and older) are able to be Art Ambassadors, who can assist the artists and the wee ones.

The Great Create (File photo)

The Great Create (File photo)

If you don’t have a kiddo, borrow one. It’s as much fun for the adults as the children.

Tickets are available here! Upper level packages include perks like invites to the patron party, “a special family photography opportunity with Allison V. Smith” and VIP Early Admission.

BTW, proceeds from the event go to the Nasher’s youth education programs that “account for more than 36% of the Center’s attendance each year, allowing many students and families to experience the Nasher at no cost.”

JUST IN: 12th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon Details Including “Chick Flick” Keynote Speaker Revealed

Perhaps those Chick Lit-ters should be renamed Tricky Chick Lits. For the past couple of years, they’ve moved their annual Community Partners of Dallas fundraising luncheon from the tried-and-true Brook Hollow to the bigger-than-mansion Hilton Anatole Chantilly Ballroom. They’ve also shifted just slightly from authors to author/TV types.

This year they’ve continued that, adding film/video to their featured speaker. Think Chick Flick! But more about that in a second.

Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Lara and Bob Tafel (File photo

CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel has been holding her breath and just exhaled the news that the luncheon will return to the Anatole on Friday, April 13, with Lara and Dr. Robert Tafel serving as presenting sponsors.

Mersina Stubbs and Lynn McBee (File photo)

Cate Ford (File photo)

Callan Harrison (File photo)

Brooke Hortenstine (File photo)

Nancy Perot (File photo)

Chairing this year’s event will be Mersina Stubbs, who has recruited Cate Ford, Callan Harrison, Brooke Hortenstine and Lynn McBee for her underwriting team. For her honorary chair, Mersina has managed to get Nancy Perot. Talk about a dream team!

Now, for the featured speaker. Here are some clues:

  • She was chosen as one of Teen People Magazine’s “21 Hottest Stars under 21” back in 1999.
  • Her dad specializes in divorces.
  • Is a single mom.
  • Has played everything from Jackie Kennedy to Batman’s girlfriend.

If your IMDb search is on overdrive, then you know who it is. And you just know that she ain’t exactly like last year’s keynoter Bethenny Frankel. She likes to stay under the TMZ radar and that’s pretty hard to do. If you’re still in the dark, follow the jump and get your table locked down: [Read more…]

Crystal Charity Ball Members Roll Up Their Ugly Christmas Sweater Sleeves To Assemble, Schlep And Make Ready For 2017 Children’s Gala

Some may think that the 100 Crystal Charity Ball committee members spend the days leading up to their annual fundraising gala at hairdressers, makeup artists and designers for final fittings. How wrong those guessers are! Instead the gals are elbow-to-elbow with vendors and others staffers preparing for the big hoop-la. Why even past CCB chairs show up to join the work.

Pam Busbee, Christie Carter and Debbie Oates

For the Saturday, December 2nd ball at the Hilton Anatole, the Thursday before was no different except, the ugly Christmas sweaters had more of a whimsical spirit.

Beth Thoele

Mascot Bernie

With 2017 CCB mascot Bernie looking on, there was assembling of programs, Tiffany box favors, putting together clear bags for magazines and newspapers and other preparation to tackle. Even the lunch provided by Mesero found CCB-ers discussing what still needed to be done.

Leslie Diers, Phil White, Pam Perella and Elizabeth Gambrell

2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and Children’s Book Chair Elizabeth Gambrell took a break to thank Wells Fargo’s Phil White for being the first-ever CCB Children’s Book sponsor. Who would have thought that after all these decades, the sponsorship hadn’t been gobbled up? The book has truly become a collector’s item with kids of the past now being CCB committee members.

Gary Cox, Claire Emanuelson and Tom Addis

In the meantime, event producer Tom Addis was showing his flexibility. It seems that the previous group that had held its meeting in the Chantilly Ballroom had been a wee bit slow in departing. That meant that Tom and his crew had to rearrange their POA to create “An Evening In The Alps.” Would they make it happen? Does Santa know how to shimmy down a chimney? No doubt on either count.  

Family Gateway’s New Board Of Directors And Chairman Announced

Stephen Hipp*

Family Gateway has seven new folks joining its board of directors, as well as a new chairman of the board.

Serving in the leadership role for the organization will be Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group Managing Director Stephen Hipp.

Jennie Holmes Fahrenbruch*

Deanna Reyna Munoz*

Charlie O’Connell*

Exa Whiteman*

The newest members of the board include Justin Bailey, Jennie Holmes Fahrenbruch, Juanita Harris, Paula Miltenberger, Deanna Reyna Munoz, Charles O’Connell and Exa Whiteman.

According to Family Gateway CEO Ellen Magnis, “We are very excited about our new Board Chair and the addition of these seven individuals to our Board of Directors. Their skill sets will bring a variety of new ideas and insights to our agency and its mission to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness.”

They will be joining current directors Alex Sharma, Gary Moor, Gretchen Pollom, Leslie Benners, Ann M. Johnson, Jennifer Austin, Rick Deitch, Ariane Einecker, Shanjula Harris, Kirsten Kerrigan, Mirjam Kirk, Mika Manaster, Steve Martin, Doug Ness, Selwyn Rayzor, Bryon Romine and Paul Wilson.

For details on the new board members, just follow the jump:

* Photo provided by Family Gateway

[Read more…]

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas’ Cookie Power Sale-Athon Kicks Off Friday

Girl Scout Cookies*

Put the diets on hold because the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas are kicking off their annual cookie-thon. Starting Friday, January 12, the GSNETX Cookie Sale will have Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-Si-Does, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lot, Toffee-tastics, Trios and Girl Scouts S’Mores available online thanks to the Digital Cookie mobile app made possible by Dell.

Girl Scout cookie sales*

But if you’re a little hesitant about going online or just want to meet a hardworking scout, you can always rely on the good old cookie booth.

Where is the nearest cookie booth going to be? Just pop in your ZIP code and the info will be there.

Funds raised by the cookies will stay in North Texas and support G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) ™ programs that develop future leaders.

Since the cookie season ends February 25, the diets can get underway Monday, February 26.

* Photo provided by Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

MySweet2018Goals: Brent Christopher

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher,

Brent Christopher (File photo)

“The second busiest pediatric emergency department in the whole U.S. is right here at Children’s Health. And, on the Dallas campus, it’s time for an overhaul.  So, one of my top professional goals in 2018 is to help more people across North Texas know about the four-year plan getting underway to create a double-decker emergency department at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. There will be lots of ways that everyone can be part of ensuring that this state-of-the-art resource is available for their kids and grandkids when they need it most for many years to come.

“Personally, I aim to be pedaling my bike more often, exploring all of the fantastic new trails that continue to connect Dallas—often across land I’ve never seen before, but right in the heart of the city. 

“Hopefully, these two goals won’t intersect, though, because I’d rather not do anything that involves having to make my own trip to the ER!”  

MySweetWishList: Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon

According to Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Lisa Cooley,

Gina Betts (File photo)

Lisa Cooley (File photo)

“Sadly, in our community, more than 3,600 families with children seek our help annually because of a housing crisis. Unfortunately the number of children and families that are homeless or on the edge of homelessness is growing at a record pace.  With only 110 emergency shelter rooms for homeless families with children in Dallas, we are facing tremendous pressure to increase our capacity to serve more families than ever before.

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 acts as the point of triage for families experiencing or near homelessness in Dallas County, a new designation to help build in opportunities for families to avoid a shelter experience, if at all possible. For families who do need shelter or supportive housing, we believe that a family that stays together provides the most stability and long-term success for children. Our mission is to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to these vulnerable families, and with your help, we can do it.

“Our wish is that that you partner with us by purchasing a sponsorship or table, or underwriting necessary funds needed to make sure that the 2018 Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon is a success.  Please visit familygateway.org to learn more about us, or email [email protected] to receive 2018 luncheon information.”

-By Gina Betts and Lisa Cooley, Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon co-chairs

MySweetWishList: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball

According to 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Claire Emanuelson,

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

“There is a saying that ‘no one stands as tall as he who stoops to help a child.’ That summarizes my wish for the holiday season and the new year. The Crystal Charity Ball committee’s sole purpose is to serve the children of Dallas. 

“Since 1952, the Crystal Charity Ball has benefited 167 children’s charities in Dallas County with more than $145 million distributed. Beneficiaries have ranged from Children’s Medical Center to The Salvation Army. The common thread is that children are the future and they need everyone’s help. Every child deserves an education, healthcare, safety and positive reinforcement.

“In February, the Crystal Charity Ball Committee, after weeks of extensive research and vetting, will identify several children’s charities as the 2018 Beneficiaries. Charity Selection Committee members, along the accounting firm Deloitte, have carefully studied dozens of requests and proposals that will be presented to the entire Crystal Charity Ball membership. The campaign to fund these worthy recipients will begin in March.

“Please help us secure the future of the children of Dallas by visiting www.crystalcharityball.org.”

-By Claire Emanuelson, 2018 Crystal Charity Ball chair

MySweetWishList: Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas

Joyce Williams*

According to Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas Board Chair Joyce Williams,

“I do not have many wishes this holiday season. However, as the new chair of the board of directors at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD), I can only wish for more opportunities and more resources for the thousands of youth served by BGCD.

“Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas is more than a place for kids to come to shoot hoops in the gym. Because of BGCD, kids have a safe place to go after school and are no longer susceptible to the risk of walking alone through neighborhoods in the evening to an empty home because mom has to work late. BGCD provides transportation from school to the Club, where kids are greeted by a caring youth development professional, a hot meal for dinner, and help with homework. Furthermore, Club members are able to participate in impactful programming meant to meet the needs of every child and teen.

Teens excited to receive laptops at annual graduation celebration*

Club member at one of the holiday parties at the Club*

Club Member at BGCD’s annual math competition*

Club member at a holiday party at the Club*

“At Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. My wish is that more people join us on this mission. Why? Because without the help of the community, how can my other wishes come true? For instance, my wish to witness more youth in low-income neighborhoods graduate high school with a plan for their future. Or my wish for youth to break generational curses and be the first in their family to go to college. Or my wish for more kids to have a safe and productive place to go after school.

“Most importantly, my wish is that tomorrow’s visionaries do not fall short of their potential because we did not invest in them today. Invest in great futures today by donating online at www.bgcdallas.org/donate or contact our VP of Advancement, Laura Brown at 214.821.2950 ext. 732.”

-By Joyce Williams, Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas board chair

* Photo provided by Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas

MySweetWishList: After-School All-Stars

According to After-School All-Stars Advocate Gina Betts,

Gina Betts (File photo)

“After-School All-Stars (ASAS) is the largest national organization, with a strong local presence, that specifically focuses on serving middle school age students. Studies show that 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. is the prime time when unsupervised students are most likely to become involved with gangs, crime, drugs and unsafe sex. ASAS does not incur costs for daily transportation to and from our facilities or put students in a position where they have to travel to programs alone.

“As our name recognition grows in North Texas, we are eager to demonstrate the need for the programming that After School All Stars provides.  My wish is that more corporations and individuals will become advocates and donors to ASAS in 2018.

“Our students do not have to pay to be members of ASAS nor are they charged annually dues to fees to receive programming and services.  Our programs only take place at Title I schools where more than 50 percent of students qualify for federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, a proxy for poverty.

“Every day, our program initiatives work to address the most prevalent and pressing issues facing our youth. ASAS inspires students to be healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find a career they love and give back to their community. Please visit asasnorthtexas.org to find how you can become a part of the ASAS solution.”

-By Gina Betts, After-School All-Stars advocate

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Gail Chandler*

According to Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Committee For Community Engagement Co-Chair Gail Chandler,

  1. “Every girl deserves the chance to be successful.
  2. “Everyone benefits when we help girls take an active part in charting their futures.
  3. “The future of our communities and society depends on our ability to break down gender barriers that inhibit girls’ success.

“These are the three reasons I volunteer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.  As a mother and grandmother, I can wish for and support the success of my daughters and granddaughter. As a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas though, I can extend that support to others in our community who deserve success no matter their background, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity or ability.

“Today, there are many opportunities for girls and women to contribute to a better future through the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.  However, women remain vastly underrepresented in these fields.  Girl Scouts is reducing the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. In November, Girl Scouts of the USA announced a bold pledge to get 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025. Locally, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is leading the charge through a $14M capital campaign to build a STEM Center of Excellence in southwest Dallas.

“STEM professions are the fastest growing careers in our country – with women in STEM earning 33% more than women in other careers.  Over the next decade, the U.S. will need 1 million more STEM professionals than we are projected to produce. Where will our future chemists, botanists, electrical engineers, programmers and coders come from?  With your support, they will come from Girl Scouts.

“Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ STEM Center of Excellence is serving as a model for the development of regional STEM Centers across the country.  The STEM Center will afford girls the opportunity to explore these careers, connect with mentors and break down perceptions about the industry.  Programs will run year-round and the facility is expected to serve 4,000 girls in our area.

“We need your help to help girls develop their curiosity, problem-solving and leadership skills. From an all-girls astronomy club to summer camps that teach girls to build and fly drones, to field trips which get girls into nature to explore earth sciences to high school programs where girls are discovering and developing antibiotics, there is truly an opportunity for every girl to discover, explore, build, create and dream.

“My holiday wish is for more STEM opportunities and success for North Texas girls.  You can create those opportunities by giving to the Gears4Girls campaign.  Your gift will be commemorated on an acrylic gear on display on our supporters’ wall at the STEM Center. Gears make the perfect holiday gift to commemorate that special leader, mentor, role model, colleague or family member. 

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“By ‘getting in gear’ this holiday season, we help Girl Scouts help girls break down barriers , find countless opportunities to discover themselves, connect with the world around them, take action in their communities and empower themselves for life. 

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,000 girls in our community, helping them learn computer coding, get hands-on experiences in the STEM industry, connect with female career mentors, explore nature at our STEM Center of Excellence, build confidence through leadership programs, challenge their fears through outdoor adventures and much more.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“Please help girls throughout our community try STEM and discover skills and interests that will lead to their success and ours. You can learn more and connect as a volunteer or donor at gsnetx.org. ”

-By Gail Chandler, Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Committee For Community Engagement co-chair

* Photos provided by Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

MySweetWishList: Café Momentum

According to Café Momentum’s 2017 Momentum Society Co-Chair Ashlee Kleinert,

 “The Momentum Society, founded in 2016 by Inaugural Co-Chairs Sally and Forrest Hoglund, set out to connect 80 donors to the mission of Café Momentum: to transform young lives by equipping our community’s most at-risk youth with life skills, education and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. With a $5,000 gift and a belief in that vision, those first 80 donors paved the way for the Momentum Society to empower each young person who walked through the doors of Café Momentum.

Chris and Ashlee Kleinert, TJ and Mackenzie Kleinert, Tyler Kleinert and Nick Babikian and Connie Kleinert*

“This year, my husband, Chris Kleinert, and I are honored to co-chair the Momentum Society effort alongside our family (Connie, Nick, Tyler, Mackenzie and TJ) with the hope that by year’s end, the Momentum Society can reach 100 donors with a $500,000 commitment to provide transformative experiences to young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. We invite you to join us in this goal and to consider joining the Momentum Society online or by calling Margaret Windham, chief development officer for Café Momentum, at 214.435.6421.

“On Wednesday, November 22, Café Momentum began its participation in the ‘40 Days of Gratitude – Gift A Future’ campaign. During the 40 hectic days that connect Thanksgiving and New Years, we look forward to sharing messages of gratitude from Café Momentum interns and staff as a daily reminder to take time to appreciate the good in each of our lives and to ask the community to consider ‘Gifting a Future’ to the young men and women working their way through our program.

Cafe Momentum is a non-profit restaurant providing a transformative experience through a
post-release internship program for young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. The interns rotate through all aspects of the restaurant, focusing on life and social skills, coaching and development. The case management team of Cafe Momentum provides an ecosystem of support around the interns to help them achieve their greatest potential. The restaurant is located at 1510 Pacific Ave. at Akard on Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas and serves dinner Thursday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information call 214.303.1234 or go to http://cafemomentum.org/. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cafemomentum or Twitter and Instagram using the handle @cafemomentum.

-By Ashlee Kleinert, Café Momentum’s 2017 Momentum Society co-chair

* Photo proved by Café Momentum

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

 

A Passing: Nancy Ann Smith Wynne Chandler

The Idlewild Club went dark during World War II. But in 1946, it came alive again with a dozen young debutantes. One of them was Nancy Ann Smith. Five years after “bowing” to Dallas society, she attended a charity ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Returning to Dallas, she realized that Dallas needed a similar fundraiser for Dallas children. In her suitcase was a sketch of a little girl that would become the symbol for her brainchild.

Nancy Ann Smith Wynne Chandler*

Pretty soon she gathered together a posse of gal/pals like Claire Ownby Benners, Mildred Nettle Bickel, Betty Butler, Katherine Callaway, Sally Carney, Phyllis Carter, Sally Otis Cassidy, Jo Cherry, Jo Ann Holland, Margaret Kervin, Ann O’Donnell, Neil Orand, Margaret Otis, Alma Ramsden, Marilyn Ray, Sharon Simons, Ann Thompson and Dale Wigley to be the founding members of her project — Crystal Charity Ball.

Within a year, Nancy and her ladies had become a force to be reckoned with. She got Sharon Simons’ husband, Pollard Simons, to provide office space at his Fine Arts Gallery on Cedar Springs; created an advisory board including Joe Lambert, Nancy Hamon and Margaret Hunt Hill; got a permit from the Better Business Bureau; and put together an ultra-formal ball at the Baker Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, December 6, 1952, for 350 with tickets going for a hefty $25 per person.

Nancy had put together a recipe of panache, glitz and glamour that put the event on the map nationally. Unlike the hoop-la of “Giant’s” portrayal of Texas big events, this one was sleek, elegant, intimate and fun. With celebrity pianist Hoagy Carmichael entertaining and Stanley Marcus and actors Greer Garson and Dan Dailey drawing names for the three door prizes, one of the highlights was the midnight drop of ceiling balloons containing prize-winning numbers and a late-night supper. Another was Dailey’s performing.

Still Nancy’s dad, Howell Smith, wasn’t certain that his little girl’s project would work. The country was still recovering from the war and, after all, start-up ventures were always risky. Why he even offered to cover expenses if a profit wasn’t made.

He needn’t have worried. That very first CCB sold out and provided a whopping $17,730 for The Dallas Polio Chapter. Remember this was back in 1952, when cars were selling for $1,700 and gas went for 20 cents.

From the start, it was a hands-on effort. The CCB office was closed, so the committee could create the decorations and entertainment rehearsals. According to the late Dale Wigley, “In those days we had to work hard for the money… I mean really scrounging! Making $15,000 was a big deal, engaging our efforts all year long. But we certainly did put the ball on the map, didn’t we?”

The next year more than 750 attended with guests arriving from New York, California and Europe for the ball that Nancy would chair once again. This time it resulted in an even larger check for the Children’s Development Center, a training school for children with emotional and mental challenges.

Over the years, CCB grew in size of membership (100) and guests (1,500), activities (10 Best Dressed Fashion Show), beneficiaries, corporate involvement, prestige and reputation. It was no longer a debutante’s dream. It was the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval in fundraising circles, as well as a generous benefactor.  

As for Nancy, the 1950s were also a turning point for her personally. The beautiful blonde married Dr. Buck J. Wynne and had two children, Howell Wynne and Nancy Wynne Saustad. Following his death in 1979, she was married to World War II hero Alfred Chandler in 1981 until his death in 2013. But all the while she watched her little project provide more than $131,244,558 for thousands and thousands of children.

It was announced that Nancy died Friday, December 15, having celebrated her 93rd birthday on December 3. But in the decades to come, her legacy will live on through her “brainchild” helping Dallas children.

Services are pending at this time with Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home.

* Photo provided by Crystal Charity Ball

MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Grants and Foundation Manager Dave Wehrly,

“The only program of its kind in North Texas, Resource Center’s Youth First program serves middle and high school aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, ages 12 to 18, and equips them with the skills and resources they need to lead an authentic life.

Youth First*

“Shortly after Max came out of the closet at the age of 14, his parents became concerned when his grades began to drop and he was often ‘too sick’ to go to school. They suspected that he was being bullied, and turned to Resource Center’s Youth First program. After working with his mental health counselor at Youth First, Max revealed to his parents that he was being bullied at school to the point that he was having thoughts of suicide. Today, through counseling, Max has learned that when he shares what is happening to him at school, his parents can be a source of help and support. Over the past year, Max has been actively involved in many of Youth First’s weekly programs and activities including Healthy Relationship Workshops, Art Club, and Friday Family Dinners.

Resource Center*

“’He is doing better in school and behaving more like the Max we used to know,’ his mother says. ‘I don’t know where he would be today without Youth First. God has put this wonderful program in our lives, and we truly believe it has saved Max’s life.’

“’I really, really love Youth First! I went from literally having zero friends and feeling lonely and depressed, to having lots of friends and being much happier,’ Max says. ‘This was my first summer being a part of Youth First, and the summer art program along with all the field trips and weekly family dinners really opened my eyes to this amazing place. I’ve met so many cool people too! Youth First is a safe place that lets me to be myself and feel accepted. I don’t know where I would go or what I would do without it. Thank you!

Youth First*

“’My wish this holiday is that other teens who are being bullied at school will find their way to Youth First like I did.’

“To donate to Youth First and support LGBTQ youth like Max, contact Cameron Hernholm at [email protected] or go to myresourcecenter.org.

“Mission: Resource Center is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.”

-By Dave Wehrly, Resource Center Grants and Foundation manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Resource Center

MySweetWishList: Camp Summit

According to Camp Summit CEO Carla Weiland,

Camp Summit*

“My wish this holiday season is that every child and adult with disabilities has the opportunity to experience the joy of camp.

“Campers like Alex, whose parents struggle every month to cover the costs of required medications, doctors’ visits, and ongoing therapies, cannot give their son the camping experience. Many families with children with special needs require help with the cost of accessible recreational activities for their children. They also rarely have the opportunity for respite from the daily tasks of caregiving. Often, they are so overwhelmed with their day-to-day survival that the fun and fulfilling activities other families can enjoy every day seem unreachable.

Camp Summit*

“Over 90% of Camp Summit campers and families receive financial assistance from Camp Summit in order to attend camp. Help us continue our tradition of accepting all campers, regardless of their ability to pay, their age, or the severity of their disability, by donating in support of our 2018 “campership” campaign.

“Your donation helps ensure that our remarkable campers, like Alex and his friends, will never be turned away due to financial hardship, allowing them to experience the freedom of the outdoors, make s’mores around the campfire with new friends, and enjoy a week of adventure with no barriers.

“Support our campers by donating here, or visit www.campsummittx.org to learn more about our barrier-free camp programs. Thank you for making a camper’s dream come true this holiday season. Happy holidays from Camp Summit and our remarkable campers!”

-By Carla Weiland, Camp Summit president and CEO

* Graphic and photo proved by Camp Summit

MySweetWishList: Jubilee Park And Community Center

According to Jubilee Park And Community Center Community Outreach Manager Samantha Campbell,

Samantha Campbell and “Clemons”*

“I work with community members in Southeast Dallas every day, and I’d like to make a wish on their behalf.  My wish is that the people reading this will choose to sponsor a family, who is struggling just to keep a roof over their heads, the lights on, water running, and bellies filled.

“For some families, this is a time of year when heating bills run high, hours change at work, car engine troubles pop up, and any number of emergency expenses can create catastrophe. And yet, a relatively small amount of money can help them stabilize, stay on their feet, and resume a productive life.

“Jubilee Park provides emergency assistance to families throughout the year who need a little financial help to avoid a major household crisis, plus budget counseling and resource referral. The families we serve typically have five members, earning about $20,000 per year. Unfortunately, this season of joy seems to be the time of biggest need.

“Your contribution of $250, $500, or $1,000 could mean that a family remains safely housed, with electricity and running water, and the food and critical medications they need. (When families lose their footing, it can take up to 25 times as much money and resources to get them re-established—an emotional and financial drain that none of us would want to bear.)

“Southeast Dallas and the Fair Park community are filled with hardworking families who want to succeed, but like all of us, they sometimes experience an unexpected event and may have less of a safety net than other people. This year, we’ve seen more than triple the number of requests for help.  From a stolen pair of required uniform boots to job layoffs to unforeseen medical costs, crises come in all shapes and sizes.

“When someone reading this decides to make this wish come true, they’ll know they’ve lit up the holidays for a family in a way that is truly miraculous.  For more information, please click here or call 469.718.5702.”

-By Samantha Campbell, Jubilee Park And Community Center community outreach manager

*Photo provided by Jubilee Park And Community Center

MySweetWishList: Trinity River Mission

Dolores Sosa Green (File photo)

According to Trinity River Mission Executive Director Dolores Sosa Green,

“My holiday wish is for all of the 550+ students we serve to believe in their ability to succeed.

“So often the challenging circumstances in our students’ lives affect their ability to concentrate, to understand their homework and, worst of all, to believe in themselves. In fact, we know from the groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences Study done by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that living in poverty, experiencing chronic stress or trauma, or not feeling prepared for school make students 19% more likely to drop out, score lower on tests, have language difficulties, and be at risk for an assortment of mental health issues.

“But we also have seen first-hand at TRM that, with a little TLC, our students’ challenging circumstances do not have to define them.

Ricardo*

“Just look at Ricardo, a 1st grader at TRM who is on the autism spectrum. When he started at TRM last year, he was having daily tantrums on the floor, had to be carried to class by his mother, and his speech was incomprehensible. His mom was hopeless and desperate for a miracle.

“But because of the academic instruction, caring relationships, and targeted intervention he received at TRM, Ricardo is learning how to break through his tantrums, stimulate his mind in a healthy way, and discovering that participation and learning can be fun! In just one year, Ricardo can now walk by himself to class and is vastly improving in school.

Trinity River Mission*

“And, this holiday season, we can do even more for Ricardo. With your support this December, Ricardo (and other students like him) will also be paired with a therapy dog he can read to every week. This non-judgmental practice will allow Ricardo to build up his speech in a stress-free way and give his mom the miracle she’s been waiting for: for her son to finally believe in himself and his ability to succeed.

“I hope you’ll join me and make more miracles like Ricardo happen this holiday season. Your gift means Ricardo and his friends won’t have to wait another minute to receive the support they need to succeed in school and overcome their struggles.

“To make your gift, just go to www.TrinityRiverMission.org/donate

-By Dolores Sosa Green, Trinity River Mission executive director

* Graphic and photo proved by Trinity River Mission

Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves And Their MistleCrew Want You To Kiss-Off Hunger With Jingle Bell Mistletoe Starting Friday

The countdown is underway for Christmas. It’s ten days filled with parties, gift wrapping, cooking and kissing. Whoa! What was the last one? Yup. Kissing. There are all types of smooching. There’s the air kiss, the pucker planting, the kiss blowing, the hand kissing, the cheek pecking and the blissful buss to name a few.

Quinn and Stella’s Jingle Bell Mistletoe*

But this indoor/outdoor activity can be enhanced with a little inspiring decoration like mistletoe. While the greenery may be considered a parasitic plant to a tree, it is the seasonal good luck charm for a lucky locking of the lips.

And if you don’t want to haul out the extension ladder and perhaps break a bone or two by cutting some greenery out of the trees, 12-year-olds Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason, Trevor Godkin and their MistleCrew have it all under control.

Starting Friday, their Jingle Bell Mistletoe will be back in operation for a fifth year selling mistletoe with the hope of raising $60,000 for the North Texas Food Bank to feed 180,000 children in North Texas. Just last year, Stella and Quinn were awarded the North Texas Food Bank’s Golden Fork for their seasonal project.

Stuart Reeves, Quinn Graves, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Stella Wrubel, Jennie Reeves and Katherine Reeves (File photo)

Here is the schedule for the pop-up plant stations:

  • Highland Park Village
    • Friday, December 15: 2 to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 16: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 17: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Monday, December 18: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday, December 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

xxoo

* Photo provided by Jingle Bell Mistletoe

MySweetWishList: Frazier Revitalization

According to Frazier Revitalization Community Engagement Advisor Hank Lawson,

Hank Lawson*

“Hopelessness becomes a way of life early for children in the Frazier neighborhood south of Fair Park, where poverty and urban decay are rampant. But, when you look into the eyes of the children here, when you peer deep into them, you can see and feel them saying, ‘Show me, show me the way…. Help us to believe in ourselves, to have hope.’

“That’s why the nonprofit Frazier Revitalization started the Frazier Kids afterschool program. This program is successfully getting elementary-aged children off the streets and into positive experiences, supporting their academic and social growth. It is a part of our broader strategy to bring positive growth and change to the Frazier neighborhoods.

“A majority of the children in our program attend the Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, where only 1 out of 5 children in grades three and above meet grade-level for reading and mathematics. Our program provides these high-need students educational enrichment and targeted tutoring programs.

“Additionally, we holistically address the complex social-emotional needs of these students, many who have faced poverty-related trauma. Our Social-Emotional Learning activities create a positive and proactive environment that enhances peer relationships and helps reduce incidents of teasing, aggression and bullying. 

Frazier Revitalizaiton*

“My wish this holiday season is for critical funding to serve the children of Frazier Kids. We will provide tutoring and literature circles; physical activity and recreation; arts and crafts; enrichment activities; and a snack and dinner to every child four days a week. We are also expanding our technology to bring students iStation, an interactive learning program that engages students in reading and math.

“You can be part of the answer for these children, as they search for hope, look for guidance and seek to believe in themselves and others. Your support of Frazier Kids will give them the opportunity to succeed in school and the skills needed to face poverty-related trauma.

“To learn more about Frazier Revitalization’s programs, visit frazierdallas.org or contact me, Hank Lawson, Community Engagement Advisor, at [email protected].”

-Hank Lawson, Frazier Revitalization Community Engagement Advisor

* Graphic and photo proved by Frazier Revitalization

MySweetWishList: Callier Center For Communication Disorders

According to Callier Center for Communication Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell,

Tom Campbell*

“You probably know the song, ‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.’ Please bear with me for a refresher of the chorus:

‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
‘My two front teeth
‘See my two front teeth
‘Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth
‘Then I could wish you, “Merry Christmas’

“As I was brushing my teeth this morning, I wondered, what if the lyric was ‘All I want for Christmas is the ability to hear and speak.’ It doesn’t have the same ring to it as the song, but I know that children who are deaf or hard of hearing feel this way.

“This holiday season, most of us will be able to hear and even sing Christmas carols and holiday songs. We will be able to hear and speak with family members and friends, as we gather at holiday parties. But not everyone is able to hear and speak, communicate with their loved ones, hear music and sing.

“To complicate matters, many insurance plans, even Medicaid, only partially cover the cost of audiology and speech-language services. Thus, many families cannot afford the clinical care necessary to treat a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. These families seek a place that will help them, but unfortunately many clinics across North Texas have stopped seeing patients with Medicaid. Where do these children go? The Callier Center.

“I am proud that the Callier Center has chosen differently. We are committed to transforming the lives of all patients regardless of their income level or insurance coverage. It is a privilege to serve those who are less fortunate, but we cannot do it without you.

“When you give to the Callier Center, you open the door for a family in need. We provide the expertise of audiologists and speech-language pathologists, leading-edge technology, research and care.

“The ability to hear and speak should be a given, but that is not always the case. You have the power to ensure that a family’s limited finances do not become a barrier to care. Will you open the door for someone in need today? Will you grant a child’s wish to hear and speak?

“Please give to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.”

-By Dr. Tom Campbell, Callier Center for Communication Disorder executive director

* Photo provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorder

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Wrap-Up Luncheon

Elizabeth Gambrell, Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner

After a year of work, the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella and her team were tallying up the results for Dallas children’s charities. While the final dollar amount won’t be revealed until 2018, the top producers of the committee were recognized at the annual Wrap Up Luncheon on Monday, November 13, at Forty Five Ten’s Mirador penthouse restaurant.

Meredith Bebee

Caren Kline

Patti Flowers

Before learning the heavy hitters, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for some of the folks lunching and being “charmed.”

MySweetWishList: Christmas In The Park

According to Christmas In The Park Volunteer Nita Clark,

“My wish is to help the SM Wright Foundation achieve its goal of securing 15,000 toys, one for each child attending this year’s Christmas in the Park event on Saturday, December 16! We are closing in, but we can always use your donations:  http://www.smwrightfoundation.org/content/donate-today/ .

Nita and Clark Cullum*

“Christmas in the Park is an annual event serving tens of thousands of residents of Fair Park and South Dallas – an area of Dallas with very high unemployment and scarce infrastructure and support. Christmas in the Park has grown beyond giving a toy or a bike to each child, but now provides winter coats, mattresses for kids who have no bed, plus books, a job fair, a college fair, hot meals, groceries, clothing, bus passes, gift cards for Walmart and help with utilities payments. 

“The Rev. SM Wright II pulls this off every year through the help from volunteers, members of the South Dallas community and corporations and donors from the greater Dallas community. Please help by supporting the toy drive.  You can also help by volunteering at the event!  Just email [email protected] to register. Like any great Christmas party, it’s sometimes chaotic, but always fun!

“The Christmas in the Park event is the best opportunity of the year for the SM Wright Foundation to reach families in the Fair Park area for the first time. Once the Foundation makes contact with a family, it can bring the adults into the computer skills training program, and kids into the South Dallas Top of the Class Community Tutoring Center. The Foundation helps people throughout the year with various immediate needs- from food at the Operation Hope Food Center, to clothes to help with rising electric bills. Again this year, there is a college expo with a dozen representatives from area colleges present, a job fair, hot meal, gift cards and bus passes. Please join us in participating in this joyous and meaningful holiday event! Christmas in the Park happens on Saturday, December 16, at the Automobile Building in Fair Park.”

-Nita Clark, Christmas In The Park volunteer

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetWishList: Dallas CASA

According to Dallas CASA Volunteer Manager Sandra Teter,

Sandra Teter*

“My wish for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) this holiday season is that more community members will join me and serve as volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes and are in foster care or alternative placements.

“I joined CASA’s cadre of volunteers 20 years ago in 1997. Since then I have worked 24 different cases involving 47 children. I have always been pretty altruistic and when I found CASA I knew I had found my place.

“Though I have always been one to speak up, CASA gives my “voice” the ability to affect real immediate change.  As an advocate you have to ask the tough questions and the best decision is not always the easy one. These kids deserve someone that will really listen to them and go to bat for them to ensure their wellbeing. The healing that often occurs in whole families can make positive change for future generations.

“People tend to be afraid of volunteering at places like CASA because they worry about seeing things they do not want to see. The truth is these situations happen whether we see them or not. The toughest job out there is a Child Protective Services caseworker. They see the situations the children are removed from in real time. CASA is assigned after the children are in protective care and safe and it is time to pick up the pieces.

“CASA has taught me to be more compassionate and look at every side to a story. Every time I read a new case, I get angry. I have learned there are truly so many sides to every story. Many of the children’s parents have been victims themselves and are repeating learned behavior. Though we wish there was not a need for the process, the court’s intervention provides access to services such as counseling, drug and alcohol treatment and mental healthcare. I have gained perspective and balance as a CASA volunteer and feel I gain as much, if not more, than I give.

Dallas CASA*

“I hope you will join me on this walk as a Dallas CASA volunteer. As of Tuesday, November 7, 1,264 volunteer advocates have served 2,928 abused and neglected children in Dallas in 2017. The numbers are heartbreaking but the results are amazing.

“There are more children who need advocates. Dallas CASA is currently able to provide advocates for three out of four children in need. As proud as we are all of that, it is the child without an advocate I can not stop thinking about. These children deserve our care and attention, not just during the holidays but year round.

“The first step is to go to an information session at Dallas CASA.

“New volunteer information sessions are offered weekly, go to DallasCASA.org to register.”

-By Sandra Teter, Dallas CASA volunteer manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA