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: Wilkinson Center

Jane Shouse*

According to Wilkinson Center Volunteer Jane Shouse,

“As a Wilkinson Center volunteer for many years, I’ve come to understand how deeply felt the desire to have seasonal traditions, the kind most of us take for granted, is for families who struggle day to day with poverty.  Their children dream of Santa, toys and treats of the season, and parents look forward to special times, shared meals and the happiness that comes from celebrating together. Yet for many of these families, the holiday season also represents a time of hardship. Even small amounts of generosity during the holiday season can make an inspiring impact on these families’ holidays and carry meaning we may not realize.

“The Wilkinson Center’s holiday wish, easily fulfilled by an individual, group or business, is for food pantry items to fulfill families’ needs for holiday meals, specifically baskets with a frozen turkey and your choice of fixings.

“Turkey baskets given to Wilkinson Center clients mean much more than providing food or a doing a good deed; these baskets lift their load, not only for the tangible contents, but also because of what they represent. They provide families with the ability to celebrate in a manner that they look forward to all year.

Wilkinson Center*

“Your help in fulfilling these wishes enables Wilkinson Center to make this season happier for one Dallas family of 2,600 families that the Center serves. Please join us in making holiday dreams come true in your community.

“For more information on how to help the Wilkinson Center this holiday season, please contact Teresa Norton at [email protected], or visit our website at www.wilkinsoncenter.org.”

– By Jane Shouse, Wilkinson Center Volunteer

* Graphic and photo provided by Wilkinson Center

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

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker (File photo)

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

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

Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates (File photo)

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

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

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

MySweetWishList: SPCA OF Texas

According to SPCA Of Texas Volunteer Janice Anderson,

Janice Anderson*

“My wish is that all animal lovers include the SPCA of Texas in their will and estate plans. Leave a legacy and give to one of the best non-profits in our community.”

“When my husband Bill and I moved to McKinney from Tennessee 17 years ago, it wasn’t long before we discovered the SPCA of Texas McKinney facility just around the corner from our home on Stacy Road.

“We loved to stop by and see the pups and we quickly learned about all the great work the SPCA of Texas does throughout North Texas.

 “We have been donors since 2005 and have adopted six dogs from the McKinney shelter over the years. About a year ago we decided to make a future commitment by including the SPCA of Texas in our estate plans.

SPCA of Texas*

“We wanted this to be our legacy to help the SPCA of Texas continue their important work, and (as Legacy Society members) knowing that our pups will be taken care of if something happens to us, is very comforting.

“It was also my dream to become an SPCA of Texas volunteer after retiring. I began my labor of love as a McKinney volunteer last fall.

“For Bill and me, the SPCA of Texas is where our love is.

“The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare organization in North Texas. Founded in 1938, the non-profit operates two shelters, three spay/neuter clinics and an animal rescue center, all located in Dallas and Collin Counties, and maintains a team of animal cruelty investigators who respond to thousands of calls in seven North Texas counties. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other national humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. 

“To learn more about how you can leave a legacy to the SPCA of Texas, please contact Eunice Nicholson at [email protected] or 214.461.5166.”

-By Janice Anderson, SPCA of Texas volunteer

* Photo and graphic provided by SPCA of Texas

MySweetWishList: Readers 2 Leaders

Norma Nelson*

According to Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director Norma Nelson,

“My holiday wish is for all third graders in Dallas County to receive the early literacy skills they need to succeed! I’d like to introduce you to three Readers 2 Leaders students: Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina go to different schools, but they have something in common: they all dream of helping others in the healthcare field. Maybe they will become doctors, nurses, or medical researchers! Like all kids, they have big dreams.

“The road from career dress up day at Readers 2 Leaders’ Summer Camp to advanced medical training will be long no matter what, but together we can make it smoother. We know that 2 out of 3 economically disadvantaged children are not reading on grade level by 4th grade, and that makes them six times less likely to graduate from high school, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Imagine if only one of the sweet girls in this photo made it to college! We can’t let that happen.

“At Readers 2 Leaders, children get help learning to read on grade level so they are prepared for the challenges they face on the way to fulfilling their dreams. At R2L, we know that literacy isn’t the only thing kids need to make things go right, but it’s just about the first thing that must! When you support Readers 2 Leaders, you’re helping literacy go right for kids.

Readers 2 Leaders*

“Also, students in Readers 2 Leaders’ programs are making great progress! They gain an average of a year and a half of reading skills in just one year, and 94% of this year’s summer campers did not experience the “summer slide”– in fact, they gained 3.5 months of skills!

“I hope that you will consider donating to Readers 2 Leaders this holiday season.

Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina*

“Your support helps children like Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina get the early literacy skills they desperately need. You can connect with Readers 2 Leaders by donating, attending a tour or volunteering to read with a child in our program. Thank you for helping children in our community achieve their dreams!”

– By Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director

* Photo provided by Readers 2 Leaders

Let Your Old Bag Be Someone Else’s New Bag

Rumor has it that temperatures will start acting more winter-like next week. Suggestion: Start doing the great wardrobe transition. Put into storage those cottons, shorts and flip-flops. Pull out the boots, cashmeres and snuggly coats.

And while you’re going through your closets, you just might run across a handbag that has been out of commission for a while. It still seems good as new, but it just isn’t quite going with you current look. So, why leave the poor little thing hidden away, when it could really spruce up someone else’s look?

If you brave it up and decide to part company with your purse, you can take it to any Bibbentuckers. They gathering handbags through December for the Attitudes and Attire program that provides “work-appropriate clothing and accessories to all women who attend our workshops.”

According to sources, “Our inventory of accessories is very low, and we need your help! Please consider going through your closet and pulling work-appropriate handbags that you could donate to us.”

MySweetWishList: Community Partners Of Dallas Toy Drive

According to Community Partners of Dallas CEO/President Paige McDaniel,

Community Partners of Dallas’ annual Toy Drive is now underway!  I wish for the community to help us in providing more than 12,000 holiday gifts for abused and neglected children in the care of Child Protective Services. CPD is accepting donations of new toys through Friday, December 8.

This year we have received 1,000 more wish requests for abused and neglected children in Dallas County, and need the support of the community to ensure that every one is filled. We can send you 2 wishes, 20 wishes or 200 – all donations are welcome!

Paige McDaniel*

Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive is unique in that the wishes are brought to the agency by CPS caseworkers on behalf of the children in their care, and those same caseworkers will have the wonderful opportunity to deliver the gifts personally. For many of the children, these might be the only gifts they receive, and for some the first holiday gift they have ever been given.

A significant need this year is gift cards, valued at $25 or more, for the teens we serve.  Gift cards from retailers such as Target, Wal-mart, Bath & Body Works, Forever21, GameStop, Academy, Old Navy, Ulta and Best Buy are always appreciated as every teen should have the experience of shopping and selecting something for themselves.  As well, popular wishes for kids of all ages include Paw Patrol toys, African American Dolls, Sophia the First toys, Batman, Spiderman, learning toys for toddlers, bath and body gift sets, anything from Disney’s Frozen, light up toys, MP3 players, LEGO Sets, remote control cars, toddler push toys, tablets, LeapFrog toys and basketballs/footballs/soccer balls.

Toys and gift cards can be provided by companies, churches, scout troops, business offices, or individuals. Organizations and individuals can also organize a new toy drive for the undesignated toy collection used to serve additional children who come into CPS’ protective care after the wish list deadline and to fill wishes not selected by donors.

All gifts should be new and not wrapped. Toys must be delivered to the Community Partners of Dallas’ Toy Drive Warehouse at the Peacock Alley Warehouse located at 2050 Postal Way, Dallas, Texas 75212, no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8.  For more information on participating in the Toy Drive or for warehouse hours, contact Corinne Karp, 214.624.7588 or visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org.”

-By Paige McDaniel, Community Partners of Dallas CEO

* Photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas

2017 MySweetWishList Starts Monday!

MySweetCharity

After recovering from the Cowboy loss and using Tums as Thanksgiving supper chasers, it’s time to start marching into the official holiday season. In addition to pulling out the holidays decorations from the attic, heading to Sandone for the tree and sending greeting cards, the annual MySweetWishList series will kick into place Monday.

It’s a marvelous opportunity to help those whose needs are great. They’re not wishing for an XPhone or a new Mercedes. Rather, they are parents who are going to have to explain to their kids that Santa is going to have to take a pass this year. It’s the homeless and elderly, whose feast is going to be meager at best. It’s animals that will have concrete floors or wired cages to sleep in without a blanket or toy.

So, if you have room on your holiday shopping list, consider adding one or two more from those with wishes. You’ll not only make others happy, your accountant will be positively giddy about the deduction around April 15.

And even if your wallet is emptied out already, consider just reading the wishes. You may just learn about services, organizations and people that make this community great.

On the other hand, if you are in need, you just might find a resource to help you through the days ahead.  

Go Ahead, Stay Toasty And Donate Without Guilt Saturday Morning

Mother Nature had been threatening for days to be part of the triple-doozy walks/runs benefiting breast cancer and diabetes throughout the area Saturday morning. Honestly, there are just times when you don’t want the old gal to be there. But sure enough, she announced that she was indeed showing up with her cold-shoulder temps. Yipes! Just as a preamble, she sent sleet to the northern parts of the territory on Friday afternoon. What a party pooper!

So, Saturday morning when you’re snuggled under that down-filled duvet and thinking about whether or not to have a triple-dollop of whipped cream on your hot chocolate, consider thousands of folks who are facing a very brisk morning to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure Dallas County, National Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas and Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2017 Healthy Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo.

If you just don’t have the strength to put on those adorable pink Valentino “Rock Stud sneakers” and scamper about the area, consider making a donation. It would warm the hearts of those facing the season’s first frosty chill.

Hint: If you were thinking about shopping at NorthPark, stall that dream off until afternoon when all the walker and runners are home soaking their tootsies.

JUST IN: The Moody Foundation Awards Children’s Health With $12M To Attract The World’s Top Scientists And Researchers To CRI

At their annual dinner, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation million-dollar donors/members of The Scripps Society had a delicious surprise that had jaws literally dropping at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s home Tuesday night. And while this crowd is renowned for their generosity, they were more than delighted with the news about an uber gift of generosity. The reason was courtesy of The Moody Foundation.

With Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg smiling, it was announced that the Foundation had presented a $12 million gift to Children’s Health. The monies will “establish a prestigious faculty scholar program designed to attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas work alongside other researchers at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI).”

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

According to CRI Director Dr. Sean Morrison, “We are deeply honored by this generous gift from the Moody Foundation that will accelerate our ability to make discoveries that improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease in children.”

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

The immediate plan calls for $5M to “create a new Robert L. Moody Sr. Faculty Scholar endowment to support the research of a leading scientist at CRI.” The first Scholar will be Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, who is director of CRI’s Genetic and Metabolic Program and professor in CRI. Thanks to his laboratory, new strategies have been provided for treating cancer by exploiting metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells.”

The Foundation will continue its support of CRI’s world-class medical research “for at least 10 years with a distribution of $700,000 or more every year.”

As Francie put it, “With this gift, we hope to increase the impact of the Children’s Research Institute and attract the most brilliant scientists and researchers from around the globe to North Texas.”

This latest gift brings the total of The Moody Foundation’s support of CRI to $17.35M, “placing it among the top 10 largest cumulative donors for Children’s Health in the system’s 104-year history.”

Children’s Health President/CEO Christopher Durovich summed it up: “Given the established track records of these scientists for finding the pathways to medical breakthroughs, the Moody investment will benefit countless generations yet to come, especially in our relentless pursuit of the discovery of tomorrow’s treatments.”

Once again philanthropy is the reason that North Texas is recognized as a world leader in healthcare research and treatments.  

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation Brent Christopher, “This is an extraordinary gift. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Moody Foundation, and we’re inspired by this powerful collaboration with one of Texas’ most revered philanthropic families.

 “Permanent, private philanthropic support like this is an invaluable tool for these researchers. It is a unique, reliable resource for proven scientists who are at the top of their game and will launch them into their next phase of life-changing discoveries.”

Ironically, on the first night of the World Series, Brent summed it up, “CRI scientists knock it out each month.” 

Nicely played for the team of  The Moody Foundation, Children’s Health and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) for generations to come.      

Community Partners Of Dallas’ Change Is Good Was A Multi-Generational Funfest With Sugary Treats, Bungee Cording And Loads Of Coins

As usual, the Community Partners of Dallas were prepared for young and old to feel right at home for its annual Change Is Good fundraiser at Brook Hollow Golf Club. Just in case the Dallas Cowboys game ran into a typical overtime situation, they had TV screens in place for fans. As for the kids, there was everything from sugary treats to sky-high bungee cord flying. But the youngsters were also vying for who could haul in the most ca-ching. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: (front row – Enzo Lange, Asher Lange and Jameson Lange; (back row) Ted and Becky Lange, Reese Lange; Paul and Sandra Keck, Larry and Mary Lange and Paige McDaniel*

Change is Good Chair Family Becky and Ted Lange with munchkins Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo, and Honorary Co-Grandparents Sandra and Paul Keck and Mary and Larry Lange were joined by more than 625 partygoers on Sunday, October 1, at the 11th Annual Change is Good, where kids collected change to change the lives of abused and neglected kids. 

Benefiting Community Partners of Dallas, participating children and teens began collecting change over the summer by emptying their own piggy banks, going door to door, setting up lemonade stands and other fundraisers or starting their own online campaign. Through their efforts 87,640 coins were collected equaling $18,574. 

From the left: (back row) Larry and Rathna Gray; (front row) Caroline Gray, Cate Gray and Brooke* Gray

Cameron Martin, Harper Martin and Kendall Martin”

Emmy Linebarger *

All collections were turned in at the Sunday, October 1st event in exchange for chances to win exciting prizes. This year’s grand prize, a GoPro HERO4 Black 4K Waterproof Action Camera Kit, was awarded to first place winners Brooke, Cate and Caroline Gray, who collected a total of $2,788.22.  Triplets Cameron, Harper and Kendall Martin were in second place with $1,062.16, of which $680 was raised online, the most of all collections. Solo entry Emmy Linebarger came in third place with a remarkable $778.57 collected. The Gray group also received an award for most quarters collected with 9,768 quarters.

Bungee cording*

Held at Brook Hollow Golf Club, the event featured activities for all ages, including bungee jumping, inflatable obstacle courses and slide, prince/princess station, paper airplane zone, GameTruck, Rad Hatter, balloon artist, face painting, bounce houses, and a DJ dance party with CPD’s favorite DJ Bill Cody.

Hula hoops*

President and CEO Paige McDaniel took a few minutes to thank the many sponsors, who had supported the event, as well as all the kids who collected change throughout the summer. She then announced the many prize-drawing winners, and recognized the change collection winners as well as the artists who had the winning designs for this year’s commemorative t-shirt: Jaxon McKinney (front artwork) and Leila Davis (back artwork).  All child attendees received a t-shirt as their parting gift.

Jaxon McKinney and Leila Davis*

Proceeds from Change is Good benefit the abused and neglected children served by Community Partners of Dallas.  This year’s event would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:

  • Change Champion ($5,000) – Shawn Cleveland and Winston and Strawn; Mary and Larry Lange; Becky and Ted Lange and Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo and Greg Nieberding/Digital 3 Printing;
  • Change for the Better ($2,500) – Lena and Derek Alley; Marybeth and Kevin Conlon and Luke Conlon and Quinn Conlon; Grant Thornton LLP; Nicola Hobeiche and Todd Hewes; Barry, Sandy, Ryan and Kennedy Moore; Al G. Hill Jr; Sandra Reese-Keck; Katherine and Eric Reeves and The Tafel Family;
  • Changing Lives ($1,250) – The Barber Family; The Kennington Families; The Clay Smith Family; Adam, Taryn, Walker, Ayla and Rilyn Spence;
  • Jar Sponsor – Park Place Porsche;
  • Media sponsors – Dallas Child and MySweetCharity.

For more information about Change is Good, visit communitypartnersdallas.org.

About Community Partners of Dallas

Since 1989, Community Partners of Dallas has ensured safety and restored dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing crucial resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.  Community Partners of Dallas provides items such as winter coats, diapers and formula, holiday gifts, school uniforms, personal hygiene products, food and more, to send the abused children in our community the message that someone does care.  Please visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org for more information.

* Photo credit: Tara Cosgrove

SPCA of Texas Is Purring With Delight Over A Howling $1M Gift From Rusty Dealey For The Animal Rescue Center

At Saturday night’s SPCA of Texas black-tie “Fur Ball” in the Omni Dallas Hotel’s Dallas Ballroom, there was good reason for tiaras to be the accessory du jour. Sure, the theme was “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” but a surprise announcement added a special sparkle to the night.

2017 SPCA Of Texas Fur Ball “Reigning Cats And Dogs”*

It was the revealing of a million-dollar gift from Russell “Rusty” Dealey to support the 41,000-square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. In addition to serving as headquarters for the SPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit, the facility is able to house up to 500 animals in cases where large or small seizures of animals are required and provides for full medical facilities for triage and behavior training on site.

Debra Burns and Russell Dealey*

In honor of the donation, the center will be named the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center. 

When the announcement was made, the surprise was real even for those close to Rusty. Even his cousin Dallas Morning News CEO Jim Moroney III and Rusty’s accountant didn’t know of the gift.

Jim probably thought the news of the night involving the family was the paper’s receiving the 2017 Mary Spencer Humanitarian Award for its “comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas.” According to insiders, he didn’t know what his cousin was up to.

According to SPCA of Texas Senior VP of Development Debra Burns, “We are so delighted to have the Dealey name continue their legacy of giving to the SPCA of Texas. Russell is a caring and generous man to animals.”

The Dealey legacy with the SPCA started back when the organization’s facilities were located on Riverfront Blvd. (formerly known as Industrial Blvd.) for 40 years and was known at the E.M. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. It was named after The Dallas Morning News patriarch G.B. Dealey’s son Ted, who was publisher of The Dallas Morning News and an animal lover. The capital campaign for the center was spearheaded by Ted’s son/G.B.’s grandson, Joe Dealey Sr. and George Jalonick.

When the SPCA learned that the Dealey facility was going to be demolished due to highway construction, a campaign for the current Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center got underway. To help things along, a gift of $1M was provided by the estate of Betty Moroney Norsworthy, who was G.B. Dealey’s granddaughter, Ted’s niece, Joe Sr.’s cousin and Jim’s aunt.

To continue the tradition, Rusty is the great grandson of G.B, the grandson of Ted and the son of Joe Sr.

Confused? Don’t worry. Just be happy that the SPCA of Texas has $1M for a much needed facility, thanks to Rusty.

* Photo courtesy of SPCA of Texas

Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

An Unfortunate MySweetCharity Opportunity: Hurricane Harvey

MySweetCharity

North Texans are certainly no strangers when it comes to Mother Nature throwing fizzy fits. Perhaps that’s why they are feeling the pain of those escaping Hurricane Harvey and seeking refuge here. Unfortunately, for some they will have little to return to. For others, they just might decide to stay put here.

To help these uprooted folks while they call North Texas home, it is the perfect opportunity to showcase the area’s spirit of generosity and compassion. Whether it’s schlepping pet supplies to the SPCA of Texas for newly arrived residents, providing funds for such groups as the Red Cross or rolling up silk sleeves to volunteer, now is the time to rise to the occasion. 

BTW, there are many North Texans who have families and second homes in the devastated area. Why not give them a call and see how they’re doing? 

And remember — hurricane season doesn’t officially end until October. But you just know Ma Nature doesn’t always plays by the rules.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program At The University Of North Texas

According to Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program at The University of North TexasMichael Faircloth,

Michael Faircloth designs (File photo)

The fashion design program at the University of North Texas prepares students for a career as a fashion designer, illustrator or for the many production positions in the fashion industry. The program educates students to create designs that are both innovative and current, while being marketable and suitable for manufacture.

Graduates have landed prestigious design positions for companies such as Oscar de la Renta, Dillards, Watters Bridal, Fossil, Ralph Lauren, Theory, Panhandle Slim, Haggar, JC Penney, Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, Zac Posen and Calvin Klein. I am honored to have my name associated with the Fashion Design Program.

I am humbled and overjoyed that my friends and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by naming the fashion design program for me. My experience and education while studying fashion design at UNT certainly laid the foundation for my success, and it continues to support my view of fashion as a discipline of art.

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth (File photo)

And, I am enthusiastically encouraging others to contribute to the fund so we continue to support the program and remind students of the success they can achieve with a degree from UNT. 

UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design has received a gift in the amount of $500,000 that will assist in the enrichment and renaming of the already noted fashion design program as the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program.

My friend and alumna Lisa Troutt, with a previous career in fashion design, and her husband, Kenny, have given the first major gift that will support the $2.5 million goal to name the program. My hope is that others will follow, at any level, and help with this important educational program. Please visit https://one.unt.edu/faircloth.

Anna And Raj Asava Kick Off The Newly Established North Texas Food Bank Indo-American Council With A $100,000 Donation

The North Texas community is a tapestry of amazing people representing a cornucopia of cultures. The main common denominator is that they all share the desire to make the lives of their neighbors and strangers better.

Anna Asava, Trisha Cunningham and Raj Asava*

How about an example? Aradhana “Anna” and Raj Asava. They are part of North Texas’ Indo-American community which “has grown exponentially over the years, with nearly 200,000 people in our region.” The Asavas recognized a great opportunity to have their fellow Indo-Americans partner up with the North Texas Food Bank.

According to Raj, “Anna and I are passionate about the work of the North Texas Food Bank and we wanted to raise awareness around the issue of hunger that exists right here in North Texas.

In addition to creating the North Texas Food Bank’s Indo-American Council (NTFB-IAC), they put their money where their hearts are by pledging a $100,000 donation to the NTFB “in conjunction with the launch of NTFB’s Indo-American Council, which the couple will co-chair.”  

With “prominent members of the community” already signing on board to support the initiative, “the NTFB-IAC has set its sights to fund one million meals per year.”

Anna added, “We are excited to launch the NTFB-IAC to raise hunger awareness, community involvement, as well as channel the resources and contributions of the Indo-American community towards the mission of NTFB.”

Commenting about the Asavas’ mission, NTFB President/CEO Trisha Cunningham said, “The Asavas are determined leaders. Having just one of them help would be transformational. I count us doubly lucky to have them both by our side. Anna and Raj, have a clear vision for the Indo-American Council and with their donation, they have already put 300,000 meals on the table for our hungry neighbors. I am certain that their share enthusiasm and drive will be a draw for their peers, helping raise awareness for the critical issue of hunger and ultimately will help the NTFB reach our goal of providing 92 million meals by 2025.”

Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry And Royal Vaccination Fund To Assist Pets Of Financially Strapped Families

This past Saturday area animal shelters were busier than a bee at the Arboretum. The occasion was “Clear The Shelters,” that literally adopted out a lot of the pooches and felines. The Dallas Animal Shelter alone found new homes for 324 dogs and cats.

Of the thousands of animals at area shelters, some are strays, but many are family pets that have been turned in due to lack of funds. According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Economic reasons account for 25% of the pets surrendered per year.”

That’s right. Many man’s best friends and felines had to be turned in because the money just wasn’t there for food and health care.

Adopted cat (File photo)

In the past the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Paws and the North Texas Food Pantry have helped provide food for pets whose human companions are strapped for funds.

Recently, the North Texas Pet Food Pantry has relinquished its program to Operation Kindness. The new program will be called Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry.

North Texas Food Pantry President/Founder Cheryl Spencer reported, “I’m so honored that the hard work and effort that went into the North Texas Pet Food Pantry will be sustained by Operation Kindness. This pet food pantry is such a vital part of the community and I’m grateful that it will be continued on.”

In addition to providing free pet food, cat litter and flea and tick prevention for up to three months, Operation Kindness is “launching the Royal Vaccination Fund to help provide low-income families with access to rabies, parvo and distemper vaccinations. This program is inspired by an Operation Kindness foster family who experienced the devastation of distemper, when their foster dog Princess lost six puppies to distemper.”

Survivor of distemper (File photo)

To get things rolling Artist for Animals has “matched the first donation of $2,500.”

Anyone who has seen a dog suffer from this incredible painful and contagious disease knows that this undertaking is an excellent idea.

Of course, Operation Kindness is eager to have donations of money and dog and cat food from individuals and companies. But the Carrollton-based, no-kill adoption center is also looking for volunteers “to assist with donations and supply pick up and pet food distribution.”

Any pet owner in need of the services provided by Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry or the Royal Vaccination Fund can apply online. Once they qualify for the programs, they can pick up for the food at Operation Kindness on the third Saturday and Second Wednesday of every month between noon and 3 p.m.  Eventually, the plan calls for distribution locations throughout the community.

Jim’s vision is “a world where all cats and dogs have loving, responsible, forever homes and this pantry is going to help keep pets out of shelters and in their homes.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Community Partners Of Dallas’ 24th Annual Back To School Drive

According Community Partners of Dallas President and CEO Paige McDaniel,

Paige McDaniel (File photo)

Back to school is just around the corner and Community Partners of Dallas needs your help!  

We are gearing up for our 24th annual Back to School Drive, benefiting abused and neglected children in Dallas County. Beginning Tuesday, August 1, through Friday, August 25, CPD, individuals and organizations throughout Dallas will collect new school supplies for abused and neglected children served by Child Protective Services, and will prepare more than 3,500 children to start school with school supplies and uniforms.

The Back to School Drive is one of the most important activities we do all year and our goal is to serve a record-breaking 3,500 children to ensure they are ready to start school with brand new supplies, backpacks and uniforms. Each year the support we receive from the community continues to grow, and we are so grateful for their commitment to improve the school year for abused and neglected children in Dallas County.

Pencils (File photo)

In addition to supplies, such as scissors, colored pencils, glue sticks, markers, and construction paper, CPD especially needs backpacks, pencil sharpeners, block erasers, manila paper and pencil pouches. Those interested in supporting the Back to School Drive can do so through in-kind or monetary donations through Friday, August 25. All donations can be delivered to Community Partners of Dallas’ Central Location, 1215 Skiles Street in the Wilson Historic District  or visit  www.communitypartnersdallas.org for additional supply drop-off locations.

For a full list of school supplies needed, visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org or contact Corinne Karp at 214.624.7588.

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

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

North Texas Food Bank*

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

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

* Graphic courtesy of  North Texas Food Bank

JUST IN: Accident Victim Daisy Mae Was Just Found In A Ravine With A Broken Femur And Rescued By Mutts And Mayhem

While some folks were attending church and others were sleeping in, the amazing volunteers with Mutts and Mayhem were out in the summer heat helping a total stranger. They were stomping through the terrain just off of the Bush Tollway.

Back story: Last Tuesday, Erica Cruz hitched a ride to work with a couple of friends. Her 11-month-old white Labrador named Daisy Mae insisted on tagging along. Suddenly, the car they were riding in was hit from behind by an 18-wheeler. In addition to a sprained ankle and whiplash, Erica’s back was fractured in two places. Luckily, the other passengers got off with minimal injuries. But Daisy Mae couldn’t be found. She wasn’t in the wreckage nor anywhere around. Erica was helpless. She was bed bound and asked for help via social media. The response was spectacular with a lot of friends and strangers pitching in.

A family dog, Daisy Mae had been missing for almost a week after her and her owners were in a car crash in Plano…Daisy has been found but likely has a fractured pelvis and femur. Her left leg is swollen twice the size that it should be and she could no longer walk from her injuries. This is her rescue video courtesy Mutts & Mayhem Animal Rescue.HOW TO HELP: http://on.wfaa.com/2uyiq2P

Posted by WFAA-TV on Sunday, July 16, 2017

 

For days, the search in the sweltering heat and off-and-on rain continued. Late this morning Daisy Mae was found in a ravine by the rescue group Mutts and Mayhem.

Needless to say, Erica was in tears when she got the news.

Daisy Mae*

In addition to being hot, Daisy couldn’t walk. Carefully, the team took her to the animal ER where they discovered her back femur was broken in several place and would require surgery in the days ahead. But that kind of surgery can be costly, so Mutts and Mayhem has reported that you can go to their donation page and specify under “donation purpose” that the money goes to Daisy’s care.  

BTW, Mutts and Mayhem is a nonprofit animal welfare group that was founded in 2013 by two active-duty paramedics. It relies solely donations. If you could spare the change, they sure could use it.

But let’s cut to the chase. If you were on the way to something or other with your BFF and were in a true-blue accident, wouldn’t you appreciate a come-from-nowhere source of strangers scouring for help? Yep! That’s what everyone thought.

* Photo and video provided by Mutts and Mayhem

Arty Event At The Joule Raises Cattle Baron’s Funds

Anne Stodghill

Sunie and Steve Solomon

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon decided this year to have a special party to auction off art that had been donated to the cause. That’s why, on Wednesday, May 17, a big room at The Joule Hotel was given over to an amazing display of art for sale, the proceeds from which would be deployed in the fight against cancer.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction

The 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction was sponsored by The Joule and its owner, Tim Headington, who not only bankrolled the shindig, but ponied up a $50,000 donation to boot. The live and silent auction, the first of its kind ever for Cattle Baron’s, showcased something for everyone’s taste. Like Marilyn Monroe? There was a portrait of her on display, with a $13,500 price tag  on it. John Wayne more your style? A painting of The Duke was marked for sale at $10,000.

Steve Stodghill and Erin and Larry Waks

Francois Bellemare and Lauren Chapman

Kelly Perkins and Cindy Stager

While the 200 guests including CBB stalwarts Joanna Clarke, Dawn Spalding, Ashley Lyon, Laura Moon, Greg Nieberding, Cindy Stager, Kelly Perkins, Jacque Wynne, Mary Black, Vicki and Bob Chapman, Lauren Chapman, Francois Bellemare, Isabell Novakov, Nikki Webb, Erin and Larry Waks and Katy and Lawrence Bock munched hors d’oeuvres and checked out the pieces that were up for bid, Debra Nelson was remembering her dad, who passed away last year, and her Norwegian roots in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she grew up. Her nostalgia was especially strong, Debra added, because today (May 17) was also “Syttende Mai”—or Norwegian National Day.

Olivia Kearney

Jeff Kearney

Olivia and Jeff Kearney, meantime, were also marking an important day: their 18th wedding anniversary. (Quipped Olivia: “That’s the longest I’ve ever been married to anyone!”) To celebrate the occasion they’d just returned from New York, where they had rave reviews for a new play they saw called “Come From Away.” It tells the true story of what happened in 2001 after 38 planes (carrying 7,000 people) were ordered  to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following 9/11.

When the evening was over and all the receipts were added up, organizers said the pioneering Art Auction brought in a total of $128,000.

Kevin Hurst Provides A Firsthand Look On How North Texans Are Pulling Together Following Recent Tornadic Devastation And How To Help

With spring weather sporadically tearing up families and homes, its devastation only provides a rallying point for both friends and strangers to help the healing process. Following the recent onslaught of tornadic activities on Saturday, April 29, Neiman Marcus Director of Charitable Giving and Associate Volunteerism Kevin Hurst was able to see firsthand the ruination and the coming together. He has kindly shared his experience in the following report with photos:

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

If you have not personally been affected by a man-made or natural disaster, then you most likely have not seen first-hand what the destruction really looks like. The one-dimensional electronic images on TV, online, and print do not accurately portray the three-dimensional devastation.

As the director of charitable giving, and the steward of Neiman Marcus associate’s donations to the Neiman Marcus Disaster Relief Fund, I was recently invited to take a tour and witness the catastrophic damage that Canton and the surrounding communities suffered when four separate tornadoes moved through the area on Saturday, April 29. On May 4, I joined the American Red Cross and other corporate supporters for a 60-mile journey just east of Dallas.

During the drive, we heard all of the facts and figures:

  • four tornadoes, one of which was an F4 (the second highest type),
  • one tornado stayed on the ground for 51 miles, which is completely rare
  • 7,019 meals served to affected families and volunteers
  • 2,910 comfort and clean up kits distributed
  • The speed at which two emergency shelters had been set up
  • 100 homes destroyed or uninhabitable

The facts and figures are just that…facts and figures.  

On the day of our tour, the sky was a vibrant blue and not a cloud in sight…there was even a slight breeze to keep things cool. Just the day before, the area had once again been under a severe storm watch with the possibility of hail. In fact, we were told to wear thick sole shoes and long sleeve shirts. In addition to the storm damage, the demolition of homes had already begun causing insulation particles to float in the air. I recall seeing one house being torn down as we drove down a rural road and thought about the juxtaposition of the destruction with the glistening elements in the air.  It almost seemed like snowflakes floating to the ground.

We had been coached that we should not ask too many questions. Each person would be at a different place in the grieving process. It was best to let them talk as little or as much as they wanted and we should simply say “I am sorry for what you are going through.”

It wasn’t until we started delivering water to those families that reality set in. I think it is safe to say that our demeanors changed from that of an outsider looking in, to one who was now able to truly empathize with those affected.

Our first stop was at a trailer home. We were greeted by a 60-something year old gentleman, “Mark,” seated in a lawn chair in the middle of his yard. He was having lunch which consisted of a hamburger, bagged chips, and a bottle of water; all of which were provided by the local church that had set up grills to help feed their neighbors. Mark’s 86-year old mother, sister, and a young child were all home when the storm hit. They huddled together in an interior room. When it was over, the entire mobile home had been lifted eight inches and moved one foot from its original foundation. The branch of a large tree fell directly into the middle of the home, most likely preventing it from being completely blown away. Needless to say, their home is uninhabitable. The irony is that most of their personal possessions like photographs and keepsakes were all intact.

As I snapped these photographs, I again thought about the juxtaposition of the scene…the tattered American and Texas flags proudly displayed and waving against a backdrop of ruins.

Blue tarp covers the hole left from the tree branch*

To compound the tragedy, Mark’s brother was visiting in a travel camper and was inside of it with his dog. The tornado picked it up, slammed it on its side, and peeled the roof off extracting all of the contents. Thankfully the two walked away with minor cuts and bruises. The door of the travel camper was located wrapped around a tree.  

Campers on its side*

Inside camper with roof peeled off and door of camper wrapped around tree*

As we were visiting, a retired veteran and neighbor, “Bob,” came to talk to us. At first glance, his house directly across the street appeared to be unscathed, however that was not the case. He shared that the entire roof pulsated up and down during the storm loosening ceiling joists and cracking walls. As a trained storm spotter, he knew exactly what to do in the case of a storm and was prepared with a back-up generator, thus allowing him to continue living in his home. Being trained doesn’t necessarily mean that you are exempt.  

Bob has a cell phone tower on his land. When the company came out to inspect it, the technician climbed about ten to fifteen stories to the top. He reported that he could actually see the trench of destruction in the ground and where the tornado made a 90 degree turn to his neighbor’s mobile home.

I mentioned that our Red Cross guide said people would be at different stages of grieving. For both Mark and Bob they were grateful. Grateful not only that they were alive, but they still had some place to call home. I have to say how “impressed” (if that is even the appropriate word) I was with Mark. He was completely open and seemed almost anxious to share his story. We were told that people find it therapeutic to talk about the event.  He invited us to walk around his property and take pictures. I almost felt like it was a badge of honor for him…perhaps if only because his family was safe. As for Bob, and I suspect because of his storm training, he had a different perspective. He actually said he was “happy” it happened. He explained that this storm actually brought his community together; neighbor helping neighbor.

Showroom buildings (left) new and (right) old*

Damaged vehicles*

Our next stop was a Dodge dealership which took a direct hit. The dealership had just completed construction on the new showroom building on Friday. They were in the process of moving everything over from the small, outdated showroom building across the parking lot when the tornado hit on Saturday. Literally, every vehicle sustained damage. Some vehicles were thrown over 200 yards into an adjacent pasture. All that was left of the new building was the steel frame and the old building was completely flattened. A neighboring house across the pasture took a direct hit. Rather than flattening it, the tornado went right through the middle leaving a gaping path with both sides still standing.

In part, this visit was organized by the American Red Cross to demonstrate their quick response and the programs and services provided in a time of crisis. In reality, it demonstrated so much more. It demonstrated the force of nature. It demonstrated the gratitude and compassion of individuals. It demonstrated the resiliency of a community. For me, it validated our decision to become a National Disaster Partner with the American Red Cross. I mentioned earlier that I act as a steward of our associate’s donations to the Neiman Marcus Disaster Relief fund. This support allows the Red Cross to be ready within hours to activate the volunteer network and provide food, water, shelter, products, and other services that would help those affected start to recover from this life-changing event.

Amaryllis*

One final juxtaposition and photo. Amid the piles of debris at Mark’s home, I saw this Amaryllis flower.  It was seemingly untouched by the winds and flying materials.

The genus name Amaryllis comes from the Greek word “amarysso,” which means “to sparkle.” In Greek mythology, it was the name of a shepherdess who shed her own blood to prove her true love, and in so doing inspired the naming of this flower.

Similar to the flying insulation particles that glistened in the sunlight, this Amaryllis equally sparkled. We can only hope that much like Greek mythology, this lone flower will act as a shepherd of hope for the community and shed pollen to spawn new life.

* Photo credit: Kevin Hurst

Stock Up To “Stuff The Trolley”

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

On the heels of last Friday’s Empty Bowls that filled the Meyerson with restaurateurs and hungry patrons to raise funds for the North Texas Food Bank, NTFB’s Anna Kurian sends word about another foodie project. According to Anna, “Longtime Food Bank friends Janet and Phil Cobb are organizing a special food drive: ‘Stuff the Trolley’ to honor our late CEO Jan Pruitt. I know the Cobbs really want to make sure that this drive honoring Jan is a success.”

Stuff the Trolley*

Here’s the plan: On Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., food will be collected at the Trolley Turntable at the West Village, 2700 City Place West Blvd. That’s the DART Transit Station on City Place West Drive.

Sponsored by the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, both monetary and food items such as canned goods like tuna and peanut butter will be collected. If you were gonna donate your favorite jar of caviar, it’s a nice thought, but doesn’t quite fit the need for those in need.

If you can’t make it by, you can always donate here!

* Graphic provided by 
North Texas Food Bank

The Family Place’s Legacy Campaign Is Within A Whisker Of Achieving Its $16.5M Goal And Needs Help To Close The Books

Paige Flink (File photo)

Was it really back on October 2015 that The Family Place’s Paige Flink announce The Family Place Legacy Campaign — Building For the Future — to build a 40,000-square foot Central Dallas Counseling Center? Her goal for the capital campaign was a whopping $13M. To get things rolling, The Moody Foundation kicked in $5M that resulted in the facility being named “Ann Moody Place.”

While the physical process of groundbreaking and building has been underway, so has the effort because the goal increased to $16.5M with good reason. According to Paige, the center is going to provide such services and offerings to “help us meet the burgeoning demand for our services. Every year there are approximately 15,000 incidents of family violence reported to the Dallas Police Department. The Family Place, which is the largest family violence shelter in our community and one of the largest service providers in Texas, shelters over 1,000 victims a year at our Safe Campus with 108 beds plus cribs. Our existing shelter is regularly full. The new facility will allow us to shelter an additional 45 women and children each night. It will also house our expanded Central Dallas counseling services for victims and their children, and a medical and dental clinic for clients.”

Ann Moody Place rendering*

To accommodate those needs, Paige and her crew recognized from experience some of the reasons people in need don’t seek help. For instance, “studies show that up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.”

Pets won’t be left behind

To ease those concerns, Ann Moody Place will have five dog kennels, five cat towers, a cuddle room where clients can visit their animals plus a dog run. Thanks to a partnership with the SPCA of Texas, a vet-tech will make sure all animals are vaccinated and care for.

But as the Monday, May 1st move-in date approaches, $220,000 is still needed to complete the fundraising. As a greater incentive to donate ASAP, Highland Capital Management has provided a $1M-challenge. For every dollar raised by Tuesday, April 4, Highland will provide 50 cents.

So, perhaps your budget can’t quite muster up a hundred thousand or two. Not to worry. There are other opportunities like

  • $500 for a 6” by 12” engraved brick
  • $1,000 for a donor to have his/her/their name(s) etched in a beautiful display in the breezeway connecting the two new buildings.
  • $7,500 for each of the two remaining outdoor seating areas in the healing garden

And wouldn’t you know that the dog kennels have all been underwritten, but the poor cats are playing second fiddle and are in need of $10,000-naming rights for each of the two remaining cat towers.

Of course, Paige has other underwriting opportunities. Why she just might arrange to have your name tattooed on her shoulder for the right price.  

* Graphic courtesy of The Family Place