Chi Omegas Gave More Than A Hoot To Area Nonprofits and Scholarship Funds

Just as the Crystal Charity Ball gals were doling out the dough a couple of weeks ago for its beneficiaries, so the Chi Omega Alumnae were recently handy with checks. The funds came from their 2016 Chi Omega Christmas Market that was held last fall at Fair Park.

2016 Market Co-Chairs Amy McAleavey and Mandy Escobedo admitted that their goal of providing $258,000 for the 2016 beneficiaries was a daunting one. But evidently it wasn’t as challenging as they thought, as they provided $320,000 to the following beneficiaries:

Mandy Escobedo and Amy McAleavey*

  • ChildCareGroup,
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support,
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas®,
  • New Friends New Life,
  • Promise House,
  • Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas,
  • Trinity River Mission,
  • VMLC (Vickery Meadow Learning Center) and
  • the Chi Omega Alumnae of Dallas Chi O Christmas Market Endowed Scholarship fund and collegiate scholarships.

According to Amy, “The total amount raised at the 2016 Market is a 24% increase from our set goal and allows us to fully fund our wonderful beneficiaries.”

Plans are already underway for next year’s Market with Alex Bjornnes serving as chair. The 2017 event will be the 40th anniversary of the Market and will return to Centennial Hall in Fair Park from Wednesday, November 15 thru Saturday, November 18.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

Junior Leaguers Of Dallas Held Their Annual Community Volunteer Fair After Handing Out More Than $770,000 Checks To 39 Nonprofits

Just before NorthPark Center merchants officially opened for business on Saturday, February 4, the Junior Leaguers of Dallas were making 39 non-profit organizations very happy at Green House Market. In addition to supporting the organizations with more than a thousand volunteer hours by its membership, they also handed over checks thanks to funds raised throughout the year. But, alas, the JLD-ers couldn’t stay too long to accept thank yous. They had to head to NorthPark’s NorthCourt for the JLD’s annual Community Volunteer Fair. Here’s a report from the field about the grant presentation:

The Junior League of Dallas held its 2017-2018 Community Grant Presentation at Green House Market in NorthPark Center the morning of Saturday, February 4. The presentation kicked off with a welcome by Junior League of Dallas President Bonner Allen, who was joined by sponsor, Bank of Texas’ Dallas Market Executive Bob White, and WFAA Channel 8 Morning Anchor Alexa Conomos, who served as emcee. Representatives from the 39 partner agencies, which were carefully chosen by the JLD Research and Development Committee, were in attendance to receive grants for the 2017-2018 year.

The Community Grant Program represents more than $770,000 in funding and 1,165 trained volunteer placements within these partner agencies. The League will also provide additional funds and volunteers to the community through its Signature Projects: Grants for Innovative Teaching, Women LEAD, Kids in the Kitchen, the Community Assistance Fund, and its Provisional and Transfer Projects. In total, the JLD will give more than $1 million and more than 1,200 volunteers to the Dallas community in 2017-2018.

Jennifer Tobin, Brandy Patrick, Bonner Allen, Bob White, Alexa Conomos and Elizabeth Allen*

Members of the Research and Development Committee, led by R&D Chair Brandy Patrick and Community Vice President Elizabeth Allen, spent countless hours deliberating between agencies in order to determine those that not only share the same vision for a better Dallas, but that focus on the six issue areas the Junior League of Dallas supports. These issue areas include: violence intervention, poverty intervention, health, family preservation, education, and arts and cultural enrichment.

The Junior League of Dallas is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“Our agencies often tell us that the partnership with the Junior League of Dallas is invaluable; that the gift of our time and resources helps them bridge the gap between their capacity and our shared vision for a better Dallas,” said Bonner. “It is that shared vision that inspires our work, motivates us through the years and is what brings us here today.”

Alexa added: “Every day at WFAA we share stories that impact our community.  Stories that touch issues such as violence, poverty, health, family, education and arts.  We are grateful for organizations like the Junior League of Dallas who are partners with our community agencies in the mission to make Dallas the community of choice and a place of opportunity for all.”

Kathleen LaValle and Angela Nash*

Guests included: JLD President-Elect Jennifer Tobin, JLD Communications Vice President Jennifer Scripps, JLD Financial Vice President Melissa Wickham, JLD Sustainer President Kittye Peeler, Melissa Sherrill Martin of The Family Place, Amy Hatfield of Ronald McDonald House, Judy Wright of Promise House, Jan Langbein of Genesis Women’s Shelter, Kelly Cruse of New Friends New Life, Carolyn Jordan and Desiree Jacobson of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Benaye Rogers of St. Philips School and Community Center, Jennifer Doggett of Community Partners of Dallas, Lili Kellogg of Equest, Angela Nash of Methodist Health System Foundation, Stephanie Brigger of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Caroline Law of Parkland Foundation; Ester Harrison of Interfaith Family Services, Kathleen LaValle of Dallas CASA, Shannon Fisher of Texas Health Resources Foundation and many more.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith


The Slipper Club Presents A Record-Breaking Check Of $116,621 To Rays Of Light Thanks To Its Beyond The Mask Gala

If the sound of something breaking was heard last night, it was the Slipper Club’s presenting a record-breaking check of $116,621 to the organization’s 2016-2017 beneficiary, Rays of Light.

Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum and Billy Machina*

The funds were the result of fundraising efforts throughout the year, especially the 21st Annual Gala and Silent Auction — “Beyond the Mask.” Held on Saturday, February 4, the black-tie gala at the Omni Dallas had more than 800 guests in attendance, including leadership of the various men’s social club (Idlewild, Calyx and Terpsichorean), past and present Idlewild debs and others like Caleb Powell, Stephanie Smartt, Jillian Mock, Abbey Mock, Maddie Beckham, Kelly Gillespie, Fallon Bock, Porter Fuqua, Walter Spradley, Travis Andres, Anna Alaback, Chloe Reed, Leslie Ingram, Lauren Metzel, Camille Sokolosky, Blaire Metcalfe, Heather Trumpfeller, Alex Bjornnes, Caroline Baliker, John Bonadelle, Billy Nayden, Chelsea Parish, Stephanie Tatum, Billy Machina, Elizabeth Metzger, Hartley Hobson, Carley Nelson, Mary Valuck, Caroline Hanson, Heather Trumpfeller, Trevor Cadigan, Houstoun Waring, Charlotte Barnett, Jake Winstel, Sam Fritsch, Alex Spinazzola, Patrick Harris, Courtney Quinn, Madeline Buckthal, Meredith Allen, Kamel Brakta, Mandy Morgan, Minette Morgan, Ali Morgan, Evan Weir, Julie Butkus, Lauren Sears, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Peter Whaley, Lily Kramlich-Taylor, Meredith Allen and Slipper Club President Morgan Madison.

Caroline Estes and Morgan Madison Wade*

Meredith Allen and Meg Sokolosky*

According to Gala Chair Meg Sokolosky, “This year was really unbelievable, not only in terms of breaking the record for money raised for a beneficiary, but also getting to volunteer our Friday nights with the children of Rays of Light and seeing directly how we will impact these children and the organization.”

Dedicated to providing free, quality respite care for families with children with special needs, Rays of Light hosts Night Lights that “gives the parents the opportunity to have four free hours and the children get four hours of socialization and interaction.”

Congratulations to the ladies of Slipper Club and their masked friends for breaking a record.

* Photos provided by Slipper Club of Dallas

KidneyTexas Inc. Celebrated The Holidays With Check Presentations, Gifts Of Crystal And A Birthday Cake

What better place to have a party during the season of giving than a jewelry salon? And since Bachendorf’s had been the jewelry sponsor for the 2016 KidneyTexas luncheon, it was the natural choice for the organization’s presentation of checks and the announcement of plans for 2017 on Wednesday, December 14.

Introduced by KidneyTexas President AB Aston, beneficiary selection committee member Kendra Karlock along with the 2016 KidneyTexas Luncheon Chair McKamy Tiner handed out the following checks:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation — $25,000 for “A Longitudinal Study of Living Kidney Donors”
  • Camp Reynal (National Kidney Foundation) — $30,225 for camper’s fees, counselors and medical personnel
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $10,000 for Pediatric Stone Center
  • Methodist Health System Foundation — $4,775 for warming cabinets
  • Parkland Health and Hospital Foundation — $98,500 for KidneyTexas Inc. Hemodialysis Unit
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation— $25,200 for two Hemodialysis machines

Joyce Lee, Dr. Cole Edmondson, Shannon Fisher, Angela Nash, Dr. Craig Peters, Anna Bland “AB” Aston, Dr. Goran Klintmalm, Kyra Barnett, McKamy Tiner, Marie Collins, Beth Dexter and Kendra Karlock*

When the last check was presented, it was time for the gift giving to continue. After AB turned over the presidential duties to 2016-2017 KidneyTexas President Andrea Alcorn, one of Andrea’s first acts was to give a “gorgeous crystal bowl” to AB. Then AB gat McKamy a “beautiful crystal angel — all to a resounding ovation.”

As her second act, Andrea revealed plans for the 2017. This year’s luncheon will have a trio chairing the fundraiser — Kendra, transplant survivor Christine Martin and Susan Russell.  

And the final surprise of the evening took place when McKamy “came forward with a huge cake and blazing candles as everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to AB, who was celebrating her birthday that evening.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

JUST IN: Sons Of The Flag Endowment For Burn Care Supplies Is Established At Parkland Health And Hospital System

Over the years Parkland Health and Hospital has become renowned for being the only adult and pediatric center in North Texas verified by the American Burn Association. In addition to its reputation for its specialized treatments, it has provided it for those who are uninsured.

Yesterday afternoon, the Sons of the Flag established the Sons of the Flag Endowment for Burn Care Supplies with a $12,500 contribution that was matched by anonymous donation via Parkland Foundation.

Mary Meier-Evans, Herb Phelan, Ryan Parrott, Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell, Kathy Doherty and Beth Dexter*

The results? The $25,000 total will “support and enhance burn care at Parkland Health and Hospital System by providing wound kits and supplies for uninsured burn patients.”

According to Sons of the Flag President/CEO Ryan Parrott, “This is an exciting opportunity for Sons of the Flag to live out its mission and expand access to critical supplies and treatment for many in our community who cannot afford them. To partner with Parkland Foundation in supporting the Parkland Burn Center through this endowment is an important step in ensuring we are doing everything we can to improve burn care throughout North Texas.”

On hand for the announcement in addition to the media were Sons of the Flag Director of Development Mary Meier-Evans, Parkland Foundation Development Officer Beth Dexter and Parkland Burn Center’s Dr. Herb Phelan, Dr. Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell and Kathy Doherty.

The Sons of the Flags has also provided more than $10,000 in in-kind donations of Go Bags, clothing, toys, snacks and holiday decorations thanks to its supporters and volunteers.

Parkland Foundation President/CEO David Krause said, “We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of Sons of the Flag and their commitment to helping the patients in Parkland’s burn center. Their most recent gift to establish an endowment to support the burn center will help Parkland provide life-saving care to burn patients for generations to come.”

Sons of the Flag “is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting military, first responder, and civilian burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research, technology and education. We bring together passionate community leaders, pioneering physicians, experienced military service members, dedicated first responders and purposeful civilians to complete our mission.”

* Photo provided by Sons of the Flag

TACA Grant Awards Celebration Distributes $1.3M Again, But Opts Not To Reveal Individual Funding For 49 Performing Art Groups

Transparency. That is the sweet spot of all organizations nowadays, especially nonprofits. Whether it’s ‘fessing up the actual net figure or announcing the distribution of dollars to nonprofits, transparency is the key to over-the-top respect.

Perhaps that why it was surprising that, tonight, TACA shifted gears at its annual Grant Awards Celebration at the Wyly. In years past, the organization used the occasion to announce the exact amounts going to the nonprofits and formally present the thrilled representatives with a check, to the applause of an audience full of fellow nonprofits and TACA board members.

This year, though, there were no individual amounts revealed; nor was there a formal presentation. Instead it was announced that TACA had once again provided $1.3M in grants for area performing art programs. The reason for withholding announcement of the amounts, according to a source, was that they did not want “to hurt feelings.”

Ah, shoot! Feelings, schmeelings.

According to organizers, the determination of funding is made by TACA volunteers spending “many hours during the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.”

After being asked about the change of plans, organizers provided the following breakdown of ranges for the 49 organizations:


  • African-American Repertory Theater
  • Arts District Chorale
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Blue Candlelight Music Series
  • Chamber Music International
  • Chamberlain Ballet
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company
  • Dallas Bach Society
  • Dallas Chamber Music Society
  • Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
  • Echo Theatre
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Plano Civic Chorus
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Teatro Hispano de Dallas
  • Voices of Change


  • Avant Chamber Ballet
  • Big Thought
  • Bruce Wood Dance Project
  • Cara Mia Theatre
  • Dallas Chamber Symphony
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Plano Symphony Orchestra
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Theatre Three
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • WaterTower Theatre


  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Dallas Winds
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Junior Players Guild
  • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
  • Lyric Stage
  • Second Thought Theatre
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players


  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Dallas Theater Center
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • The Dallas Opera

An additional $200,00 will be distributed via The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundation’s Artist Residency Fund.

Instead of the usual check presentation, the evening included “a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from Magnolia, written by special guest artist Regina Taylor.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Oak Cliff native Regina then told of how the arts had led her into a career of acting and moderated a panel with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Horn David Cooper, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray and Bruce Wood Dance Project Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh.

The evening also marked the kick-off of TACA’ 50th anniversary year with Wanda Gierhart spearheading the plans. With the former Neiman’s exec/Chef Dean Fearing‘s bride-to-be Wanda at the helm, it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping year.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Fall Luncheon At New Del Frisco’s Was Rich With The Presentation Of $3,350,448.16 Check

The fall Cattle Baron’s luncheon is a handing over of the reins. It’s when the current chairs present a big-boy check for cancer research earned from their tenure and let the new co-chairs formally take over.

This year the transition took place on Wednesday, November 9, at the really new Del Frisco’s at the corner of Olive and McKinney in Uptown.

Whoa! Don’t make the mistake that some new guests made. It wasn’t the Del Frisco’s Grille further up McKinney. Nope, it was at the OMG newest hot spot in Uptown.

And while the valets seemed a bit overwhelmed at the bumper-to-bumper parade of luxury SUV’s with long legged, stiletto drivers and the hostess station held the guests downstairs until all was just right upstairs, who cared?

Vodi Cook, Lauren Snyder, Lee McDonald and Emily Billingsley

From former CBB chairs (Olivia Kearney, Tanya Foster, Cindy Stager, Brooke Shelby, Jennifer Dix, Tia Wynne, Mary Parker, Mary Martha Pickens, KJ Sanger) to new members (Vodi Cook, Lee McDonald, Heather Randall, Andrea Cheek, Daniella Giglio, Holle Hirzel, Kelley Schadt, Rachel Stienke and Kristina Wrenn) all types were celebrating the fundraiser of a couple of weeks earlier headed up by Cara French and Andrea Weber and looking forward to future plans under the leadership of 2017 CBB Co-Chair Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill.

Andrea Weber and Cara French*

But the highlight of the meal was the presentation of the check — $3,350,448.16 — for the American Cancer Society.

* Photo credit: Holt Haynsworth

World Affairs Council Gets An Early Christmas Gift From Les Femmes But Still Needs More To Prevent Forecasted Shortfall

As mentioned in an earlier post, the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth brings in various speakers like Bob Woodward throughout the year to discuss issues facing today’s world. But that’s not done without funding.

So, World Affairs Council President/CEO Jim Falk sent a letter out recently appealing for a financial kick. According to the letter, “We need help closing a forecasted shortfall of approximately $65,000 by the end of our fiscal year (November 30).”

Jan Ward and Jim Falk

Jan Ward and Jim Falk

The good news is that last week, the Les Femmes du Monde President Jan Ward handed over to Jim a nice check for $38,500 earned through the ladies’ efforts during the past year. While it brought a big, old smile to Jim’s lips, he’s still in need of additional funding.

BTW, Les Femmes gals also presented Children’s with a similar check.

Lee Jarmon Pro Am Golf Tournament Benefits Baylor AT&T Memory Center

Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson usually shaves off his summer beard at the end of August. But evidently he’s been just too dang busy to apply blade to whiskers.

On Wednesday, September 21, Robin’s smile shown through the facial hair as he received a simply lovely $145,000 check from Steve Folsom and Matt Bryan at the Crescent Club.

David Howe, Elisa Stephens, Matt Bryan, Robin Robinson, Steve Folsom, Kimberly Doyle and Stacy Stephens

David Howe, Elisa Stephens, Matt Bryan, Robin Robinson, Steve Folsom, Kimberly Doyle and Stacy Stephens

The check was the result of the May 16th Lee Jarmon Pro Am Golf Tournament at Gleneagles Country Club that Steve and Matt had co-chaired. On hand for the presentation were Baylor neuropsychologist Dr. Kimberly Doyle, tournament committee member Dave Howe, tournament staffers Elisa Stephens and Stacey Stephens and Baylor Foundation’s Jennifer Huntsberry, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall and Tim Moore.

Jennifer Huntsberry, Angela Randall, Tim Moore and Susan McSherry

Jennifer Huntsberry, Angela Randall, Tim Moore and Susan McSherry

While it was the 28th anniversary of the tournament, it was the first year that the Baylor Foundation had been selected as a third-party beneficiary.

The funds will be used to support the Baylor AT&T Memory Center. And it seemed so fitting, since the tournament was named in honor of the late businessman/auto dealer Lee Jarmon, who “was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the 1980’s.” The battle came to an end with Lee’s death on July 10, 1997 at the age of 81.

Junior League Of Dallas’ Grants For Innovative Teaching Made 54 Dallas Independent School District Educators Very, Very Happy

With schools back in session, the Junior Leaguers and Texas Instruments spread the love of teachers with a distribution of grants to 64 Dallas Independent School District educators on Wednesday, September 7 at the JLD headquarters. On hand for the celebration was First Man of Dallas Education DSID Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. Here’s a report from the field:

On Wednesday, September 7, the Junior League of Dallas (JLD), along with presenting sponsor Texas Instruments (TI), gathered at Junior League of Dallas headquarters to present 54 deserving Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) educators with grants of up to $2,000 each through the “Grants for Innovative Teaching” (GFIT) program. Sponsors included: Texas Instruments, The Hillcrest Foundation, The MoneyGram Foundation and The Agnes Cluthe Oliver Foundation.

Michael Hinojosa, Jaclyn Hall, Bonner Allen, Tracy Steiner and Jennifer Tobin*

Michael Hinojosa, Jaclyn Hall, Bonner Allen, Tracy Steiner and Jennifer Tobin*

JLD President Bonner Allen began the ceremony by welcoming everyone with opening remarks and explaining the history of the GFIT program. Now in its 25th year, the JLD Signature Project encourages excellence in education by providing funding for special projects that otherwise would not be possible within school budgets and has distributed approximately $1.66 million to Dallas ISD educators, impacting students district-wide. Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa spoke on the importance of the “Grants for Innovative Teaching” program before turning it over to Texas Instruments Foundation’s Tracy Steiner for presenting sponsor remarks and Jaclyn Hall, MoneyGram Foundation coordinator.

Following the remarks, “

Beth Boyd and Beth Lloyd*

Beth Boyd and Beth Lloyd*

Grants for Innovative Teaching” Chair Beth Boyd presented just over $93,000 to 54 educators to fund projects that address reading and literacy enrichment; diversity; special education; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); or arts and culture enrichment across one or more grade levels. She also acknowledged Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy teacher William Adkins for being a 10-year grant recipient. This year, Mr. Adkins’ project “Bangkok to Hanoi: A Journey Through Southeast Asia” is designed to build four important global competencies that include: a desire to investigate the world, ability to identify alternative perspectives, skills to communicate across cultures and readiness to take action locally and globally. Adkins will engage students by having them blend technology and traditional art to express their own “great adventure” through a video documentary and a ceramic mural.

After the ceremony, teachers, JLD members and guests celebrated at a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and sweet treats by dessert sponsor Susie Cakes. McShan Florist provided flower arrangements for the event, and Half Priced Books provided the winning teachers with gift bags.

“For 25 years, the Junior League of Dallas has been promoting excellence in education through the ‘Grants for Innovative Teaching’ program,” said Beth. “Through this Signature Project, JLD has been able to award grants to Dallas ISD teachers who wish to provide students with new opportunities for learning, and it is exciting to see the impact it has had over the years.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

It Was All Painted Hands On Deck For Hyundai Hope On Wheels Presentation For Children’s Medical Center Foundation

The cancer-battling kids at Children’s Medical Center are such incredible troopers. Having faced daunting treatments, loss of hair and being hooked up to mobile IVs, they take it all in stride. With their families at their side, they trust the wisdom and advice of their doctors and the team of healthcare providers without hesitation.

But on Friday, September 2, a handful of the young patients were wondering if these wise professionals had gone a bit batty.

But more about that later.

Brent Christopher and Kern Wildenthal

Brent Christopher and Kern Wildenthal

With chairs in the Butterfly Atrium filled, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher welcomed all to the Hyundai Hope On Wheels presentation that included area Hyundai dealers and former Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal. Brent reported how in the state of Texas, one in five children diagnosed with cancer is treated at Children’s.

Stephen Skapek

Stephen Skapek

Division of Pediatric Hematology-oncology chief/Dr. Stephen Skapek told of the advances that were being made at Children’s in partnership with UT Southwestern, thanks to generous financial support. Proudly he showed off his “lab coat of Hyundai” honor that he keeps hanging in his office.

Then Hyundai South Central Regional Manager Tom Hetrick told how this event “was the best part of [his] job.” Since 1998 Hyundai nationally has provided a total of $115M to pediatric cancer research. This year the goal was $13M, with $150,000 provided by local Hyundai dealers for Children’s.

Tom Hetrick

Tom Hetrick

This year’s contribution will support the work of Dr. Kenneth “Kenny” Chen, who gratefully thanked the Hyundai team and told how 40,000 children are annually diagnosed with pediatric cancer and one in eight will not survive. He added that “only 4% of the national cancer budget goes to childhood cancer research.” It was just four years ago that Kenny and “his colleagues at Children’s Medical turned surgically removed kidney tumors — once threats to life — into new sources of information on cancer. They sequenced the genes of dozens of tumors.” Thanks to the $150,000 grant from Hyundai, Kenny will be to build on their discoveries.

This undertaking is especially important to pediatric cancer research. The 44 genes were from Wilms tumors, “a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children under the age of five. Also known as nephroblastoma, Wilms tumor is the most common cancer of the kidneys in children. Studying mouse models and human cells. Kenny plans to investigate whether using drugs designed for adults that put microRNAs back into cells can stop or even reverse Wilms tumor cell growth.”

Kenny then introduced “the main event”: 12-year-old cancer patient Jack Maurer, who had a Wilms cancer tumor removed surgically in 2007, came to the podium. With his mother Amy Maurer smiling on the front row, the brown-haired Coppell seventh grader, whose tumor may have been one of those used in the program, briefly told the group about his stay at Children’s and thanked the Hyundai dealers for their donation. He added later, “It’s neat to think I might have been part of that. It’s like I left a legacy at the hospital that took care of me.”

Following a standing ovation, Hyundai Van General Manager George Donaldson admitted that Jack was “a tough act to follow for sure,” but he rose to the challenge saying, “This is not a day about selling cars or promoting our businesses. This is an issue that is truly at the core of who we are… We are proud to be part of this community and even more proud to have an institution like this one serving our children every day. Children are our future. They should have a chance to grow, play and learn in a world that is cancer-free. This is why we are so committed to this cause. It is for the kids.”

Following a photo session with Hyundai fellows, the Children’s team of professionals and kids all were invited upstairs to the driveway. While the adults knew what was going to happen, the kids were a bit mystified. They knew it had to do with a car and something about paint.

Once in the driveway, they spied a white Hyundai with colorful mini-hand prints. Then they were ushered to a table with bowls of paints. Once there, the adults painted the kids’ hands with the paint and had them hand-print a large piece of paper. Hmm, this was so not the usual “adult-approved” situation.

Mackenna Rodolph

Mackenna Rodolph

Then they were taken to the white Hyundai and told to go at it. Frisco third-grader Mackenna Rodolph was the first and laughed as she was actually urged to lay her red-painted hands on the vehicle. She was soon joined by eight-year-old Conner Sides, five-year-old Tatum Teague and Jack.

Hyundai dealers and from the left Jack Maurer, Tatum Teague and Mackenna Rodolph

Hyundai dealers and from the left Jack Maurer, Tatum Teague and Mackenna Rodolph

As if that wasn’t a little unusual, the kids also were pointed to hand-print Kenny’s pristine white lab coat. One kiddo looked at the adults as if to ask, “Are you serious?” But once again the adults and Dr. Chen were all beaming as the kids got handy.

Tatum Teague, Mackenna Rodolph, Kenny Chen, Conner Sides and Jack Maurer

Tatum Teague, Mackenna Rodolph, Kenny Chen, Conner Sides and Jack Maurer

The children decided that they weren’t being punked and got into the occasion, sporting colored hands and smiles. It was a day when the best cancer treatment was kids mixing it up with paint.

Still another photo session was set up with the Hyundai dealers in front of the car. But they wanted the children in the photo. As one of the dealers put it, “This is about the kids.”

As for Jack, he was destined for even more to celebrate his conquest of cancer, thanks to the Hyundai locals. They had arranged with Children’s to have Jack throw out the first pitch at Sunday’s Texas Rangers’ game against the Houston Astros to commemorate Children Cancer Awareness Month.

2015-2016 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Handed Out More Than $458,000 To 15 Park Cities Beneficiaries

What’s the best part of La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas? For some, it’s all the parties held the week before the June fundraiser for Park Cities beneficiaries. For others it’s the big, old gala where dozens of young women are duchesses for one night bowing to friends and families.

But the truly best part is the evening when the checks are presented to the beneficiaries. And that night took place in the Mockingbird Room of Highland Park Village on Thursday, September 1.

Rebecca Gregory, Paige Flink, Melissa Sherrill and Elizabeth Gambrell

Rebecca Gregory, Paige Flink, Melissa Sherrill and Elizabeth Gambrell

As the crowd gathered to capacity, included among them were 2016 La Fiesta Gala Co-Chairs Rebecca Gregory and Elizabeth Gambrell, Tom Trigg celebrating his first year anniversary as HPISD superintendent, Jan Peterson, Lori Bannon, Amanda Davison, Kim Martinez, Jack Gosnell, 2017 La Fiesta Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser, Paige Flink just back from a Vermont getaway, Susan Morgan, Rula Peinado, Paul Hayes and Jan Osborn, who has reduced her local activities to focus on Zachary’s House in Ghana. But Jan isn’t totally withdrawing from the fundraising circuit. She and her buddy Robin Bagwell are the underwriting co-chairs for the St. Philip’s gala in the spring.

Amanda Davison, Susan Morgan and Lori Bannon

Amanda Davison, Susan Morgan and Lori Bannon

But the news of the night was the doling out of the checks by 2016 La Fiesta Co-Chairs Eloise Meachum and Missy Rothwell and La Fiesta Board President Lori Martin. Here’s how the distribution of $458,325 went:

  • Care (Chemical Awareness Resources And Education — $15,620
  • Connecting Point of Park Cities — $20,000

    Missy Rothwell, Eloise Meachum, Kim Martinez and Lori Martin

    Missy Rothwell, Eloise Meachum, Kim Martinez and Lori Martin

  • The Elisa Project — $20,000
  • The Family Place — $10,000
  • Friends of the University Park Public Library — $30,627
  • Highland Park Educational Foundation — $226,945
  • Highland Park Literary Festival — $28,000
  • Highland Park Arts — $61,133

    Missy Rothwell, Tom Trigg, Jan Peterson and Eloise Meachum

    Missy Rothwell, Tom Trigg, Jan Peterson and Eloise Meachum

  • HPHS Community Service Council — $8,000
  • HPHS Counseling and Student Council/Counseling Department — $3,500
  • HPHS Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter — $20,000
  •  HPHS Science Festival — $2,500
  • HPHS Student Emergency Fund — $3,000
  • YMCA/HPHS Youth and Government — $3,500
  • Park Cities Heritage House — $5,000

Addison Kaboom Town!, Albertsons And Tom Thumb Partnered Up To Provide $100,000 For Folds Of Honor

While all the hoop-la about the upcoming Folds of Honor Gala on Saturday, November 5 at the Hilton Anatole seems to be taking the spotlight, a very special occasion took place on Tuesday, August 9, at Addison’s Cavanaugh Flight Museum. Here’s a report from the field:

Addison Kaboom Town! partnered with Albertsons and Tom Thumb this summer to raise $100,000 for Folds of Honor, whose mission is to empower military families by providing educational scholarships to children and spouses of military men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation.

Todd Meier, Sarah White, Dennis Bassler and Carol Roberts*

Todd Meier, Sarah White, Dennis Bassler and Carol Roberts*

Donations were taken at 106 DFW-area Albertsons and Tom Thumb store locations from Sunday, July 3, until Saturday, July 16. This is the town’s biggest donation with Albertsons and Tom Thumb to date.

Representatives from the Town of Addison, Albertsons and Tom Thumb, Folds of Honor and the media gathered together on Tuesday, August 9, for a check presentation to Sarah White, Folds of Honor brand ambassador and former scholarship recipient.

Sarah lost her dad, Captain Dennis Michael White of the United States Air Force, in 1995. Every day, Sarah and her family remember the sacrifice her dad, among many others, made for our country.

With the help of Folds of Honor, Sarah was able to attend college (Auburn University) and get a degree in marketing. She now lives and works in Dallas. To Sarah, Folds of Honor is more than just a scholarship for education. It had taken a financial burden off her mother, but it also means so much to Sarah to have a support group along her side…people who will not forget about the sacrifice her father made for the country.

Speakers at the check presentation, which took place at Cavanaugh Flight Museum, included Addison Mayor Todd Meier, Community Relations and Partnership Manager for Albertsons Carol Roberts, Albertsons and Tom Thumb Regional President Dennis Bassler and Sarah White. The money raised this year will be donated as scholarships to children of 20 families.

* Photo provided by Folds of Honor

Inaugural Kidstruction Had Architectural, Construction And Engineerin Firms Providing $57,000 For Children’s

Architectural, construction and engineering types have made North Texas amazing. Need proof? Look around. Their talents and materials have had the brainiacs like Mark Lamster impressed and brain scratching.

But these folks have also put their dough where the future lies. And that future is the well-being of North Texas children. Of course, you need proof. So, Children’s Medical Center Foundation‘s Kidstruction is the perfect example.

It seems that architectural, engineering and construction industry leaders challenged their peers to “donate a portion of their paychecks to Children’s during the month of March, depending on their companies’ pay schedules.”

Thanks to more than a dozen companies, 129 staffers participated to the tune of $57,000 that “will support essential Family Support services such as social work, pastoral care and Child Life, which includes clown, art, art, music and pet therapies.”

Donor(D160621R): KIDstruction event with check presentations from participating architecture firms that raised funds for CHST.*

Kidstruction event with check presentations*

Why, some of these companies like McCarthy Building Co. and Schwob Building Co. even rose to the occasion by matching “their employees’ gifts, while others contributed direct donations and sponsorships.”

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal, “Our inaugural Kidstruction Week campaign’s success was fueled by the support of a highly engaged steering committee representing some of the most respected construction, design and architectural firms in North Texas. The active participation and support of the companies’ executives and employees – in Kidstruction Week and through many other events – continues to help us expand our philanthropic footprint in the region.”

Originally, the effort was just a few key folks like Texo CEO Meloni McDaniel, who took the lead and got others on board like committee members Adam Panter, Mark Stewart, Whitney Bietendorf, Jason Hale, Wendy Hatchell, Joe Jouvenal, Shelby Adams, Kimberly Burke, Brent Archer, Nick Hasty, Whitney Teague, Hattie Peterson and Michael Beal.

They in turn got the following companies to participate: Skanska USA, McCarthy Building Co., Schwob Building Co., HDR, WHR Architects, Spring Valley Construction Co., TDIndustries, Datum Engineers, Walter P Moore, Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing, Alpha-Barnes Real Estate Services, PRDG and HKS.

For some who participated, the effort was more than a corporate project, it was a personal involvement like Spring Valley Construction Co. Marketing Manager Whitney Teague, whose daughter was treated for leukemia at Children’s and released in January.

According to Whitney, “I never thought my own daughter would be a patient at Children’s, but after what we have been through, I understand, like I never could have before, the value of this hospital and its place in the community.”

Plans call for meetings to begin in August to organize Kidstruction 2017 with a goal to double the number of participating companies and individuals. Interested? Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Audra Cozart can help you get involved.

* Photo provided by Children's Medical Center Foundation

Lee Park Junior Conservancy Creatively Revealed The “Goosebump-Making” 2016 Day At The Races Net

There are ways of announcing the results of fundraisers. There’s the good, old familiar check presentation. But then there is the more creative type, like the way the Lee Park Junior Conservancy did in reporting the results of their annual “Day At The Races.”

Teffy Jacobs, Kirsten Williams, Doris Jacobs and Whitney Brune*

Teffy Jacobs, Kirsten Williams, Doris Jacobs and Whitney Brune*

Since Co-Chair Wendy Messmann was unable to attend, Co-Chair Kirsten Williams drafted Honorary Chair Doris Jacobs to help in the presentation at the Trunk Club. Each was “given large cards with numbers on them to post in the right order. While the theme song from ‘The Price Is Right’ played, they made several attempts to the delight of the crowd, finally arriving at $81,460, double the previous year’s net income. Junior Conservancy President Whitney Brune Carroll said that she “got chills and goosebumps” when the number was announced.

And that amazing total couldn’t have come at a better time. According to Lee Park and Arlington Conservancy President/CEO Gay Donnell, “Lee Park has lost several trees that the Conservancy is looking to replace. Arlington Hall is also facing replacement of equipment that has aged since the Hall was restored 14 years ago.”

Thea Van Loggerenberg, Dean Driver and Sara Jones*

Thea Van Loggerenberg, Dean Driver and Sara Jones*

The sponsors of the winning fundraiser included Exxir Group/Nazerian Family —Thea Van Loggerenberg, Doris Jacobs, Four Roses Bourbon — Kent Grindinger, TRUNK CLUB, Consilium Lifestyle Collections—Dean Driver, The Barre Code Design District—Lori Lesneiwski, US Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Bailey Banks & Biddle/Longines, NorthPark, Whole Foods, Prashe/Flora & Eventi, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman and Sue Krider Dallas Real Estate.

* Photos provided by the Lee Park Junior Conservancy

Helping Our Heroes Foundation Presents $25,000 Checks To Folds Of Honor And Semper Fi Plus Announces Future Plans

With Mother’s Day in the rear view mirror and graduations and weddings up ahead, there was a check presentation on Monday, May 9, for folks who have gone the extra mile in safeguarding the nation’s well-being. In addition, it was also an occasion to announced upcoming plans for more fundraising for the Helping Our Heroes Foundation. Here’s a report from the field:

On Monday, May 9, dozens of board members, donors and friends of Helping Our Heroes Foundation gathered on the patio at Ocean Prime Dallas to celebrate the 2015 beneficiaries and kick off the 2016 Dinner and Golf Tournament set for Sunday, September 11, and Monday, September 12.

Michael Marasco, Travis Wilson and Laura Castellvi*

Michael Marasco, Travis Wilson and Laura Castellvi*

The evening began with light bites and cocktails while Pippa, a bulldog and mascot of the United States Marine Corps, posed for pictures with attendees. The organization presented two checks for $25,000 to each of its 2015 beneficiaries: Folds of Honor, which provides annual educational scholarships to the families of those killed or disabled while in active duty, and Semper Fi Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Steve Christensen, Gail Leonard, John Christensen, Mason Fill and Lauren Christensen*

Steve Christensen, Gail Leonard, John Christensen, Mason Fill and Lauren Christensen*

Following the presentation, the celebration continued as Captain Mason Dill presented a framed flag to John Christensen and his family. Lauren and Steve Christensen and John Christensen were honored for their generous donations and support of Helping Our Heroes over the years.

Christopher Griffo, Mason Dill and Carl Fite*

Christopher Griffo, Mason Dill and Carl Fite*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Co-Founder and Event Co-Chair Travis Wilson and Event Co-chair Michael Marasco announced that Folds of Honor and Semper Fi Fund would return as beneficiaries for 2016 event. This year’s fundraiser includes a dinner on September 11, at Frontiers of Flight Museum, which will mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11, followed by a golf tournament at Brookhaven Country Club on September 12. In the past five years, Helping Our Heroes has donated more than $735,000 to selected beneficiaries. In 2016, the hope is to raise more than $200,000 to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and their families through Folds of Honor and Semper Fi Fund.

Guests included: Barbara and Helping Our Heroes Co-founder Trip Bomar, Master Sergeant Christopher Griffo, Captain Mason Dill, Gail Leonard, Auction Chair Matt Lowe, Carl Fite, Underwriting Chair Art Seals, Semper Fi Fund Senior Manager for Community Outreach and Events Laura Castellvi, Mary McAdams, Val Bergman, Mike Engles, Steve Pilipchuk, Veronica Owens and Folds of Honor Regional Development Officer Sarah White.

Helping Our Heroes Foundation is a local organization founded in 2011 with a vision to help those who serve so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms of living in the greatest country on earth. To purchase tickets for the dinner or to participate in the golf tournament, visit

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Northwood Woman’s Club Hands Out Checks Totaling $255,250 To Seven Very Happy Area Nonprofits

It seems like there’s a lot of hoop-la when groups announce the amount of money raised from fundraising activities. But real news is how much of that fund raised actually, really, truly goes to the beneficiary.

Confused? Totally understand. Here’s an example: Let’s pretend The Mosquito Preservation Society announces their black-tie brunch “raised” a whopping $5.5M. But when the dust settles and expenses are accounted, no one fessed up that only $1.99 went to the society. Well, after all when you’re serving Cristal mimosas in Baccarat flutes, white truffle-laden omelets on Bernardaud china and have Adele on stage for 10 minutes, it does cost a pretty penny. And that’s not to mention thank-you gifts for the committee like Birkin bags for the ladies and Dallas National Golf Club memberships for the men.

Ah, but there are other groups that proudly show-and-tell the amounts presented to the beneficiaries. One such organization is the Northwood Woman’s Club. No, they don’t have the over-the-top grandiose galas, but they are so typical of the fundraising groups that dig their stilettos in the ground and keep their eyes on the outcome, not the partying. As proof, the Northwood gals just presented $255,250 to their 2016 beneficiaries.

Happy Northwood Woman's Club members*

Happy Northwood Woman’s Club members*

Here’s a breakdown of the checks that were distributed:

  • Austin Street Center — $50,000 to renovate the showers and improve the women’s dressing area within the Austin Street Center facility serving homeless women.
  • New Beginning Center — $54,000 to provide programs and services for families affected by domestic violence.   Services include emergency shelter, case management, legal advocacy, food, clothing, counseling, and economic literacy in a safe environment.
  • New Friends New Life — $47,000 to support programs designed to restore and empower formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and their children.
  • Nexus Recovery Center — $33,000 to support the services provided in the Pregnant or Parenting Women with Children Program.  Services include trauma-based drug and alcohol addiction treatment, counseling, food, shelter, education and access to after school care and childcare for their children.
  • Rainbow Days — $21,250 to provide supplies and trained staff to provide weekly support groups to homeless children. The children, ages 4-12, receive social, emotional, mental and behavioral health support and guidance using a research-based curriculum.
  • St. Simon’s After-School — $38,000 to support after-school programs for low-income children in DISD which provide care and academic assistance, remedial reading programs and enrichment activities.
  • University of Texas Dallas Scholarships — $12,000 to pay tuition for two high-achieving students who have demonstrated both a financial need and a strong desire to continue their education at UT Dallas.
* Photo provided by Northwood Woman's Club

2015 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Distributed Record-Breaking $6.5M To 11 Dallas Children’s Non-Profits

There are hundreds of children…no, make that thousands of children…who went to sleep on Tuesday, April 12, never having heard of a gal from Andrews, Texas, by the name of Michal Powell or an organization called Crystal Charity Ball.

That’s just peachy keen for the 2015 CCB Chair Michal and her gall-gal committee of 99. For a little over a year, they made calls, hand delivered contracts and championed the cases for Dallas children to net a record-breaking $6.5M.

Some of that money would go to healthcare, ranging from sexual abuse to hearing and sight challenges. Other funds would assist homeless and hungry kids and those working through the challenges of autism.

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

Pat McEvoy, Tucker Enthoven, Vinnie Reuben, Gregg Ballew, Michal Powell, Leslie Diers, Susan Farris and Mary Clare Finney

But on this evening, it was Christmas with Michal and her team including Underwriting chair Tucker Enthoven presenting the real-thing checks to the 11 recipients thanks to host Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew. Among the crowd of more-than-smiley recipients and guests were Dave Woodyard, Ola Fojtasek, Robyn Flatt, Cara French, Sandra Session-Robertson, Bob Sweeney, Elizabeth Gambrell, Tom Turnage, Pam Busbee, Ona Foster, Daffan Nettle, Dr. Tom Campbell, Beth Thoele, Michael Craven, Margaret Hancock, Kimberly Williams, Anne Reeder, Doug Adkins, Tricia George, Tom Black, Mary Martha Pickens, Jan McAuley, Fredye Factor, Pat McEvoy, Vinnie Reuben, Leslie Diers, Mary Clare Finney, Susan Farris, Barbara Stuart and 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter.

Here is a breakdown of how the checks were distributed:

  • Catholic Charities of Dallas — $575,000 for the School Readiness Program
  • Dallas Children’s Theater — $564,400 for Sensory-Friendly Performances and Classes
  • Dallas Life — $546,919 for the Kids Life Program
  • Dallas Services — $646,064 for the Vision for Children Program
  • Family Compass — $600,000 for the Healthy Families Program
  • Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders — $630,000 for The Pediatric Hearing Aid Project
  • H.I.S. BridgeBuilders — $539,450 for the Crossover Athletics Program
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition — $500,000 for the Childcare and Youth Services Center
  • Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers —$500,000 for Ewing’s Sarcoma Pediatric Cancer Research Program
  • North Texas Food Bank — $750,000 for the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program
  • Texas Health Resources Foundation — $459,124 for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

Wanna bet what the first thing the 11 recipients did the next morning? Deliver the checks to their banks, of course. The second thing was to put that money to work.

Dunkin’ Donuts And Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation To Open Newest Location With A $20,000 Check For North Texas Food Bank

Love those checks, especially the ones with no strings attached to ‘em. And that’s why this morning’s announcement by Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is right up there with a Classic Banana Split with a cup of Dunkin’ chaser.

It seems that, to celebrate the grand opening of its combo restaurant at 14841 Coit Road on Wednesday, March 23, the foundation will present a $20,000 check to the North Texas Food Bank.

The funds “will provide 400 children with 4,000 backpacks filled with wholesome food during the summer, the hungriest time of the year.”

According to NTFB’s Jan Pruitt, who is still recovering from the over-the-top Empty Bowls on Friday, March 11, “The North Texas Food Bank’s children feeding programs are critical to supporting the one-in-four kids in North Texas, who are struggling with hunger. With support from The Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, we can ensure that more kids have access to the food needed to learn and thrive.”

But there still more. Dunkin’ Donuts will also deliver breakfast to the teachers and faculty at nearby Dover Elementary the morning of the opening.

Chi Omega Alumnae Dole Out Chi Omega Christmas Market’s $330,000 To Area Nonprofits And Scholars

Amy Mitchell and Betsy Keith*

Amy Mitchell and Betsy Keith*

While November seems ages ago, the Dallas Chi Omega Alumnae have been adding up the dollars earned through their annual Chi Omega Christmas Market. When the total was finalized, the checks were handed out at Chi O alumna Amy Mitchell’s fabulous home on Turtle Creek on Tuesday, February 16. Here’s a report from the field:

More than 100 Dallas-area Chi Omega Alumnae and beneficiary representatives gathered at the home of Amy and Malone Mitchell for a check presentation of funds raised from the 2015 Chi Omega Christmas Market, which was held November 18-21, 2015, in Centennial Hall in Fair Park. The 38th annual market drew a record crowd of 10,500 shoppers.

Amanda Escobedo, Sue Bailey and Amy McAleavey*

Amanda Escobedo, Sue Bailey and Amy McAleavey*

Co-Chairs Amanda Escobedo and Amy McAleavey announced that the total amount to be distributed from the market was $330,000, providing critical funds for local beneficiaries including Association for Independent Living, Attitudes & Attire, AVANCE- Dallas Inc., Camp Summit, Dallas Services Low Vision Clinic, DME Exchange of Dallas, Hope Cottage, Jonathan’s Place, Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship and Chi Omega Educational Corporation.

Beneficiary Committee Chair Jenny Kaiser and Beneficiary Liaison Barb McCluer presented checks to representatives from these local beneficiaries, as well as collegiate scholarship recipients and their families.

Danna Hamann, LeAnn AuBuchon, Jane Porter and Kelly Waterman*

Danna Hamann, LeAnn AuBuchon, Jane Porter and Kelly Waterman*

Guests included Chi O Alumnae President Sue Bailey, ManeGait’s Danna Hamann, LeAnn Aubuchon and Kelly Waterman, AVANCE-Dallas’ Will Hornberger, Anne Thomas and Mack Campbell, Betsy Keith, Julie and Mikes Karnes, Carolyn Peck, Suzanne Caruso, Bitsy Carter, Kelly Hosch, Nancy Leonard, Cindy Robinson, Gayle Chapman, Jenny Kaiser, Denise JerniganBarb McCluer, Arlene Manthey, Leah Keeter, Christine Platt, Kathy Martin and Laura Rohrman.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Partners Card 2015 Nets Record Revenue For The Family Place

Some 200 fans of The Family Place gathered at Hotel ZaZa on Thursday, January 28, to learn that the agency’s Partners Card 2015, presented by Bank of Texas, had raised more than $1.15 million during its annual run held earlier last fall. The result meant that the big shopping fundraiser had surpassed the $1 million mark for the fifth straight year.

“This was our best year ever” for net revenue, said Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place. Why does she think it happened? “Because the economy was better, and the sellers did their jobs,” Flink said. “They sold more cards than ever. … The sacrifices of the retailers and their associates is what makes Partners Card work.”

Paige Flink and Eric White*

Paige Flink and Eric White*

Melissa Boler, Ashlee Weidner and Debbie Munir*

Melissa Boler, Ashlee Weidner and Debbie Munir*

An estimated 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, which ran from October 30 through November 8, 2015. During that period, shoppers around North Texas received a 20 percent discount with the purchase of a $70 Partners Card. One hundred percent of the purchase price of each card directly benefited The Family Place, Dallas’ largest family violence agency.

Debbie Munir, who co-chaired the 2015 campaign with Melissa Boler and Ashlee Weidner, said the record results were no accident. “We continued to try to expand the program, and we just kept growing and growing,” Munir said. “For example, we’re starting to get additional retailers involved in Southlake.”

Rhonda Sargent Chambers*

Rhonda Sargent Chambers*

Elizabeth Dacus, Samantha Wortley and Jane Rozelle*

Elizabeth Dacus, Samantha Wortley and Jane Rozelle*

The 2015 co-chairs were joined at the ZaZa by Honorary Chair Rhonda Sargent Chambers and the 2016 Partners Card co-chairs: Elizabeth Dacus, Samantha Wortley and Jane Rozelle. Others in the crowd included Angela Nash, Eric White and Lynn McBee.

Since 1978, The Family Place has counseled more than 225,000 clients, provided life-saving shelter to more than 22,000 women and children, and answered more than 550,000 calls for help. Among other things, funds raised through the Partners Card program help provide emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, after-school programs for children, and job skills for adults.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

With A Slight Change of Agenda, TACA Grant Presentation Went Off Without A Hitch Handing Out $1.3M To Performing Arts

With a full moon peeking through the clouds, the lovers of the performing arts gathered at the Wyly Theatre on Monday, January 25. The occasion was the handing over of the checks by TACA to area performing art nonprofit. Thanks to the 2015 year-long effort, a gangbuster $1.3M was being divvied up.

Only problem was, some folks showed up at 5:30. Oops! Seems the early bird missive had listed the evening start at 5:30. Then there was a change in plans. According to a TACA spokespeep, they had decided to change things up this year. Instead of a pre-presentation reception, there would be a post-presentation, on-stage celebration. Only problem? Not everyone got the COP (change of plans) word.

WAnda Gierhart

Wanda Gierhart

Robyn Flatt

Robyn Flatt

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Not to worry. There was a massive row of flutes filled with champagne in the lobby for thirsty early birds like Linda Gibbons, Pat PorterRichard Holt, Carol and Don Glendenning, Robyn FlattJeremy Strick, Brent Christopher, Kevin Hurst, Wanda GierhartBarbara and Don Daseke, and Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer.  Laree was taking a break from the Aging Minds Foundation fundraiser and the OMG Sue Gragg 18kt rose gold, diamond, and white topaz ring valued at toppest tier four-figures for the Aging Minds Foundation.

According to the gals, they’ve partnered up with the incredible BvB Dallas to sell the raffle tickets for this one. And the BvB ladies are incentivized. The prize for selling the most tickets is a pair of Gragg earrings.

Hmm, Laree and Barbara D. were whispering to each other about the Aging Mind Foundation trio of live auction items. Laree swears on her Shih Tzus that the three items are killers. Stay tuned on this one. Think dining above the Performing Arts District, and adventure on Togo Island and a killer Kentucky Derby weekend!

On the other hand, Wanda was second-thinking her luck. Seems her new home was having all types of adjustment issues like leaks, flooding of the master bedroom and the need to replace the underground pipes.

Kevin, fresh from participating in the Dallas Marathon, reported that he signed up for a couple of other high-stepping events as well. The reason? He admitted that when he had lived in Chicago, he had been more active in the marathon world. He had decided recently to make a change and was getting back into the run of things.

Parisa Khobdeh

Parisa Khobdeh

One of the evening’s highlights was former Plano resident/Paul Taylor Dance Company artist/2016 Grant Awards Guest Artist-Speaker Parisa Khobdeh’s recalling how despite life-threatening issues, she has managed to continue her love of dance.

When the checks were presented, it all went according to plan. Well, sure, Echo Theatre’s Terri Ferguson got her shawl momentarily caught on the railing. A gasp went up from the audience, but she made a quick recovery. Without missing a cue, emcee Ken Travis said, “Bravo!”

For a breakdown on how all the checks were distributed, check here!

JUST IN: TACA Just Provided $1.3M To 48 Performing Arts Groups Tonight

Santa may have ruled December, but the fundraisers are the gift givers in January from the past year’s efforts. And once again Bank of Texas is sponsoring the event to give the moola away. Tonight 48 performing art groups of North Texas were head-over-stiletto-heels as TACA presented checks totaling $1.3M at the Wyly. Newbies to receive funding were Vox Humana and Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet.

This makes the ninth consecutive year that TACA broke the million-dollar giveaway!

Here is the breakdown of the happy artistic campers who were onstage with smiles:

  • Musical Ensembles
    • Chamber Music International – $5,000
    • Dallas Bach Society – $8,000
    • Dallas Chamber Music Society – $5,000
    • Fine Arts Chamber Players – $29,000
    • Orchestra of New Spain – $15,000
    • Sammons Center for the Arts – $11,000
    • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – $12,000
    • Tuesday Nite Jazz – $10,000
    • Voices of Change – $10,000
  • Symphonic Arts
    • Dallas Chamber Symphony – $13,000
    • Dallas Symphony Orchestra – $100,000
    • Dallas Winds – $35,000
    • Lone Star Wind Orchestra – $13,000
    • Plano Symphony Orchestra – $10,000
  • Operatic Arts
    • The Dallas Opera – $100,000
  • Choral Arts
    • Arts District Chorale – $5,000
    • Orpheus Chamber Singers – $15,000
    • Plano Civic Chorus – $6,000
    • Vox Humana – $5,000
  • Dance
    • Avant Chamber Ballet – $12,500
    • Bruce Wood Dance Project – $15,000
    • Dallas Black Dance Theatre – $85,000
    • Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet – $5,000
    • Texas Ballet Theater – $70,000
    • TITAS – $65,000
  • Theater Arts
    • African American Repertory Theater – $12,500
    • Cara Mía Theatre Company – $15,000
    • Dallas Theater Center – $100,000
    • Echo Theatre – $12,000
    • Kitchen Dog Theater – $35,000
    • Lyric Stage – $30,000
    • Second Thought Theatre – $18,000
    • Shakespeare Dallas – $35,000
    • Teatro Dallas – $10,000
    • Theatre Three – $30,000
    • Undermain Theatre – $25,000
    • Uptown Players – $33,000
    • WaterTower Theatre – $40,000
  • Spoken Word
    • WordSpace – $5,000
  • Youth Arts
    • Big Thought – $15,000
    • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas – $37,000
    • Dallas Children’s Theater – $75,000
    • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra – $45,000
    • Junior Players – $38,000
    • Lone Star Circus Arts Center – $5,000
  • Collaborative Partners
    • AT&T Performing Arts Center – $5,000
    • Nasher Sculpture Center – $10,000
    • SMU Meadows School of the Arts – $10,000

One of TACA’s fundraising efforts will take place on Friday, February 19, when Rebecca Fletcher and James E. Wiley Jr. are presented the TACA Silver Cup at the Hilton Anatole.

JUST IN: Junior League Of Dallas Spreads The Goodness Factor And The Dollars to 38 Area Agencies

The Junior Leaguers of Dallas were busy queen bees yesterday! They started off the morning making loads of nonprofits happy campers at the JLD headquarters at the “handout” of ca-ching sponsored by Bank of Texas. They doled out $1M worth of grants and the number of JLD volunteers who will share the love with the following 38 “agencies:”

  • Arts & Cultural Enrichment total 281 volunteers and $77,685:

    • Booker T. Washington High School — 21 volunteers and $23,000
    • Dallas Arboretum — 63 volunteers and $12,000
    • Dallas Museum of Art — 53 volunteers and $4,700
    • Dallas Zoological Society — 37 volunteers and $21,985
    • Perot Museum of Nature & Science — 86 volunteers and $16,000
    • S. National Archives & Records Administration — 21 volunteers and $0
  • Education total 75 volunteers and $99,400:
    • Communities in Schools — 13 volunteers and $6,000
    • Dallas Heritage Village — 11 volunteers and $4,000
    • Friends of the Dallas Public Library — 13 volunteers and $15,000
    • Notre Dame School — 11 volunteers and $30,000
    • The Rise School of Dallas — 11 volunteers and $36,000
    • Texas Discovery Gardens — 16 volunteers and $8,400
  • Family Preservation total 177 volunteers and $85,888:
    • Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Twice Blessed House — 30 volunteers and $12,500
    • Big Thought — 11 volunteers and $4,000
    • Promise House — 24 volunteers and $19,000
    • Ronald McDonald House of Dallas — 71 volunteers and $15,388
    • St. Philip’s School and Community Center — 18 volunteers and $25,000
    • Trinity River Mission — 23 volunteers and $10,000
  • Health total 255 volunteers and $168,160:
    • Cancer Support Community North Texas — 48 volunteers and $22,470
    • Children’s Health — 38 volunteers and $30,765
    • Equest — 45 volunteers and $35,000
    • Methodist Dallas Medical Center — 28 volunteers and $16,000
    • Parkland Health & Hospital System — 16 volunteers and $22,300
    • Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas – The Senior Source — 25 volunteers and $26,245
    • Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation — 15 volunteers and $5,280
    • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children — 40 volunteers and $10,100
  • Poverty Intervention total 129 volunteers and $137,217:
    • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity — 36 volunteers  and $30,000
    • Interfaith Housing Coalition — 17 volunteers and $31,717
    • New Friends New Life — 14 volunteers and $13,000
    • North Dallas Shared Ministries — 14 volunteers and $35,000
    • North Texas Food Bank — 31 volunteers and $17,000
    • Vickery Meadow Learning Center — 17 volunteers and $10,500
  • Violence Intervention 215 volunteers and $166,700:
    • Community Partners of Dallas — 39 volunteers and $30,000
    • Dallas CASA — 35 volunteers and $27,600
    • Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center — 48 volunteers and $25,000
    • Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support — 49 volunteers and $30,000
    • Our Friends Place — 20 volunteers and $28,700
    • The Family Place — 24 volunteers and $25,400

But there was still more. They also provided support to Dallas nonprofit efforts “through key initiatives and ‘Signature Projects,'” including the following:

  • Grants for Innovative Teaching (GFIT) — a Signature Project of the JLD designed to encourage and support excellence in teaching by awarding grants of up to $2,000 to Dallas ISD educators for innovative projects that otherwise would not be possible within school budgets, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects,
  • Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) — a nationally recognized health program that reaches more than 650 kids and parents annually with an 8-week curriculum that teaches the basics of nutrition, healthy meal preparation and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Women LEAD (Learn. Excel. Achieve. Dream) —Established in 2013 in collaboration with Mary Kay, Women LEAD (Learn. Excel. Achieve. Dream) is the League’s newest scholarship program, which assists female high school students in pursuing their dreams of higher education and creates opportunities for future women leaders.
  • Community Assistance Fund is the distribution of monetary grants in response to emergency short-term funding needs of qualified nonprofit agencies and groups. The Fund offers grants that are limited to $3,500 and may be given at any time during the year.
  • Provisional Projects.

But the JLD-ers weren’t finished with the spreading of goodness. They celebrated the sponsors … ah, but that’s a story for another day.