Our Friends Place’s 14th Annual Gala – Auction And Casino Night Celebrated With Awards, Partying And Alumnae Accomplishments

There was a heck of a lot of celebrating over at the Omni Dallas on Saturday, April 29, thanks to Our Friends Place‘s 14th Annual Gala. From handing out awards, playing casino games, dining, dancing and most importantly hearing success stories from OFP graduates, it was a night to remember. Here’s a report from the field:

Tonnette Easter, Barbara Milo and Leslie Simmons*

Our Friends Place (OFP) celebrated their 14th Annual Gala – Auction And Casino Night on Saturday, April 29, at the beautiful Omni Dallas Hotel.  Honorary co-chairs included LuAnn and George Damiris and Debbie and Jack Gibson. Gala – Auction and Casino Night co-chairs included Tonnette Easter, Leslie Simmons and Barbara Milo.

Despite the blustery and rainy forecast, the event was well attended with those eager to bid on auction packages, play casino games and get their dance feet moving. 

Suzan E. Fenner*

Sharyl Weber and Sharon Pope*

The night started off with the presentation of The 13th Annual Ebby Awards to Suzan E. Fenner and the Northwood Woman’s Club represented by NWC President Sheryl Weber and Board Member Sharon Pope. Each recipient was honored to be recognized for their significant contributions and achievements in the advancement of girls and/or women in North Texas. The award is named after Ebby Halliday Acers, who was a tireless and passionate advocate for women in the community, and she was the first recipient of this award in 2005.

Another heartfelt highlight occurred when a few OFP alumnae were recognized for their achievements and growth through the program. We introduced Morgan and Shabnam, recent alums who shared their story about being homeless through video to a completely silent room of over 450 people. The impact of the OFP program was evident when both young ladies came to the stage to share updates.

Morgan finished her Associates Degree at Richland College while at Our Friends Place and is now living in an apartment and going to school at Texas Women’s University in Denton.

Sue Hesseltine and Cindy Tonnessen*

Shabnam is continuing her Year Up program through El Centro College and will graduate in late summer. She also works with Dallas ISD as a Homeless Youth Advocate at a local high school.

“Thanks to everyone who made our 14th Annual Gala – Auction and Casino Night such a success,” said Our Friends Place Executive Director Sue Thiers Hesseltine. “With the record number of guests, we were able to increase awareness of Our Friends Place, while having a great time raising funds to help the young women who call Our Friends Place home.” 

Gala sponsors, whose contributions made the evening an even greater success, included:

  • Diamond ($15,000) – Ben E. Keith Co.
  • Ruby ($10,000) – Suzan and Peter Fenner and Debbie and Jack Gibson
  • Emerald ($5,000) – BDO, Ebby Halliday Realtors, HollyFrontier, Paladin Partners, PWC, Laura and Jerry Fonville, Jan Wilkes/Debbie and Clarence Woosley and The Lee Family Charitable Fund
  • Jade ($3,000) and Sapphire ($2,000) – EY, The Fab Four, 12 General Contracting Services, Heather Bennett/Angela Maverick/Micki Seager/Cindy Tonnessen, Diane and Curtis Hawkins, TDKrause Consulting and Peggy Busby, Leslie Simmons and Rick Johnson, The Ryan Foundation, Brenda and David Snitzer and Jill and Brad Svoboda 
  • Underwriters — Bradford Commercial Real Estate, Frost Bank, Sue and Jack Hesseltine, Hunton & Williams LLP, Angela Maverick and Sean Baxley, Leslie Simmons and Rick Johnson, Jackson-Shaw Foundation, and Sutton Frost Cary LLP
* Photo provided by Our Friends Place

WFAA’s Sonia Azad To Fill In At yCPD Field Day For KDFW’s Jen Myers

Well, darn it! KDFW‘s Jen Myers isn’t gonna be handling the emcee duties at Saturday’s yCPD Field Day. Ah, shoot! She’s always so much fun. But the red, curled meteorologist has a note from her doctor ’splaining why. Her planned cataract surgery was moved up a week. So, she’s definitely good for the excuse.

Jennifer Myers (File photo)

Jenny Anchondo (File photo)

Normally, Jen would have her besty morning pal/KDFW anchor Jenny Anchondo fill in for her. Not so. She has a doctor’s excuse, too. Jenny is due to deliver her first-ever munchkin any day now.

Booty Shaking (File photo)

Not to worry. The Community Partners of Dallas crew has gone across the channels and will have WFAA medical reporter Sonia Azad doing the play-by-play at The Rustic. Hope someone has warned her that the event is a combination of the Olympics and the pie fight in “The Great Race.”

Doesn’t matter. It’s more fun than having Six Flags all to your own and still helps the kids in need through CPD. Festivities start at 2 p.m. and, if you can’t pull a team together, why not just show up and watch the fun!

Plans Announced For Grown-Ups-Only 3rd Annual yCPD Field Day At The Rustic

Perhaps the Community Partners of Dallas brain trust realized that adults were envious of the organization’s annual “Change Is Good” providing a plethora of kid-oriented activities in the fall. After all, that bounce house and bungee jumping looked pretty inviting even in wet weather.

The CPD Young Friends Group came up with the perfect solution — yCPD Field Day in 2012. It had teams of six competing in three-legged and wheelbarrow relay races. Overtime, the activities got more off-the-wall as the number of teams grew.

Jennifer Myers (File photo)

Hershey Kiss Relay (File photo)

Booty Shaking (File photo)

Word just arrived from yCPD Field Day Co-Chairs Tanner Hartnett and Crystal Lightbody that this year’s games will return to The Rustic from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, with KDFW red-curled meteorologist Jennifer Myers emceeing. In addition to the grown-up libations and live music, the competition will be just made for people watching. Just imagine trying to unwrap a Hershey’s kiss wearing mittens!

According to insiders, game-mistresses Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke are threatening to come up with some new outlandish games just made for cell-photoing.

Sponsorships start at $500 and teams are $350.

Dallas AfterSchool’s 5th Annual Recess Netted $125,000 Thanks To Fun And Games

Robyn Siegel and Regina Merson*

Dallas AfterSchool’s 5th Annual Recess just took place Friday at the Arboretum and the bean counters have been busy, busy, busy.

Recess Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Sieger just reported the results. Thanks to digging for goodies in the sand pile, bag toss, playing musical chairs, balancing tumble tower, and dining on off-the-diet goodies, $125,000 was netted. BTW, that’s not the gross. It’s the real deal.  No kidding.

Musical chairs*

Dallas AfterSchool is celebrating its 10th anniversary and this is a sweet way to celebrate.

* Photo credit: Steve Wrubel

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Recess

Another state of “Sold Out” has been revealed. Friday night’s Recess at the Dallas Arboretum is a done deal. 

As for those predictions of stormy weather, they won’t be a problem because the NorthPark-sponsored Sandbox, games, spiked juice box and music provided by Prophets and Outlaws will all be safe and sound inside Rosine Hall.


And no need to wear stuffy, grown-up attire. It will be strictly “schoolyard chic” (aka casual chic).

Benefiting and celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dallas AfterSchool, Event Co-Chairs Regina Merson and Robyn Siegel and Honorary Co-Chairs Tanya McDonald and Janet Mockovciak have arranged for the following sponsors:

  • Capture the Flag ($25,000) – The Baldridge Foundation
  • Simon Says ($10,000) – Lydia and William Addy, Baird, Strategic Wealth Partners/Colleen and Peter Bowler and Janet and John Mockovciak
  • Red Rover ($5,000) – Anne and Terry Conner, Christina K. Hanger and Tanya and Ken McDonald
  • Duck Duck Goose ($2,500) – Philip Theodore Bee Charitable Trust, Kristi and Brian Erickson, Cherri and Jack Musser, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Ernst and Young and Tenet Healthcare
  • Four Square ($1,000) – Christy Bednar, Sheela and Marc Birnbaum, Kathi and Chris Child, Serena Simmons Connelly, Maria and Douglas Cramer, The Donachie Foundation, Laurie and Craig Dunn, Angela and Mark Frederiksen, Abby and Michael Gregory, Sarah Losinger, Christina and Tim Norris, Tricia and Eric Stammberger, Social Venture Partners Dallas, Stacy and Mack Hicks and The Fijolek Family
  • Special Thanks and In-Kind Donors – Aimbridge Hospitality, BANCO, Cindy Ferris, Dallas Arboretum, Kent Rathbun Catering, LeForce Entertainment, Live Nation, McShan Florist, Microsoft, NorthPark Center, Paper City, Pop Parties, Topgolf, Yellow Rose Distilling and Housed Real Estate
* Graphic courtesy of Dallas AfterSchool

2017 Great Adventure Hunt Provided Brainbusting Puzzles Throughout The Perot From Mother Goose To Fencing For ChildCareGroup

While the black-tie-optional Catholic Charities group was filling the Omni’s Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, January 28, nearly 320 more casual types were on the other side of downtown Dallas at the Perot Museum.

Tori Mannes and Bart Showalter

Joe Mannes and Michael Newman

The occasion was the Great Adventure Hunt benefiting ChidCareGroup and chaired by Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox and Nicole and Justin Small and presented by
Data Alliance
. According to CCG President/CEO Tori Mannes, last year’s GAH wizard-behind-the-scenes/journalist Tom Shroder had begged off  this year, due to his writing two books. To seek a replacement puzzle strategist, Tori killed two birds with one stone. She asked past champ team members John Harris, Joe Mannes, Tom Nynas, Kemp Sawers and Elizabeth and Bart Showalter to create the puzzles for the night. Not only did she come up with some real insiders creating the evening’s challenges, she also allowed for a new team to score the top prize.

Wendy Moore Oglesby,, Peggy Allison, Edward Oglesby Gladys Kolenovsky and Lyda Hill

Rena Pederson

One of those vying for the trophy was the infamous Lyda Hill team (Peggy Allison, Gladys Kolenovsky, Wendy Moore Oglesby, Edward Oglesby and Rena Pederson), whose captain, Lyda, has played in every GAH except the very first one. In preparation for the evening, Lyda reported her team had met twice to strategize and to allow each of their strengths to shine. Lyda recalled that her team had won the competition “several times in a row, but not recently. We have to let others win!” she joked.

When asked about her upcoming Linz Award, Lyda admitted that she was truly taken by surprise. She was told about the honor over the phone while she was driving, and was caught totally speechless.

Doug Murray

On another subject, Lyda was asked why time and time again people think her middle name is “Hunt.” While her brother (Al Galatyn Hill Jr.) and sister (Alinda Hunt Hill Wikert) both have middle names, Lyda doesn’t. But she recalled that years ago, everyone was into monogramming. Since a great monogram had three letters, young Lyda gave herself a temporary “H” to fill the bill.

While the cocktail reception carried on in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall on the third level, production coordinator Doug Murray was preparing the acoustics for the dinner on the first level. Some guests didn’t recognize Doug. The reason? He’s lost 50 pounds—going from a 17 1/2 shirt-neck size to a 15 1/2—by exercising and eliminating soft drinks and breads from his diet. However, he admitted that on Sundays he may cheat and have a pizza. His goal is to lose 15 more pounds.


As for the competition, the puzzlemasters proved their worth.The very first challenge took place at the dinner tables with a round of Bingo, Then they were off and running with “puzzles featuring unique items such as edible clues, Mother Goose, a fencing match, ‘The Hokey Pokey’ and Twister. Some team solved the puzzles with ease, and other chose to receive extra hints.”

Tori Mannes, John Matthews, Kat Kunze, Suzanne Smith, Ben Mackey, Melanie Ferguson and Evgeniy Gentchev*

After the final team “crossed the finish line” and made it back to their tables for dessert and the results, it was team Matthews Southwest (John Matthews, Kat Kunze, Suzanne Smith, Ben Mackey, Melanie Ferguson and Evgeniy Gentchev) that not only took home the prize but also proved to have the distance in their effort. Boss John Matthews had flown in from Canada just to participate in the Hunt.

Other winners included the following:

From the left: (back row) Kathy Touchstone, Jenny Murphey and Jason Arneson; (front row) Kathryn Treece, Alyson Trout and Andrea English*

  • Second place — Kick-Off Party Sponsor Pegasus Bank and Bright and Bright LLP (Kathy Touchstone, Jenny Murphey, Jason Arneson, Kathryn Treece, Alyson Trout and Andrea English.
  • Third place — Meredith and Scott Wallace team
  • Rookie team — Meredith and Scott Wallace team
  • Best Team Name — Valet sponsor Roach Howard Smith and Barton for “Can’7 5OLV3 TH15”
* Photo provided by ChildCareGroup


2016 Billiard Ball Racked Up Stripes, Balls And Funds For The Boys And Girls Club Of Greater Dallas

Billiard tables

Looking around the Hilton Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom as it glowed in delicious blue floodlights on Saturday November 12, guests at the 2016 Billiard Ball ‘fessed up that it had been a long week. First there had been the time switcheroo due to the end of Daylight Savings Time. Then there was that all-night Tuesday awaiting the presidential election results, plus three nights of fundraising events throughout North Texas including Veteran’s Day celebrations.

Charles English and Laura and Dennis Moon

Helen and Clint Murchison III and CoCo Murchison

But the long haul’s finish line Saturday for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas‘s 2016 Billiard Ball was well worth it. The former indoor tennis courts had never looked so dazzling, with no fewer than five billiard tables in one quadrant and two stages for bands, with one in the front of the room and a second midway. Table clothes carried out the evening’s theme: a “Solids and Stripes Soiree.”

As a jazz group provided background music, guests at the cocktail reception gathered around BGCD President and CEO Charles English, Holly and Jim Trester with their daughter Christina Trester, Ball Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon, and Lifetime Achievement award recipients Helen and Clint W. Murchison III.

Asked whether he was a big supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs, attendee Frederick “Shad” Rowe commented, “I’m a big supporter of Clint’s!”

Holly and Jim Trester and Christina Trester

Boyd and Wendy Messmann

Not far away, Wendy and Boyd Messman were chatting about their recent, nine-day trip to Rio de Janiero—”There were no bugs and no crime; we loved it,” Boyd said—just as Carol and Scott Murray joined the party. Scott, who’s on the BGCD board, relayed that he was in the midst of a whirlwind of charity work. Seems he had just emceed, or was getting set to emcee, a great number of nonprofit events on both sides of the Metroplex, for causes ranging from military veterans to cancer research.

Doug Murray and Carole and Scott Murray

Tom and Susan Stanzel

Following dinner—crab bisque, filet of beef au poivre, potato rosti, bananas foster and vanilla ice cream were on the menu—a live auction was scheduled to raise funds for the local Boys & Girls Clubs, which currently serve 2,200 youth per day across Dallas. Items listed to be sold included a Dallas Stars Package, an Argentina Dove Hunt, a Customized Billiard Table, and a trip to Los Cabos. The evening was to conclude with dancing, a casino, and—of course—more billiards.

To top off the evening, guests took home cake pops ala stripes and balls.

Holly And Jim Trester Opened Their Estate For Boys And Girls Club Of Greater Dallas’ 2016 Billiard Ball Patron Party

Holly Trester and Charles English

Holly Trester and Charles English

It was a small, interconnected world indeed when about 50 guests gathered at Holly and Jim Trester’s stunning estate for a charity kickoff party on Tuesday, October 26. The fete with food everywhere was to ramp up interest in the 2016 Billiard Ball, an annual fundraiser for the Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas that was scheduled for Saturday, November 12, at the Hilton Anatole.

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

The ball, which was set to honor Helen and Clint Murchison, would be co-chaired by Laura and Dennis Moon, who were chatting amiably with guests at the Tresters’ place. Jim, who serves on the BGCD board, explained that, as a principal at the Ryan tax firm, he’d worked for two decades with Kimberly-Clark CEO Tom Falk. It was Tom, Jim went on, who’d asked him to sponsor a table at the 2016 Billiard Ball.

Jim Trester

Jim Trester

The ball has raised more than $2.4 million since its inception for the clubs, which boast 7,500 members at 31 sites in North Texas.

Not far away, Wendy and Boyd Messman were admiring Jim’s extensive collection of Dallas Mavericks and other sports memorabilia. Wendy, it turns out, works at U.S. Trust with Dennis. Holly, meantime, was greeting guests and chatting with Charles R. English, president and CEO of BGCD.

Nearby, Laura Brown was also introducing herself to attendees. Laura had just joined the Boys & Girls Clubs as vice president of advancement, focusing on major gifts and planned giving. “My passion is in youth development,” Laura was saying to a guest. This was her first day on the job—and, given all the excitement around the upcoming Billiard Ball, she couldn’t have picked a better day to start. 

7th Annual Great Adventure Kick-Off Party Put “Train Your Brain” Sessions With The Puzzle Pros Up For Auction

January may seem a long time off, but it isn’t for the dedicated players of the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt. The Kick-Off Party at Nicole and Justin Small‘s home revealed some new twists and turns for the ChildCareGroup fundraiser, including the addition of the introduction of the Puzzle Pros. Check out this report from the field about the Pros and more:

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift

Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift*

The first social event held at Nicole and Justin Small’s newly-renovated home was the Kick-Off Party on the evening of Tuesday,October 25, for the 7th Annual Great Adventure Hunt, benefiting ChildCareGroup. The expansive patio of the Small’s elegant mid-century modern North Dallas home and the beautiful fall weather created the perfect backdrop for nearly 100 guests including ChildCareGroup CEO/President Tori Mannes, Jennifer Sampson, Garrett Shipman, Danielle Ricketts, Nannette and Rodney Swift, Rena Pederson, Gladys Kolenovsky, Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone to mingle and practice puzzles for the most unique fundraiser in Dallas.


Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone

Jenny Murphey, Amber Neroes and Kathy Touchstone*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

Nicole Small and Erin Nealy Cox*

The 2017 Great Adventure Hunt, presented by Alliance Data and co-chaired by the Smalls, along with Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox, will take place at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on the evening of Saturday, January 28.  Returning to the Perot Museum will be déjà vu for Nicole, who was the Museum’s CEO for 12 years, leading the successful completion of the world-class downtown museum.

Pegasus Bank and Bright & Bright LLP sponsored the Kick-Off Party where the co-chairs made the exciting announcement of the event’s Puzzle Pros sponsored by Lyda Hill. The masterminds behind the Hunt’s fun and challenging puzzles are John Harris, Joe Mannes, Tom Nynas, Kemp Sawers and Bart Showalter. Longtime Hunters will recognize the puzzle gurus, who collectively have either won or placed in the event at least 10 times.

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Kemp Sawers, Joe Mannes, John Harris and Bart Showalter*

Nicole ended the evening by auctioning off three “Train Your Brain” sessions with the Puzzle Pros. Winners will enjoy exclusive, insider tips on solving puzzles for the Hunt over cocktails with the Pros.

The Hunt takes over the Perot Museum for the evening and turns the museum’s five-floors into fun and unexpected puzzle sites. During the Hunt, teams of six players compete against other teams to decipher wacky clues and solve puzzles. From inflatable gorillas and disappearing ink to edible clues, you never know what you will find! Judges tally the scores, and teams who solve the most puzzles correctly in the shortest amount of time receive special prizes and bragging rights.

The event annually raises $300,000 to support ChildCareGroup’s early childhood education programs. For 115 years, ChildCareGroup has been offering high impact, holistic services for vulnerable parents and children. By helping children start kindergarten ready to excel and giving parents the chance to pursue better educations and careers, ChildCareGroup empowers two generations to lift themselves out of poverty.

Since children learn through play, the Great Adventure Hunt allows to the community to give through play. The Hunt is a unique opportunity to have loads of fun while having a significant impact in the community.

Another sell out is anticipated and teams are going fast! Click here for more information or to reserve a team, or contact Kendal Kramer at 215.905.2404 or kkramer@ccgroup.org.

* Photos provided by ChildCareGroup

Dallas City Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates Receives Mosaic Family Services’ 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award

Accidents happen and the MySweetCharity elves with Queenie at the helm experienced one yesterday. Instead of posting coverage of the Mosaic Family Services 7th Annual Gala honoring Dallas City Counilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates, they reposted the September 20th patron party. Well, duh!

So, here is the report from the field about the Thursday, October 20, fundraiser at The Empire Room. Our apologies to all for MSC’s dying brain cells.

Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green*

Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green*

Co-chairs Melissa Green and Elizabeth Weathersby, along with honorary chair Lana Byrne welcomed over 330 attendees to Mosaic Family Services 7th Annual Gala on Thursday, October 20, from 7–11 p.m. at The Empire Room in the Dallas Design District.

Partygoers including Joe Byrne, Camilo Munar, Yujin Heo, Jo Mattison, Bert Smith, Ashley Anderson Smith, Jenny and Matt Ozee, Sue de Mille Minyard and Jim Minyard, Noosia and Scot Sookarow, Vicky and Doug Lattner, Beth Conner, Hannah and Adam Forbes, Sylvia Gutierrez, Le Ta and the Gates clan (JohnGates, Jordan Gates and Jessica and Will Whitsitt) arrived and mingled as they enjoyed cocktails and light bites courtesy of Stock & Barrel. Guests perused the silent auction, curated by auction chair Nusia Sookarow, and enjoyed the casino tables, while DJ Lamont Carlis provided the music.

John Gates and Jennifer Staubach Gates, Jordan Gates, Jessica and Will Whitsitt*

John Gates and Jennifer Staubach Gates, Jordan Gates, Jessica and Will Whitsitt*

As guests were seated for dinner, master of ceremonies Steve Kemble took the stage to welcome everyone. Stock & Barrel’s wood grilled romaine salad with Bartlett pear, Danish blue cheese, garlic croutons and toasted pecan vinaigrette was served family style as co-chairs Elizabeth Weathersby and Melissa Green thanked attendees for their support of the clients served by Mosaic Family Services.

Kemble then introduced Dallas Police Department’s Interim Chief David Pughes for the presentation of the 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award to councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates. Chief Pughes shared his admiration for Gates and the tremendous work she has done on behalf of Dallas’ City Council as the Domestic Violence Taskforce Chair, helping to bridge communication between the Dallas Police Department, the District Attorney’s office, judges and community partners in an effort to end domestic violence in Dallas.

Interim Chief Pughes was followed by Gates’ mother, one of Dallas’ beloved philanthropist and community volunteers, Marianne Staubach. Staubach shared personal stories of Jennifer’s persuasiveness, persistence and compassion for others, which started as a young girl, laying the foundation for the successful woman she is today – wife, mom to two daughters, grandmother to two grandsons, passionate volunteer, registered nurse, Dallas City Councilmember and much more.

Jennifer Staubach Gates, David Pughes and Marianne Staubach*

Jennifer Staubach Gates, David Pughes and Marianne Staubach*

Pughes and Staubach then jointly presented Gates with the 2016 Champion of Human Rights Award. The Champion of Human Rights Award is presented each year to individuals and/or groups who strive to ensure the protection of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. Councilmember Gates has shown remarkable dedication to making a difference in the lives of Dallas residents, particularly survivors of domestic violence. Her extraordinary work with the Domestic Violence Task Force and Public Safety Committee continues to bring awareness to human rights abuses and empowers the clients we serve.

Past award recipients include director and filmmaker Libby Spears; fashion designer Abi Ferrin; Judge Roberto Canas, Jr., presiding judge of Dallas County Criminal Court No. 10; Genesis Women’s Shelter Executive Director Jan Langbein and The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink; Ambassador-At-Large Luis CdeBaca; and local philanthropist/women’s and human rights activist Lauren Embrey.



Kimberly, a survivor of domestic violence and sex trafficking, followed with her personal story. After becoming pregnant by her trafficker, she knew that she wanted a better life for herself and her son. Through Mosaic Family Services, she was able to find counseling, find a place to live, help gaining employment and life-skills guidance. With her son seated nearby, Kimberly was given a standing ovation for her courage to share her story and in celebration of her success.

Stock & Barrel’s family-style dinner continued with harissa honey glazed chicken with Thai basil and mint and kalbi style grilled short rib steaks with watercress salad and crispy shallots, served with goat cheese dumplings with Brussel sprouts petals, grilled corn, green curry and coconut.  Dessert of warm toffee croissant bread pudding with butter caramel cream and salted English toffee followed.

After dinner partygoers hit the dance floor, tried their luck at the casino tables or placed last minute bids in the silent auction. As the evening came to a close, patrons received a take-home treat of a mini-bundt cake donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes, a gift certificate to Stock & Barrel and a gift card from SoulCycle for one free class.

* Photo credits: Bob Manzano and Wesley Holmes

C.C. Young Golf Tournament At Bent Tree Country Club Scored Funding For The Benevolence Fund

While Dallas was getting back to normal after the Red River Rivalry, golfers were hitting the Bent Tree Country Club links on Monday, October 10, to raise funds for the C. C. Young Benevolence Fund. Here’s a report from the field:

On Monday, October 10, C. C. Young hosted its 5th Annual Classic Golf Tournament presented by Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt. Proceeds from the tournament benefited the senior care community’s Benevolence Fund, which serves as a financial safety net and ensures residents always have a place to call home, regardless of their financial position.

Golfers, sponsors and C.C. Young supporters gathered at 10 a.m. for check-in at Bent Tree Country Club and mingled while picking up boxed lunches before the shotgun start, which began promptly at 11 a.m. The Texas-themed day on the course included a photo opportunity at the 14th hole, as well as shots at a hole-in-one on the 5th, 8th, 14th and 17th holes. Prizes included: Golf vacation at French Lick Resort, a set of TaylorMade Rocket Bladez HL Irons 4-AW, a set of Adams Speedline Woods and Irons with bag, and $25,000.

George Linial and Russell Crews*

George Linial and Russell Crews*

Following the day on the course, golfers were welcomed to the awards reception by western-clad cheerleaders and proceeded to bid on silent auction items and enjoy a delicious barbecue buffet.  Participants also tried their hand at a round of blackjack and were entered into a drawing for an Apple Watch and a cash prize.


C. C. Young President and CEO Russell Crews congratulated golfers like Rich Scanlon, George Linial, Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard and talked about C.C. Young’s mission to provide a premier senior living community where each individual can grow in body, mind and spirit, no matter their life’s circumstance or limitations.

Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard*

Gerry Hicks, Keith Wilson, Alex McMaken and David Dillard*

“This tournament is one of our biggest fundraisers throughout the year,” Crews said. “We have made the Top 25 list in Dallas Business Journal’s ‘Top Charity Tournaments’ the past two years thanks to our wonderful sponsors and donors who continue to support us, and because of events like this, we can continue to provide excellent care to seniors in our community.”

Awards were then presented to the winning teams. Ronnie Klein, Chad Dunaway, Mike Oswald and Garrett Perkins of Project Control were announced as the first place winners. Mikel Fears, Matthew Jung, Chase Tucker and Aaron Ellis of Time Warner Cable Business Class came in second place, and third place winners were Rusty Collins, David Hullet, Randy Hunnicut and Alan Magill.

Sponsors of the event included Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, D2 Architecture, Morrison Senior Living, Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors, Time Warner Cable Business Class, CliftonLarsonAllen, Infinity Pharmacy Solutions LLC, Steve Folsom and Park Cities News and The Waters Family.

* Photo credit: Jennifer Griffin

“The Tonight Show’s” Jimmy Fallon Is Being “Cued” Up For The Boys And Girls Club’s Billiard Ball Live Auction

"The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon*

“The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon*

Just last night “The Tonight Show’s” Jimmy Fallon seemed to take special delight in featuring the Dallas Cowboys in his NFL Superlatives segment. Even the most diehard Boys’ fans couldn’t help but giggle. Don’t you just wonder if someone in The Star locker room is gonna present Offensive Lineman Joe Looney with a gerbil?

But as funny as the clips are, there’s nothing quite like being in the audience when Fallon does his shtick live and Billiard Ball Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon and Honorary Co-Chairs Helen and Clint Murchison know that.

Dennis and Laura Moon

Dennis and Laura Moon

Just last night they revealed that they had arranged to have two tickets to “The Tonight Show” added to the Saturday, November 12th Boys and Girls Club of Dallas fundraiser auction.

In addition to taking in the show at 30 Rockefeller Centre, the winners of the package will also have a three-night stay accommodations and roundtrip air transportation.

But even if Fallon has never replaced Carson in your life, there will be so many more items on the auction roster to pick from including exotics trips (Jamaica, Waikiki, Argentina, Sonoma, Los Cabos), entertainment and sports packages and even a customized billiard table from Universal Billiards Inc. And, of course, the evening at the Hilton Anatole will include cocktails, dinner, dancing and games of billiards. So, get your place reserved and practice up on your game or just watch “The Hustler,” “The Color of Money” or a match between Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi.

* Graphic provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas

Come Rain Or Shine, Sunday’s “Change Is Good” Is On

If you believe the weather guessers, lower temperatures and wet stuff are coming to the ‘hood this weekend. It will be nice to have the cooler weather. As for the rain, lawns will appreciate it, but event planners like the Plano Balloon Festival, the 6th Annual 5K “One Run” and Flight of the Monarch Festival may be tapping into their back-up plans.

Just heard from Community Partners of DallasJoanna Clarke about the status of Sunday’s 10th annual Change Is Good. Usually the outdoor/indoor kids’ fest turns Brook Hollow Golf Club into a mini-Six Flags Over Texas complete with mammoth bounce houses and bungee jumping.

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Change Is Good Come Rain Or Shine*

Okay, so maybe the bungee jumping won’t be work in the ballroom, but the CPD team has managed to have a bounce house be bopping in the ballroom. In addition, there will be loads of face painting, sugary delights, games, prizes, music by DJ Bill Cody and the Rad Hatter, who will be making super-duper hats. BTW, both Bill and Rad have been part of the fun since it started ten years ago.

Cellphone photo alert: There will a huge “10” in balloons that will be a perfect spot for a photo of the munchkins.

It will be the perfect way to spend a wet afternoon (3 to 6 p.m.) with the kids just before the Cowboys play the Bears at 7:30. And do try to stay until the end because there’s gonna be a surprise.

So typical of CPD, they’re turning a rainy day into a play day. After all a little “change is good.”

Red Hot Rhythms Had Frontiers of Flight Fundraisers On The Dance Floor And At The Gaming Tables

The Frontiers of Flight Museum organizers knew well that August spelled rising temperatures, so they themed their summer fundraiser Red Hot Rhythms Dance and Casino on Saturday, August 13. It resulted in a hot turnout including Frontiers of Flight Museum President/CEO Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones and her former fellow Red Cross buds Zahara Perez, Betsy Orton, Jess Hall, Mary Ann Vacilek and Jessica and Joshua Dunn. Here’s a report from the field:

Zahara Perez, Betsy Orton, Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, Jess Hall, Mary Vacilek and Jessica and Joshua Dunn*

Zahara Perez, Betsy Orton, Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, Jess Hall, Mary Vacilek and Jessica and Joshua Dunn*

The Frontiers of Flight Museum turned up the heat this summer by hosting one of Dallas’ hottest nights of entertainment at its Red Hot Rhythms Dance and Casino on Saturday, August 13.

Bruce Bleakley, Ellise Pierce and Alma and Mike Jones*

Bruce Bleakley, Ellise Pierce and Alma and Mike Jones*

Red Hot Rhythms, presented by VIP Sponsor Rise, featured musical guest Chinatown, plus an unforgettable Vegas-style party with a variety of casino games including craps, roulette, blackjack and exciting prizes for guests like Pat and Richard Bennett, Bruce Bleakley, Ellise Pierce and Alma and Mike Jones.

Andrea Cathcart and Laura Donahue*

Andrea Cathcart and Laura Donahue*

Chinatown wowed the crowd including Andrea Cathcart, Laura Donahue and Penny and Luis Torres with its state-of-the-art light show which served as the perfect backdrop for this high-energy dance band as they performed music of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today’s hits.

The fundraiser benefit the Frontiers of Flight Museum’s stellar educational and community outreach programs. The Museum is a learning laboratory using aviation and space flight to encourage and promote student excellence in STEM education. In addition, the Museum has over 30 aircraft from the Wright Flyer to the one-of-a-kind Flying Pancake, the Apollo 7 spacecraft, 13 galleries, and over 35,000 historical artifacts on display. The Living History program features the portrayal of historical aviators by Museum volunteer performers who present both on-site and in the community.

The Frontiers of Flight Museum is conveniently located just north of downtown on Lemmon Avenue at the southeast side of Dallas Love Field Airport, north of Mockingbird Lane. Housed in a modern 100,000- square-foot facility, the Museum provides a focal point to explore the history and progress of aviation, as mankind continues to pursue going higher, faster and farther. Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors (65+) $8; Youths/Students (3-17) $7 and children under 3 are free. For more information, visit www.flightmuseum.com.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Billiard Ball

According to 2016 Billiard Ball Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon,

“Since 1965, Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD) has served as the voice and lead advocate for Dallas area youth.  In 2015, as we celebrated our 50th year anniversary, BGCD grew from 14 Club sites to 31 sites, and from providing services to 6,000 youth, to supporting over 7,500.  To celebrate the journey toward fifty more years, we invite you to join us at The Billiard Ball: Solids and Stripes Soiree on Saturday, November 12, at the Hilton Anatole.

2016 Billiard Ball*

2016 Billiard Ball*

“Funds raised by The Billiard Ball will support the development of BGCD’s unique and vital programming, as well as the rapid growth of Club sites located near families and youth that benefit from our services the most.  To help ensure a fabulous evening, we are asking for your support. A fantastic party has been planned featuring a cocktail reception, seated dinner, live auction, dancing to the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra and of course, billiards.

Helen and Clint Murchison III*

Helen and Clint W. Murchison III*

“We are thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful event as this year’s chairmen.  Also, it gives us great pleasure to announce Helen and Clint W. Murchison III as our 2016 Lifetime Achievement Honorees. They have been longtime Boys And Girls Clubs advocates and we are pleased that they continue to help with our mission.

“Joining us in this great cause are Host Committee members Lee Bailey, Donna Bajaj, Lee Baldwin, Ann Hoose, Eric Johnson, Sharon Jones, Maggie Kipp, April and Russ Lambert, Julian Leaver, Barb and Gerald Louviere, Greg Nieberding, Susan and John Piot, Sandy Schwan, Carol Seay, Holly and Jim Trester, Rachel and Chris Trowbridge, Day and George Watson, Kameron and Court Westcott and Katherine Wynne.

“Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas provides after-school, outcome-driven programs for almost 2,200 Dallas youth daily. We need your help as we continue to serve these youth.

“If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Carey at 214.821.2950, Ext. 713 or at rcarey@bgcdallas.org. Also, please visit www.bgcdallas.org for additional information.”

* Graphic and photo provided by Boys And Girls Club of Greater Dallas

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Passport To Spark!

According to Passport to Spark! Honorary Chair and Emcee Scott Murray,

Scott Murray (File photo)

Scott Murray (File photo)

“Finally there is a fundraiser where you get to be a kid while you’re raising money to support creative programming for Kids. This second-annual event is an incredibly fun way for members of the community to support the Spark! mission of igniting creativity in children. The event acts first as a fundraiser and second as a way to raise awareness of how their programs are igniting the spark of creativity inherent in all children.

“Passport to Spark! presented by Gummer Capital Partners will be held on Saturday, November 5, from 7–10 p.m. at Spark! (1409 S. Lamar Street, Suite 004 Dallas) Guests will enjoy an incredible silent auction, live entertainment, themed food, hands-on activities and free play on the 6,000-foot Climb, Crawl, Slide Sculpture. The silent auction will feature unique items made by Spark! artists as well as quality travel items, sports packages, gift cards for lodging, dining, sporting event, cultural events and more.

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

Climb Crawl Slide sculpture*

“Spark! opened its doors in June 2015 and has already served 5,000 children, 53% of whom come from low-income  households. Spark! instructors teach the creative process through a variety of unique activities such as pottery, animation, cartooning, music and more. They’re doing so because research shows that kids who identify as creative have better problem solving skills, higher test scores and an increase in self-esteem.

“Individual tickets for this travel-themed event are $50 and sponsorship packages start at $1,000. Current sponsors include Marsha Clark & Associates. Contact info@sparkdallas.org for more information. Tickets available at www.sparkdallas.org/event/silent-auction.”

* Photo provided by Spark!

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Fantasy Football Draft Night

According to The Warren Center 23rd Annual Fantasy Football Draft Night Chairman Mike Austin,

Mike Austin*

Mike Austin*

“We are excited to raise money for The Warren Center. It has provided over 15,000 families with needed tools, including individualized therapy for their child’s developmental delay, critical information and resources on developmental milestones, and guidance as parents become advocates for their child’s future.

“Former Dallas Cowboys Randy White will serve as our celebrity host and help our guests draft their own Fantasy Football team. This year’s draft night will host a cocktail reception, dinner buffet, live and silent auction, live surprises, Heads or Tails game and opportunity to win Dallas Cowboys 2017-2018 season tickets.

Randy White and Timmy Newsome*

Randy White and Timmy Newsome*

“We hope you will grab your football loving family and friends, and join us for this special night.”

“The 23rd Annual Fantasy Football Draft Night will be held on Friday, August 26, from 6:00pm-10:30pm at the Hotel Intercontinental Dallas (15201 Dallas Parkway Dallas, TX 75001). Table sponsorships begin at $3,000 with underwriting opportunities beginning at $2,500.  For more information, please contact Tara Null at 972.490.9055 or 214.709.8901.

* Photos provided by The Warren Center

yCPD Field Day Had Hershey Kiss Relaying And Booties And Bobble Heads Shaking For Community Partners Of Dallas

Forget camps Longhorn and Waldemar. The summer camp action was at The Rustic on Saturday, May 21, and the campers were of voting age. Leave it to Community Partners of Dallas to take its annual kids-friendly “Change For Good” and create an adult version — yCPD Field Day. Only there were no bounce houses or bungee jumping.

Paige McDaniels and Joanna Clarke

Paige McDaniels and Joanna Clarke

Taking place in the heat and humidity of Saturday, May 21, mist fans were in high roll and icy beverages were just a hand off away. Funny as it may seem, the coolest millennials were gangbusting the are-you-serious activities which were dreamt up by CPD Funmeister Joanna Clarke and Event Chair Sarah Carbonnet. Adding to the off-the-wall antics was KDFW (FOX) meteorologist Jennifer Myers at the mic. (Folks didn’t realize that red-haired Jenny was at the mic-helm. She had doffed her straight auburn wig to let loose her glorious “Annie” red curls and donning Jackie-O shades.)

Jennifer Myers

Jennifer Myers

Another head-turner was the A-Team that may not have won the games, but they sure knew how to pose!

Angela Edgell, Karie Kieffer, Diana Leach, Crystal Lightbody, Bobby Martin and Paige Martin

The A-Team team members Angela Edgell, Karie Kieffer, Diana Leach, Crystal Lightbody, Bobby Martin and Paige Martin

Here’s an eyewitness report from the shenanigans:

As they checked in, the 102 participants shopped the Mystery Bag station, which featured a variety of “mystery” prizes valued at $50 or more. For $25 each, purchasers were surprised with items including Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks tickets; a four course meal for 6 people in your home by The Cuisine Counselor; gift cards to Dallas favorites spots, such as Neiman Marcus, Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano, The PilatesBarre, Trinity Groves and St. Bernard Sports; Fossil Smart Bracelets; and bottles of liquor and wine.

Sarah and Cameron Carbonnet

Sarah and Cameron Carbonnet

Emcee Jennifer welcomed participants before introducing Field Day chair Sarah Charbonnet followed by CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, who thanked all for their support of the 2nd annual event, which is hosted by the organization’s young professional’s group, yCPD. She then shared a recent example of the incredible work CPD does in partnership with Child Protective Services, made possible by the support from the community, including those in attendance.

After Jennifer reviewed the format of the day, the competition began with 17 teams of six competing for the title of “yCPD Field Day Champion.” DJ Andrew Figueroa of Everlasting Sounds provided the vibe as competitors took the field.

Booty Shaking

Booty Shaking

After the initial Qualifying Round, where all teams competed at 10 different games, including, Egg Race, Suck it Up, Wheel Barrow Relay, Booty Shaker, Gatorade Flip Cup, Bobble Head, Hershey Kiss Relay, Face the Cookie, Noodle Toss and Social Media station, scores were tallied to whittle down the field to the top 10 teams. The top 10 teams then competed in a Potato Sack Race to identify the top 5 teams, but the initial race was too close to call between 7 of the 10 teams and so a “sudden death” potato race was conducted in order to confirm the top 5.

Bobble Heading

Bobble Heading

Hershey Kiss Relay

Hershey Kiss Relay

The top 5 teams lined up for a classic field day game – the Three-Legged Race. Teams “Beer Pressure” and “McGuire, Craddock & Strother” took the top two spots for a place in the final.

Beer Pressure Team from the left (front row) Tara Callahan, Brianna Riddell and Katie McDaniel; (back row) Nic Waldron, Kevin Allen and Ron Johnson*

Beer Pressure team members from the left (front row) Tara Callahan, Brianna Riddell and Katie McDaniel; (back row) Nic Waldron, Kevin Allen and Ron Johnson*

Where last year’s final round, Tug of War, showed who had the most brawn, this year’s round, the Obstacle Course, required a different set of skills. The round started with a Brain Teaser, where teams had to solve a word puzzle before moving to the next station. Station 2 called for each team member to leap frog over the other to the 3rd station – Tunnel Crawl. After each member of the team crawled through the tunnel to the other side, the team moved to the final station, which brought back one of last year’s favorite qualifying round activities – Sponge Relay. Both teams rushed to fill up sponges full of soapy water and wring them out in an adjacent bucket, but “McGuire, Craddock & Strother” quickly took the lead and finished well ahead of “Beer Pressure.”

McGuire, Craddock and Strother team from the left (front row) Claire Carroll and Jack Gannon; (back row) Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme*

McGuire, Craddock and Strother team members from the left (front row) Claire Carroll and Jack Gannon; (back row) Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme*

The 2016 winning team (and last year’s champions as well) was McGuire, Craddock & Strother (Claire Carroll, Jack Gannon, Grant Blair, Jon Mitchell, Michael Trecha, Erin Dowell, Clair Gannon and Walt Prudhomme).

Championship prizes for each team member: $50 gift card to The Container Store, a massage at COREhealth Wellness Center, a 2-week pass and swag bag from Orange theory Fitness, 2 class passes from Flywheel Indoor Cycling and trophy.

With the final round complete, all participants stayed for the after party featuring the Rustic’s cocktails and savory fare including double queso, brisket quesadillas, boar meatballs, onion-y rings and French fries.

2nd Annual Field Day sponsors were:

  • Blue Ribbon Winner ($2,500) – Brunswick Group and Apex Clearing;
  • Red Ribbon Runner UP ($1,000) – Orange Theory Fitness, Riveron Consulting and Shackelford;
  • White Ribbon ($500) – Embassy Suites Dallas Park Central, The Hartnett Law Firm, Sarah and Cameron Charbonnet, McGuire Craddock & Strother, Greg Beane Family Law, Premier Transportation and Paige McDaniel and
  • DJ Sponsor – COREhealth Wellness Center.

Despite the heat and humidity, this event was one that proved fundraising is cool.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

10th Annual Change Is Good Is Going To Have Piggy Banks Busting For Community Partners Of Dallas

One of the favorite, extremely family-friendly events is Community Partners of DallasChange Is Good, where kids can be kids and so can their parents. Every year organizers have to coordinate the fundraiser at Brook Hollow with the Dallas Cowboys’ schedule. For those years when The Boys play an afternoon game, TVs are set up throughout the club with dads keeping one eye on the screens and the other on their munchkins, who will be having their faces painted, bungee jumping, playing giant Jenga and Twister, playing in the bounce house and getting major sugar highs on all the goodies.

Bounce house (File photo)

Bounce house (File photo)

Caroline Ballotta, Lindsay and Ray Ballotta and William Ballotta*

Caroline Ballotta, Lindsay and Ray Ballotta and William Ballotta*

This year there will be no need for the split-eyed pops. The 10th annual Change Is Good will take place on Sunday, September 25, from 3 to 6 p.m. and the Cowboys won’t be facing the Bears until 7:30 p.m. Whew!

As for the co-chairs, those duties will be handled by Lindsay and Ray Ballotta and their kids Caroline Ballotta and William Ballotta.

One of the greatest aspects of the event is the opportunity it provides youngsters to learn about fundraising. Young guests are not only encouraged but can compete by “collecting change over the summer by emptying their own piggy banks, going door-to-door, setting up lemonade stands or starting their own online campaigns.” At the event the change is turned in to earn chances to win prizes.

Tickets will go on sale starting Friday, August 26, but sponsorship starting at $550 are available now!

* Photo provided by 
Community Partners of Dallas


Grovel Alert: Recess!

If you were planning on having a second childhood at Dallas Afterschool‘s Recess!, you’d better not take a nap. There are only 25 tickets left for the Friday, April 29th event.



And don’t let all this drizzly weather make you hesitate. It’s gonna be indoors at Sixty Five Hundred with loads of games, “cafeteria food,” music and the legendary “sandbox dig” for luxury goodies. If you haven’t been to this event, you haven’t enjoyed just plain fun.

Honorary Chair Serena Simmons Connelly and Host Committee Chair Cindy Schwartz recommend wearing something casual chic. So give your tuxedos and cocktail dresses the night off.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Afterschool

Despite Predicted Early Easter Showers, Lee Park Pet Parade Is Scheduled To March On At 2 p.m.

Dallas’ leading fashion event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday. And there’ll be some real dogs in the lineup. Yup, it’s the Petropolitan Pooch Parade at Lee Park.

Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy President/CEO Gay Donnell is keeping her eyes on the weather for this 50th anniversary of Easter in Lee Park. According to the latest reports, if “graceful” showers sans hail and the end-of-the-world shenanigans are gonna happen before noon, they’ll take place in the morning which means that the afternoon of activities (Easter Egg Hunt, music and people/pooch watching) will be timed just right from 1 to 4 p.m.

The only caveat is that the temps may be a tad-bit cool, so if that adorable bare-shouldered sundress is demanding an outing better haul out that pale blue or pink pashmina as well.

As for the four-legged critters, all breeds, sexes and ages are welcome to paw their stuff in spring finery, as long as they have a “friendly” attitude. Remember, there is a $10 entry fee and the models should have their humans on a leash…a non-retractable one.

The parade starts at 2 p.m., but you’ll want to get there early to get registered and check out the competition.

JUST IN: 2016 Ebby Award To Be Presented To Leigh Richter And National Council Of Jewish Women Dallas Chapter

Ebby Halliday (File photo)

Ebby Halliday (File photo)

Wednesday, March 9, would have been the late Ebby Halliday’s 105th birthday. And while she won’t be present to celebrate, her spirit and name will continue to inspire other in helping others. That’s why the revealing of the announcement of the Ebby Award winners by Our Friends Place is so timely.

Event Co-Chairs Shanha Goodwyn and Diane M. Hawkins revealed that the Saturday, April 30th Auction And Casino Night at the Omni Dallas Hotel will present the Ebby Award to

  • Leigh Richter, who is “the Senior Vice President of Investment and Retail Services at Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services in Dallas. She has been a champion for women in commercial real estate and the community for several decades. An active member of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women), including being a past board President, Leigh is also a board alum of Dallas Women’s Foundation and Our Friends Place. She has worked at the grass roots level behind the scenes as well as in leadership roles for a number of organizations and continues to work diligently in many arenas on behalf of women.”
  • National Council of Jewish Women Dallas Chapter, which “strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. In 2015, NCJW Dallas volunteers have been on the cutting edge of developing and delivering social service programs with over 9,000 volunteer hours to those most in need in Dallas. Ground-breaking programs NCJW Dallas has initiated over the years include funding of the first social worker in the Dallas County Jail system; HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), a school readiness program for parents of preschool children; and Food + Fit = Fun, a bilingual program that helps low-income parents prepare their children for a healthy lifestyle.”

Created in 2005, the award “recognizes individuals who contribute significant achievements for the advancement of girls and women in North Texas.”

To support this effort that was in keeping with Ebby, the honorary co-chairs will be her longtime friend/President of Ebby Halliday Realtors Mary Frances Burleson and Search Real Fast owners/philanthropists Suzan and Peter Fenner.

Making up the host committee are Heather and Alex Bennett, Mary Burns, Audra and Terrence Chavis, Kimberly and Philip Cormier, Elizabeth Dacus, Scott Dennett, Suzane Erlanson, Baranda Fermin, Shanha and Jordan Goodwyn, Susybelle Gosslee, Carla Gourley, Sara and Robert Hallam, Diane and Curtis Hawkins, Sharon Jett, Laura and David Johnson, Barbara and Brad Kolle, Angela Martin and Sean Baxley, Charles M. Martin Sr., Margaret and David Montemayor, Brandy Patrick, Megan Pharis, Erin and Stephen Pope, Sharon and Jim Pope, Elizabeth Post, Micki and Aaron Seager, Leslie Simmons and Rick Johnson and Cindy Tonnessen.

As of this date, major sponsors include

  • Diamond Sponsor — Ben E. Keith
  • Ruby Sponsor — Search Real Fast/Suzan and Peter Fenner
  • Emerald Sponsor — BDO USA LLP
  • Jade Sponsors — HollyFrontier and The Fab Four

Our Friends Place “is committed to helping young women break the generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness.”

Debbie And Frank Branson Host Kick-Off Party For Parkland Partners Program

While many battled traffic along Central, the Parkland Partners turned off of Turtle Creek Drive onto Debbie and Frank Branson’s driveway for the kick-off of the Parkland Partners. Was it part of the Partners Card program that was presenting a check across town to The Family Place? Nope. This was a different type of partnering.

Carlos Pená, Frankand Debbie Branson and David Krause

Carlos Pená, Frankand Debbie Branson and David Krause

It was the newly created organization that would support Parkland Hospital. And you thought that once the new Parkland was open, the heavy lifting was done. Heavens, no! Now come the days of supporting and growing the mega-facility and its state-of-the-art services.

Holly Pená and Reiner and Gretchen Brasch

Holly Pená and Reiner and Gretchen Brasch

Before the first guest crossed the Branson doorway, Co-Chairs Gretchen and Reiner Brasch and Holly and Carlos Pená had already signed up 94 folks to be partners.

With guests like Carol Seay, Laurie and Phil Evans and Sarah Cotton Nelson gathered in the den, guests learned about the perks of partnership, like being able “to attend exclusive educational and social events for an insider’s perspective on cutting-edge innovations from Parkland that will impact healthcare locally and nationally and opportunities to meet medical experts who are making a difference.”

Wendy Krispin catered dining room table

Wendy Krispin catered dining room table

But there was still more! They’ll be able to support the Second Annual I Play for Parkland on Friday, April 22, at Sixty Five Hundred Cedar Springs, where teams of 10 will play a “unique board game.”

Still another bonus was the Branson dining room that was chock-ful of Wendy Krispin delights.

BTW, 2016 Parkland Partners membership will run from January 1, 2016, thru September 30, 2016. Individuals can join up for $150, and couples can partner up for $300. Membership will include invitations to an education event on Thursday, February 25; I Play for Parkland; and the 2016-2017 education kick-off event in September. Members will be entitled to a $25 discount if they sign up for I Play for Parkland.

ChildCareGroup Nets A Sweet $250,000 Thanks To Its Great Adventure Hunt Orchestrated By Tom Shroder At The Perot

The brainiacs and puzzle-lovers were MIA around town on Saturday, January 23. The reason? They were hunkered down at the Perot Museum for the Great Adventure Hunt and to bring in a net total of $250,00 for ChildCareGroup. Under the supervision of Great Adventure maestro Tom Shroder and ChildCareGroup President/CEO Tori Mannes, this year’s event divvied players like Kit Sawers, Lisa Levy, Diane Colpack, Andrew Gregory, Nicki and Tom Nynas and Amy Tolleson into two divisions. But more about that and the winners of the night in this field report:

Kit Sawers, Lisa Levy and Diane Colpack*

Kit Sawers, Lisa Levy and Diane Colpack*

A night of raising funds to support ChildCareGroup’s early childhood care and education programs doesn’t involve a traditional black tie gala. Instead, on the night of Saturday, January 23, supporters of CCG gathered in teams of six at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science prepared to race through the museum’s 11 exhibit halls searching for clues and solving mind-bending puzzles as part of the nonprofit’s annual Great Adventure Hunt.

Before kicking off the puzzle competition, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in the Lyda Hill Gems & Minerals Hall, where a Hunt Briefing Station and practice puzzles were available for those interested. This year, CCG introduced new rules for the Hunt that involved two levels of competition—Division 1: In It To Win It, and Division 2: Just For Fun—which were explained in detail during a seated dinner following the cocktail hour.

Tori Mannes and Amy Vanderoef*

Tori Mannes and Amy Vanderoef*

Leading guests throughout the evening as emcee was Amy Vanderoef, TV and radio personality best known from her role as a host on WFAA’s “Good Morning Texas.” As a single mother, Vanderoef’s passion for early childhood care and education made her the perfect match for CCG’s Great Adventure Hunt.

After each team received a bag of hints and the first clue was presented on stage, guests took off from their tables in pursuit of more clues and puzzle answers. The puzzles were designed by Tom Shroder, award-winning journalist and former editor of The Washington Post Magazine and author of “Acid Test: LSD Ecstasy and the Power to Heal.” Shroder is known for his creation, along with humorists Dave Barry and Gene Weingarten of the Herald Hunt in Miami and the Post Hunt in Washington.

Lyda Hill, Edward Oglesby and Gladys Kolenovsky*

Lyda Hill, Edward Oglesby and Gladys Kolenovsky*

At this year’s Great Adventure Hunt, Shroder’s puzzles involved unique items such as a large, inflatable globe and a ginormous pair of dice. Another clue at one of the puzzle sites involved volunteers acting out a scene from “Romeo and Juliet.” Nonetheless, there were teams that cracked the clues with ease and others that made use of their golden tickets and easy buttons, which are tools that can be used to receive extra hints in exchange for fees or small penalties.

John Lindgren, Jennifer and Kurt Pankratz, Elizabeth and Bart Showalter and Jeff Becker*

John Lindgren, Jennifer and Kurt Pankratz, Elizabeth and Bart Showalter and Jeff Becker*

Once the time was up and all answers had to be submitted, teams returned to their tables for dessert while anxiously awaiting for the winner to be revealed. After a few prizes were awarded for the most creative name, most uses of the easy button, etc., Baker Botts L.L.P was declared the winning team of the 2016 Great Adventure Hunt.

Having raised a net amount of more than $250,000 at the event, Co-Chairs Christy and Robby Berry, Tessa and Bob Mosteller and Barb and Mike Tonti deemed the Hunt a success. The event was made possible by presenting sponsor Alliance Data, puzzle master sponsor Lyda Hill and kick-off party sponsor Bank of Texas. Other major sponsors included: HFF, M.C. Smith Interests, Pegasus Bank, Springfield Consulting Services LLC, Tolleson Wealth Management and Tonti Properties.

* Photos provided by ChildCareGroup