Sold-Out And Grovel Alerts!: 8th Annual Celebrity Chef

Katherine Krause (File photo)

VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause will be spending her birthday celebrating all day on Wednesday, February 28. It seems that the staff once again scheduled VNA’s 8th Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser at VNA Haggerty Center on her natal day.

The evening event is already sold out and the lunchtime is just seats away from the same status.

Ted and Bess Enloe (File photo)

There are so many reasons why it’s on the verge of being a done deal. In addition to having Mary Frances Bellman and CiCi Weinmann co-chairing the two-in-one day fundraisers, they’ve arranged to have Bess and Ted Enloe as honorary co-chairs.

Still another reason for the swift sell-out and almost sold-out is the featured chefs, who will be doing a cooking demonstration and orchestrating the meals. Yes, it will be a twosome — the husband/wife team of Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza.  

In addition to their recently released “State Bird Provisions” cookbook and industry recognition by the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit to mention a couple, they own two of San Francisco’s top restaurants — Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco.

Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza*

While Stuart honed his cooking skills working for Chicago’s Chef John Hogan at Savarin, Nicole’s specialized in pastry and baking skills under Chicago Chef Nancy Carey at the Red Hen Bakery.

These meals are always fun and eye-opening for the professional chef and the Hello Fresh novice.

Funds raised from the lunching and dining will support VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Charitable Hospice Care programs.

* Photo credit: Ed Anderson

“Farewell Founder’s Luncheon” Celebrates Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Supporters And Launches The Ann Williams Legacy Society

Back in 1996 the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Founder’s Luncheon was the brainchild of DBDT Founder Ann Williams to raise money and to honor “civic and business leaders of Dallas who have impacted Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas arts community.” Over the years, dozens and dozens of people and organizations like The Meadows Foundation, Liz Minyard, Juanita Brown, former first lady Laura Bush, Isabell Cottrell, Target, Nancy Hamon, Helen Giddings, Ruth Altshuler, JC Penney, Annette Strauss and Mary Suhm were honored.

Since Ann’s announced retirement in 2014, changes started taking place. In addition to the departure of two artistic directors, it was decided that funding for the organization should go in a different direction. Instead of the luncheon event going quietly into the night, it was decided to hold a send-off event — “Farewell Founder’s Luncheon” — at which time the new fundraising program would be revealed.

While some might have thought the luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, January 17, would be a boo-hoo occasion, it was full of cheers for Ann and her organization that is “the oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas.”

Michelle Thomas

The day kicked off with a VIP Reception in half of the Grand Ballroom for folks like Michelle Thomas, DBDT Executive Director Zenetta Drew, DBDT Executive Board Member Paulette Turner, past honoree Charley Pride and his wife Rozene Pride  and the day’s honorees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash and Linda Todd. Emcee Clarice Tinsley was juggling duties — reviewing script and accommodating requests for photos with Ann. Due to the day’s chill, guests were checking their coats at the door.

Speaking of coats, those heading to the Imperial Ballroom upstairs for the luncheon were finding the hallway brisk to say the least. It made some of the 650 guests opt to pass up the upstairs coat check.

At the back of the room, tables were set up for selling the DBDT’s 40th anniversary books. At the front of the room was a stage large enough for a performance. Down the center of the room was a 12-foot wide aisle with the head table set for 16 next to the stage.

Devrae Jefferson, Lindzay Duplessis, Kayleigh Eidson, Imani English and Chad Vaught

At 11:50 the VIP Reception was breaking up and the ballroom was starting to fill. Standing near the room’s entrance were five of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore members (Devrae Jefferson, Lindzay Duplessis, Kayleigh Eidson, Imani English and Chad Vaught). When asked if they would be performing at the luncheon, they smiled and said, “No.”

Doug Curtis and Ann Williams

Clarice Tinsley and Lucy Billingsley

Zenetta Drew and Gilbert Gerst

Lelious Johnson

Right on schedule the headtable guests including Ann, Clarice, Zenetta, General Co-Chairs the Rev. Lelious Johnson and Kimberley Runnels, Honorary Co-Chairs Lucy Billingsley and Doug Curtis, DBDT Board Chair Gilbert Gest and the day’s honorees and their spouses Samara Kline, Joseph Nash and Frederick Todd were introduced as they entered the ballroom and took their places at the table.

Kicking things off DBDT Board of Directors Rev. Claude O. Maples told everyone to stand including Mary McDermott Cook, Regina Montoya, Marnie Wildenthal and Patricia Meadows. There was a slight hesitation as guests looked around a bit bewildered, but all complied. Then he instructed all to point to Ann saying, “Ann, you go, girl.” With smiles and laughter, the room full of guests joined in to the delight of Ann.

Clarice revealed that the Chilhuly-styled sculptures serving as centerpieces were available for purchase at $200 a pieces.

Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Allegro Performing Ensemble

Following lunch, the Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Allegro Performing Ensemble arrived on the stage and performed “Mandiba.”

Ann Williams and Linda Todd

Ann Williams and Herdercine Nash

Ann Williams and Andy McCarthy

Samara Kline and Kimberly Runnels

It was then time for the final presentation of the Founder’s Awards by Ann to Andy, Linda and Hercerdine followed by Zenetta’s revealing the creation of the Ann Williams Legacy Society that would be supported by benefactors listing DBDT in their will, trust, retirement plan or life insurance policy. Already on board as Charter Members were Norma and Don Stone, who in 2016 added DBDT to their will. 

Herman Houston III

To conclude the luncheon on just the right note, DBDT Encore member Herman Houston III took the stage dancing to Sam Cooke‘s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

At the conclusion of his performance, Ann Williams received a standing ovation for her vision and dedication.

For more photos of the event, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Farewell Founder’s Luncheon

Ann Williams and Andy McCarthy

Ann Williams and Linda Todd

Ann Williams and Herdercine Nash

Samara Kline and Kimberly Runnels

The “Farewell Founder’s Luncheon” on Wednesday, January 17, at the Hilton Anatole may have closed the chapter for one part of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s fundraising, but it also introduced the next chapter — The Ann Williams Legacy Society.

Dallas Black Dance Academys Allegro Performing Ensemble

And, of course, the event couldn’t just be a sit-down award ceremony. In addition to presenting the final Founder’s Luncheon awards to Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash and Linda Todd, there were also performances by the Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Allegro Performing Ensemble and DBDT Encore member Herman Houston III.

Herman Houston III

While the post is being prepared, check out the guests and dancers at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Jan Rees-Jones To Receive 2018 Partners For Children Award At Community Partners Of Dallas’ 12th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon

Chick Lit Chair Mersina Stubbs is adding to her all-star lineup for the Community Partners of Dallas 12th annual fundraising luncheon on Friday, April 13, at Hilton Anatole. In addition to having Katie Holmes on stage, Nancy Perot as honorary chair and Presenting Sponsors Lara and Bob Tafel, she just revealed that the 2018 Partners For Children Award recipient will be Jan Rees-Jones.

Mersina Stubbs (File photo)

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

According to CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, “We are truly honored to recognize Jan Rees-Jones with our Partners for Children Award this year. Through her work on behalf of The Rees-Jones Foundation, Jan has helped CPD and more importantly the children we serve, in countless ways. As longtime supporters of our emergency resource center for children entering protective care, the Rainbow Room, and as one of the lead donors in our capital campaign, The Rees-Jones Foundation has been with us for every step of our agency’s growth. There is no one more dedicated and committed to this sector of the social services community; The Rees-Jones Foundation is the leader and strongest voice in support of abused and neglected children in the Metroplex. No one is doing more for child protection.”

Having grown up in Richardson, Jan is well aware of the needs of North Texas and has been a driving force in The Rees-Jones Foundation with a focus on “helping children suffering from abuse and neglect and children and youth facing mental health challenges and other disabilities, providing young people with opportunities for enrichment and character development, and promoting the humane treatment of animals.”

The results have been major funding for the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health, the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Rees-Jones Center for Child Protection, and the Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

A graduate of Texas Tech, she is currently serving as co-chair of the National Advisory Board for the Laura W. Bush Institute for women’s Health at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, as well as an honorary member of the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors.

Presented annually to “an individual or an organization that has shown an ongoing commitment to the philanthropic needs of our community and whose years of service meet the needs of abused and neglected children,” past recipients have included The Bitzer and Needleman Families and Peacock Alley, Jill C. Bee, ORIX Foundation, Junior League of Dallas, Lynn McBee, The Container Store, Fidelity Investments, Cheers for Charity, Northwood Woman’s Club, Attorneys Serving the Community and Mersina herself.

Sponsorships and tables are available now, with individual tickets not being available until late March.

No Need To Chill About Thursday’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Because NorthPark Has It Covered Literally

Sure the overnight chills sent some sillies into willies about Thursday’s St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show. In defense of those hand-wringing types who thought the fashion extravaganza for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas would have them feeling like they were in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, they can cancel their 911 calls to their stylists and therapists.

Honorary Chair Nancy Nasher has all bases covered.

Nancy Nasher (File photo)

Kristen Gibbins 9File photo)

According the NorthPark Center Executive Director of Marketing and Strategy Kristen Gibbins, “We have prepared for whatever Texas weather comes our way. Our tent in CenterPark Garden is outfitted with heaters (as well as air-conditioners), so we are able to keep our guests comfortable, no matter what the forecast. 

“Regarding the floor of the tent, it’s elevated from the grass, so we won’t need to worry about the ladies’ high heels getting caught in the grass or getting muddy.  

“We think it will be a slightly chilly, but beautiful day – but perfectly comfortable inside the tent. We look forward to a great event raising funds and awareness in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Dallas!”

Now that the word has been passed, get those reservations for faux eyelashes in place, tendrils elongated and envied looks confirmed. You’re gonna want to be at your usual best for this one.

So there, Mother Nature.

Harper’s Bazaar‘s Avril Graham To Share Spring Fashion Trends At “2nd Annual Room To Grow” In NorthPark’s Neiman Marcus Courtyard

Kim Bannister (File photo)

Jamie Singer (File photo)

Andrea Weber (File photo0

Andrea Nayfa (File photo)

The lineup of nationally known types keeps growing for this spring’s fundraising. Room To Grow Co-Chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Singer and Andrea Weber along with NorthPark Center Chair Andrea Nayfa have arranged to have Harper’s Bazaar Fashion And Beauty Editor Avril Graham to be on the agenda for the Dec My Room fundraiser.

Avril Graham*

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman (File photo)

Avril will be “presenting trending colors of spring fashion trends with NorthPark Ambassador Kim Schlegel Whitman at the luncheon on Wednesday, April 18. Following the seated luncheon and chat, guests will after-party it up on Neiman Marcus NorthPark’s Level Two.

Where is the luncheon going to take place? That’s what separates this lunch from the usual fare. The event will be held in the Neiman Marcus Courtyard, located between Neiman Marcus and the Eiseman Jewels entrance. Talk about a beautifully landscaped setting with its towering trees and artwork.

And speaking about the beauty of the environment, the timing couldn’t be better. It coincides with NorthPark’s Spring At The Park Home And Garden Show that runs from Friday, April 13 to Monday, April 23.

According to Dec My Room – Dallas Director Karen Michlewicz, “We are so grateful to NorthPark Center and to Neiman Marcus for partnering with us to host the second annual ‘Room to Grow’ luncheon and fashion presentation. We look forward to attendees enjoying the latest spring fashions in the beautiful courtyard setting at Neiman Marcus. Most importantly though, we are so appreciative of the community for not only supporting this event, but also recognizing the impact that it has on the children served by Dec My Room.”

If Dec My Room is new on your radar, it was actually established in 2007, when Houstonians Susan Plank and her daughter Kendall Plank learned that a friend’s son would be traveling from Austin to Texas Children’s Hospital for a bone marrow transplant. That was the good news. But the problem was the youngster’s stay would be three weeks away from family and friends. The mom-daughter wanted to do more than a nice floral arrangement or a visit, so their contacted the family to learn about his favorite things. After hitting Target, they had his hospital room “decked” out with University of Texas logo and other “stuff.” His reaction was amazement resulting in hugs for Susan and Kendall. That one act of kindness gave birth to “Dec My Room” for children staying in hospitals.

When “Dec My Room” arrived in Dallas a couple of year ago, the perfect spot for the “healing place for children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time” was Children’s Medical Center. The very first year a half dozen rooms were decorated by volunteers.

It’s a great program to apply your creative juices, so why not volunteer? And don’t forget to get your tickets to the luncheon!

* Photo provided by Dec My Room - Dallas


JUST IN: St. Valentine’s Luncheon And Fashion Show’s NorthPark Runway Fashions And 19 Raffle Packages Revealed For Online Purchase

Kristen Gibbins, Kim Schlegel Whitman, Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez

With the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show less than a week away, Luncheon Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez made news last night at NorthPark’s Bulgari. With Luncheon patrons including KJ Sanger, Jodi Benefiel, Julie Buschman, Andrea and David Nayfa, Kimberly Alexander, Lisa Singleton, Mary and Joe Parker, Heather Randall, Lynn McBee, Lisa Cooley, Kristen Gibbins, Kim Schlegel and two-dimensional photo bomber Gina Lollobrigida surrounded by glorious gems and flutes of adult beverages, the “Team Colo-Go” revealed the NorthPark merchants whose fashions would be on the runway in NorthPark’s tented CenterPark Garden on Thursday, February 8. The Jan Strimple-produced fashion extravaganza will include Canali, CH Carolina Herrera, Elie Tahari, Neiman Marcus, Rebecca Taylor, Roberto Cavalli and Children’s Clothing by Peek Kids.

Raising the gorgeous factor for the models will be the team from Toni and Guy.

Besides this year’s change of locations to NorthPark, Roz and Nancy also revealed that the annual raffle has really ramped up. Unlike years past when the limited number of items could only be purchased at the patron party and luncheon, Raffle Co-Chairs Jenna Alexander, Andrea Nayfa and Lisa Bhattacharya have not only put together 19 pretty remarkable packages, they’ve also made the chances available online!

According to Nancy, “We have packages such as a trip to New York City to visit the Carolina Herrera showroom, a beautiful Lucrecia Waggoner installation art, suites for the Mavericks, Stars and Pink concert, a meet-and-greet with Brooks and Dunn, two tickets to Taylor Swift, a Versace handbag, beautiful jewelry and much more!”

There are various levels of opportunities with Pink Level ($50 ticket), Gold Level ($150) and Platinum Level ($300).

If you can’t make it to the luncheon because the tickets are getting scarce, you can still buy a raffle ticket.

Proceeds from the annual sweetheart event will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas.

JUST IN: Gail And Gerald Turner To Serve As Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society’s Taste • Tour • Explore Series Honorary Co-Chairs

More news has been reported about the upcoming Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s Taste • Tour • Explore series that will include PCHPS Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager at Brook Hollow on Wednesday, April 11, the Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 14, and the Classic Antique Car Show on Saturday, April 21, in Burleson Park.

Gail Turner, Peruna and Gerald Turner (File photo)

PCHPS Chair Lucinda Buford has just revealed that SMU’s First Couple Gail and Gerald Turner will serve as honorary co-chairs for the trifecta that’s being presented by Allie Beth Allman And Associates.

BTW, Tour Chair Jana Paul has also announced that the houses on the tour will include 3925 Potomac Avenue, 3928 University, 3504 Hanover, 4516 North Versailles Avenue, and 3712 Maplewood.

Tickets for the luncheon chaired by Tish Key  are available here.  While the tour tickets will go on sale in March, the car show is free and just in case of rain, Show Co-Chairs Polly and Dan McKeithen have arranged for it to be held on the following Saturday.

MySweet2018Goals: Lisa Cooley

Lisa Cooley (File photo)

According to Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon Co-Chair Lisa Cooley,

“My goal for the new year is to help the American Heart Association to build healthier lives, free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  Heart disease is our nation’s number one killer.  Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death.

“The AHA has a goal to improve cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.  Through national and local grassroots research as well as awareness campaigns and education, I am confident that Go Red Dallas will make an impact in this effort in North Texas.

“In recent years, locally:

  • “31 projects totaling $8.5 million at UT Southwestern were funded
  • “436 schools received healthy educational materials and lesson plans
  • “61,00 newborns received mandatory congenital heart defect screenings

“The campaign’s cornerstone is the Go Red For Women Luncheon that draws more than 1,300 business executives, medical professionals and community leaders to a call for action for the health and wellness of themselves and the women they love.”

JUST IN: Jeannette “The Glass Castle” Walls To Keynote Jonathan’s Place’s 7th Annual “A Chance To Soar Luncheon”

After last year’s gangbuster fundraiser featuring Olympian Simone Biles on stage and Dirk Nowitzki in the audience, Jonathan Place’s 7th Annual A Chance To Soar Luncheon organizers decided they needed bigger digs for the event on Tuesday, April 3.

According to Jonathan’s Place CEO Allicia Graham Frye, “We’ve already sold so many tables that we had to move to a larger venue (Hyatt Regency – Downtown Dallas).”

Allicia Graham Frye (File photo)

Jeannette Walls*

There are loads of reasons for the early sales success. First of all, author of best-seller “The Glass Castle”’s Jeannette Walls will be the keynote speaker. Just this past August, Jeannette’s story made it to the big screen starring Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and Brie Larson.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Robyn Gould and Linda Wimberly chairing the fundraiser. They’ve even managed to have Shannon and Ted Skokos as honorary co-chairs as well as their foundation — The Ted and Shannon Skokos Foundation — as the presenting sponsor.

Other sponsors include:

  • Speaker Sponsor: Rachel and Brad Stephens
  • Hero Sponsors: American Airlines, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Jennifer and John Gates, Propac Agency, Hyatt Regency Dallas and Bob Mohr

Those sponsors and $2,500-table purchasers and above will not only be able to attend the pre-luncheon reception with Jeannette but also an invitation-only patron party on Tuesday, February 6.

Proceeds from the event will support Jonathan’s Place to provide “a safe place, loving home and promising future for abused and neglected children, teens and young adults.”

So, if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, get your tickets now.

* Photo provided by Jonathan's Place

MySweet2018Goals: Dyann Skelton

According to Art in Bloom 2018 chairman Dyann Skelton,

Dyann Skelton (File photo)

“One of my goals for 2018 is for the community to join me, alongside Honorary Co-Chair Barbara and Steve Durham, for the Dallas Museum of Art League’s annual fundraiser, Art in Bloom: Power of Flowers on Monday, March 26, at 10:00 a.m. Held at the Museum, this year’s event will feature Michael De Feo, New York City-based artist best known in the street art movement for his iconic flower images around the world under the moniker the ‘Flower Guy,’ as our presentation speaker. 

Barbara and Steve Durham (File photo)

“Event highlights will include a reception, presentation by Michael, seated luncheon, silent auction and live auction. Proceeds support the Dallas Museum of Art’s education programs First Tuesdays and Teen Tours, as well as the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund. Additionally, Flowers – An Exhibition returns for the second year and will feature unique display of floral arrangements created by local designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition will open on Friday, March 23, for Patron Party attendees and will be on view to all DMA visitors Saturday, March 24, thru Monday, March 26, in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries. 

Michael De Feo*

“Patron tickets begin at $500 and sponsorships begin at $2,500. I hope everyone will purchase their tickets or sponsorships by Thursday, February 15, in order to receive a special invitation for a fabulous event on Thursday, February 22, at Stanley Korshak, called “Party for the Paintings,” where attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to view two framed original works by Michael De Feo that he has graciously donated for the live auction and raffle. 

“We are so are so appreciative of Stanley Korshak for hosting this event, which will be the only opportunity for our supporters to see these two donated works in person. 

“In addition, all patron ticket holders and sponsors will receive an invitation to the Patron Party on Friday, March 23, which will include dancers, special entertainment and amazing cuisine as well as the floral arrangement exhibition.  

“It is a very exciting year for Art in Bloom as we raise important funds for the DMA’s education programs, as well as the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund. I hope you will join me!

“To purchase tickets, tables, sponsorships or raffle tickets for Art in Bloom: Power of Flowers, contact Edwina Gonzalez at the DMA’s Office of Special Events at 214.922.1800, or visit the Art In Bloom webpage at”

Baylor Health Care System Foundation Meeting Gets To The Heart Of The Matter

You might say the Tuesday, December 12, meeting of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation was an affair of the heart. That’s because the featured speakers were Dr. Shelley A. Hall—chief of transplant cardiology and mechanical circulatory support and heart failure for Baylor Scott And White Health—along with one of Baylor’s best-known heart-transplant recipients. But, more on that later.

Kristen Hinton and Kristi Sherill*

Christi Urschel and Tucker Enthoven*

Susan McSherry and Tavia Hunt*

While the foundation board chair, Norm Bagwell, was unavoidably absent, there was the usual robust turnout for the quarterly luncheon at the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. Among those attending were Erle Nye, Julie Turner, Richard Holt, Tucker Enthoven, Pierce Allman, Kathy Crow, Kristen Hinton, Barry Andrews, Margo Goodwin, Keenan Delaney, Nancy Dedman, Tavia Hunt, Tom Dunning, Christi Urschel, Ken Schnitzer, Shannon Skokos and Michal Powell. Following the welcome by foundation President Rowland K. Robinson, Michal and Pat McEvoy were announced as co-chairs of the 2018 Celebrating Women luncheon—with Shelle Sills serving as underwriting chair—before Michal delivered the invocation.

Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board luncheon*

Keenan Delaney*

Kathy Crow and Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt*

Then it was time for Susan McSherry to update the guests on foundation business. Susan reported that the 16th annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament had raised more than $350,000, and that 2017’s Celebrating Women Luncheon with actress Jamie Lee Curtis had raked in more than $1.8 million. Meantime, board giving for the year was sitting at 36 percent, Susan said, adding, “I know we can do better than that!”

Robin took the podium next and noted the sad recent passings of Al Hill Jr. and Ruth Altshuler, both good friends of the Baylor system. He also gave a shout-out to luncheon guest Dr. Bob Gunby Jr., who in November had delivered the first baby born in the U.S. to a mother who’d received a uterus transplant. Both the birth and the transplant took place at Baylor University Medical Center.

Shelley Hall*

Robin then introduced Hall, who is nationally recognized in the heart transplant community. The Cape Cod, Massachusetts, native participates in multiple trials, both national and international, and has created a leading clinical program here. She focuses on “advanced heart failure” in the sickest patients, she said, and gets involved when the heart’s not doing its job: “I’m the doctor you don’t want to see.”

Baylor Scott And White Health’s heart transplant program is the biggest in Texas, Hall said, though there is “still a severe donor shortage.” In 2016 53 Baylor patients were assisted by the ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) system—one of the big heart/lung bypass machines was on display at the front of the room—and more than 100 patients were being helped by some sort of ventricular assist device, she added.

Tim and Terry Gallagher, Rowland Robinson and Shelley Hall*

With that Hall brought up Terry and Tim Gallagher, who together told how Tim had been the 100th recipient of a successful heart transplant at Baylor Scott And White during 2014. Tim, who owns a successful toll-tag company in Dallas, recalled that, in late November of that year, he was feeling good, having just dropped 25 pounds to be “the fittest I’d been in 20 years.”

But then, working out at his home gym, he suffered a type of heart attack so severe it’s referred to as “the widow-maker.”

“I felt fatigued,” Tim remembered at the luncheon. “I laid back on the bed and felt pressure on my chest. I called my wife.” Added Terri: “He said, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack!’ Our son Greyson called 9-1-1. We heard a scream. [Tim] was passed out on the floor.”

Tim Gallagher, Rowland Robinson and Terry Gallagher*

The left ventricle in his heart was so completely blocked, Tim easily could have died that day. Instead, he was transported for some extraordinary care to Baylor University Medical Center. There, he was hooked up to an ECMO machine and, eventually, placed on the transplant list with “1A” status. The “1A” meant he probably wouldn’t survive more than a week without receiving a heart transplant.

The very next day after his name was placed on the list, “I got a call telling us we had a donor,” Terri said, her eyes welling up with tears at the memory. The transplant operation was successfully performed on Dec. 22.

On April 21—more than three years after the 2014 surgery—the Gallaghers will serve as co-chairs and gala chair for the American Heart Association Dallas’ 2018 Dallas Côtes du Coeur event series, the nation’s largest Heart Ball. “Statistically,” Tim summed up poignantly as the quarterly meeting drew to a close, “I think I’m a miracle.”

* Photo provided by Baylor Health Care System Foundation

JUST IN: After-School All-Stars North Texas Hits A Home Run With 2017 World Series MVP Jose Altuve For Third Annual Rising Stars Luncheon

While this spring’s nonprofit events seemed to be ladies-only when it comes to celebrity draws (Kristin Chenoweth, Katie Holmes, Chrissy Metz, Hilary Swank, etc.), it’s not the case. The After-School All-Stars North TexasThird Annual Rising Stars Luncheon that was such a hit last year with Dak Prescott has scored another super-duper athlete — Jose Altuve!

Jose Altuve*

Please, oh, please, don’t let anyone know that you haven’t heard of him. That’s like saying you haven’t heard of Dak!

Just this past year Houston Astros second baseman Jose was named both the 2017 World Series Champion MVP, AP Male Athlete of the Year, the Hank Aaron Award and Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.  

The shortest active player in the Major League Baseball standing at 5’6”, his journey to greatest almost didn’t happen. In 2007 when he was just 16, he tried out for the Houston Astros in his hometown of Maracay, the scouts initially decided to take a pass on his participation. Why? He was too short and lied about his age. But thanks to his father’s encouragement, he returned the next day with his birth certificate in hand. Eventually, he got his chance to show his stuff and it was so impressive, they signed him up as an undrafted free agent.

As for the rest of the story, Jose will share it at the ASAS luncheon on Wednesday, March 28, at Northwood Country Club.

Chairing the event will be a trio of father-son teams — David Bland with son Adam Bland, Brad Reeves with son Cole Reeves and Logan Stout with twin sons Miles Stout and Cooper Stout.

According to ASAS Board Chair Ben Lange, “We are incredibly excited to hear Jose Altuve’s personal story about how he overcame obstacles to achieve success today. We know this luncheon will help ASAS North Texas reach even more students with a safe place to go after school.”

This lunch will be a biggie. Like last year, don’t be surprised if parents get their kids out of school to attend, listen and be inspired by both Jose and the ASAS program.

Working with middle school students in Dallas, “they have grown to serve more than 650 students this year with a safe place to go during the ‘danger zone’ hours of 3-6 p.m. Every day, ASAS studenst receive a healthy snack, targeted tutoring or homework time, and enrichment clubs like robotics, basketball, fashion design, lacrosse and cooking.”

Don’t strike out and get your sponsorships/tickets now!

* Photo provided by After-School All-Stars

MySweet2018Goals: Mersina Stubbs

According to Chick Lit Luncheon 2018 Chair Mersina Stubbs,

Mersina Stubbs (File photo)

Lara and Robert Tafel (File photo)

“One of my goals for 2018 is to raise important funds for Community Partners of Dallas, and the abused and neglected children we serve, by having record-breaking support for the 12th annual Chick Lit Luncheon presented by Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel!

“I hope the community will join Honorary Chair Nancy Perot and me for this year’s luncheon, which will be held on Friday, April 13, at the Hilton Anatole. We are most excited that Katie Holmes, known for her work in films and television and on Broadway, will be our featured speaker.  

Nancy Perot (File photo)

Katie Holmes*

“The Chick Lit Luncheon will include a wine reception followed by a seated luncheon and remarks by Ms. Holmes. Tables begin at $2,500 and are on sale now; individual tickets will go on sale in early April if space permits. For more information, visit

“We are expecting a sell-out event, so buy your table now!”

* Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images