2018 Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon To Honor Founder Ann Williams As Awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash And Linda Todd

Back in 1996 Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann M. Williams wanted a fundraising event to support the organization’s community outreach and education programs in the area including dance classes, workshop and lecture-demonstration for students. She also wanted to recognize “civic and business leaders of Dallas who have impacted Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas arts community.” Her supporters came up with the perfect solution — the Annual Founder’s Award Luncheon

Thanks to the support of such sponsors like Presenting Sponsor Chase, the event became the major community fundraiser for the “oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas,” that was established in 1976.

But the upcoming fundraiser on Wednesday, January 17, at the Hilton Anatole has been renamed the 2018 Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon. The reason is that it will be the last one. It’s time to launch a new “initiative.”

But the luncheon will be far from a boo-hoo occasion. It will be a celebration highlighting “the legacy and extraordinary service of Ms. Williams, to Dallas and the field of dance,”as well honoring the 2018 awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash and Linda Todd

Doug Curtis, Lucy Billingsley and Ann Williams*

Joining Event Co-Chairs Kimberley Runnels and the Rev. Lelious Johnson will be Honorary Co-Chairs Lucy Billingsley and Doug Curtis.

With this finale luncheon just a few weeks away, better lock down your reservations pronto. Plans for the fundraiser’s replacement will be revealed at the meal.

* Photo credit: Derrick Waiters

32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Carried On Despite Coinciding With Veterans Day Parade And A Couple Of Hiccups

When the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Dallas scheduled its  32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon for Friday, November 10, at the Hyatt Regency, it was all systems-go without a hitch in sight.

However, just weeks before the big award presentation the Veterans Day Parade leadership announced that instead of holding the parade on Veterans Day (Saturday, November 11), it would be held the day before (aka Friday, November 10). Still that shouldn’t have been a problem. But then the route was presented with the starting point across the Reunion Boulevard from the Hyatt in Reunion Park. To add pepper to the mix, the parade’s start time coincided with the arrival of the philanthropists for lunch.

But wait! It got more tangled up. Like the date and place being on the calendar for months for the awards luncheon, so was Scott Murray. It was a no brainer, since Scott and his company Murray Media have been heavily involved with the program for years. But for Scott it was going to be a busy weekend because he had promised to be part of the parade that he thought would be on Saturday. Then when the parade was literally moved to Friday, Scott had a bit of a predicament — How to be in two places at the same time? But the parade organizers promised him that his part in the parade would be over by the time he was needed at the luncheon and they would get him there.

Whew!

Micah Pinson

While Scott was with the vets parading, the pre-luncheon reception carried on with a cute red-haired chap charming one and all. It was 13-year-old Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy Micah Pinson. He was right at home with people like Gae Whitener, Karen Waller, Jay McCauley, Deborah Montonen, Doug Hawthorne, Brent Christopher, Katherine Krausse, Chris Culak, Kathleen Gibson, fellow awardees like Outstanding Philanthropists Sandra and Henry Estess, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Lynn McBee, Outstanding Foundation representatives Julie and Ken Hersh, Outstanding Fundraising Executive Pagett Gosslee and the Terry Simmons family (Karen, Jordan, Adam and Shannon Simmons) on hand to receive the Special Recognition Award for the late attorney.

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Mica Pinson, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Becky Sykes

Doug Hawthorne

Katherine Wagner

Following a group photo, the VIP types joined the rest of the guests like Jamie Williams, Katherine Wagner, Frank Risch, Becky Bright, Kit Sawers, Mimi Sterling, Jody Grant and Michael George, in the Landmark Ballroom. However, a couple of the folks were doing the swivel head searching the room. Kevin Hurst was looking for Neiman’s President/CEO Karen Katz. He was hoping that her busy schedule would allow her to accept the award for the Outstanding Corporation. No problem. Karen was there along with NM Downtown GM Tim Adair.

Tim Adair, Karen Katz and Kevin Hurst

Doug Murray and Carole and Scott Murray

On the other hand, Carole Murray, as well as National

Philanthropy Day Chair Meagan Burton, was trying to find out what Scott’s status was. Just minutes before the noon start, Scott arrived looking like a kid who had the time of his life. He explained that despite the Veterans Day program had run longer than planned, the organizers assured him that they would get him to the Hyatt on time. And they did complete with Scott being driven through the crowds with a police escort complete with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

Following the presentation of the flags, Donte Ford’s providing the invocation, luncheon and remarks by Greater Dallas Chapter AFP President Mary Freeman and South Texas Money Management CEO/Chief Investment Officer Jeanie Wyatt, AFP International Interim President/CEO Jason Lee admitted that due to the recent hurricanes there was a concern about donor fatigue?” His answer was positive — Despite the division within the country, philanthropy is something that can bring all together.

Then it was time for the presentation of awards in which the recipient tape their acceptance speeches ahead of time, so there are no “I’m going to go off script” hiccups.

However, there were hiccups. When Scott introduced the video for Sandra and Henry Estess, all eyes turned to the mammoth screens. Nothing happened. And nothing continued to happen, except Scott’s looking back at the production table. Finally, the video appeared.

The rest of the videos went up perfectly until 1:11 p.m. when foster mother and past Philanthropy Day Chair Pagett Gosslee’s video was to be shown for the Outstanding Fundraising Executive. Instead of the attractive brunette, it was red-haired Micah on the screen. Scott could be heard telling the production table that they had the wrong one showing. The screen went dark and immediately Pagett was accepting her award.

Next up was Micah, who had been born without three finders and had become a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital at the age of six. The next year he decided he launched “Helping Hands One Step At A Time” to give back.

After he received his award, Scott asked him what he wanted to be when he was older. Micah didn’t hesitate. He wanted to be a sport agent because he “likes people and want to make money.” When asked who was his hero, Micah said, “My Dad. He’s always been there for me.” With a little nudging from Scott, Micah added that he liked his mom, too.

Scott then told Micah that he was going to have him on “The Scott Murray Show” the following Sunday on KLIF.

For a look at more of the people at the luncheon, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Caroline Kraddick Shares Her Personal Journey Into Philanthropy At Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon

Since Kidd Kraddick‘s death in 2013, his daughter Caroline Kraddick has carried on his legacy of helping children with life-threatening and altering challenges. On Thursday, November 9, Caroline shared her journey at the Morgan Stanley Annual Women’s Luncheon. Here’s a report from the field:

On Thursday, November 9, about 50 of Dallas’ most philanthropic women attended an intimate luncheon hosted by Morgan Stanley at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. The women gathered together to hear how Caroline Kraddick is growing out of the shadow of her father and into her own.  As “Chief Happiness Officer” of Kidd’s Kids, she is determined to grow the family legacy of hope and happiness which her Dad, the late Kidd Kraddick started over 25 years ago. 

Melanie Schnoll Begun, Caroline Kraddick, Christine Ashmore and Sallie Behnke*

Melanie Schnoll Begun, head of Stanley Morgan’s Philanthropic Management, interviewed Caroline over lunch on a number of topics including Caroline’s new efforts to create more awareness and raise more funding to expand Kidd’s Kids programming, including her signature Teen Trip that was added to the list of offerings this year.

Caroline is the original, “Kidd’s Kid.” Her parents were told she was likely to be born with disabilities, so her dad made a deal with God! She was born healthy, and the mission of Kidd’s Kids to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions was born with her.

Caroline grew up around the Kidd’s Kids families and when her dad, passed away unexpectedly in 2013, she began a very personal journey. After a year of mourning, making music and soul searching, Caroline found her calling and returned to Dallas as the driving force and voice of the foundation, Caroline wants to spread the word about Kidd’s Kids to the world.

As the centerpiece of the foundation, Kidd’s Kids provides an all-expense-paid trip for approximately 50 children and their families to Walt Disney World® in Florida each year. For many families that have children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions, this becomes the trip of their lifetime.

The lively discussion continued with Caroline sharing her personal goals and using her voice (literally with her passion for singing!) for the future growth. Caroline hopes with more donations in the future, she can increase the number of families to take to Disney World. She also started a signature Teen Trip to Florida earlier this year by partnering with Give Kids the World; teens battling life-altering conditions continue to need hope and happiness too! Overall, Caroline’s stories inspired the room full of women who are ready to make a bigger impact in our philanthropic community.

Courtenay DeHoff and Amy Vanderoef*

Jo-Ann Saunders and Celia Saunders*

Among the luncheon crowd were Kellie Rasberry, Amy Vanderoef, Jo-Ann Saunders, Celia Saunders, Christine Ashmore, Sallie Behnke, Jocelyn White, Courtenay DeHoff, Alex Cohen and Carol Charette.

Ways to help this holiday season: Text KIDD to 52000 anytime to donate $10.

Buy your tickets to Enchant Christmas https://enchantchristmas.com enter Promo Code KIDD in the upper right hand box on the ticket purchase page for a portion of ticket and skate rental proceeds to support Kidd’s Kids.

To get involved and get or more information on how to support Kidd’s Kids, please go to www.kiddskids.com

* Photo provided by Morgan Stanley

Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence In Community Services Recipients Displayed Insight And Graciousness In Accepting Their Honors

While the Dallas Historical Society‘s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Community Services crowds gathered outside the Fairmont’s International Ballroom, the VIPs and 2017 Awardees attended a private reception in the Venetian Room on Thursday, November 9. For some it was a great opportunity for people whose paths had never crossed to meet up.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

For instance, historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was almost giddy meeting former Police Chief David Brown. Speaking of David, he reported that due to his ABC contract, he was splitting his time between Dallas and New York City… Across the way, Laurie Evans was doing the swivel head looking for her husband Dr. Phil Evans to arrive. She knew he would be there, but when? … Already on the scene were past Award recipients Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were there to celebrate Kern’s brother Hobson Wildenthal’s being recognized for his work in education…. Patricia Meadows reported that the family home in the State Thomas neighborhood was on the market… and others like Joan and Alan Walne, Mary McDermott Cook, Louise Caldwell, Diane Bumpas, Caro Stalcup, Mary Suhm, Creative Arts Awardee Carolyn Brown, Arts Leadership Awardees Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller and Sports Leadership Awardee Tony Dorsett with his wife Janet Dorsett.

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans

 

Just moments before the chimes called the group to the luncheon, Laurie was relieved to see her husband arrive with a big smile. Seems he had gotten an early Christmas gift — a million-dollar grant —from an “anonymous” donor. That’s a pretty darn good excuse for a delayed arrival.

The ballroom was filled to the max, as people like Jill Bernstein, Sandi Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Gail Thomas and Lee Cullum took their seats. At 11:50 a.m., Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas called the group to order. Following an invocation by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Rev. Chris Girata, Stewart introduced Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, who welcomed the group. They were followed by Dallas Historical Society Chair Bill Helmbrecht, who officially thanked all for attending and supporting the society.

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

All of this was done within six minutes! Promptly at high noon, Stewart reported that the program would continue in a few minutes and guests should settle back for lunch. Missing in action was table host Bobby Lyle, who was under the weather, but his table was filled with Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean… Arriving just after luncheon was underway was Shirley Miller.

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

At 12:25 p.m. Stewart was back at the podium and invited the award recipients to take their places in chairs on the stage.

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

  • Hobson Wildenthal for Education — The University of Texas at Dallas Executive VP recalled how 50 years ago TI was created and the UTD resulted. 157 National Merit Scholars were in this year’s freshman class and it was designated as the Best U.S. College less than 50 years old. He finished saying, “Margaret McDermott is the queen of Dallas.”
  • Steve Pounders for Health/Science — The internist told how in 1981 he was just starting his care and discovered a disease that was affecting young men that would late become known as AIDs. It would become his life’s calling resulting in his serving as the primary physician for men in the Dallas Buyers Club. He thanked Veletta Lill, Resource Center’s Cece Cox and his spouse James O’Reilly.
  • Willis Winters for History — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director gave thanks for the recent passage of the bond: “One of the first projects will be the restoration of the Hall of State.”
  • Jorge Baldor for Philanthropy — The Cuban-born businessman acknowledged that 800,000 have been the recipients of DACA and encouraged audience members to support the Dream Act. He went on to thank the event and kitchen staffs and finished by reporting that several hundred students are living under bridges and still going to school.

Then the most poignant moment came unexpectedly. It was when former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett accepted his award for sports. He admitted that he was a little taken aback by the people, and went on to recognize the late Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, who made Tony understand that things were going to be tougher in the NFL. Landry held Tony back and it taught the young football player patience.  Tony went on, saying, “I was always told that I was too small, time and time again.” Through effort and determination, he was able to play in the NFL for 13 years.  

Looking at the other recipients seated on stage, he went on to saying “These are fantastic and incredible people up here.”

He thanked his wife Janet saying, “What I’m going through is tough, and she puts up with me. It can be really difficult and she understands that that’s not the real me. This is tough.”

Having gone beyond his two-minute limit, Janet was seen quietly approaching the side of the stage. Tony heard her say, “Tony,” and he took note and sat down.

Moments later David Brown took his place at the podium to accept the Jubilee History Maker Award. He could have easily sucked the air out of the room for his leadership for the July 7 tragedy. Instead, David rallied the audience to give Tony another round of appreciation. The applause was deafening for both Tony and David’s act of graciousness.

David went to tell how his father hadn’t wanted him to be “a cop.” But on the day when he was made a lieutenant at the Hall of State, he had what would be the last conversation with his father, who said “You were right in your choice.”

Then David went further back in his history, telling how in fourth grade, he had played Captain George Ludwig von Trapp in the “Sound of Music.” The students had to do more than learn their roles. They had to research the backstory of the musical. Today he had become nostalgic when seeing the white flowers on the tables and hearing the musician play “Edelweiss” — the last song Richard Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein.

Tying it all together, he said, “Remember who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat each other.” Then he voiced disappointment at the lack of participation in the recent election.

At 1:14 p.m., Bill Helmbrecht returned to the stage and invited all to take part in the annual A.C. Greene Toast.

For more pictures of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Awards For Excellence In Community Service

This year’s Awards for Excellence in Community Services on Thursday, November 9, at the Fairmont was a true gathering of greats in all fields. From the pre-luncheon reception for the recipients to the presentation of the awards, the Dallas Historical Society fundraiser showcased those who have contributed to the betterment of the area.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

At one point in the program, former Dallas Police Chief David Brown proved just why he had been selected for the Jubilee History Maker.

While the post is being prepared, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Soared With Awards And Former Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison At Women Of Distinction Luncheon

Just days before the Boy Scouts opened their campfires to include girls. That shot over the Girl Scouts’ heads may have shuddered the higher ups, but the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas hardly took notice. They were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon and future plans for their organization.

Led by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Barkowski, they were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon on Friday, November 3, at the Omni Dallas and the vision of their organization.

Marianne Staubach, Linda Perryman Evans and Sarah Losinger

By 11:30, the Trinity Ballroom was already filled with Jan Hegi, Margo Goodwin, Connie O’Neill, Tom Campbell, Linda Perryman Evans, David Martineau, Marianne Staubach, Sarah Losinger, Becky Bowen, Tracy Lange and the Cooley ladies (Lisa, Ciara and Bela). Just minutes later a big voice signaled it was time to fill seats that had boxes of Girl Scout cookies as gifts from Marianne and Roger Staubach. Being dutiful types, they followed orders, so Event Co-Chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer could take their places at the podium to welcome the guests with a dozen of uniformed girls representing all segments of the program standing behind them.

Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing with the Scouts

They were followed by emcee Clarice Tinsley, who asked all in the room who had any connections with the organization to raise their hands. Up went 85% of the room.

Jennifer Bartkowski, Shelly Goel, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Emma Rose Shore, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkoski, Todd Williams, Kit Addelman and Clarise Tinsley

She was joined at the podium by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Ambassador Brynna Boyd to co-anchor, but first they had to have a selfie. Clarice thanked various sponsors like AT&T, Lyda Hill and Nancy Ann Hunt. She was then joined on stage by Jennifer and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Chair Kit Addleman, who helped her present the following awards:

  • Young Women of Distinction Award — Shelly Goel and Emma Rose Shore
  • Man Enough to Be A Girl Scout Award — Todd Williams
  • Women of Distinction Award — Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca

Jennifer Bartkowski, Sara Martineau, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Jennifer Bartkowski, Nina Vaca, Kit Addelman and Clarice Tinsley

Following a video focusing on the Girl Scouts program like the STEM Center of Excellence, Jennifer told the group that girls are the largest untapped resource in the country. She explained the formula for female leadership involved four factors:

  • Girl Potential
  • Girl Scouts leadership
  • STEM programming
  • Caring adults

Describing the Girls Scouts program in Dallas as ground zero thanks to the STEM Center, the plan calls for 2.5M girls to be a part of the STEM program by 2025. Thanks to the support of the community, 4,000 girls will be able to utilize STEM.

When the question of how to make sure every girl can have access to the Girl Scouts opportunities, Jennifer looked out at the crowd and said that if each guest gave $100, it would result in $500,000 to support the Girl Scouts mission.

Just before breaking for lunch, Clarice reported that the day’s goal would be revealed on the thermometer appearing on the room’s four screens.

During lunch, Scouts with sacks collected donation envelopes.

At 12:27, Angela Ross  introduced a video on STEM. When the lights came up Brynna was back at the podium to introduce keynote speaker Dr. Mae Jemison, “the first woman of color to go into space.”

Brynna Boyd

Angela Ross

Immediately Mae group hugged the guests by reporting that she had recently been made an honorary Girl Scouts for Life. She then told the generations of gals that in future dealings “make sure you have a position at the table.”

Mae Jemison

Recalling her youth in the 1960s, it was a time when everyone was being able to participate thanks to civil rights, women’s rights, etc. People wanted to put Mae in a box. Would she be a creative type or a scientist?

Back in those days no one considered that a person…let along a woman could be both. In her love of both the creative and scientific worlds, she took an Alvin Alley poster on her flight into space.

In hindsight, she learned — “I think, I wonder, I understand.”

Currently working on the 100 Year Starship, Mae admitted that in today’s world, “We are living with things that were developed in the 50s and 60s like lasers, genetic research, etc.”

She left the room of women and men with a sobering note. According to a report in the New York Times, in a Google search, parents Google two times as much “Is my son a genius?” and “Is my son slow?” On the other hand, parents searched the following questions about their daughters: “Is my daughter fat?” and “Is my daughter ugly?” 

Mae’s response was that parents “have to support their girls.”

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon Plans Revealed By Chair Lisa Singleton At Eiseman Jewels

Nobody at Eiseman Jewels seemed to notice that ¾ moon hovering over NorthPark, Zeke Elliott’s legal woes or even the World Series on Wednesday, November 1. They were there to celebrate plans for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary‘s 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Marvin and Lisa Singleton, Margot Perot and Betsy and Richard Eiseman

As Eiseman proprietor Richard Eiseman took a knee upon seeing the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary founder Margot Perot, he quickly offered the knee recognition to his wife Betsy Eiseman.

Candace Winslow and Nikki Webb

Joyce Fox

In another part of the showroom were Joanna Clarke, Nikki Webb and Candace Winslow. It would later be discovered to the wine-flute sipping crowd including SAWA President Betsy Willis, Ramona Jones, Barbara Sypult, Joyce Fox and Kim and Greg Hext, that Nikki and Candace would be joined by Kim Quinn and Merry Wyatt for underwriting efforts for the annual Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018  Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Meyerson on Wednesday, May 9.

Barbara Sypult, Marvin Singleton, Margot Perot and Ramona Jones

As an incentive to rally the troops, Major Barbara Rich reported that last May’s fashion extravaganza had just barely missed its goal of $1M.  

Needless to say, SAWA Fashion Show Chair Lisa Singleton didn’t drop a note and warned the group that she and fashion show producer Jan Strimple would be checking closets for gently used clothes for the fundraiser.

Jan Strimple

Anne Davidson

Immediately Presenting Sponsor Anne Davidson announced that Lisa and Jan were editing her closet the upcoming weekend.

2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Is Presented With The Former Chair Bracelet

The makeup from Halloween’s haunting had hardly been scrubbed off than news of 2017’s final fundraising push as underway. Over at the Dallas Country Club Founder’s Room, the Callier Center’s Callier Care Luncheon leadership was doing double duty at noon on Wednesday, November 1.

Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Libby Hunt

Launched last year, the past luncheon chairs come together to present the recent chair with a bracelet. This year past luncheon chairs Libby Hunt (2012),  Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014) and  Angie Kadesky (2016), Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Dr. Tom Campbell and Jennifer Fowler were on hand to present 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson with the Tiffany sack containing her new trinket.

Angie Kadesky and John and Barbara Stuart

The gathering was also the official handing over of the baton to 2018 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele fresh from her chairing the Equest Luncheon and Style Show in October.

Emilynn Wilson, Tom Campbell and Beth Thoele

Joining Beth for the Callier Center for Communications Disorders fundraiser on Tuesday, April 17, at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Co-Chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte. Receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award will be The Meadows Foundation.

As for Emilynn, she’s still recovering from the record-breaker fundraiser and a nasty cough, as well as preparing to chair The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon on Monday, May 7, at Dallas Country Club.

The Senior Source Honored 2017 Spirit Of Generations Awardees Diane And John Scovell With Some Tricks And Treats

Hyatt Regency Dallas guests probably thought that Halloween was getting an early start on Tuesday, October 31. Passing them by were a blonde in black attire topped off with a black cowboy hat and red cape, a person in oversized cowboy costume, cheerleaders and munchkins in red T-shirts reading 2027 Panthers.

Actually, all these characters were on site as part of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring longtime Texas Tech loyalists Diane and John Scovell, as well as present the 2017 Molly H. Bogen Service Award to Lori Daniels.

Fred and Jan Hegi

Bob White

Carolyn Miller

As the Landmark Circle filled to capacity for the VIP reception with Gail and Gerald Turner, 2016 Spirit Awardees Jan and Fred Hegi, 2011 Spirit Awardee Carolyn Miller, 2010 Spirit Awardees Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Caren Kline, Kristen and Jim Hinton, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, John and Betty Crawford, Debbie Oates, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson and Margo Goodwin, The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney Nicolato and Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White welcomed the crowd.

Diane Scovell

One or two of the group admitted that they had headed to the Anatole, where the event had been held in the past. But since John had built the Hyatt along with the world-renowned tower, it was only right to honor him in his hotel.

One guest was huffing as she arrived after parking her car in the satellite parking lot. She admitted that the lunch was just the second time that she had been to the Hyatt and climbing the hill in high heels for John was a labor of love. The next time she was gonna valet.

Alan White and John Scovell

Mary Montgomery and Kristi Hoyl

At 11:30 the Landmark Ballroom was filling with longtime friends of the Scovells like Texas Tech buddy Alan White was tableside with Pat SchenkelKristi Hoyl and Mary Montgomery spied each other across the way. They were both in similar dresses… Alan Walne was still sporting a sling due to surgery…Former Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen arrived to hugs from Lindalyn Adams …’nother former Senior Sourcer Betty Houser reported that after a year off for “temporary retirement,” she was considering a return to the nonprofit sector… and Pat McCallum, Barbara Stuart, County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, District Attorney Faith Johnson and Brad Cheves.

Pete Schenkel, Brad Cheves and Alan Walne

Betty Houser and Stephanie Russell

Just past noon Senior Source Board Chair John Taylor III got things started by introducing Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Matthew Ruffiner, who gave the invocation, and Luncheon Chair Carol Lupton Huckin and Diamond Underwriter Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton addressed the crowd as lunch was served.

In presenting the Bogen Service Award with Molly to Lori, Cortney told how Lori had served in various capacities to help the elderly. Lori even created an underwear donation drive called “The Reverse Panty Raid” and a gift drive for the holidays. That first year, “ten seniors were adopted.” Last year 200 personalized gifts were delivered to clients.

Lori Daniels, Cortney Nicolato and Molly Bogen

Lori recalled how she had joined The Senior Source after seeing a notice in The Dallas Morning News for a volunteer opportunity. That was 20 years ago. Since that time, she has involved friends, family and especially her husband, Jim Daniels.

A video was shown detailing the countless programs that The Senior Source provides. Just last year they accommodated 33,000 “older adults.”

As the lights came up, a couple of white rocking chairs were now on the left side of the stage in front of a row of faux hedges with twinkling lights. In the back of the ballroom, cheerleaders and other characters waited.

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Following the video, Cortney asked that guests visit a senior and text donations. She then explained that while the fundraiser often took place around Thanksgiving, this year “We’re just trying to mess with you today and do it on Halloween.”

As Cortney left the stage and Diane and John took their places in the rocking chairs. A voice over the PA revealed how it was a Scovell tradition at Halloween that trick or treaters must do a trick before getting a treat. In keeping with that idea, it was announced that Stage Fright Events had been hired to screen the masses who seek their 15 minutes of fame “on the Scovells’ front porch.

John and Diane Scovell

The skit provided laughs as one of the screeners proved not to be the sharpest tack in the box saying that

  • John had met Diane when she was a traveling rodeo clown. No, Diane had been a rodeo queen in Brady. And they met in college — Texas Tech, of course.
  • John’s dad, Field Scovell, had been “Mr. Spandex Bowl.” No, Field had been Mr. Cotton Bowl.
  • John had built the Eiffel Tower. No, he had built Reunion Tower.
  • In college, Diane and John were named Mr. and Miss Texas A and …. No, they were named Mr. and Miss Texas Tech.

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

The first to tryout were future Hillcrest Panthers/third graders from Preston Hollow Elementary, who sang “Skin and Bones.” [Editor’s note: It was pretty darn adorable.]

Next up was the Reunion Tower Ball that texted via the big screen that it and the Scovells go back 39 years. For its trick, the revolving ball displayed a lit pumpkin.

Reunion Tower

Texas Tech cheerleaders

The final tryout on stage was the Texas Tech crew including the cheerleaders shouting “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for seniors  stand up and holler.” With that the Tech fight song played, Masked Rider and Raider Red arrived on stage and the guests stood.

With the Diane and John still rocking, Underwriting Chair John Crawford replaced the Stage Fright team and told how the Scovells had made a dynamic impact on Dallas education, business, health and environment by looking “to the future with a reverence for the past.” In the Scovell world, “Success is a team sport.”

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

John Taylor and Carol joined John Crawford in presenting the award to the Scovells.

After receiving the award, John Scovell retired to his chair and Diane admitted, “I want to shut the doors and get around to everybody…We’re appreciative and so very uncomfortable. It’s kinda not our style.” She asked everyone who had been involved with any of the Scovell projects for the betterment of Dallas. It seemed like all but a handful stood. At one point she told how their sons had been such troopers even when John coached them in soccer but knew nothing about the sport.

It was now time for John to address the group by defending his soccer skills. “My father told me early on. He said, ‘Son, if you can’t use your hands, it must be a communist sport.’ That was my introduction to soccer.” He then had Diane join him at the podium. Once again he recalled something his father had told him, “He had spent a lot of time at events like this and he said, ‘Son, if you’re to speak and have a nice audience, here’s what you tell them. You stand up to be seen. You speak up to be heard. You sit down to be appreciated.”

And from the audience’s response, the Scovells were truly appreciated.

For more photos of the day’s activities, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Emmy Award Winner/Former WFAA “PM Magazine’s” Leeza Gibbons Returns To Dallas As Go Red For Women Keynote Speaker

And the news keeps rocking and rolling in today. Go Red For Women Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker have just announced Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons will be returning to familiar surroundings for the American Heart Association – Dallas fundraiser.  

Leeza Gibbons*

It was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Leeza appeared with Bill Ratliff on WFAA’s “PM Magazine,” before heading on to other programs like “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra” and “Leeza.”

In addition to her television career, Leeza has made quite a reputation for herself regarding children’s causes and health issues. One of them being heart disease. She knows all too well that one can survive a heart attack. Her father Carlos “Pops” Gibbons was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Not one to sit around and do nothing, Leeza insisted that her dad get a media alert system, Philips Lifeline. Three years later Carlos fell to the floor having a heart attack. Thanks to the device, an ambulance arrived in time.  

Leeza was so impressed with the lifesaving device, she became a spokesperson for it and an advocate for heart healthiness.

According to Leeza, “While heart disease doesn’t discriminate, we do know there is a need to make more women aware of their risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all the cancers combined. Go Red For Women is a movement I am happy to stand behind to help drive change through advocacy, research and education.”

On Friday, February 23, Leeza will be at the Omni to join 1,300 women and men to raise funds to battle heart disease.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Liz Robinson at 214.441.4258.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association of Dallas

Grovel Alert: Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon

Texas Ballet Theater dancers (File photo)

Not all the nonprofits are going quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Well, of course, there is Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday, December 2. But on Tuesday, November 28, the Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon at the Winspear will have the champagne bubbling and the dancers doing pas de deux, pirouette and grand jeté in the Naeem Khan designs from Stanley Korshak with the guests on stage for a up-close view. 

Co-Chair Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair along with Presenting Sponsor Nancy Carlson have been busy getting guests on board for the Texas Ballet Theater fundraiser.

If you’ve purchased your tickets, congratulations! If you haven’t, you’d better hurry-scurry.

According to Texas Ballet Theater Development Manager Theresa Ireland-Daubs, “We are so close to hitting our goal of 30 tables!”

So, put off the grocery shopping for Thursday’s feasting and make your reservation here.

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy And Michal Powell To Co-Chair 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon With Shelle Sills As Underwriting Chair

Last week it was announced that Pat McEvoy would chair the 2019 Crystal Charity Ball. While some might want to rest up before taking on the responsibility to raise millions of dollars for Dallas children’s nonprofits, Pat is not your typical gal.

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

Michal Powell (File photo)

Shelle Sills (File photo)

It was just announced that Pat and Michal Powell will co-chair Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2018 Celebrating Women Luncheon. Joining the team will be Shelle Sills, who will be in charge of underwriting duties.

Just last Thursday Michal chaired the Doing The Most Good Luncheon for The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command at the Anatole with Shelle as her arrangements chair.

As for plans about the breast cancer research and treatment fundraiser, the details are being finalized. Stay tuned.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Spirit Of Generations Award Luncheon

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Texas Tech cheerleader

Some guests at the Hyatt Regency probably thought that Halloween was being celebrated early on Tuesday, October 31, with Hillcrest 2027 graduates, Texas Tech Masked Rider and Red Raider walking through the lobby area. Actually the future Panther grads and Tech mascots were on hand for The Senior Source’s annual Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring Diane and John Scovell.

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

While the post is being finalized, check out the notables in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 30th Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Tea Theme, Date And Plans Revealed

Last night 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Venise Stuart announced plans for the annual fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum‘s A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.

Melissa Lewis

Venise Stuart

On the ground level of Tootsies, Venise revealed that the 30th anniversary would be a salute to the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era.

A Garden By The Sea*

Women’s Council of the Arboretum President Melissa Lewis stressed it was not a Gatsby-period theme. Rather think of the Vanderbilts summered in Newport at The Breakers, Marble House and Rough Point, when the magnificent estates enjoyed the cool breezes.  

To visually explain the feel, Melissa and Venise unveiled the graphic designed by Lynn Dealey that benefited the “A Garden By The Sea” theme perfectly.

Serving at honorary chair will be Linda Burk, who has been a longtime supporter of the Arboretum.

The fashion show of Tootsies fashions and luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 12, at the Arboretum under the direction of Jan Strimple.

As for the chapeau judging details, stay tuned.

* Graphic credit: Lynn Dealey

JUST IN: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon And Anne Stodghill Present A Whopping $4M For Cancer Research And Treatments

Less than a month ago, weather threatened to put a real damper on the year-long work of the Cattle Baron’s Ball committee led by Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill. But the CBBers stood their ground at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21, and Mother Nature held back until the last guests partied on home. The fundraising was deemed a major party success.

Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon

Today at the CBB fall luncheon at Truluck’s, Anne and Sunie revealed the results of their team’s efforts. It was a whopping, holy mackerel $4M to support cancer research and treatments.

That’s not the gross, not the amount raised! It is the bottom-line net.

Now, 2018 CCB Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix pick up and carry on the fundraising for the 45-year-old organization. First on their must-do-list is the announcement of the 2018 theme. That is scheduled to happen after the holidays. Stay tuned.

JUST IN: 34th Annual St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Theme And Awardees Announced

2018 Saint Valentine Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez gathered their gal pals and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas supporters together last night at Amy Turner’s. The occasion was to announce more details about the 34th annual fundraiser.

Roz Colombo, Amy Turner and Nancy Gopez*

Heather Randall and Kristen Sanger*

As previously reported, the whole kit-and-kaboodle is moving to NorthPark Center’s Center Park Garden in a mammoth, see-thru tent on Thursday, February 8, with Jan Strimple coordinating the show. Serving as honorary chair will be NorthPark’s First Lady Nancy Nasher. Roz and Nancy managed to get 2017 Saint V-Day Chair Heather Randall to serve as their advisor.

The news of the night was the reveal of the theme “Sculpting A Cure!” and the 2018 award recipients. Receiving the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be Mona Carlton Stogner and Grey Stogner “for their dedication towards finding cures.”

As for the Tom Landry Character Award, seven-year-old Caitlin Johnson will be presented with the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach. The back story on Caitlin is pretty darn amazing. But stay tuned. It will be revealed in the days to come.

* Photo provided by Nancy Gopez

1,300 People Had A “Hinge” Experience By “Connecting” With New BFF Jamie Lee Curtis At The Celebrating Women Luncheon

Editor’s warning: This post is a very long one, but it’s worth the read. So, settle back to find out why the 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon was one of the most memorable get togethers of the year.

It depended on your age when it came to Jamie Lee Curtis. Those with decades on their meters remembered her as the darling daughter of Hollywood’s golden age couple of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. Then there was the generation that immediately thought of her being terrorized in “Halloween” and “Terror Train.”  Others recalled her as the “bod” in “Trading Places” and “Perfect.” And, yes, there’s a current generation who have read her 14 books to their children.

The question at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon was, “Who really is Jamie Lee Curtis?” That’s because Jamie (“Just call me Jamie, not Jamie Lee”) was going to be the featured speaker at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 26.

Before heading down to the VIP meet-and-greet in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room that Thursday morning, Jamie showed the first signs of how the day would go. She told an event staffer that she was wearing no makeup and had done her own hair. But if they wanted someone to do her makeup, it was up to them. No need; Jamie was just fine in her own skin. Earlier someone had asked if she wanted to review the questions that would be posed to her in the chat with Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson. Nope. She would just take them as they came.

Vicky Lattner, Nancy Carter, Emilynn Wilson and Di Johnston

Before she entered the room, the crowd including Kristen Hinton, Norm Bagwell, Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay, Jimmie Westcott, Lisa Cooley, Tanya Foster, Aileen Pratt, Kate Swail, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Debbie Robinson, Polly Tadlock, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Julie Ford, Rich Enthoven, Trisha Wilson, Tiffany Divis, Jennie and Stuart Reeves, Caren Kline and Dallas Morning Newsies Deborah Fleck, Selwyn Crawford and Mike Wilson was happily chatting and drinking coffee. Only a handful of people were getting in line for the grip-and-grin. That would quickly change.

Barbara Stuart, Carol Seay and Jimmie Westcott

Like a quarterback preparing for the big game, Jamie checked out the setup and approached the event photographer and suggested a place where she would stand with guests. As another photographer took a photo from the side, Jamie called the second photographer over and gave instructions to shoot directly in front of her. It wasn’t an order. She was advising the team on a game plan that would seamlessly score success. 

Even the guests became part of the team effort. Jamie would talk with each one and make sure that all were picture-perfect. When Gretchen Minyard arrived for her photo, Jamie adjusted the flower on Gretchen’s jacket. One young woman quickly put the finishing touches on her own makeup as she went through the line. She was thrilled for the photo opp. From the big smile in being photographed with Jamie, no one could tell that she had just had her first round of chemo the day before. Linda Custard, who had successfully gone through a year of treatments, had a special glow about her as she and Jamie embraced.

Linda Custard and Jamie Lee Curtis

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

After having her photo taken with Lindalyn Adams, Jamie called time-out and went to the side of the staging area to talk with Lindalyn, who had initiated Celebrating Women 18 years ago.

Now, the guests were starting to take notice and lined up for their picture with Jamie. A handful of guests stood back, saying they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie. That would change. Soon enough the line was winding past the stanchions, and in the line now were those who’d said earlier they weren’t all that interested in a photo with Jamie.

Observers started taking note of how in each shot, Jamie would hit her mark with her legs crossed at the ankle, confidently hold her head high, smile with lips together and have an expression on her face as if she was truly proud to be in the picture. Her arms would adjust a bit with each photo, but they never struck the “sorority girl” pose.

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Selwyn Crawford, Deborah Fleck, Jamie Lee Curtis and Mike Wilson

When the final photo was taken, one of the photographers approached her and thanked her for her earlier direction, adding that each photo had turned out great. Jamie smiled with a twinkle in her eye and said, “I knew where the lights were.”

Dennis Bassler and Connie Yates

Nancy Dedman and Jill Smith

As the doors opened to the Chantilly Ballroom, the 1,300 guests like Tom Thumb President Dennis Bassler with Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates, Sara Martineau, Vicki Chapman, Joan Eleazer with daughter Layne Pitzer, Debbie Raynor, Nancy Dedman, Jill Smith, Gene Jones, Anita Arnold, Al Hill Jr., Linda Perryman Evans, Jan Langbein, Leslie Gosnell and sisters Nancy Marcus and Nelda Cain were taking their places. Before things got underway, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell stood behind Jamie, who had taken her place at the table next to Honorary Co-Chair Leonard Riggs. The Powells had their cellphones ready to snap a photo with her. When Jamie realized the situation, she stood up and took hold of the phone for a selfie with the girls.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Soon, the program was underway with London Hibbs entering the center aisle singing “Heroes” and joined by dancers en route to the stage.

London Hibbs and dancers

They were followed by Event Chair Tucker Enthoven, who welcomed the guests and told how the monies raised at the luncheon stayed in North Texas. To emphasize the point, she told of 43-year-old attorney/wife/mother Carolyn Brown, who just the year before had been diagnosed with stage III tripe-negative breast cancer.

Carolyn Brown and her team of health care providers

Following a video about Carolyn’s journey, an army of 20 men and women lined up along the back of the stage. Through the group entered Carolyn, who explained that these people had been the ones who had taken her through nine months of surgeries, chemo and radiation, resulting in her being cancer-free. 

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven

Following lunch, Tucker returned to the podium with her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek, who acknowledged Lindalyn, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation staff, the committee, presenting sponsor Tom Thumb and the mega donors. Ola then got the activity meter raised, explaining that at each table there was one program that was marked for the holder to receive an $80 gift certificate for Kendra Scott. 

Jim Hinton

Tucker thanked Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Leonard Riggs, announced a matching challenge of $25,000 and introduced Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton. Jim told how his life had been influenced by the women in his life, including his daughter, 12-year-old Nora Hinton, who the morning after the recent presidential election announced that she could still be the first female president. He emphasized the importance of the Celebrating Women Luncheon by announcing that, over the past 18 years, it had raised more than $30M, and more than 100,000 women had been screened last year at the Darlene Cass Imaging Center.

Following Jim, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson introduced Jamie for a chat on stage. It would be a chat to be remembered.

Before getting started, though, Jamie addressed one part of the audience. “I was raised well. Not really, but I was raised semi-well. I actually made them move the chair so my back wasn’t to you. But I apologize that my back is to you, and I will try to pin it like a Rain Bird.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

Who is her hero? Robin asked. “I am almost 60, and I have spent a lot of time in ballrooms sitting around tables of 10 with well-heeled, well-dressed people like yourselves advocating for causes in ways to come together to raise money for important causes,” Jamie replied. “And I have seen myriad ways that these are done. I have never in my life seen a more moving example of what this is, the reason we are here, than that team of people coming up on the stage. I’ve done a lot of these and I think that’s why that challenge grant … and I hope we make it … I’d like to see a show of hands of 25 people in this room who will give a thousand dollars with me.* I want it right now. 25 people to give $25,000. [Hands went up throughout the room.] I want to know that $50,000 extra was raised in one minute for the work of those people who stood here for her and work for people you will never know. There is no more important thing for us to do today than to support them. I’m just privileged to be here.” 

Hands raise for the challenge

Did you have a cancer scare? Robin then asked Jamie. “I did, and in coming here I recalled it,” she answered. “My memory of it was the wait in that room for the diagnosis. Either an all-clear, which was my case, or the diagnosis of breast cancer and then the eventual treatment plan and care team stepping in. And what I remember about it, and the reason why I try to stay active, is that moment of feeling alone, even though my sweet husband Christopher [Guest] was sitting with me. It is a profound moment of truth. I was prepared for it. And as I got the ‘All clear’ from it, I was grateful to my doctor who found it. It was not noticed on the mammogram. It was not noticed radiologically. It was done from palpitation, by actually laying on his hands. I’m incredibly luck, but I’ll never forget that moment.”

In receiving the tough news from your doctor, Robin asked next, do you want her to ask how your life is going, or do you want straight talk? “Me? I’m coming up, if I’m lucky enough, on February 3rd of next year, I’ll be coming up on 19 years sober from drugs and alcohol,” Jamie answered. “In my opinion [addiction] is hereditary—my dad, my mom, my brother. And [for me] it was an opiate addiction. It was a small plastic surgery moment that led to an opiate addiction. It is no accident today that we have an epidemic in this country. I’m in recovery, and I want it as straight as you can give it to me. I’m as straight a person as it is. I want no subterfuge. I want it unvarnished. I want you to tell me the truth. I try to live an incredibly truthful life.”

How do you select the causes that you support? Robin asked. “I think like all the rest of us, I get touched by something,” Jamie replied. “As it is with breast cancer, it is a concentric circle in our lives. There is no place that I would go in the world and not come in contact immediately with someone either recovering from breast cancer, undergoing treatment or they have a sister or mother with breast cancer. I was in Los Angeles at a surprise wedding. I was seated at a long table, as we all were.

“I was chatting with three people across the table, and the woman seated directly across from me was from Italy. Lovely. I found her charming. And then another woman introduced herself and said that she and her husband were from Dallas. I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to Dallas in four days.’ She asked why and I said, ‘I’m going to speak at the breast cancer luncheon connected to Baylor.’ And she said, ‘Oh, those are my people! You’ll meet my oncologist.” She’s a 15-year survivor. And then the woman directly across from me, the one from Italy, said to the woman, ‘I just had a double mastectomy.’ Here we were a triangle. Three women connecting about breast cancer at a surprise wedding. To me the reason we’re here is to connect. We are not here to do anything but connect.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Then Robin asked, “What got you into acting?” “It was an accident,” Jamie said. “There is a book that I love, ‘Special Topics in Calamity Physics,’ by Marisha Pessl. In it there is this great quote. She says you know, most people think life is all about like where you go to school, what degree you get, what college you get into, who you marry, what your first job is, what your starting salary is, blah, blah. She said, and I roughly quote, ‘It’s not. Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming, and what you decide in those seconds determines everything from then on. And you’re not going to know what to do until you’re there.’ That’s my life.

“I was a D+ student, who got into the only college where my mother was the most famous alumnus. I majored in track. I was a non-student. I could barely spell ‘student.’ I came home for Christmas and ran into a guy who was a tennis teacher at my friend’s court and he said, ‘Hey, Jamie, I’m now managing actors, and they’re looking for someone to play Nancy Drew. Why don’t you go up for it?’ I was like ‘Okay.’ I didn’t get it, but then I ended up literally signing a seven-year contract with Universal Pictures (because they used to have contracts then). My point is that I went over to my friend’s house and a tennis teacher said, ‘Hey they’re looking for actors,’ and the next I knew I quit school and I connected in the exact same way the rest of my life.

“I never thought I would write a book in my life. As I mentioned, my SAT scores—I proudly say this for all you underachievers out there, you could be up here with your—excuse my French, your shitty SAT scores! My four-year-old daughter walked into my room one day and said, ‘When I was little, I used a diaper. But now I use the potty.’ And she walked out of the room. I just thought that was hilarious. I wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I wrote the list of things that she couldn’t do and could do and at the end I wrote three things,

  • When I was little, I didn’t know what family was.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were.
  • When I was little, I didn’t know who I was, but now I do.

 

“When I was finished writing that, I was sobbing and I realized I could write a book. Though I never dreamed I’d write a book, I sold it that day to a publisher in New York, and it was the first of 14 books I’ve written for children. I say it because the last thing in the world I thought I would do is write a book, and yet a book popped out.

“I’m going to tell you one more thing about life hinging on seconds you never see coming. It was 1984. I was single, sitting my apartment with my friend Debra Hill, who is no longer here, and I was getting ready to do the movie ‘Perfect.’ I opened Rolling Stone magazine. There was a picture of three guys with their arms around each other like guys do with shirt sleeves. There was a guy on the right who had a face like this [she made a funny face]. And I said to Debra, ‘I’m going to marry that guy.’ She said he was Chris Guest. I called his agent the next day, who told me he knew I was calling about Chris Guest. Debra had already called. He never called me.”

Jamie went on to tell how she continued with her life, and was even dating a fellow. After taking him to the airport one day, she drove to West Hollywood for dinner with Melanie Griffin and her husband Steven Bauer. A couple of tables away, Christopher was sitting there. Recalled Jamie: “He looked at me and went like this” [she shrugged her shoulders and made a face]. She responded in a similar fashion. As he got up to leave, he repeated the expression, to which she once again responded in the same way. The next day he called her, and they were married four months later.

Did you have mentors who helped you focus on what is important? Robin asked. “No. I’m not going to lie to you,” Jamie replied. “My mother was a surviving woman. She had a rough life. But she was a very grounded human being, and I credit her with a lot of the way I walk through the world. To be perfectly honest, mostly men hired me. It was because the business that I was in was predominantly male. Over the years I’ve partnered with women. My editor is a woman.”

Then came the moment that would become “the talk” for days to come.

Robin asked how she used her platform to address the issue of people using power over others. Looking at the floor clock, which showed that the time for their conversation was running out, Jamie said, “And that’s the real time we have left?”

Replied Robin: “I’ll tell you when we’re finished.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie said nothing. To the delight of the 1,000+ women in the room, she just held her index finger up and looked out at the audience as if to say, “Did he really just say that?”

And she let that expression and silence sit there for what probably seemed like an eternity for Robin. The oxygen in the room had been replaced with laughter.

With perfect timing, she said, “We need to talk. You’ll tell me when I’m done? I was merely trying to play by the time rule. I saw that the clock was running out. I was just asking … you’re blushing.”

The laughter only grew, and it was suspected that Robin was wishing that he could have taken back his “hinge” moment.

But like a great conductor, Jamie brought the room back to the serious subject that Robin had introduced. “What is happening today has been happening since the beginning of time,” she said. “And it always takes show business to be a catalyst for change. In recovery, I always knew that someone super-famous was going to have to die from an opiate overdose, before we changed the way we thought about opiates. Prince, a brilliant artist, was a fentanyl addict and he died from that. And now we change the rules. Now the president is convening a whole epidemic group to combat this.

“Sexual harassment and abuse have been in play since men in power have been in place. Through every generation, every business, every field, every color—there is no boundary. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it is a beast. And we are taking a look at it through the lens … pardon the pun … of Hollywood.  And it is going to create transformative change. It is going to take a little time. It is going to be a very challenging time for all us to look deep in ourselves and really figure out how we feel about it.”

She predicted that, as a result, more women would be put in positions of leadership.

Robin then said, “With your permission, I have one more.” Laughter.

Jamie answered, “That was flirting.” More laughter. “Yes, dear.”

His final question was, “What was the best moment of your life?”

She replied that it was being an adoptive mother of two children, Annie and Thomas. The moment was when, at 12:58 in the morning, Annie’s birth mother had called to say that she had given birth. Said Jamie: That was the “most transformative moment in my life. It began what has continued to be the greatest thing I will ever do in my life besides being sober. It is to share a life. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It has made me look in the mirror more often about myself. It has brought us a lot of grief in our family, and a lot of healing. A child wants connection. They don’t want stuff. They want people to lean in and look at them and hear them and cherish them. The modern world makes that very difficult. We all have to work very hard to counteract that. ” 

Thanks to Jamie, 1,300 people experienced hinge moments allowing them to connect with a very special cause and person.

So, who was Jamie Lee Curtis? On Thursday, October 26, she was the BFF for more than 1,300 people—and she’s welcome back anytime she wants.

Check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for more pictures from the luncheon.

* Follow up on the match challenge: Jamie’s invitation for people to join her in meeting the match not only met the goal, it surpassed it resulting in $60,000 from the challenge. And, no, the Celebrating Women organizers had no idea she was going to ask people to join her in donating $1,000.

JUST IN: Equest Luncheon And Style Show Nets $253,000

It was just a month ago that the Equest Women’s Auxiliary held its annual Equest Style Show and Luncheon at Brook Hollow with designs from Highland Park Village. Since that time Auxiliary Chair Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele have been burning up their calculators for the final number to put on the check.

Christine Volkmer, Angie Kadesky, Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele and Robyn Conlon

Today they were joined by the event’s Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon in ponying up with a big, old check for $253,000 to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Development Director Christine Volkmer. And that ain’t hay!

Plans are already underway for the 2018 with Heather Randall chairing the luncheon on Tuesday, October 2, at Brook Hollow.

JUST IN: Pat McEvoy To Chair 2019 Crystal Charity Ball

Pat McEvoy (File photo)

With the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball less than a month away, plans are already underway for the 2019 Dallas children’s fundraiser. 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson just revealed that Pat McEvoy has been selected to serve at 2018 CCB Chair-Elect and 2019 Chair.

Since being a member of CCB since 2004, she had chaired a variety of positions including the Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show. In addition to her involvement with CCB, Pat’s chaired the New Friends New Life Luncheon and the DMA’s Beaux Arts Ball, as well as serving on the Goodwill Industries of Dallas board, MD Anderson Advisory Committee, the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board and the Dallas Woman’s Club Board of Governors. She’s also been involved with the Dallas Zoo, Center for BrainHealth, CMC Food Allergy Center, Ask Me About Art, Dallas Woman’s Club, Dallas Garden Club and other community organizations.

According to Claire, “Pat’s extensive experience in the Dallas community, her proven fundraising skills, intellect, generous and kind spirit and commitment to this organization will ensure the continued success of Crystal Charity Ball.”

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Guests at Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole had more to celebrate than raising mega funds for breast cancer. They discovered a new BFF — guest speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

While some admitted that they had had no preconceived ideas about the day’s program chaired by Tucker Enthoven, they left the event delighted with Jamie’s honesty, openness, humor and range of subject matter. In fact, one luncheon-attending vet claimed that not since last year’s Hoda Kotb and Tim Gunn appearance had they been so impressed with a presentation.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

The post is being prepared, so check out the pictures on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Tucker Enthoven, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robin Robinson and Ola Fojtasek

PS — For those who are aficionados of the art of posing for photographers, check out Jamie at the grip-and-grin session. Observers noted how she always stood erect with her head up, looked at the camera straight on, never struck the “sorority-girl pose” and crossed her legs at the ankle in every shot. If you get a chance, just try to strike the “Jamie pose.” It’s a balancing act, but it works.

National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Guests May Want To Rethink Their Route Friday

Those planning to attend the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Friday might want consider taking a different route to the event or getting an earlier start. Why? Because despite Veteran’s Day officially being on Saturday, the Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade honoring vets starts at 11 with streets in the area being blocked off just as guests arrive for the luncheon.

2017 Dallas Veterans Day Parade Route*

On the other hand, if you don’t have plans, why not check out the parade honoring the men and women, who have served this country?

*Graphic courtesy of Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: 2017 Obelisk Award Luncheon

Business Council for the Arts Katherine Wagner just sent some good news and some not-so-good news. First, let’s get the not-so-good news over with. If you were waiting until the last minute to get your spot at the Obelisk Award Luncheon, you waited too long and you’re out of luck.

2017 Obelisk Award (File photo)

Now for the good news: The November 15th lunch at Belo Mansion is sold out.  

But you were really hankering to be part of the occasion, you know better than anyone that Katherine could find one more place if the check is written with the right amount. Wink, wink.

Dallas Historical Society’s Awards Of Excellence Honorees And Patrons Were Celebrated At Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top

Despite construction turning the circular driveway of Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top home into a semi-circle on Tuesday, October 24, the valets whisked the Dallas Historical Society’s 36th Annual Awards for Excellence Luncheon patrons to the McDermott entrance lined with pumpkins.

Hobson Wildenthal, Mary McDermott Cook and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal

Among the first to arrive were Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were making an appearance for Wildenthal brother/2017 DHS honoree Hobson Wildenthal. Marnie and Kern were having to do the North Texas double-duty shuffled as they had to head across town for The Scripps Society dinner at Harlan Crow Library.

Amy Aldredge and Carolyn Brown

Still others on hand for the festivities with downtown Dallas serving as a backdrop were Mary’s mom Margaret McDermott, Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Tony Roosevelt, DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge, Michelle and Stewart Thomas, Louise and Josef Caldwell, Caro Stalcup, Sharon Callewart, Mary Suhm, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Joan and Alan Walne, Agustin Arteaga and Carlos Gonzalez-Jaime, Judy and Jim Gibbs, Pat Mattingly, Jorge Baldor, Jennifer and Ray Tollett,  Cheryl and Steve Coke and honorees Dr. Steve Ponders, Carolyn Brown, Jorge Baldor, Ann Barbier-Mueller, David Brown, Peggy Carr and Tony Dorsett and his wife Janet Dorsett.

After welcome by DHS Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helmbrecht and recognized of the many sponsors and the Roosevelts, Carol and Kaysie recognized each of the awardees.

And before the guests got back to partying, Veletta couldn’t help but encourage everyone to vote in the upcoming bond election which includes dollars earmarked for Hall of State (aka home of the DHS).

While MIA for the party, honorees Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Willis Cecil Winters and Nicole Small will be on hand at the Fairmont on Thursday, November 9, when the awards are handed out.