TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #7: Staycation In Downtown Dallas

Who has time to wander the world in search of the perfect retreat, when it lies just a quick ride away? This RBC Wealth Management TACA Custom Auction item is ideal for the four who want to get away from the ho-hum routine without really getting away.

Staycation In Downtown Dallas* (Value: $17,500)

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, downtown Dallas has returned to its glory days when a big-deal date was dancing at the Baker Hotel’s Peacock Terrace Ballroom or taking in a movie at the grand Palace Theater with its legendary Wurlitzer organ rising from the orchestra pit between movies with Weldon Flanagan at the keyboard.

Replacing the Baker, the Wurlitzer and the oldies are a whole new lifeblood including the Arts District, the Klyde Warren Park, Perot Museum, Victory Center and high-rise homes. Leading the charge is the Joule Hotel that has brought together a staff, services and accommodation to match the most prestigious world hotels.

The Joule**

The Joule**

For two nights the Joule’s luxurious two-bedroom penthouse will be “home suite home” complete with living room, library, dining room and kitchen. The floor-to-ceiling windows and in-house telescope provide the perfect view of the downtown life below.

Start the mornings with breakfast at the Joule’s Weekend Coffee with its Marzocco-brewed coffees and waffles. One night plan on dining in the Joule’s CBD Provisions.

For sun worshipers, the glass-fronted, heated Adam D. Tihany designed pool cantilevered eight feet beyond the hotel and the poolside cabana services are just a few floors away. And if additional pampering is required, there’s always the world–renowned ESPA with hands-on attention. Or if a fitness regimen must be kept, VITAL Fitness Center offers everything from yoga classes to core fitness and is equipped with everything from top-of-the-line equipment to strength-training machines.

The only problem is when the time comes to check out and return to the life of reality outside the Joule.

* Courtesy of The Joule Hotel
** Photo provided by TACA

Texas TrailBlazer Award Luncheon’s Joe Torre Has Just Lost The Man Who Taught Him To Stand Up Against Domestic Abuse

Joe Torre‘s big brother Frank Torre played a very big part in Joe’s childhood. It was Frank who kicked their abusive father out of the household. As Joe tells it,

“Although I did not get phys­i­cally abused myself, I grew up in fear because my mom did. I was shy and dad would make fun of me. When­ever I saw his car in the dri­ve­way, I didn’t want to go home. One win­ter, when I was 12, my older brother Frank (20) said to my father, ‘We want you out of the house. We don’t want any­thing other than the house we live in. We don’t want any­thing from you. Just leave.’ And he left.”

Frank also mentored Joe on his professional baseball career.

Despite Frank’s death this past Saturday, Joe will carry on his big brother’s leadership and inspiration in battling abuse when he will be the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Texas Trailblazer Luncheon  at the Anatole benefiting The Family Place.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: United Way Of Hunt County

United Way of Hunt County is so excited about participating in our first North Texas Giving Day.  The opportunity to grow the dollars our donors give is such a blessing.

United Way of Hunt County*

United Way of Hunt County*

“Some of the dollars raised will go to support our programs in education.  One of our recent projects is the Little Library; take a book, leave a book.  We have strategically placed these little libraries in areas where families may not have access to our public libraries.  We have seen some of the books find their way into homes where children have never owned their own books.  There are four of these libraries around town, with plans for many more throughout the county.

Library kids*

Library kids*

“Again, we are looking forward to engaging our current donors as well as new donors through North Texas Giving Day on September 18 and generating even more excitement about our education projects, while we continue cooperation with our community partners who help in our work to improve lives in Hunt County.

“We hope you Get up and Give! on September 18 and support the United Way of Hunt County and the many other deserving nonprofits that help North Texans. Thank you, in advance for supporting United Way of Hunt County and our mission to ‘Live United!’”

-By Frances Dalbey, Executive Director

* Graphic and photos provided by The United Way of Hunt County

Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Luncheon Patron Party Filled Elisa And Stephen Summers’ Home To The Max

Elisa Summers

Elisa Summers

Word was dispatched hours before the Crystal Charity Ball 10 Bet Dressed Luncheon patron party at Elisa and Stephen Summers villa would have a slight adjustment. For the evening, the street on which the event was being held would be one-way only. No problem for the Bentleys, Mercedes and Lexus crowd. They followed instructions to the delight of the scurrying valet parkers.

Hosted by JPMorgan Chase, Daffan Nettle was subbing in for her boss Chase Dallas region Chair Elaine Agather, who had had a prior family commitment.

Since the evening’s humidity made the outdoor entertaining sorta non-user friendly, the mansion became a bit of a traffic jam. As the crowd grew, the floor air vents became true-blue islands of cool. Everybody seemed to want to play catch up. So much fun and it’s not a contact sport!

DeeDee Lee

DeeDee Lee

Barbara Stuart, Kerry Sweeney and Erin Mathews

Barbara Stuart, Kerry Sweeney and Erin Mathews

In the living room Laree Hulshoff and Barbara Daseke were just back from the Naeem Khan’s Fashion Week show in NYC. They had run into Nancy Rogers, who offered them a lift home. Barbara admitted that it was tempting, but they’d already made arrangements to come home via commercial jet…Don Daseke was taking full advantage of Cassandra’s ever-available yummies. He had to stop all eating by 8 in preparation for his next day’s physical…Erin Mathews brought along Kerry Sweeney instead of her main man Russ Davis. Erin had just finished moving into her new home and was still making the transition from living out of boxes… BD-er DeeDee Lee decided to wear a white, shimmering Jason Wu. Gorgeous, but it had to be a dry cleaner’s challenge…Accessory of the night was a crutch. Dr. Hal Urschel and 2015 CCB Chair Michal Powell were both sporting them.

Michal Powell, Doug Houser and Mary Clare Finney

Michal Powell, Doug Houser and Mary Clare Finney

Luncheon Chair Pat McEvoy, Claire Emanuelson, Niven Morgan, Neva Hall, BD-er Patty Leyendecker, Shelby Wagner and Pam Perella hunkered down in the library… 2014 Best Dress Hall of Famer Lee Ann White’s husband Alan White moseyed through with Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly.

Neva Hall

Neva Hall

Brad Kelly, Nancy Dedman, Lee Ann and Alan White

Brad Kelly, Nancy Dedman, Lee Ann and Alan White

In the den adjacent to the oversized kitchen were Annette Simmons, Su-Su and Jerry Meyer, Pam McCallum, Joan Eleazer, Tiffany Divis and Jeri and David Kleiman…. CCB Chair Robyn Conlon was in seventh heaven. All was going as planned for the 2014 fundraiser and on this evening she was surrounded by her daughter-in-law MaryBeth Conlon and sons’ girlfriends Lizzie Herbert and Megan Sommerville.

Vin Perella, Michael Sills and Charles McEvoy

Vin Perella, Michael Sills and Charles McEvoy

Some of the men folk, like Vin Perella, Michael Sills, Alan McBee, Jeremy Lock and Charles McEvoy, seemed to find their spot in the main hallway.

But it was an early evening with the next day’s luncheon starting at 10:30.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #8: Rock Out In Cabo San Lucas

Just dining with RBC Wealth Management TACA Custom Auction Co-Chairs Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart would be a treat for the palate and the company. But these two don’t do anything like most blokes. This package for two couples is designed with such creativity and Wow! factor that even your bestest friends will doubt it happened.

Rock Out In Cabo San Lucas* (Value: Priceless)

Most folks arrive at the world-fabulous Capella Pedregal and swear it’s a slice of heaven and don’t want to budge. Each room is palatial with fireplace, private pool, perfect view of the ocean and a staff that lives to set a new standard for service.

During the three night stay, one dinner will be held at Capella Pedregal’s signature restaurant Don Manuel.

Capella Pedregal spa pool (File photo)

Capella Pedregal spa pool (File photo)

But Wanda and Dean arranged for a dinner in the seaside estate of a local, and not just any local — former lead singer for Van Halen, The Red Rocker Sammy Hagar. It has a marvelous view of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Cabos San Lucas Los Arches. Naturally, no ordinary cook would do for this occasion, so Dean will commandeer the kitchen.

And one more stop during the trip will have Wanda and Dean taking the foursome for a “special excursion to Cabo Wabo Cantina, Sammy’s famous cantina and restaurant,” where the 1999 video for “Mas Tequila” was filmed. Who knows? Maybe Dean will play his guitar?

* Courtesy of Dean Fearing, Wanda Gierhart, Capella Pedregal and American Airlines

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Patron Party

Elisa Summers

Elisa Summers

Elisa and Stephen Summers opened their Highland Park villa Wednesday night for the Crystal Charity Ball’s 10 Best Dressed Luncheon patrons to celebrate on the eve of the annual fashion extravaganza. The only thing more difficult to find than room was a recycled outfit. From flawless complexions to brilliant jewelry, the group proved why they’re the pick of the fashion litter hereabouts.

MaryBeth Conlon, Robyn Conlon, Lizzie Herbert  and Megan Somerville

MaryBeth Conlon, Robyn Conlon, Lizzie Herbert and Megan Somerville

So many showed up that the street was designated one way just for the night to help the valets and Uber get folks coming and going as quickly as possible.

While the write up is being finished, check out the pretties at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: The Birthday Party Project

“The magic of a birthday party is undeniable. Even for children whose toy chests overflow, a day of frosting-laden cake, balloons, and rowdy party games is monumental. And when the festivities are celebrating the day they were born, confirming that they are valued and special, well, game over. So imagine the impact that a simple birthday party can have on a child who literally has nothing.

Gabby Princess*

Gabby Princess*

“In 2012, Paige Chenault, a 33-year-old event planner and self-proclaimed birthday enthusiast, was touring the Dallas Life homeless shelter when she walked into a room housing a father, a little girl and two young boys. A peek into the family’s closet revealed a single party dress hanging on the rod. For Paige, the dress was a revelation, confirming the idea that when a person is at their lowest, feeling celebrated and valued is more essential than ever.

The Birthday Party Project*

The Birthday Party Project*

“Not long after, The Birthday Party Project (TBPP) was born.

“The two-year-old non-profit’s goal is for each homeless child in Dallas to experience a birthday party and have the opportunity on their special day to feel celebrated and ‘normal;’to swell with excitement and pride as friends and family gather around to watch them blow out candles and dream of more; to make birthday wishes come true.

The Birthday Party Project*

The Birthday Party Project*

“To that end, each month TBPP transforms shelters into festive spaces where kids and parents can celebrate in a just-like-home atmosphere.

“In its first year, the organization raised $35,000, attracted 200 volunteers, and taught dozens of children who’d never had birthday parties that at the end of “Happy Birthday,” they’re supposed to blow out candles.

“Today TBPP partners with 10 different agencies in North Texas (Dallas, Collin and Tarrant County) and hosts 120 parties a year. The monthly themed events overseen by a small team of dedicated volunteers feature festive decorations, cupcakes, activities, games, crafts, and party favors for the children staying at the shelter. A special individual birthday cake and gift is given to the children celebrating a birthday that month.

March Birthday Party*

March Birthday Party*

“The atmosphere is positively euphoric.

“Since the inception, The Birthday Party Project has celebrated over 600 birthdays with over 5,000 kids. These parties are not only a celebration of their special day –- but also a loud exclamation that these children matter. It’s just the kind of magic moment that allows a kid to have hope and to dream big. Check out a video of one of the parties here: http://vimeo.com/68316473.

“Help us continue to share these magical birthday moments by celebrating North Texas Giving Day on September 18 and donating to The Birthday Party Project at North Texas Giving Day.

-By Joslyn Taylor, The Birthday Party Project Board Member, Birthday Enthusiast

* Graphic and photos provided by The Birthday Party Project

Dallas Women’s Foundation Patron Party At Pearlman Estate Had A Rubber Ducky And News That Got A Thumb’s Up

Rubber ducky

Rubber ducky

Elaine and Trevor Pearlman opened their palatial Preston Hollow mansion for the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s patron party Tuesday night. While any excuse to visit the Pearlman’s fabulous estate with its manicured grounds, tennis court, wine cellar and tasting room, the marvelous pavilion and the Texas-size rubber ducky floating in the pool.

As guests like Ka Cotter, Krista Nightengale, Quincy Curé Preston, Kate Crouse and Norm Bagwell kept arriving, DWF President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson was all smiles. Evidently she had an announcement and wasn’t talking until the right moment.

Krista Nightengale, Quincy Curé Preston and Kate Crouse

Krista Nightengale, Quincy Curé Preston and Kate Crouse

While the summer heat was registering in other parts of town, it was hardly noticeable in the covered terrace and steps leading to the backyard. So the decision was made to officially greet guests and make the “announcement.”

Roslyn asked Luncheon Co-Chairs Robin Bagwell and Jan Osborn, DWF Board Chair Ashlee Kleinert and Honorary Chair Betty S. Regard to join her for the announcement.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Betty S Regard, Jan Osborn, Robin Bagwell and Ashlee Kleinert

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Betty S. Regard, Jan Osborn, Robin Bagwell and Ashlee Kleinert

With the October 9th luncheon featuring Tory Burch a full month away, there were only 150 tickets left. And because of that situation, the DWF for the first time in its history was not going to send out invitations.

Just think of the postage they’re saving!

By the next morning, it was learned that 20 tickets had been purchased since party. Only 130 tickets ticking away.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #9: Chanel And Paris

Dallas was the center of the Chanel world in December for the Metiers d’Art. That one night in Fair Park was hardly enough for a Coco aficionado.That’s why this RBC Wealth Management TACA Custom Auction item will satisfy the hunger for experiencing Paris with “time on your hands.”

Chanel And Paris* (Value: $28,600)

Mademoiselle’s Paris is where one truly can celebrate and absorb the atmosphere and surroundings that inspired her timeless creations for decades.

Chanel men's timepiece**

Chanel men’s timepiece**

And speaking of timeless, this package will provide both the City of Lights and a Chanel design that will always be timely. For four nights, two people will call the Mandarin Oriental home and be free to explore the city on the Seine. Whether it’s checking the newest exhibition at the Louvre, shopping in the couture salons or taking day trips to the surrounding countryside, the agenda is open.

Alas, even the best of times must end, but not necessarily in this case. Thanks to beautiful-handcrafted his-and-hers Chanel timepieces, the couple will always have Paris. While her black ceramic J12 watch features diamond markers and quartz movement, his sleek black ceramic J12 watch has automatic movement. Vive la difference!

Thanks to American Airlines, the pair will travel business class roundtrip.

* Courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Mandarin Oriental Paris and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

Oops Alert: Crystal Charity Ball Had A Zero Problem

Now, don’t get your beautifully Botoxed brow all wrinkled up, but there was a slight error reported today at the Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Luncheon today in the tent adjacent to Neiman Marcus Downtown.

Nina Ricci fashions

Nina Ricci fashions

No, one of the 10 didn’t take a dive off the runway. And, no, the tent didn’t cave in. And, no, none of the wonderful Nina Ricci fashions suffered a malfunction. And, no, there weren’t any behind-the-scenes cat fights. Oh, please!

The oop’s that created a bit of consternation was one teeny, weeny zero. Well, it wasn’t that little a zero, but it was big enough to create a stir.

Of course, you want an explanation.

Karen Katz and Ralph Toledano

Karen Katz and Ralph Toledano

Well, it seems when the ever-adorable Neiman Marcus Group President/CEO Karen Katz welcomed the 447 guests, she reported that 2014 CCB Chair Robyn Conlon and her gals were aiming to raise $50M. Immediately, members of the 2014 CCB committee members opened their eyes wider than last night’s moon. Underwriters and past CCB members raised their eyebrows high enough to touch their hairlines.

Evidently, Karen “mistakenly read” $50,000,0000, instead of the actual goal of “$5,200,000.” Knowing Karen, she’s probably at her desk writing personal apologies to all 447 guests.

Now, look around the room. Everybody who has never made a mistake, raise your hand.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas

Catherine in red*

Catherine in red*

“’My name is Catherine and I am 17 years old. I stayed at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD) last year for almost two weeks after my spinal surgery. I am from southeastern Pennsylvania and felt at home at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas! Today marks one year post-op for me and I truly wanted to thank everyone who played a part in my recovery. I was able to meet so many incredible and inspiring families that made the stay so comforting. It was amazing to hear all of the families’ stories and experiences… it truly feels like one big family there.

“I am so grateful for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and for all they do for the community and families! I cannot even begin to express how amazing it was to have a loving and caring environment to recover after my surgery. During my stay at the hospital, I felt so happy knowing my parents could go ‘home’ at night and rest easy in a comforting and caring environment. I was absolutely amazed with all of the volunteers that came in and made so many wonderful meals for the families. I loved the activities provided each day for the children. It really makes recovery so much more fun! It truly means so much to have so many people with warm smiles and caring hearts surround you!’

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas entrance*

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas entrance*

“Catherine’s story is one of many like it that take place at Ronald McDonald House of Dallas each day. When a family faces a medical crisis, healing should always be the first priority—a family with a sick child should not worry about finding shelter or their next meal. Because of generous supporters like you, we can continue providing these services to our families. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on North Texas Giving Day (September 18) to see the families that are being helped with each donation.

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas*

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas*

“With your support we can provide a temporary home-away-from-home for families with sick or injured children receiving medical treatment in Dallas hospitals. Though we ask families to contribute $15 a night, no family is ever turned down for an inability to pay. The actual cost of providing meals, comfortable housing, and programs for families is closer to $125 a day. Our local community helps us bridge this gap, and keeps our home open with little to no cost for families. Your support on Giving Day, where donations of $25 or more will be amplified by bonus funds, can help continue to bridge this gap and help us help more families. We appreciate each and every donation that supports our mission. Thank you for helping Ronald McDonald House of Dallas on North Texas Giving Day!”

-By Jill Cumnock, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas Chief Executive Officer

* Graphic and photos provided by Ronald McDonald House of Dallas

Cattle Baron’s Gals And Guys High-Step It At Jimmy Choo’s

Tuesday evening a couple of women heading to Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village were heard wondering, “Is Jimmy Choo having a sale?” The reason or the question was the gaggle of gals filling the shoe boutique.

Jimmy Choo shoes

Jimmy Choo shoes

It was actually the unveiling of JC’s new autumn/winter collection being hosted by Claire and Dwight Emanuelson for the Cattle Baron’s folks. Spotted among the ladies were some gents. No, CBB hasn’t opened its membership to the guys. Rather, the couture footwear has added a men’s collection.

Evidently the organizers knew they were going to have a full house, so a bar was set up outside.

In addition to “a portion of proceeds” being donated to CBB, some smart cookies, like Anne Stodghill, were working the raffle ticket sales at the party. No wonder Anne’s team is leading chance sales.

Cindy Stager and Gina Betts

Cindy Stager and Gina Betts

Legendary CBB fundraiser Gina Betts admitted that despite focusing her efforts on her law practice, she was still going to be Thursday’s Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Luncheon…2014 CBB Co-Chair Cindy Stager reported that the October 18th American Cancer Society fundraiser with Kenny Chesney is 88% sold out. Underwriting Co-Chairs Gini Florer, Amy Green, Mary Martha Pickens and D’Andra Simmons have raised more than $3.5M. Silent Auction Co-Chairs Katy Bock, Mary C. Corrigan and Paige Westhoff have collected items valued at more than $1.1M. For the live auction, Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Merry Wyatt had managed to score a “1976 Chevy Truck originally built in Texas by Gas Monkey Garage Richard Rawlings.

Loretta Albaral

Loretta Albaral

But ticket sales and beautiful peeps weren’t the only eyecatchers within the walls. JB Hayes, Angela Choquette, Isabella Novakov and Dee Simmons sporting a new short haircut were checking out the shoes on the shelves.

And speaking of shelf life, Robert Albaral watched “my lovely wife” Loretta three or four nifty clutches on a tiered display table. Somehow three glittering purses on the other side of the table ended up toppling domino-style on to the floor. Guess they were trying to get Loretta’s attention.

The “definite indoor event” at Gilley’s is just five weeks away. So if you haven’t locked down your place or purchased a handful of raffle ticket, better settle down and get busy.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #10: Golf And Wine Retreat In Central California

The annual black-tie TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction is nearing — Friday, September 26! In addition to raising funds for the performing arts organization, it will also debut the newly renovated ballroom at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Just imagine the paddles raising in the new digs as the ultimate luxury items go on the bloc with Christie’s auctioneer Andrew McVinish working the crowd. As if they need working!

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Dean Fearing (File photo)

This year’s collection is simply stellar especially if you have luggage in need to a work out. Thanks to Gala Co-Chairs Neiman’s Exec Wanda Gierhart and Dean of Foodism Dean Fearing, the emphasis is on food, wine, the arts, fashion, travel and world class pampering. You expected less? Didn’t think so.

First on the list of the “Tantalizing Ten” is not made for the stay-at-home type, who consider putt-putt golf glamorous and Ovaltine to be nectar of the gods.

Golf And Wine Retreat In Central California* (Value: $13,700 $8,340)

Two words mean happiness to a weekend golfer or a pro — Pebble Beach. Just ask Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell. That’s where they each won the U.S. Open! This package provides for a couple to enjoy this charming coastal community, while staying at The Inn at Spanish Bay surrounded by the Monterey pines, the Scottish-style links golf course and the Pacific. Of course, the twosome will have a round of golf at one of Pebble Beach Resort’s legendary courses.

Pebble Beach Retreat**

Pebble Beach Retreat**

But there’s more to Pebble Beach than golf. As if the surroundings aren’t relaxing enough, the couple will have a 50-minute massage at The Spa at Pebble Beach and dinner at one of Pebble Beach Resort’s spectacular restaurants.

The remaining two nights will be spent just up the road at the historic Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa, where even more spa treatments will be available at the Spa at Renaissance Sonoma.

And what is a trip to Sonoma without a touch of the vino? But not a touch in this case. Instead, the pair and a couple of friends will have a private tour and tasting at Cakebread Cellars, followed by dinner.

Then journey up the road to the land where techie fortunes have been made in the Silicon Valley with its incredible views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ah, but where to bunk down? Well, since this is a TACA package, Rosewood Sand Hill is the place naturally. And before heading home another 50-minute massages at the Sense Spa for the twosome. Hey, resorting and retreating can be tough on the body, don’t you know.

Don’t forget to send friends back home a postcard. They’ll really wish they were there!

* Courtesy of VISA,Rosewood Hotels and American Airlines
** Photo provided by TACA

 

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Retreet

“’The trees,’ he said.

“As 50 volunteers from all over the US, Canada, and Mexico planted trees on Patrick’s property, he named the biggest loss he and his wife experienced during the wildfires that burned most of his community.

A group of Retreeters gathers before planting a neighborhood*

A group of Retreeters gathers before planting a neighborhood*

“It was heartbreaking. The house could have burned down, not a problem. Didn’t even care. It was the trees.”

“Decades ago, when he bought the property, the lush pine forest was all that stood. Looking across those green acres, Patrick dreamed about the home he would build when he retired from the service. His dream became reality right before it turned into a nightmare.

“Like most people facing such devastation, Patrick quickly found out that his trees will take longer to replace than anything else. New cars and clothes can be purchased, and a new house can be up within a year or two. Most of that is covered by good insurance. But the mature trees in the yard that are now stumps? Those are going to take decades to replace. In an environment where time and resources are scarce, tree replacement is often low on the priority meter, understandably so.

Planting an oak in the wake of a wildfire*

Planting an oak in the wake of a wildfire*

“The vision of Retreet is a society in which the need to replace lost trees in a manner sensitive to the local environment is considered part of the standard response to disaster, and is provided for alongside other relief initiatives. Through direct action and community engagement, we offer a unique solution to an urgent problem at a relatively low cost.

“Our concept crystallized around making community service as fun as it is rewarding. We create an entire weekend of programming that includes bicycle rides, tours, and community events. We invite all of the locals for whom we plant to join us in these activities.

Retreet*

Retreet*

“To date, Retreeters have planted a total 1,458 trees for hundreds of residents of Dallas, Lancaster, Possum Kingdom Lake, and Bastrop, TX, an achievement that is due in large part to funding we receive each year from our participation in North Texas Giving Day.

“This year on September 18, donors will again have the once-a-year opportunity to amplify their $25 or more donations with bonus funds and prizes. Those dollars can then be used to help replace trees lost in disasters in our North Texas communities.

“On occasion, someone asks ‘why trees?’ Whenever that question comes up, I remember standing in Patrick’s yard, watching him and his wife hug Retreeters as the enormous oak we’d planted was being mulched and watered. They had spent months putting their life back together, but in that moment it’s not what mattered.

“What did? The trees.”

-By Grady McGahan, Retreet Executive Director

* Graphic and photos provided by Retreet