JUST IN: Jennifer And Richard Dix And Kristi And Ron Hoyl To Co-Chair The Family Place’s 2017 ReuNight

Just when you think no more news could develop in the rising summer temperatures, The Family Place team proved they were filled with news.

But they weren’t sharing all the developments for the annual ReuNight dinner and auction just yet.

What is known is who will be co-chairing the event. It will be a couple of gals who are old hands at bringing the dough — Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl.

The two ladies single-handedly made the 2010 and 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork spectacular.

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

To shore up their efforts, they’re bringing along two R’s — husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl.

As for when and where, the foursome won’t cough up the info yet. But stay tuned. Pressure is being applied to get the details.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: A Tasteful Place Gala

According to Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place Gala Co-Chairs Barbara Bigham and Robin Carreker,

Barbara Bigham (File photo)

Robin Carreker (File photo)

We are thrilled to serve as chairs of the opening of A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum’s newest garden focused solely on all things food. Called “A Gala Garden Party,” we’re organizing one of the most exquisite events to open A Tasteful Place. Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 15, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We’ll enjoy cocktails, garden tours, a delectable dinner, dessert and some fun surprises that you’ll just have to wait to experience that evening! Our fabulous honorary chairs are the lovely Diane and Hal Brierley.

Of course, attire is “garden gorgeous.” If you’re interested in joining us, tickets start at $500, and you can contact Sarah Warnecke, eventrepliesslw@gmail.com, or leave a message at 214.515.6524.

A Tasteful Place*

About A Tasteful Place: Majestically placed overlooking White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, A Tasteful Place is a verdant 3.5-acre garden woven in a beautiful tapestry of ornamentally displayed fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers with a lagoon. Located at the Dallas Arboretum, A Tasteful Place is the first of its kind in the Metroplex and will fill a much-needed void in the community. The garden was developed as a living, learning, growing experience that will help guide us toward understanding how to prepare foods and eat more healthily. Plus, it’s just a fabulous place to have a party!

* Graphic provided by the Dallas Arboretum

MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Returns Monday With A Little Help From “Friends”

MySweetCharity

Monday the annual MySweetCharity Opportunity series gets started. For newcomers, this series is the perfect “opportunity” for non-profits to tell about upcoming fundraising activities.

Some “friends of the North Texas non-profits” decided they could support MySweetCharity’s efforts to draw attention to the series by sponsoring the seven-week run. Who are these “friends”? You’ll never know. They wanted to do it sorta anonymously. You’ll see what we mean Monday.

BTW, the “friends” also signed on board with the understanding that all they wanted to do was drive more people to reading the posts. They have absolutely no involvement in the selection of the posts nor what is written.

Like North Texas volunteers and non-profits, they are pitching in for the good of our community.

What’s that? You’re interested in submitting an “opportunity”? Great! But, of course, there are some suggestions in getting them published. Here are the ground rules:

  • The plan calls for byline articles by chair/co-chairs of upcoming fundraising activities.
  • The subject? Tell why the upcoming event should be at the top of everyone’s calendar and how to get involved.
  • Here are some suggestions on what to include:
    • The name of the organization and link to it
    • Name of author (Non-paid volunteers are preferred over staffers, don’t you know!)
    • The event
    • The date and location
    • Chairs, honorary chairs, etc.
    • Highlight(s) of the event
    • Sponsors
    • Length: Make it as long or as short as you want. Hint: MSC readers usually prefer posts with word counts ranging from 250 to 500 words.)
    • If you want to send photos/graphics/logos, you’ll need to submit them in a JPEG format.

Send them to Jeanne.Prejean@mysweetcharity.com with “MSC Opportunity – <Name of Organization>” in the subject line (Example: “MSC Opportunity – Buggy Whip Revitalization Gala”) that way it won’t get trapped in the infamous MSC filter trap. It’s the black hole of the MSC world.

Yesterday’s Heroes And Tomorrow’s Hopefuls Celebrated At The Frontiers Of Flight Museum’s “Exploration Space 2017 Gala”

Despite threatening weather, the sky was the limit for the Frontiers of Flight Museum‘s “Exploration Space 2017 Gala” on Thursday, May 18, at the museum. For the occasion, Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise were on hand to receive the George E. Haddaway Award, along with NASA vet Mary Ellen Weber and past Haddaway awardees Walt Cunningham and Dr. Ken Cooper. But the event wasn’t just limited to yesteryear heroes. Tomorrow’s hopefuls included adorable Sofia Lee. Here’s a report from the field:

Frontiers of Flight Gala*

The 2017 Gala was all about Exploration Space – from the remarkable Apollo 13 astronauts, Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, who were honored with the Museum’s George E. Haddaway Award, to nine-year-old Sofia Lee, representing the 18,000 students who participate in the Museum’s STEM education programs.

During the conversation with Jim Lovell and Fred Haise about the Apollo 13 mission that was classified as a “successful failure” when the astronauts were brought home safely against many odds, Fred Haise said, “I thought it would just be an abort. My emotion initially was just sick to my stomach with disappointment. We’d lost the landing.”

Mary Ellen Weber, Jim Lovell, Mary Ann Cree, Sofia Lee, Fred Haise and Walt Cunningham*

The Apollo 13 story and the continued interest in space exploration was evidenced by the many age groups in attendance. Mary Ellen Weber, a NASA veteran of the Space Shuttle missions Discovery and Atlantis and a strong supporter of the Museum’s STEM education program, was in attendance.

Even the children today consider the astronauts American heroes. Sofia Lee was so eager to meet her heroes that she raised money for her ticket to the Gala through a lemonade stand. Sofia, who aspires to be an astronaut for her generation, met her heroes and had the honor of presenting them with the Haddaway Award. Sofia says, “I want to be an astronaut one day. I want to see things from a new perspective, to see them differently than I do from Earth.”

Capt. Lovell, who piloted or commanded four NASA missions – Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13 – and Fred Haise, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 13, became the 43rd and 44th recipients of the Museum’s George E. Haddaway Award, joining the ranks of John Glenn, Walt Cunningham and Chuck Yeager.

The award is presented by the Museum annually “to those who have distinguished themselves by their accomplishments in the real of flight as pilots, aircrew members, corporate or political leadership, engineering, education or literature.”

Funds raised from the event “support the Museum’s new Exploration Space Initiative, a multi-faceted expansion of the Museum’s acclaimed STEM educational programming.”

Event sponsors included:

  • Exploration Space ($50,000) — Mary Ann Cree (Presenting Sponsor)
  • Apollo 13 ($25,000) — Gena and Dan Hamilton
  • Gemini 12 ($10,000) — Boeing / Aviall, Gulfstream, Martha and David Norton/Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley and Norton LLP and The Alinda Hill Wikert Foundation
  • Gemini 7 ($5,000) — Air-O-Specialists of Texas, Inc./dgseals.com Inc., American Airlines and Millie and Kenneth H. Cooper, Corgan, DFW International Airport, D Magazine, Dallas Love Field, Dickie+Associates, Events by Bill, Suzy Fulton/Scott Davis, Herbert Minerals Ltd./PlaneSmart! Aviation, Nancy and Pete Huff/Dr. and Mrs. David Webb Jr.,Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones and Ron Jones, Chris Jones – Purewater Baths, Elsa Manzanares/Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, Noelle and Stewart Mercer, Tom Rhodes/The Rhodes Group, Signature Flight Support,  Southwest Airlines, University of Texas at Dallas Special Collections, UPS, Virgin America, Cindy and Tony Weber and James A. White
* Photos provided by Frontiers of Flight Museum

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Jennifer Bartkowski*

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer K. Bartkowski,

Back when I went off to Girl Scout camp decades ago, my mother was looking for an extended break and I was too – that time spent away gave me independence and both of us the rest we needed during my teenage years. 

But today, time is tight and kids are super busy so if they’re going to head to a camp, it has to offer a meaningful experience. Girl Scouts has responded to that challenge by offering an exciting and challenging all-girl leadership environment that incorporates college and career readiness. Girl Scouts, as the expert in how girls learn and develop as leaders, brings great value to new partnerships with program partners, universities, mentors and corporations, all looking to develop the next pipeline for future leaders in North Texas.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

With camps that encourage girl-led, hands-on and collaborative learning, girls develop a strong sense of self, learn to seek challenges, and develop healthy relationships – the skills universities and companies say are essential for long-term success. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) offers high school girls a unique opportunity that most girls can’t get anywhere else. Offering university prep, corporate visits and job shadowing, the GSLI has leveraged extensive community partnerships to offer girls the opportunity to explore what could lie ahead. Openings are still available at:

  • USAA – Tuesday, July 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Ever wondered how you would select your car insurance once you begin to drive, how to find a credit card, or whether you will need renter’s insurance to lease an apartment?
  • Comerica – Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: Participate in a mini-job fair to explore banking careers, talk to a job panel of industry female leaders and more!

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

Our Summer Adventure Series at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence offers girls a creative space to innovate and create. In June, girls discovered how to build and fly a drone through an obstacle course. In July, a group of girls is participating in an adventure in antibiotic discovery where they’re actually learning to chemically engineer antibiotics.  While the camp continues construction leading up to our grand opening in May 2018, we do still offer day-camps including:  

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

  • Adventures in Design: July 17-20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Girls 6-12th grade are invited to join us for “Fabulous Fashion” sponsored by Fluor and pwc.  If you have an eye for design and want to learn about patterns, production, textiles and tailoring to create your own line of products, this camp is for you!  Explore all of our session descriptions at gsnetx.org/adventurecamp
  • Adventures in Super Powers: July 24-27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Calling all Wonder Women!  Younger girls will build self-confidence through team building activities while older elementary campers will learn to use their voice to champion a cause important to them and discover how to be courageous. Sessions offered for girls K-5. 

Girl Scouts also offers the traditional summer resident camp experience at three properties across our region. Did you know, you don’t have to be in a troop to participate in Girl Scout programs and camps?  Join for $25/year to have access to member rates for all of our camps. To learn more, visit gsnetx.org/camp or call 972.349.2400.

* Photo provided by Girl 
Scouts of Northeast Texas

Arty Event At The Joule Raises Cattle Baron’s Funds

Anne Stodghill

Sunie and Steve Solomon

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon decided this year to have a special party to auction off art that had been donated to the cause. That’s why, on Wednesday, May 17, a big room at The Joule Hotel was given over to an amazing display of art for sale, the proceeds from which would be deployed in the fight against cancer.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction

The 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction was sponsored by The Joule and its owner, Tim Headington, who not only bankrolled the shindig, but ponied up a $50,000 donation to boot. The live and silent auction, the first of its kind ever for Cattle Baron’s, showcased something for everyone’s taste. Like Marilyn Monroe? There was a portrait of her on display, with a $13,500 price tag  on it. John Wayne more your style? A painting of The Duke was marked for sale at $10,000.

Steve Stodghill and Erin and Larry Waks

Francois Bellemare and Lauren Chapman

Kelly Perkins and Cindy Stager

While the 200 guests including CBB stalwarts Joanna Clarke, Dawn Spalding, Ashley Lyon, Laura Moon, Greg Nieberding, Cindy Stager, Kelly Perkins, Jacque Wynne, Mary Black, Vicki and Bob Chapman, Lauren Chapman, Francois Bellemare, Isabell Novakov, Nikki Webb, Erin and Larry Waks and Katy and Lawrence Bock munched hors d’oeuvres and checked out the pieces that were up for bid, Debra Nelson was remembering her dad, who passed away last year, and her Norwegian roots in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she grew up. Her nostalgia was especially strong, Debra added, because today (May 17) was also “Syttende Mai”—or Norwegian National Day.

Olivia Kearney

Jeff Kearney

Olivia and Jeff Kearney, meantime, were also marking an important day: their 18th wedding anniversary. (Quipped Olivia: “That’s the longest I’ve ever been married to anyone!”) To celebrate the occasion they’d just returned from New York, where they had rave reviews for a new play they saw called “Come From Away.” It tells the true story of what happened in 2001 after 38 planes (carrying 7,000 people) were ordered  to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following 9/11.

When the evening was over and all the receipts were added up, organizers said the pioneering Art Auction brought in a total of $128,000.

A Clarification On The Dallas Country Club’s New Event Scheduling Policy

Whoa! Yesterday’s post mentioning the Dallas Country Club adjusting its event-scheduling policy has had some event planners wondering, “What’s up?” Well, the good folks at the Dallas Country Club wanted to clarify the situation.

The Board of Directors set the new policy last week that the Club can host events under 100 guests Tuesday – Friday for breakfast and lunch or any size on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.  The limitations on size are only during the breakfast and lunch hours Tuesday – Friday. Evening events and events that are already confirmed on the calendar are not affected.

It seems that since the Clubhouse’s reopening in 2012, the member usage has continued to increase as well as the demand for private event space. With the large daytime events and having ample parking for Members increasingly becoming a challenge, the Board set this temporary policy in place until they can find a solution.

2018 Crystal Charity Ball Selection Process Plans Announced

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

In between applications of sunscreen and ripping open Amazon Prime Day purchases, think ahead to 2018. Believe it or not, it’s just around the calendar corner.

Need a for instance? The 2018 Crystal Charity Ball selection process. 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson has provided the rundown of dates for nonprofits to participate:

  • Friday, September 1, 2017 — Applications for the 2018 grants will be available online. Why the early warning? That gives Dallas County children’s charity brain trusts enough time to decide if they want to take the first step in vying for funding and the stamp of approval by the 65-year-old organization. To qualify for consideration, the charity must
    • Serve children in Dallas County
    • Have had a 501 (c) 3 designation for at least three years
    • Have provided services in Dallas County for at least three years
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. — For newcomers and returnees, there will be “a brief prospective application orientation at Communities Foundation of Texas.” No, it’s “not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.”
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at noon — Hard-copy applications must be in the Crystal Charity Ball office, 3838 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite L 150, by noon. Remember, that’s noon for hard-copy applications and no excuses.
  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 — The selection of 2018 beneficiaries will be made.

If you’re weighing whether or not to try out, check with past recipients. Since 1952, more than 100 children’s charities have received more than $137M.

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: 2017 Parade Of Playhouses

According to Dallas CASA Board Chair John Gibson,

John Gibson*

Looking for a cool way to run off some of your children’s energy while also helping a good cause? Grab your kids and head to Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses July 7 through 23 at NorthPark Center.

With 14 perfectly pint-sized playhouses decorating the halls of NorthPark, Parade of Playhouses is the perfect way to let your kids’ imaginations go wild while also learning about children in our community who need help.

For 22 years, NorthPark Center has played host to the playhouses, which are donated by local builders, designers and corporations and available to win through raffle at the end of the 17-day event. What child doesn’t want to imagine his or her own miniature house? This year’s designs include a house in the image of an owl, an activity house with a climbing wall and even a house shaped like a cuckoo clock. House designers and builders pour skill, creativity and love into these unusual creations.

The event benefits Dallas CASA, a nonprofit that provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children navigating the child welfare system. Walking the corridors and viewing the playhouses is a great way to start a conversation with your own kids about those in our community who are less fortunate. Children in the child welfare system don’t dare dream of a playhouse with all the bells and whistles. They dream of safe and permanent homes where they are loved.

2017 Parade of Playhouses*

Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses is open until Sunday, July 23, during NorthPark’s hours. Viewing the playhouses is free and raffle tickets to win a playhouses are available for $5 each or five for $20.

All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales help Dallas CASA provide more children with advocates to serve them. For Dallas CASA, Parade of Playhouses has also become a key recruiting and community awareness event. Tables throughout NorthPark are staffed with volunteer advocates and other supporters who can tell you about becoming a volunteer advocate for abused children.

In fact, Parade of Playhouses might be the beginning of something for you to do after summer, too. A training class for volunteer advocates begins Sept. 6, right after the kids go back to school. The first step to becoming a volunteer advocate is attending an information session.

Maybe it’s your turn to dream not about a tiny house but about helping make the world a better place one child at a time.

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction

Art was definitely in the air on Wednesday, May 17, in downtown Dallas. While the fashionista types were oohing and ahing over at the Dallas Museum of Arts for the private reception of the Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, the cancer-battling types were at The Joule.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction

Seems 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill had added a new touch to the annual fundraising efforts to conquer cancer. They pulled together all types of art for a Texas-sized auction in The Joule’s ballroom.

As purty as the art was on display, the gathering of baronesses and barons was darn impressive, too.

Francois Bellemare and Lauren Chapman

Mary Black and Jacque Wynne

While the i’s are being dotted and the t’s crossed on the post, the pictures are up at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

The Wilkinson Center Is Dealing With The Loss Of Volunteer Vickie Thompson And The Need For The Can Do! Lunch To Change

Vickie Thompson (File photo)

The Wilkinson Center’s Anne Reeder admitted that the past week has been tough. Longtime Wilkinson volunteer and “Lakewood Mom” Vickie Thompson suddenly died of a heart attack following the Lakewood 4th of July parade. It was just a year or so ago that Vickie had been named Wilkinson’s volunteer of the year. Whether it was pitching in to help the community or rallying others to the need of an individual, she exemplified the very word “volunteer.”

For those who knew Vickie, it’s hard to imagine the Lakewood neighborhood and the Center being without the blonde powerhouse leading the charge.

Anne had hardly adjusted to that news when she learned that the Sixth Annual Can Do! Luncheon was going to have to change. No, not the event itself, but rather the traditional date and possibly the location. Since its inception, the fundraising luncheon spotlighting entrepreneurship had been held at the Dallas County Club on the second Tuesday of May.

But it seems the Club had recently notified event planners and members that a new policy limited events with more than 100 guests to Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

What’s a girl to do?

Luckily, Anne had already arranged for fundraising force-of-nature Emilynn Wilson to chair the 2018 luncheon. It was Emilynn who hauled in a whopping $283,435 for the Callier Cares Luncheon this past April at the DCC.

Comparing notes the ladies bit the bullet and booked Monday, May 7, at the DCC.

So, white out May 8 and ink in the new date for the 2018 Can Do! Luncheon. This one is going to be tough without Vickie, but one can’t help but suspect that her spirit will fill the room.

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Frontiers Of Flight Museum

According to Frontiers of Flight Museum’s Carla Meadows,

Looking for the coolest destination to beat the heat this summer?  Visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  You’ll experience the stories of aviation and space flight from the Wright Flight to the one-of-a-kind “Flying Pancake;” the Apollo VII spacecraft, 13 historical galleries, and over 35,000 artifacts; the Living History program and our acclaimed STEM education program. The Frontiers of Flight Museum is the perfect place to explore the history and progress of aviation, as mankind continues to pursue going higher, faster and farther.  

Frontiers Of Flight Museum*

Featured summer events at the Frontiers of Flight Museum:

The Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave., is conveniently located just north of downtown on Lemmon Avenue at the southeast side of Dallas Love Field Airport, north of Mockingbird Lane. Housed in a modern 100,000-square-foot facility, the Museum provides a focal point to explore the history and progress of aviation. Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors (65+) $8; Youths/Students (3-17) $7 and children under 3 are free. For more information, visit www.flightmuseum.com

* Photo provided by Frontiers Of Flight Museum

22nd Annual Parade Of Playhouses Is Polished Up And Rocking At NorthPark Center For Dallas CASA

Craig Beneke

It was just a couple of weeks ago in June that af architecture and fabrication’s Craig Beneke got a shout out from one of his 21-year-old twin daughters. It wasn’t for a new car. It wasn’t for a loan. It was for a house. No, not a 2,000-square-foot bungalow in the M Street hood. It was for a playhouse. She wasn’t reverting back to her childhood. Rather, she was hoping that her dad could provide a playhouse for Dallas CASA’s 22nd Annual Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark.

It seems one of the originally signed-up builders had bailed, and there was a need to fill a spot for the annual Dallas CASA fundraiser that would run from Saturday, July 8 through Sunday, July 23.

Playhouse Rock cowbell on a construction work belt

Playhouse Rock sound tubes

Playhouse Rock floor

Not only did Papa Craig answer the call-to-deliver, but he literally hit the nail on the head.  His Playhouse Rock was a musical marvel that would please anyone from Jaap to Jay-Z with a mini-xylophone built into the floor complete with mallets for playing and an assortment of others goodies — rain stick, triangle, sound tubes, etc. There were personal touches, too. For instance, the front door’s cowbell is suspended by his construction work belt.

But being a perfectionist, Craig was eyeballing the hand prints left from the move-in on Thursday, July 6. He was going to do some touch-up, so his Playhouse Rock would be perfect.

Whimsical Cottage

A few playhouses away, Doug Beaty of Beach Sheet Metal was sharing Craig’s dilemma about prints. It seems that the Whimsical Cottage’s copper roof was a fingerprint magnet. Last year, he arrived daily to polish the roof, so it was spotless. He expected to do the same this year. When someone offered to post a sign dissuading people from touching, he scoffed at the idea. He relished the idea that little ones and their parents couldn’t resist touching the shiny roof.   

Cuckoohaus

Paw Rescue

The White Owl’s Den

But those are just two of the 11 playhouses on display. Some have rock walls; some are so cozy; some have interior lighting; some are open and breezy. But they all will be raffled off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, in NorthPark’s North Court to support Dallas CASA’s mission “to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children, helping these children gain safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.” If you’re unable to check out the houses, you can still buy your raffle ticket here. They’re going for $5 each or five for $20.

Also, the builders are all vying to claim the title of “Favorite Playhouse.” You can vote by texting dallascasa to 41444. BTW, each vote costs $5.

Check out the Parade of Playhouses at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Lynn McBee To Receive The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Of The Year Award In October

Lynn McBee (File photo)

The first weekend in October is going to have Lynn McBee busier than an Office Depot clerk on the first day of school. It was already announced that she was going to be the honorary chair for the Inaugural Jade Ball Gala benefiting the Crow Collection of Asian Art at the Belo Mansion on Saturday, October 7.

Now Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Co-Chairs Kristen Sanger and Cindy Stager just sent word that on the day before (aka Friday, October 6), Lynn will receive the Texas Trailblazer of the Year Award at The Family Place’s annual fundraising luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

According to Cindy, “Lynn has been hugely involved with The Family Place for over 20 years, so it’s a great honor to be able to recognize all she’s done for the organization at this year’s luncheon.”

Hopefully, the poor girl will be able to use Sunday to recover.

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Dallas Museum Of Art

According to Dallas Museum of Art Director of Communications and Public Affairs Interim Director of Marketing Jill Bernstein,

Do you want to stay cool and cultured this summer? Then head to the Dallas Museum of Art at 1717 N. Harwood Street in the Dallas Arts District where you and the kiddos can discover 5,000 years of human creativity without getting a sunburn!

Dallas Museum of Art*

Since Tuesday, June 13, there’s been a new experience each day (well except Monday, because we are closed)! Make family connections and memories with works of art as you enjoy story time, guided tours, and drop-in art making. The best part of all, it’s free and fun for all ages from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.!  Art will come alive through hands on gallery activities, workshops, and so much more.

You can even explore the Museum at your own pace with the DMA app. Use the interactive map to locate specific works of art and dive in with themed tours!

Dallas Museum of Art*

This summer, travel around the globe without burning a hole in your pocket at the Dallas Museum of Art. Special exhibitions do require a ticket, unless you’re 11 and under, then those are free as well!

For more information visit www.DMA.org/summer-family-fun. 

* Photos provided by Dallas Museum of Art

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 22nd Annual Parade Of Playhouses

Playhouse Rock

The White Owl’s Den

The 22nd Annual Parade of Playhouses started its march this past weekend through NorthPark Center to fund Dallas CASA, come rain or shine. One of the adorable mini-mansions didn’t even exist until a couple of weeks ago, and it came about thanks to a daughter’s call to a dad. And, boy, did pop come through!

Paw Rescue

Whimsical Cottage

Before heading over to NorthPark to see them up close and personally to examine the detail and craftmanship, check out the 11 houses at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But you’d better hustle, because they’ll be raffled off on Sunday, July 23.

Cowbell on a construction work belt

Cottage light

In the meantime, the post about the dad is being finalized. Stay tuned.

The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon Registration Deadline Approaches

How about a marathon that requires absolutely no sunscreen, sunglasses or sweating? That’s exactly what the Dallas Film Society and Studio Movie Grill have on “The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon” agenda for Sunday, July 16, at Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley.

First Annual Movie Madness Marathon*

Guests will watch four movies — “Despicable Me 3,” “Spider Man – Homecoming,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Baby Driver” — continuously starting at 11 a.m. with the goal of raising funds for the various DFS programs (DFS Summer Film Camp, DFS College Intern Program, DFS High School Roundtable Education Program, Dallas International Film Festival and DFS Premiere Film Screening, to mention a few).

Here’s the plan. Each moviegoer registers here to “secure a seat” in the marathon. The registration fee is $25. Then, besides OD-ing on popcorn, they’ll be asked to get friends, family and anyone they can convince to donate money for a minimum goal of $500.

According to organizers, you’ll be asked during registration “if you want to use your name or create a fun, movie-themed team name. This is how donors will find you. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a link you can share on social media and send via email to friends and family asking them to make a pledge to support you.”

The problem is that the deadline for registering is today! Holy Batman yipes!  But you just know the DFS folks know how to make room for movie lovers, so go ahead and send your registration in pronto.

Oh, and, yes, for those who wonder, there will be bathroom breaks between movies.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Film Society

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Dallas Zoo

According to Dallas Zoo intern Lauren Lombardo*,

The dog days of summer may be here, but the Dallas Zoo knows just how to get families off the couch with a wild outdoor adventure. We’re debuting new exhibits and more than 2,000 animals that are sure to please the whole family. So pack a cooler and join us from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily!

Simmons Hippo Outpost*

Our new Simmons Hippo Outpost features a 24-foot by 8-foot underwater viewing window that’ll bring guests eye-to-nostril with these majestic “river horses” as they swim around their African waterhole. The exhibit is the first major addition to the Dallas Zoo since Giants of the Savanna opened in 2010, and offers an elevated view of our hippos from the Wilds of Africa Safari monorail—trust us, you’re going to want to bring the camera. Catch a daily hippo keeper chat at 2:30 p.m., and you might just see these hefty herbivores munch on a head of lettuce.

You can also find more than 80 large scale photos throughout the Zoo as part of the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition. These larger than life images are perfect for snapping selfies or striking a pose with your favorite animal. We’re one of only three zoos showcasing this incredible collection of photos by photographer Joel Sartore through Sept. 4.

If that’s not enough, we’re currently in the midst of an adorable baby boom! Little lion cub Bahati and giraffe calf Tsavo are making daily appearances in their habitats. You can see Bahati play with mom Lina and aunt Jasiri in the Wilds of Africa as well as hand feed giraffes at the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge.

Admission is free for children age 2 or under and Zoo Members, $12 for children age 3-11 and seniors over age 64, and $15 for adults age 12-64.

* Much to the disppointment of the staff, Friday was Lauren’s last day at the Zoo 
** Photo provided by the Dallas Zoo

Iris Van Herpen: Fashion Transforming Seamlessly Displayed The Art Of Haute Couture At Dallas Museum Of Art

Salvador Breed and Iris van Herpen

Thanks to Miranda, many were straightened out about the importance that fashion plays in life. The “Devil” diva would have felt truly justified if she had been part of the art-loving fashionable set at the preview of Iris van Herpen: Fashion Transforming on Wednesday, May 17, at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Standing in front of the Hoffman Galleries, 33-year-old Dutch designer Iris van Herpen was the center of attention along with her towering boyfriend Salvador Breed, who is an accomplished musician. Within the galleries like the Terracotta Army, elegant rows of mannequins displayed 45 outfits from 15 of her collections.   

Iris van Herpen: Fashion Transforming

Iris van Herpen: Fashion Transforming

As guests like studio jewelry maven Deedie Rose, Laura and Walter Elcock, Selwyn Rayzor and Rich Moses, Diana Clark, Roslyn Walker, Barb and Steve DurhamKeith Nix, Mary and Bob Potter, Lee Bailey and Shelby Marcus    wandered eyeballing the jaw-dropping fashions, one fashionista confided, “They’re amazing, but how do you sit down in them?”

Deedie Rose

Rich Moses and Selwyn Rayzor

As fascinating as Iris’ DMA exhibition was, it was rather sedate compared to her recent Paris Haute Couture runway show that got rave reviews by Vogue. For her presentation, she had musicians perform underwater to provide the proper feel for her theme of the “contrast between water and air, between water and air, between outside and inside, between lightness and darkness.”  

Indeed, as DMA Director Agustin Arteaga said of Iris at the Dallas exhibition: “She challenges the borders.” Her DMA exhibit continues through Sunday, August 20, and it’s well worth the special exhibition fee of $16. But there are discounts for seniors, students and military, as well as DMA members—and kiddos 11 and under get in free. Ah, the benefits of membership!

For more photos of the collection and the VIPeeps, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Mosaic Family Services’ Champion Of Human Rights Award To Be Presented To Brittany Merrill Underwood At 8th Annual Gala

Mosaic Family Services 8th Annual Gala Co-Chairs Ashley Anderson Smith and Nusia Sookarow have just announced that Akola Founder/CEO Brittany Merrill Underwood will receive the Champion of Human Rights Award on Friday, October 6, at sixty five hundred.

Brittany Merrill Underwood*

Steve Kemble (File photo)

According to Ashley, “Brittany Underwood and Akola have transformed the lives of thousands of women and children around the world. We are thrilled to honor her as a Champion of Human Rights. We hope the community will join us in ‘Raising the Stakes’ as we raise vital funds to support Mosaic Family Services and our mission of providing a safe haven for survivors of human rights abuses.”

Past recipients of the award include Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates, Libby Spears, Abi Ferrin, Judge Roberto Canas Jr., Jan Langbein, Paige Flink, Luis C. deBaca and Lauren Embrey.

Along with Steve Kemble serving as emcee, Susan Posnick will be the honorary chair for the “Night in Monte Carlo”-themed fundraiser that will include cocktails, dinner by cn catering, a silent auction, a raffle, a casino and music by DJ LC.

Mosaic Family Services “is a safe haven for survivors of human rights abuses, including domestic violence and human trafficking. The multicultural staff at Mosaic supports, educates, and empowers more than 25,000 people each year through direct services and outreach. Refugees and survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence receive shelter, legal representation, counseling, access to health care, and support services in more than 30 languages. Every year, Mosaic House provides emergency housing to hundreds of women and children fleeing domestic violence and human trafficking.  They are the only shelter in North Texas providing comprehensive services to multicultural survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.”

The goal is to hit $200,000, so purchase a ticket here!

* Photo provided by Mosaic Family Services

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: Perot Museum Of Nature And Science

According to Perot Museum of Nature and Science Senior Communications/PR Manager Krista Villarreal Moore,

There’s a lot of big boredom busters in store this summer at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science! From the largest and most comprehensive Maya exhibition to tour the U.S., to the inspiring Dream Big 3D film, the Perot Museum has cool and fresh adventures plus discounts, extended hours, Discovery Camps, adults-only Social Science, sleepovers and more.

To provide greater access for active duty members and veterans of the United States military, law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics/EMTs, they can enjoy free general admission and discounted admission for family members through Labor Day.

Here are a few of the big happenings:

Stelae*

  • Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” (through Monday, Sept. 4) — History, mystery and culture collide in the largest traveling exhibition about the Maya ever to tour the U.S. Presented by Highland Capital Management, the exhibition brings together nearly 250 authentic artifacts and immersive environments to explore the astonishing accomplishments of one of the most powerful indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, that still has millions of living descendants today. Through hands-on activity stations, guests of all ages can decipher hieroglyphs, learn cultural and architectural techniques, and explore an underworld cave, ancient burial site, mural room and more. The bilingual exhibition, presented in English and Spanish, requires a surcharge for members and non-members. Members always enjoy free general admission and get up to half-off on tickets to “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. To expand accessibility for families, the Perot Museum’s Community Partners Ticket Offer   provides $1 general admission and $1 admission to “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” for individuals and families enrolled in qualified state and federally supported assistance programs. The offer is valid for up to seven immediate family members through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 4).
  • Programs — There’s always something new to do at the Perot Museum! From a new Architecture Tour, and adults-only Social Science events, to family-fun Discovery Days on the second Saturday of the month, Discovery Camps, sleepovers and more, the Museum has non-stop summer fun sure to create smiles and brighten brains.
  • Big Summer Discounts — This summer, the Perot Museum is pleased to offer complimentary general admission for active duty members and veterans of the United States military, law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics/EMTs and $3 off general admission for members of their immediate families (up to six family members) through Labor Day (Sept. 4, 2017).
  • 3D Films — Donning 3D glasses, guests can sit back and experience colossally cool films featuring young inspiring engineers, dinosaurs and today’s enchanted animal kingdom in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. The line-up includes
    • “Dream Big 3D,” an inspiring feel-good film narrated by Jeff Bridges that celebrates the human ingenuity and heart behind engineering marvels big and small;
    • “Walking With Dinosaurs 3D,” narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, which lets audiences see and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth; and
    • “Wild Africa 3D,” which takes viewers on a ride across, over and through the magical realms of Earth’s most dramatic continent. To view trailers and film schedules, go to org. Films are presented locally by Primrose Schools.

And the Perot Museum offers free general admission year-round to educators in Texas and its bordering states. Find details about all admission discounts at perotmuseum.org/discounts.

Through Monday, Sept. 4, the Perot Museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday with new expanded Sunday hours from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Members enjoy exclusive access to the Perot Museum and “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” from 9-10 a.m. every Saturday and 10-11 a.m. every Sunday. The Museum will be closed for routine annual maintenance Sept. 5-7. Regular hours from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. will resume Friday, Sept. 8.

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. Museum general admission is $20 for adults (18-64), $13 for youth (2-17), $14 for seniors (65+) and free for children under 2. “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” requires a surcharge for a total admission cost of $30 for adults (18-64), $21 for youth (2-17), $22 for seniors (65+), and free for children under 2. Admission to the theater is $6 for a short film (20 minutes) and $8 for a long film (40 minutes). Films and general admission for children under 2 are free. While reservations are not required, if guests purchase tickets online at perotmuseum.org they can enjoy a $2 discount on general admission per person (for a limited time). Plus, by purchasing online, guests can bypass ticket lines.

For more information, please visit perotmuseum.org or call 214.428.5555.

* Photo courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashion Exhibition

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

The Dallas Museum of Art’s preview soiree for Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen’s Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion was more like a wedding reception for the marriage of art and fashion. Having interned with Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra, Iris’ work is breathtaking and mind-shaking. True, some of the collection of 45 couture designs may not look all that comfortable for wearing, but there’s not a one that wouldn’t turn heads.

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

Salvador Breed and Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion

While the brief post is being prepared, Iris’ works of art are available for viewing over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery in the meantime.

JUST IN: Lisa Singleton To Chair The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon

Lisa Singleton may become the top contender for the lady who lunches for funds. She’s already chaired the Chick Lit Luncheon in 2013, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show in 2015, The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazers Luncheon in 2016 and is co-chairing the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32nd Annual Luncheon on  Friday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

Lisa Singleton*

Now, word comes that the blonde is already looking into next year and will be chairing The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary‘s 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon on Wednesday, May 9.

According to Lisa, “I am honored to have been asked to carry on this 26-year tradition of raising funds to support The Salvation Army and those in need in North Texas. Although the event is a fashion show and luncheon, we can’t lose sight that through the dedication of the many volunteers involved in putting on this tremendous event, people in our communities receive the support they need. Together, we have the power to affect tremendous change.”

In addition to already selecting the date for the fashion show highlighted by donated clothes, Lisa revealed that the event will return to the Meyerson with the opening reception, silent auction, the Chic Boutique, the fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and a seated luncheon.

Sponsorships are available now starting at $5,000 and individual tickets can be had for $300 by contacting Tina Trejo at 214.637.8121.

BTW, if you have that gorgeous gown that you wore to a ball and just know you’ll never wear it again, donate it. Lisa is going to be looking for clothes to fill the racks and the runway.

* Photo credit: Beau Bumpas

Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott And Joanna Hernandez Demonstrated The Importance Of After-School All-Stars For Middle Schoolers

Settle back: This post is a long one, but it’s worth it.

If Dante Alighieri was updating his “Purgatorio,” he surely would have added Middle School to his Divine Comedy. Even the most blemish-free runway model recoils when recalling those days between elementary and high school. Teachers serving time in classrooms during this tenure should receive combat pay. Kids on their way to adulthood via the way station of puberty are being hit by their physical changes as well as peer pressure. Parents who years ago changed their babies’ diapers and made their peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches are transformed into Golfimbul on steroids.

Needless to say, this period of life is trying to say the least. But more about this later.

Brad Sham and Charles Haley

Rising Stars Luncheon organizers were looking a tad bit nervous around noontime on Wednesday, May 17, in the entry of the Dallas Country Club as they gathered for the After-School All-Stars North Texas fundraiser. Keynote speaker/Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was 20 minutes late. Dallas Cowboys voice/the day’s emcee Brad Sham assured them not to worry. Dak was probably stuck in the traffic lineup of vehicles on Mockingbird waiting to turn into the club.

In another area of the DCC, Dallas Cowboys vet Charles Haley was having a great time with the Brad.

Cliff Fischer, Dak Prescott and Charles Haley

Ken Schnitzer and Dak Prescott

Lee Bailey, Gina Betts and Tracy Lange

Bailey Lange, Livia Lange and Dak Prescott

As the lineup of 100 guests including Luncheon Chair Gina Betts with husband Ken Betts and son Jack Betts, Lee Bailey, Lisa Cooley and daughter Ciara Cooley, Tori Roark, Tiffany Divis, Tanya Foster, Lange kids (Bailey, Livia and Luke), Gregory Dunbar, Nancy Gopez, Shannon and Ted Skokos, Roz Colombo and Cliff Fischer surged to more than 200 for the meet-and-greet in the Founders Room, Dak’s handlers seamlessly moved him from the porte-cochere entrance to the grip-and-grin via the kitchen.

Shannon Skokos, Dak Prescott and Ted Skokos

Nancy Gopez and Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott and Stuart Macatee

Tori Roark, Dak Prescott and Ciara Cooley

Tanya Foster, Dak Prescott and Tiffany Divis

Emerging from the hallway, Dak registered a momentary look of surprise at the number of smiling faces. Taking his place in front of the ASAS sponsor board, he met his adoring fans of all ages. It should be noted that as the line continued to grow, Dak only took a two-second break for a gulp of water.

With each new BFF, he flashed that trademark Dak smile.

Arriving with his mom, Jonika Nix, Cash Nix was a standout wearing a Cowboys #4 jersey.

Cash Nix, Dak Prescott and Jonika Nix

Just as Dak was about to make his getaway for the ballroom, Cliff Fischer and Charles Haley arrived for a photo. And, of course, Charles just couldn’t contain himself trying to give Dak a smooch. Doing a great dodge, Dak moved just out of lip shot.

It was interesting to note that one of the last to appear was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with son Jake Cuban. While Mark waved off a photo with Dak, he smiled on the side as the football player had a photo taken with Jake.

Fredye Factor, Dak Prescott and Haden Wolf

Inside the ballroom, it was a battle royale for guests taking selfies with Dak and Cubes. Poor guys hardly had a chance to eat. Speaking of which, it should be noted that the room had a larger showing than usual of young males. It seems that ASASNT Advisory Board Chair Ben Lange‘s blonde wife Tracy Lange had picked up on the abundance of little girls attending the “A Place to Soar” luncheon featuring Simone Biles. So, realizing that parents and grandparents like Fredye Factor might want to have a similar turnout of little boys for Dak, they prepared a menu just perfect for that age group: chicken fingers and French fries. And to be perfectly honest, there were many an adult who eyed the fingers and fries enviously.

Chicken fingers and fries

To keep the program rolling, Gina announced at the podium, “Please keep eating while we’re talking.” With that, silverware hit the plates. Gina explained that presenting sponsors Nancy and Richard Rogers were unable to attend because they were house moving.

She described the raffle prizes: First prize was a signed jersey by Dak, while the second prize was a trip to L.A. to player poker with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his friends. Upon hearing the latter, Dak piped up that he wanted a raffle ticket. 

Gina then got to the meat of the fundraiser: helping middle schoolers who get out of school in the afternoon and go to empty homes because their parent or parents are probably at work. Said Gina: “There is no one to greet them; no one to make them a sandwich; sometimes there’s no TV; and there’s certainly no one there to encourage them to do their school work.”

That’s where ASASNT comes in, Gina added. Between 3 and 6 p.m., “when those children would be on the streets hanging out with their friends or people they shouldn’t be hanging out with, instead they stay after school, where a volunteer comes and helps them with their homework, gives them education and then they get to do something fun.”

ASASNT Executive Director Marissa Castro Mikoy recalled how the year before, this luncheon event had taken place at Arlington Hall with about 100 guests. Today, the room was filled with more than 300 people. Speaking of numbers, she reported that, within Dallas County, more than “125,000 kids go home after school unsupervised. Only nine out of 42 DISD middle schools had any type of onsite after-school programs.” In addition, Marissa reported that “Dallas County has the fourth-highest juvenile crime rate in Texas.”

Joanna Hernandez

Following a video, ASASNT Program Manager Tori Schwarzlose introduced ASASNT 9th grade student Joanna Hernandez, who smartly did a shout-out to ASASNT JCPenney Signature Sponsor for her outfit. She then launched into a talk about her mom, who was from Waco, and her dad, who hailed from Mexico. They instilled in her the fact that they wanted better things for her. She admitted that “school wasn’t really hard for me and I like to read and really worked hard for my classes,” but what was challenging for her was “fitting in. In middle school, people are so quick to judge and I hated that. I felt like the loner in the corner, but when I started seventh grade, it sucked … really.” Joanna hit a chord that the majority in the room shared laughing with her.

But then her laughter and smile turned to the reality of the situation: “I wasn’t the only one dealing with the pressures. But it truly affected me, making me want to stay in my room and believes the lies. I used to come home every day after school, stay in my room, lock the door and wouldn’t let anyone talk to me or tell them how I feel. Mostly I was in a place where I wanted to hurt myself because of the words and actions of other people.” But eighth grade changed things, thanks to her learning about an after-school program. She asked her friends if they would come with her and they said, “Sure.” The first day they showed up for tryouts, “it was all the popular kids, and I felt so out of place. So I sat in the  back of the corner alone as always.” That changed when Tori came in, sat down and began talking with Joanna. 

That was the turning point. Joanna started making friends and having new experiences, like learning how to cook, DJ music production, and coding. Thanks to her teacher, to Tori and to others in the ASASNT program, Joanna admitted that she feels like they are family.

In conclusion, Joanna said that ASASNT can “help other students like me look at themselves differently and gain confidence. I am so grateful for this opportunity [from the] All Stars.”

Joanna knocked it out of the park. She had something that even the most polished professional speakers often lack: she spoke from the heart and from experience. The audience of all ages including Ben and Dak showed their appreciation.

Ben Lange

Dak Prescott

She was followed by JCPenney Executive VP and chief merchant/ASASNT Board Member John Tighe, who made a brief shout-out for financial support and introduced Brad Sham.

John had no soon taken his seat than Brad unleashed an announcement that he was deviating from the script. That statement from the podium naturally sends event planners into a brain frenzy. They realize that they have lost control and are now at the mercy of the man with the mic power.

Luckily, the man was Brad. He started off saying, “First of all, that was a very understated ask.” Then he asked Joanna to stand. Whoa! Things were really going off script. Sham was supposed to introduce Dak and settle down in a couple of chairs for a chat. Instead he was scrambling things up and had everyone’s attention.

“I want everyone to look at her. [Laughter, as Joanna shyly rose from her chair as bewildered as the guests]. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. She’s not a statistic; she’s not a number; she’s a real human person, whose life has been enriched and therefore is going to have the opportunity to enrich her community because of After-School All-Stars. Now, there’s no one over 18 in a sports coat or a tie, who ought to walk out of here today without giving some money to this organization. You care about these kids. Look around the room at these young people. These are people. These are the people who are going to be in charge in before long. We’d better help them. It’s our responsibility. It’s your responsibility.”

He then told Joanna that she could sit down, but he would ask her back on stage soon. He then asked the board members to raise their hands because he wanted to make sure to make eye contact with them about what he was going to say. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be here today. I’m here for two reasons, maybe three. The first one is that my very good friend and your fellow board member Barry Greenberg asked me to be here. Barry Greenberg has a birthday today and his butt is not here. He’s in Hawaii. I would like you to have him hear about that at the next board meeting. He didn’t mention that when he set me up to do this. The second thing is all he had to do was tell me a little bit about After-School All-Stars and I’m in. I talked to Marrissa and you hear the passion.”

Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from the conversation by Sham and Dak, but if you have the time, you might want to check the video below. Like the old saying goes, “A picture (or in this case a video) is worth a thousand words.)

Sham then explained how Dak’s presence had been the clincher for his being part of the program. With Dak sitting directly in front of the stage staring at Sham, Brad said, “He is who you want him to be. I think he’s going to be a pretty good quarterback. He’s already pretty good. He’s had a pretty good year and I think he’s going to have a tremendous career. Preferably what you want him to be is a really good quarterback for the Cowboys. But when you’re a quarterback for the Cowboys and pretty good, you then have to be more than that … and he is. Like two other guys before him under whose shadow he played because of their accomplishments … more than two but two in specific … you want those guys to be who you want them to be. Watch Dirk run up and down the floor and you say, ‘Please let him be that good as a human being’ and then you find out that he is. Dak Prescott is who you want him to be and he’s only getting started. He’s a remarkable young man.

“Here’s another example. Joanna, may I ask you to come back up here? [As the youngster made her way through the crowd, there was a rumbling of people wondering what Sham had planned.] While you were watching Joanna, I had my back to the podium, not intentionally … just how it worked out. I was watching Dak watch Joanna. And here’s why Dak Prescott is who you want him to be. He listens. When you talk to him, he listens. He cares about what you say. He was listening to Joanna. He was nodding at points of affirmation that resonated with him that you’re going to hear about in a minute.”

Then the veteran sportscaster turned to Joanna, saying, “The reason I asked you to come back up here is that though I’ve only known him a year, I think I know him well enough now to know that he wants is his picture with you. So, ladies and gentlemen, Dak Prescott.”

Needless to say, that impromptu intro nailed it, and Joanna and Dak were photographed.

The first question from Brad to Dak was, who were Dak’s role models? “My brothers and my mother were most important,” Dak replied. “To me the thing that resonates to me about such a school program is time. A lot of us don’t come home to parents. My mom was always at work. But I had two brothers who were five or six years older than me and that was who I had to look up to, to watch after me. But there was still time. You may think 10 or 15 are good ages, but we need something to do with our time. Something to better ourselves more than just the sports, the video games until mom gets home to cook for us because you get tired of Ramen noodles all the time. There are so many bad things and wrong decisions that you can make from 10 to 15. A program like this that is putting the kids in the position to get extra hours of studying and taking up new tasks, making new friends and coming out of their shells, doing something that makes you a better person and more interesting within yourself.”

While his brothers weren’t able to finish school, Dak learned from this and committed to getting an education. He admitted that he was one of the few fortunate enough to have people in front of him to tell him the right thing to do and to lead him in the right direction. He emphasized the need for ASAS because others aren’t as fortunate—or have brothers who might lead them in the wrong direction.

The subject then turned to Cowboys and football.

  • What does he do after his work day? “I’m a big video gamer. If I’m not doing something for the community, I play video games and hang out with a couple of buddies. I may try to find a pond to go fishing. I fish for anything. If there are fish in the sink, I’ll try to catch them. I’ve been trying golf lately, but I’m not into golf. I’ve taken it up, but it’s very frustrating.”
  • What was it about football that hooked you? He would go to his brothers’ little league games. “I guess I knew I was good at my first practice. I was in third grade, so I was eight years old and skipped the whole flag football.” It helped that he had played with his older brothers who had never taken it easy on him. “When I played people my age, it was a little bit different.”
  • When did the idea of being a quarterback come into play? In sixth grade, he was a linebacker. Then his brother taught him how to throw the ball.
  • Where did the leadership come from? “That came from my older brothers allowing me to always be around their friends, not really thinking about age at any point. They let me feel that I could play football and hang with them.”
  • How is his life different today compared to a year ago? “Completely.” While the way he thinks of himself and the way he goes about his work haven’t changed, “My platform has. A year ago no one would dared to have had me come up here and talk.” He said the greatest thing is that it has allowed him to tell his story and inspire others.
  • Was he disappointed to go in the fourth round of the NFL draft? “Yes. To sit there and wait two day, three days and wait … Yeah, it puts a chip on your shoulder, thinking there are 134 people that are better than me. I just have to go out and prove myself every day.”
  • Is he at the place where he can go into Jason Garrett‘s office and say what type of draft picks he wants? “No, I’m not there yet.”
  • During one of the games he was caught on camera finishing a cup of water and missed throwing it in the trash. He immediately got up and put it in. What were you thinking? “I wasn’t thinking. I was thinking, ‘How did I miss that shot?’ He was amazed that that video had garnered such attention, when it seemed like the natural thing to do.
  • Have you picked the brains of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman? He’s spoken with both and shared text messages with Troy.
  • He’s creating a foundation called Fight, Finish and Faith. Where did that come from? When his mother passed away, the preacher told how she had said that Fight was for his elder brother Tad, who had fought for his family and the things he believed in; Finish was his brother Jace, who was there until the end; and Faith was Dak, because he believed in making a difference in the world.
  • “What was your favorite play this season?” a youngster wearing a Jason Witten jersey asked Dak. Dak said it was the one where Jason made the touchdown.
  • What was the lesson that Jason taught him at the first practice camp? Dak threw the ball to Witten, who didn’t extend to catch it and let the ball fall right in front of him. “He showed me what it takes to be in this league,” Dak said. Yes, Jason could have caught that ball, but to make it in this league Dak has to be precise and not expect the receiver to save him.
  • Why are you going to be better this year? “Hard work. Study as much as I can, get better with my teammates and just be ready to go. Get better as a team.”

As checkbooks were pulled out, Sham finished with, “Dak is what you want him to be.” And thanks to ASASNT, Joanna will be what you want her to be, too.