Gingerbread Stroll Returns To HP Village For Viewing And Bidding Thru December 1 For Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer

Yum! The holidays are just brimming with sugary delights and Highland Park Village will be a sweet-tooth stroller’s delight thanks to real estate sweetie Christine McKenny and Event Advisor Lynn McBee, the 5th Annual Gingerbread Stroll will be delighting all from Friday, November 17, through Friday, December 1.

Christine McKenny (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

This year’s gingerbread house displays will benefit Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer with 100% proceeds going to the nonprofits.

According to Christine, “The Gingerbread Stroll has become a wonderful tradition during the most wonderful time of the year. People of all ages gather with their family and friends to attend, and it’s always exciting to see how the chefs express themselves creatively. Everyone loves a gingerbread house!”

This year’s culinary architects will include Bird Bakery, Architecture Demarest, Chocolate Secrets, Hilton Anatole, Hotel Crescent Court, Hyatt Regency at Reunion, Omni Dallas Hotel, Charlie’s Pastry Chef Winter Lockwood-Frank and Pastry Works’ Pastry Chef Arielle Sutcliffe.

The Gingerbread Stroll*

Hosting the confectionary cuties will be Beretta Gallery, Bird Bakery, Bistro 31, Draper James, Kiehl s Since 1851, Leggiadro, Market Highland Park, Robert Talbott, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Royal Blue Grocery, The Tot and Trina Turk.

Well known for delicious abodes, Allie Beth Allman and Associates will be the presenting sponsor.

It’s free for the walking and viewing. But to help raise the funds, all can bid on the gingerbread homes via the silent auction. And there will be giveaway prizes, including a holiday carriage ride for six by Threejays Carriages.   

* Graphic provided by Gingerbread Stroll

Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour Of Decor Benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter Was A Fundraising Treat

Anyone who has been trapped eastward on Lovers Lane has had a brief respite at the corner of Turtle Creek Lane. Regardless of the time of year, the itty-bitty corner has celebrated the holiday of the season. In December, there’s even a daily countdown to December 25.

The source of the corner celebration is not the University Park City Council. Rather, it’s the property’s owners, Jennifer and Steve Houghton.

Earlier this year designer Jennifer’s streaming of their swans (Johnny Cash and June) had gone viral with the laying and hatching of cygnets.

But on Friday, September 29, the VIPs for the two-day Turtle Creek Lane Tour of Decor benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter was a treat. In addition to the two days of checking out Jennifer’s handiwork, there was a raffle for her “Halloween tree.”

Front door


Breakfast table

Dinner table

Jennifer had decked every inch of the house, both inside and out, with Halloween waves of witches, black cats and Jack O’Lanterns. Whether it was a teeny weeny witch hat on the dining room chairs or the living room abounding in orange with a goblin playing away at a player grand piano, it was an overwhelming showcase of a non-holiday holiday.


Outdoor terrace

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

But this wasn’t any different from past Jennifer undertakings. Her gal pal Amanda Richards recalled how she’d met Jennifer. After admiring her handiwork years before, she knocked on Jennifer’s door to compliment her corner décor. Without hesitation, Jennifer invited Amanda in and it was the beginning of a great friendship.

For more photos of Jennifer’s spooks and sights, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Turtle Creek Lane Tour

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

With Halloween less than two weeks away, Park Cities designer Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour raised the hair on the back of heads, as well as raising money for Genesis Women’s Shelter on Friday, September 29, and Saturday, September 30.

Dinner table

Halloween kitty

The Houghton homestead is a favorite sight on Lovers Lane for all the seasonal holiday. But Halloween is a real thrill, both indoors and out. 

Front door


While the post is being prepared, check out the insides and outs of Jennifer’s handiwork at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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, [email protected], 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

Under Perfect Skies Artscape Reimagined Patrons Toured The Remarkable Art Collection At Hall Arts

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor affair. While the Dallas Women’s Foundation was over at the Omni on Tuesday, May 9, the art loving/environmental fans were sipping wine and taking tours of Kathryn and Craig Hall’s art at Hall Arts.

Patricia Meadows, Jane and Chick Pierce and Kaki Hopkins

Charles and Cindy Feld

Sarah Hoffman and Kymberley Scalia

The occasion was the Dallas Arboretum’s Artscape Reimagined patron party. While Artscape Honoree Craig Hall was juggling appearances with another Hall-sponsored event upstairs, Artscape Chair Kaki Hopkins was charmingly advising people like Cindy and Charles Feld, Jane and Chick Pierce, Sarah Hoffman, Kymberley Scalia, George Tobolowsky and Shelton Hopkins to follow petite art curator Patricia Meadows on a tour of the property art collection.

Hall Arts

Donna Arp Weitzman and Herb Weitzman

Donna Arp Weitzman revealed that a script was being prepared based on her book “Cinderella Has Cellulite: And Other Musings From A Last Wife.” Her two caveats:

  1. It can’t be based on a dumb woman.
  2. And it can’t be a Dallas woman.

As one guest eyed the naked men assembled on the exterior of the elevator, he pointed to the nameplate and admitted, “I thought it was a piece of art, too.”

Steinynn Thorarinsdottir’s “Paths”

The event was all in preparation for the formal presentation of the Artscape Award and auction dinner at the Dallas Arboretum on Friday, May 12.

Watch For Hobbits Thursday, Friday And Saturday While Touring The Whimsical Shire Of Preston Hollow For Equest

Now that this wet stuff seems to be calming down, the upcoming days seems bright and shiny. Evidently, the Equest organizers arranged something with Mother Nature to have perfect weather for folks to explore the Tolkien-inspired Shire in Preston Hollow.

The Shire of Preston Hollow*

While other estates in the neighborhood are manicured like a socialite’s nails, this acreage is a wonderland with its 9,000-square-foot main house, an attached conservatory and a detached guest house known as the Hobbit House. Why, Frodo Baggins would feel right at home there! And rightly so. After all, it took seven years to create. Why, one would actually expect Legolas to flutter by or to be greeted by Gimli at the drawbridge before crossing to the portcullis.

Inside there will be “couture fashions and accessories from Lily of the West and Hari Jewels, with designer guests appearances, and additional luxury items from Origins of Santa Fe Boutique” plus refreshments and music. And while Shadowfax, Arod and Bill the Pony won’t be on hand, their good buddies, the Equest mini-ambassadors, just might be hoofing around for a photo or two.

Like Brigadoon, this magical property at 4668 Meadowood Road will be available for touring this Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit Equest. Alas, it’s only available for checking out by big kids (21 years and older). Organizers are requesting a minimum donation of $20 for the equine therapeutic program. Register right here.

* Photo provided by Equest

An Early Start Might Be Wise For This Weekend’s Home Tours

It almost seems like every house in North Texas is part of a home tour this spring. This weekend a couple of them —Park Cities 15th Annual Historic Home Tour and Munger Place Wine Walk and Home Tour — are bracing for some stormy weather.

4825 Miramar*

According to the weather guessers, the bruised clouds and blowing winds won’t hit until late-ish Saturday afternoon. So, why not tour early, grab a bite to eat to compare notes with your buds and head to your home to watch South Carolina play Gonzaga and Oregon play North Carolina?  

* Photo provided by Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society

Turtle Creek Association’s Annual Fundraiser Will Offer A Home Tour Of Six Showplaces And An After Party Overlooking Turtle Creek

Boy, has the Turtle Creek Association lined up some incredible residences for its 2017 Home Tour. On Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 5 p.m., ticket holders will be able to check out the in-the-sky residences at 3525, The Claridge and Park Towers and the more down-to-earth homes on Turtle Creek Bend and Rock Creek Drive.

But wait! There’s more. The Association has also arranged for an after-party from 6:30 to 8:30 that evening at Greg Pearl’s and Ashley Akin-Pearl’s fabulous 6,500-square-foot residence nestled on nearly an acre overlooking Turtle Creek.

Greg Pearl’s and Ashley Akin-Pearl’s residence*

Originally the site of the late landscape architects Marie and Arthur Berger’s legendary mid-century home designed by O’Neil Ford in the early 1950s, it was replaced in the early 2000s by this outstanding French Normandy residence designed by Dean Smith and built by contractor/former owner George Pelletier. Hidden atop the hill from the street thanks to much of the Bergers’ originally landscaping, this is a hidden treasure that is rarely seen.

Providing the hors d’oeuvres for the after-party will be Chef Abraham Salum.

The two events are being ticketed separately, so here is the breakdown:

  • Afternoon tour — $60 for non-Turtle Creek Association members and $50 for members. Tickets purchased before Friday, March 31, are $54 for non-members and $45 for members.
  • After Party — A limited number of tickets are available at $125 per person on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to Turtle Creek Association President/CEO Jennifer Schultz, “This year we are focused on featuring the art along the creek; all homes on the tour have spectacular art collections including regionally and internationally known artists. We deeply appreciate the homeowners who have so graciously opened their homes to our fundraising tour.”

Funds raised from the Home Tour and After Party will help preserve the Turtle Creek area’s 87 acres of greenways and parklands.

* Photo courtesy of Turtle Creek Association

The 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Of The Eight Beneficiaries Resulted In Flowers, Tears And Inspiration For The $5.8M Goal

Like many nonprofits, there comes a once-a-year decision of how the raised funds will be distributed. For 65 years, Crystal Charity Ball has had that come-to moment for the Dallas area children’s nonprofits. To think. There are grown-ups who have survived devastating diseases and overcome miserable home lives and then have had amazing lives, thanks to the committee of 100 women.  

On Thursday, February 16, CCB Chair Pam Perella, CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and a busload of ladies undertook a day of visiting the eight beneficiaries thanks to Briggs Freeman | Sotheby’s International Realty’s Layne Pitzer‘s and Joan Eleazer‘s underwriting the tour. It was at one of those stops where the membership saw firsthand how one child and his mother represented the thousands of faceless and nameless other kids who were in need. More about that later.

Before the tour got underway with Andre in the driver’s seat, though, tour director Fredye Factor reminded the group that this year’s “working theme” was TV shows. Since the tour had been tagged as “All My Children,” they had arranged for Susan Lucci‘s cousin Pucci Lucci to address the ladies. Pucci turned out to be CCB member Pam McCallum, whose Pucci was more Blanche Devereaux than Erica Kane.

Big Brothers Big Sister Lone Star — $500,000

Bill Chinn

But it was time to get down to work and things started off with two representative making presentations on board the bus. First up was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lone Star President Bill Chinn, who told how the July 7th shooting in downtown Dallas had spurred them on with a project — Bigs in Blue, which would connect first responders like policeman, fire fighters and city personnel as mentors for at-risk children to “establish strong and enduring one-to-one relationships.”  

Rainbow Days — $500,000

Tiffany Beaudine

Next up was Rainbow Days Director of Development Tiffany Beaudine, who reported that the CCB’s contribution would span three years to purchase a new van for transporting supplies to children living in motels, as well as adding “one new full-time program manager and a portion of four staff members who will assist in implementing programs, and partial salary for the program director.” Rainbow Day’s Project Hope program would also “deliver food weekly including snacks, school clothing and hygiene products as well as an opportunity for homeless children to attend summer day camps and holiday celebrations.”

The children whom they serve often suffer from fear. Too often their lives are filled with gunfire at night and the fear of playing outdoors.  

The Autism Treatment Center — $582,020

Neil Massey

Then the ladies were driven to the Autism Treatment Center to learn firsthand about its Early Intervention Therapy and Educational Capital Campaign. Thanks to the contribution, 101,100 square feet of the present facility will be “reconfigured and remodeled to increase the number of educational classrooms, therapy rooms, counseling offices and other important spaces.” The additional space will allow the Autism Treatment Center to quadruple the number of students who will receive help.

In showing the outdoor playground with its misting umbrella for hot days and the growing garden that provides both education and accomplishment, Development Director Neil Massey looked at the open lot next door. Having outgrown their current facilities, he said that they had tried to buy it from the present owner but had had no luck.

Autism Treatment Center

But it was the classrooms where the ladies learned that patience was a key to working with autistic boys and girls. Structure and patience were not just paramount for the children’s learning to adjust to their special conditions. But those lessons were important to being included in the family life. One lesson was that when an autistic children got frustrated and got physically upset, it was important for them to be ignored until they realized that their actions would not produce results. One CCB-er, upon hearing the comment said, “That probably proves true in all our lives.”

Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation — $541,098

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation board member Mary Ann Hyde

Next on the itinerary was the T. Boone Pickens Center. The timing of the visit was perfectly planned. It just so happened that the Center’s board was meeting that day with Board Trustee Mary Ann Hyde backed by the board members to greet the ladies in front of the magnificent facility.

So, it may have initially seemed curious to have CCB that benefits children to be providing funds for a hospice facility, but there was a very important aspect of the Pickens Center that affected children — the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program.

Breaking into groups, the membership was shown the facilities that would assist not just those completing their lives, but would also help family, especially children, to be part of the final farewell and adjust to the loss. The 36-bed facility featured suites especially designed to comfort the patients with breathtaking views of the lake, doors that could accommodate the patient’s bed being moved to the room’s patio, and the out-of-sight medical equipment.

Presbyterian T. Boone Pickens Center guest suite

But the main point of the tour was how the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program would help children through the process of grieving the loss “in a healthy and healing way.” There were the Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Education Center and the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center that provided both areas of play and adjustment to loss.  

Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program play room

In one room was a playhouse with super heroes on the walls. While in other rooms were materials for kids to vent their feelings regardless of their ages to social workers, counselors, music therapists and art therapists, who “will encourage healthy emotional growth, and bring unique comfort to children who have lost a sibling, parent or grandparents.”  

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance — $527,770

The next stop was the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance in the West End. While it was perfectly planned to coincide with a group of students, it reinforced the need for the Holocaust’s need to expand to a larger facility. CCB and high schoolers found themselves on top of each other learning about the horrors of World War II and the demonstrations of remembrance.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance’s Paul Lake

One such example was the placement of stones representing the persons who were victims of the Holocaust. One teenager’s attempt to place a stone found their effort falling on the floor, resounding throughout the room. Ironically, the sound of the stone hitting the hard stone floor seemed to draw attention to the solemnity that had filled the room.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance

For a three-year period, the CCB contribution will allow “thousands of Title 1 and economically disadvantaged students to the Museum, free of charge, and will provide their teachers necessary curriculum support.”

Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $1,111,735

Just blocks away from Children’s Medical Center, the CCB-ers donned hard hats and safety glasses to tour Children’s Health’s Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program that was under construction. Planned to officially open with full services in May, it allows youngsters with movement challenges resulting from injuries or chronic illnesses to access all the treatments in one facility. The rooms would provide everything from aquatic treatments to padded rock climbing.

Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program aquatic facility under construction

Thanks to CCB’s contribution, it would be possible to purchase “five pieces of state-of-the-art robotic gait and mobility training equipment: The ErigoPro early mobilization tilt-table, the LokomatPro robotic based partial-weight-bearing treadmill system, the Andago body weight supported mobile robotic gait system, the Natus balance and gait assessment system and the HydroWorx therapy pool. Training for staff and robotic software upgrades are included with the purchase of this equipment.”

Thanks to this “centralized accessibility, thousands of Dallas County children will be able to seek services designed for patients from two to 18 years of age.

As the committee gathered in the main room, they were told of a surprise. It was indeed a surprise. Britt Cupp, who had suffered a trauma to his brain due to a skateboard accident years ago, arrived with yellow roses and a personal note for each of the women. As his mother, Angela Cupp, looked on, Britt handed out the flowers. Unfortunately, when Britt had his accident, he and his family were forced to seek assistance at different facilities throughout the country. Many of the CCB-ers who had children Britt’s age looked on in amazement at the mother and son who had been through so much and were spearheading the creation of such a facility.

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

After a massive group pic with Britt, the CCB-ers with flowers in hand gathered outside for the traditional group picture. Inside Angela had one request — a photo of Britt with 2017 CCB President Pam Perella and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher. Little did she know that Brent had made a similar request, saying, “Britt is my hero.”

Hunger Busters — $1,192,500

The CCB bus now headed to West Dallas for the Hunger Busters operation behind a tall wrought-iron fence topped with razor wire. On the side of the small building, the air condition units were padlocked.

Iron fences topped with razor wire at Hunger Busters

New father/Hunger Busters Executive Director Trey Hoobler explained, “We’re in a turf war here caught between two groups.”

But despite the Spartan and tight conditions, Production/Volunteer Manager Gumaro Castillo in the kitchen’s prep area explained how Ford would be proud of the assembly line of volunteers prepping the meals for DISD schools and after-school programs. Having been there eight years, Gumaro pointed with pride as volunteers put together sandwiches.

Hunger Busters volunteers

Thanks to the CCB contribution that would be used over a three-year period, the Feed the Need program would be expanded, “representing a 150% increase in the number of children served, from 2,000 to 5,000 daily. An additional new delivery van and staff support will allow Hunger Busters to serve children and schools on their waiting list for a total of 300,000 additional meals each year.”

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy — $850,000  

Sandra Helton

The final stop of the day was Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy, where Sister Sandra Helton pointed to an open lot adjacent to the school where a cafeteria would be built. She then showed why the new facility would be needed, as she led the group to the present room where children eat. If the current lunchroom was needed for another event, the tables and chairs had to be removed and then replaced afterwards. If a funeral was to take place in the nearby sanctuary, meals would have to delayed.  The kitchen was barely larger than a jet liner’s kitchen.

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy

While the tour was going on, some youngsters took naps on the classroom floors, some practiced in the music room under Brandon McDannald‘s direction and others were hard at work at desks in classrooms.

Thanks to the CCB commitment, a 12,500-square-fooot cafeteria and fine arts center will be built that will be “available weekends for 1,300 children who attend religious education classes and also for Science Fairs, Band and Choir concerts, fundraisers like their Fall Festival and Grandparent’s Day. Funds will also be used for a dedicated fine arts center, giving Santa Clara students many more options in band, music, choir and art with designated classrooms where they can safely secure their instruments and supplies. Additionally, funds will provide a parish office and conference room, allowing for more students in the existing school.”

It was then homeward bound and ten months of fundraising to provide $5.8M for the children of Dallas.

For more photos from the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Just when you think you’re the source of all knowledge regarding North Texas area nonprofits, those Crystal Charity Ball gals bring you down to earth thanks to a bus tour. The annual bus tour provides firsthand knowledge of how the funds raised will be put to use and introduces new programs and organizations that in many cases have gone under the radar.

At some places there are children going through their daily routine. At others, work is in place for facilities that will help countless youngsters in need.

Neil Massey

Claire Emanuelson, Cheryl Joyner, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Tucker Enthoven, Trey Hoobler and Lisa Longino

This year’s tour included eight beneficiaries (Autism Treatment Center Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days and Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy).

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

While the post is being…. ah, shoot! You know the drill. Head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery to see what was on the tour that brought tears, laughter and inspiration CCB Chair Pam Perella and her ladies.

Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society’s 2017 Home Tour, Luncheon And Car Show Plans Revealed At Holiday Party

Despite the holiday spirit filling Tish and Marvin Key’s marvelous Highland Park home, there was a wisp of sorrow in the air on Tuesday, December 13, for the annual Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s Christmas party. The very group that commemorates and encourages the history of the Park Cities was mourning the destruction earlier in the day of the Penson home. As bulldozers and other earth-moving machinery stood still under a full moon, the bricks and wood of the O’Neil Ford-designed home lay in ruins.

Liz and Lane Farley and Tish Key

Tish had once told her realtor Ralph Randall how she loved the house. So, when it went up for auction Ralph notified Tish of the opportunity to tour the legendary house overlooking the crossroads of St. Johns Drive and Armstrong Parkway.

Tish admitted she had wished she’d had the money to scoop it up. But it went to another with other plans that obviously did not include renovation.

At one point in the evening’s discussion, one guest grimly said, “I dread to think what is going to be built there.”

Marla Boone and Deborah Brown

John and Sandy Secor

As Marla Boone and Deborah Brown were bundled up greeting folks outside, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League President Sandy Secor was in the entry hall reporting that plans were all in place for the League’s 70th anniversary year including the Junior Symphony Ball in January, the 31stth Annual DSOL Debutante Presentation Ball in February, the Savor the Symphony in April and still more yet to be announced.

PCHS President  Kendall Jennings and husband Bruce Jennings were thrilled that Boston artist Stephen Wood was in town and able to attend the holiday party.

Bruce and Kendall Jennings and Stephen Wood

Regarding the upcoming plans for the year, Kendall reported that Liz Farley would be chairing the annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club on Wednesday, March 29, with always entertaining James Farmer at the podium.

Home Tour Chair Tish has already finalized the residences that will be part of the lineup on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She’s already lined up the following homes for the tour:

3825 Miramar 

4825 Miramar*

4218 Fairfax

4218 Fairfax*


4309 Westway

4309 Westway*


3600 Greenbrier

3600 Greenbrier*

Libby and David Hunt will have a full menu serving as honorary co-chairs for both the luncheon and tour.

As for the 2nd Annual Classic and Antique Car Show, Chair Dan McKeithen has arranged to have the event at Burleson Park on Saturday, April 8. Just in case there is rain, the event will take place on Saturday, April 15. Ryan has signed on as the presenting sponsor for all three fundraisers.

While the Car Show is free, tickets for the home tour and luncheon will be available in March.

The Dallas Foundation Bus Tour Provided Donors With A Firsthand Look At Bonton Farms And Encore Park

One of the advantages of being part of an organization like The Dallas Foundation is the ability to come together for site visits of one of the nonprofits that aren’t on the radar. On Wednesday, October 5, the Foundation donors had the opportunity to check out Bonton Farms and Encore Park. While both are rich in history, they have also had their share of rough times. Thanks to philanthropic efforts by The Dallas Foundation and others, those situations are changing for the better. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes, Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes,
Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia
Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

Intrepid Dallas Foundation donors spent an unseasonably warm October day exploring two unique urban experiments: Bonton Farms  in South Dallas and downtown’s Encore Park . Led by Director of Donor Services Lesley Martinelli and Chief Philanthropy Officer Helen Holman, the donors boarded a shuttle bus to the Bonton neighborhood.

Daron Babcock*

Daron Babcock*

The shuttle stopped at Bonton Farms, a two-acre spread snuggled up against the levee at the end of Bexar Street. The farm’s executive director Daron Babcock came on board to give a brief guided tour of the area.

Babcock explained that the historic African-American neighborhood was built in a floodplain, had two large public housing projects and devastated by floods and crime in the 1980s and 90s.

Today, the neighborhood is improving. The housing projects were torn down and replaced with new subsidized apartments. Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity built 133 houses on vacant lots. And Bonton Farm is growing fresh food which providing employment and business opportunities. The farm won The Dallas Foundation’s $50,000 Pegasus Prize for creative solutions to community challenges last year.

Bonton Farms' goat*

Bonton Farms’ goat*

Donors walked past rows of peppers, collard greens, lettuce and cabbage. The oversize garden grows 20,000 – 30,000 pounds of produce annually, Babcock said. The visitors were impressed. Their expressions turned to amusement as they stepped inside the goat pen. The farm’s small flock of brown and white Nubian goats gently swarmed the visitors and were rewarded with head-rubbing and back-petting. The donors stopped by the chicken coop, smiled at the Berkshire sow and finished their tour at a shed where visitors can purchase farm-produced honey and eggs.

The next stop was Encore Park in downtown Dallas. An outreach project of First Presbyterian Church and The Stewpot, Encore Park is in the process of reclaiming a historic building to highlight the city’s role in blues and western music, and create a new, safe space for homeless and housed Dallasites to get to know one another.

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

After enjoying boxed lunches at the church, donors headed across Young Street to The Stewpot and its Open Art studio. Colorful paintings and drawings created by the studio’s homeless artists covered every wall. Visitors learned about the program’s art classes and shows, then went back out into the heat to see Encore Park, its mural and 508 Park.

The group entered the long-abandoned Art Deco building at 508 Park, which was built in 1929 as a film warehouse and became a field recording studio in the 1930s. Blues legend Robert Johnson recorded there, as did Bob Wills and even Eric Clapton. The visitors marveled at the (nonfunctioning) elevator with its manually operated glass doors and the marble floor in the foyer.

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

The group climbed the staircase to the second floor, with its large banks of windows, which will eventually be the Open Art studio’s new home. Then it was on to the third floor, which will become a recording studio for the community. Last, the visitors headed up to the roof, which provided a great view of Encore Park’s community garden and outdoor amphitheater.

The Dallas Foundation is so pleased to be able to provide educational opportunities such as the Donor Bus Tour, which allows our donors to experience firsthand the inspiration and creative work of organizations like Bonton Farms and Encore Park.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

TACA Custom Auction Gala Package #8: Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa

South Africa is known for its magnificent natural beauty and the most amazing animals roaming the earth. But there is so much more. For instance, from true African villages to breathtaking estates, it is a world that constantly amazes. Many are surprised to learn that just 30 minutes outside of Cape Town, there is the Cape Winelands region with its scenic vineyards that produce everything from “Rhone-style red wines to aromatic Sauvignon blancs.”

For the lucky winner of this TACA Custom Auction Gala package, a trip for two translates into a fabulous 10-night stay in “lodge-style accommodation” and tours that suggest bringing along your camera and your taste buds.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets locked down for the TACA Custom Auction Gala, better scurry hurry. The places at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s dinner tables and paddles at Friday’s auction are getting scarce.

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa* (Value: $32,350)

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Wild Wonders And Fine Wines In Africa**

Experience the journey of a lifetime in South Africa. See some of the region’s most majestic creatures – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – up close from your deluxe Land Cruiser. Visit an authentic Swazi village, tour beautiful Cape Town, and explore the grand estates and lush vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

  • Guided photo safari tours for two at locations throughout South Africa, including the Kruger National Park, KwaZulu Natal, and the St. Lucia Estuary
  • Guided day-trip for two to the Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Wine tastings at vineyards in the Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Ten-nights of deluxe, lodge-style accommodations and seventeen meals for two
  • Round-trip, business-class air transportation for two provided by American Airlines
* Courtesy of the American Fundraising Foundation and American Airlines 
** Photo provided by TACA

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #6: The Best Of Italy

Seriously, is there any spot in the world that oozes fashion, food and fabulous art more than Italy? Didn’t think so. That’s why this 2016 Art Ball package is a foodie-fashionista-fan of the arts’ dream of seven days in heaven. Drop the diet to prepare on the pasta. Here is the ultimate way to experience Italy like others only wish. Pinches on the cheeks not included.

The Best Of Italy (Value: $25,050)

Ulysses wandered the Mediterranean searching for his home. The winner of this 2016 Art Ball package will find the food, fashion and the fabulous places that Ulysses only wishes he could have found.

The Best of Italy*

The Best of Italy*

  • Florence and Fiesole — For starters there’s the former monastery located in Fiesole just outside of Florence. With its fabulous grounds and terraces, it stands today as the marvelous boutique hotel Belmond “Villa San Michele.” So typical of the region, this retreat is surrounded with breathtaking art, natural beauty and cuisine and wines that are right at home in Ital. To help the winners of this package feel right at home, there is a six-hour tour of the area’s highlights like the Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and Il Duomo di Firenze.
  • Solomeo — After a couple of nights in Florence, it’s on to Solomeo where Stanley Korshak’s Crawford Brock and his cashmere loving designer Brunello Cucinelli, whose schedule allows will tell about the history of the village. If Brunello isn’t available, one of his trusted associates will take the helm. If the stars in alignment (May 24 and 25), Crawford will host a private dinner party with Brunello.
  • Rome — Despite being located in the hub of Rome’s active scene, the winner will enjoy the serenity and luxury of Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel located within a 15-acre parkland. In addition to a full day tour of Tome including the Vatican’s Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
  • Naples Kiton Factory Tour — Just down the road there will be a private tour of Naples’ Kiton Factory, where tailors and craftsmen create world-class creations. On this occasion, the package winner will take home a custom-made sports coat and trousers plus a woman’s jacket. Just send that thank-you note to Crawford Brock.
  • Amalfi Coast — The final stop on the Italian adventure will be the Amalfi Coast’s Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. Formerly a 17th century monastery, the hotel has been meticulously “restored into an exclusive 20-room boutique hotel.” Its fabulous spa is perfectly situated against a natural showcase of beauty and enhanced by 21st century advancements in luxurious pampering.

Compliments of Strong Travel Services, Cindy Nesti Black, Villa San Michele and the Belmond Group of London, Crawford Brock of Stanley Korshak, Walks Inside Rome, Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Kiton and Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

JUST IN: Park Cities Historical And Preservation Society Postpones 5th Annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon To May 19

There’s been a slight change of plans in the Park Cities. It’s the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society. Originally, the organization was scheduled to have its 5th Annual Park Cities Historical and Preservation Distinguished Speaker Luncheon on Wednesday, March 30, at the Dallas Country Club.

Word just arrived that the lunch being chaired by the Jacobs gals (mama Doris Jacobs and daughters Kim Jacobs Calloway and Teffy Jacobs) has been moved to Thursday, May 19. It will still be at the DCC.

And there is no change of date for the PCHPS’s Saturday, April 2nd Classic and Antique Car Show or the 14th Annual Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 9.

Classic car*

Classic car*

BTW, the car show at Burleson Park is being chaired by Dan McKeithen. It will include a treasure trove of vehicles, among them vehicles from the Sam Pack Automotive Museum, including “Fords from the earliest models off the assembly line through the war years, into the best of the muscle cars years and including current day models.”

Another traffic stopper will be “vehicles from the deBoulle Motorsports Collections.”

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Checked Out Beneficiaries’ Future Sites And Plans To Help Dallas Children

Weather guessers insisted that Thursday, February 18, was going to be a lovely, sunny day with temps in the 70’s. Evidently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. The morning was cloudy, windy and in the 60s. It would have been no big deal for the Crystal Charity Ball committee members on the bus tour of the 2016 beneficiaries. After all, they would be in a bus and visiting the sites of Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scout of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place. Still, wise were the ones who opted for the Dallas tradition of layer dressing. One gal in an adorable wrap skirt and blouse bravely took a stand as she prepared to board the bus at 8:15 a.m. in Turtle Creek Village’s parking. “It’s gonna be in the upper 70s,” she said shivering. As others wrapped in jackets, boots and scarves heard her comment, they had to think, “It’s North Texas in February.”

Alex Hales

Alex Hales

But once in the bus, the focus turned from the weather to the purpose of the day, with 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter and Underwriting Chair Claire Emanuelson seated behind the driver and Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman introducing each beneficiary. First of the day was in the parking lot with Teach for America Dallas Executive Director Alexandra “Alex” Hales handing out materials including a map showing where Teach for America schools were. Taking the mic to explain the program’s purpose, Alex explained that Teach for America is providing “game-changing teachers” for students in 28 high-need, low-income elementary schools. The goal is to end educational inequity so that a ZIP code does not predict a child’s future.

Thanks to the CCB’s $500,000, 80 teachers will be able to help 4,400 youngsters in South Dallas annually.

Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

As soon as Alex exited the bus, Tour Coordinator Mary-Elizabeth Carrell gave some suggestions for the day (like “silence cellphones”) and the bus headed to the first stop of the day — the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s 98-acre Camp Whispering Cedars, where “approximately 3,000 girls in grades K through 12 will be served annually.” Multi-generational GSNETX CEO Jennifer Bartkowski played tour guide as the bus managed to make the tight turns through the property. Let’s face it: the pre-World War II camp’s roads built in the 1920s were not made for today’s mega-buses.

Jennifer told how first donor Jan Rees-Jones realized that a first impression was paramount for young people who were entering a new world of education and experience. So, Jan arranged for the Rees-Jones Foundation to donate $1M to create the Rees-Jones Foundation Welcome Center.

But Jennifer stressed that, alongside the traditional scout activities like hiking, sitting around the campfire, sports and leadership activities, there will be the addition of the camp’s crown jewel — the “STEM Center of Excellence, a $13M living laboratory where girls in kindergarten through 12th grade can explore science, technology, engineering and math programs, activities and careers in a unique, girl-centered outdoor leadership environment.”

Jennifer Bartkowski and Audrey Kwik

Jennifer Bartkowski and Audrey Kwik

Inside the Welcome Center, GSNETX STEM Center of Excellence Director Audrey Kwik showed an illustration of what the new facility would look like and directed everyone’s attention to a scale model of the entire camp.

As a 2016 CCB beneficiary, GSNETX will receive $976,000 that will be “used for the construction of the 4,936-square-foot Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center of Excellence Girl Exploration Center.”

To see them on their way, the Girl Scouts staff was on the spot handing out boxes of Thin Mints.

En route to the second site visit, new CCB members (Lisa Cooley, Michaela Dyer, Libby Hegi, Stacey McCord, Alison Malone and Layne Pitzer) were introduced by Heather Esping and Kim Miller via a guessing game. The newbies were described by answers they had provided during their orientation. Old-timers had to guess which freshmen had provided which answers.

Kay Berry

Kay Barry

Next on the itinerary was Notre Dame of Dallas. For some it was a surprise. They remembered the old building where children and young adults with “mild to moderate intellectual disabilities” attended classes. Lo and behold, Development Director Kay Barry and Notre Dame Principal Theresa Francis took the crowd through the new two-story facility. They saw how, from a young age, the students learn all aspects of living. Kay told how her daughter Amanda, who was a Notre Dame student, had learned to wash her clothes at the school. Kay admitted that her other kids were lacking in that knowledge. Then she told how when her older kids return home for a visit, Amanda folds their clothes for them.

Notre Dame of Dallas students

Notre Dame of Dallas students

At Notre Dame, students have a gym to play basketball as well as a cafeteria to provide skills for jobs after Notre Dame. For the CCB-ers, it was a great visit due to the presence of the children, who are part of the program.

The CCB’s $676,020 will provide “over three years to purchase two passenger buses to safely transport students from satellite locations to and from school.”

Future home of The Family Place Center

Future home of The Family Place Center

Debbi Alves

Debbi Alves

When the bus stopped at a vacant lot surrounded by a tall chain-link fencing topped off with razor wire adjacent to a vacant building just a block or two away from Parkland Hospital, there was no need to leave the bus … at least yet. This location was the future home of the new Family Place Center. Since The Family Place staff was attending an all-day meeting, The Family Place Board Member Debbi Alves hopped on board the bus to explain how the CCB’s $750,000 would be “used to build and furnish the 3,000-square-foot Children’s Counseling Center space, including three counseling rooms, two play therapy rooms, a family waiting area and a children’s computer lab.”

Following Debbi’s explanation, the CCB-ers disembarked the bus for the annual group photo in front of the bus.

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Running ahead of schedule, they got back on board and headed for a nearby parking lot on the Parkland Health and Hospital System campus, where two mammoth buses were parked. One was a mobile clinic that CCB had funded 10 years ago. The second was a new model. Despite the older bus having been maintained meticulously, it was overdue for retirement.

Parkland mobile clinics

Parkland mobile clinics

As Parkland Foundation’s David Krause, Latisha Blair and Dr. Susan Spalding explained the importance of these mobile clinics, the committee sanitized their hands according to protocol, toured the full-service facilities, and then sanitized their hands again upon departing.

Now, don’t go thinking this hand cleansing was unusual. In this day and age of healthcare, hand sanitizers are as routine as a politician’s handshake.

David Krause and Christie Carter

David Krause and Christie Carter

Stacey McCord and Tiffany Divis

Stacey McCord and Tiffany Divis

But back to the tour. The committee members were told that the CCB’s $789,002 would “be used to replace and upgrade the Pediatric Mobile Medical Van serving homeless children at 13 homeless shelters and three juvenile detention centers.” In addition to the van, “funds will be used over threes year to replicate the Healthy and Ready to Learn program which offers comprehensive pediatric screenings for vision and hearing loss, dental pain, hunger, behavioral problems, asthma, sleep disorders and social stress.” The hope is that “approximately 2,000 children ages infant to 18 will be served annually.”

Shepard Faircloth

Shepard Faircloth

Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson

Captain Hope's Kids warehouse

Captain Hope’s Kids warehouse

Next stop was nearby Hope Supply Co. Formerly known as Captain Hope’s Kids, it was going through a name change, but its mission hadn’t changed one iota. Recognized as the largest diaper dispersing agency for nonprofits, this to-the-ceiling warehouse boasted Huggies, Cutie Pants and Pampers, as well as birthday gifts and toys. Donning green vests, the CCB-ers were led for a tour by President Barbara Johnson, Warehouse Manager Sam Mattox and Operations Manager Shepard Faircloth of the mammoth warehouse that reminded one of Citizen Kane’s storehouse with the supplies reaching to the ceiling.

But Barbara confessed that Hope was still in need of volunteers to provide elbow grease. Looking at the thousands of cases of diapers, it was overwhelming—as was the realization that such a simple necessity could be out of reach if it weren’t for “hope.”

The CCB’s $600,000 will be “used over three years to provide additional staff, inventory, a delivery van and driver,” as well as enhanced communications between the nonprofit and their partner agencies.

As the ladies departed, each was given a going-away gift. No, not a box of diapers. Rather, a Hope T-shirt.

While the final stop of the day was near the Parkland camp, it was as different as its predecessors. Like fireworks, Community Partners of Dallas President/CEO Paige McDaniel, Development and Communications VP Joanna Clarke and their team exploded with delight at the arrival of the CCB bus at CPD’s future home. Having been located at the Meadows Foundation’s Wilson District for years, it was now time for CPD to leave the nest and settle in its own home. The two-story, 47,000-square-foot office building had housed engineers, but its future would be providing resources for Child Protective Services caseworkers in need of items for the approximate 20,000 children annually removed from their homes.

Paige McDaniel

Paige McDaniel

Typical of CPD, their goal was to provide warehousing for supplies from which CPS workers could tap. But they had a grander plan in mind. According to Joanna, their new facility would also have office space for other organizations with similar goals to call home.

Community Partners of Dallas floorplan

Community Partners of Dallas floorplan

The CCB’s $1,359,236 will be directed to three key areas that occupy 12,636-square feet in the building:

  • the Rainbow Room, where CPS caseworkers can shop free-of-charge for clothing, shoes, hygiene products, diapers, formula, car seats and other items needed for children whose lives are in immediate crisis
  • the Rainbow Room Warehouse, where the inventory is stored and
  • the Reception Atrium, where children will feel welcomed during their transition.

Boarding the bus for the last time, the CCB team had their marching orders and the inspiration to raise a total of $5,650,258 to help change the lives of Dallas children for a better future.

For additional photos, please check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Dallas-area restaurants were lacking more than 50 of their favorite customers on Thursday, February 18. No, the flu had not swept through. Rather, it was the 2016 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour which took a crammed bus full of the committee members for a tour of the 2016 beneficiaries like Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach for America and The Family Place.

Captain Hope's Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co.

Camp Whispering Cedars

Camp Whispering Cedars

From diapers to STEM, it was nonstop education from 8:15 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. with no breaks. Even lunch was in transit. While the post is being prepped, check out some of the photos from the tour on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweet2016Goals: Jennifer Shultz

According to Turtle Creek Association CEO/President Jennifer Shultz,

Jennifer Schultz*

Jennifer Schultz*

  • “Raise awareness that the Turtle Creek Association exists and what it does for the community.
  • “Make the 15th Annual Turtle Creek Tour of Homes on April 10th a success. It’s my first time to participate and it’s our largest fundraising event, so I am glad to have the help of some amazing volunteers!
  • “Work to balance precious family time with my one-year-old and husband along with work.
  • “Enjoy all the little moments. I love hearing my daughter’s infectious belly laughs over the smallest things and her pure joy in new discoveries.”
* Photo provided by Turtle Creek Association

Art For Advocacy Co-Chairs Host A Gallery Preview And Private Tour Of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center

Laura Rowe and Jessi Moore

Laura Rowe and Jessi Moore

With the bus cooling its wheels out front on Levee Street, a couple dozen Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center supporters and art lovers like Chris Blay, Liliana Bloch, Laura Rowe, Jessi Moore, David Medina, Monte Martin, Alan Simmons, Lindsey Carneal and Wanda Dye were checking out the art in the Holly Johnson Gallery and Cris Worley Fine Arts on Tuesday, July 21.

"This Is Obvious" (2015) by Sara Deal

“This Is Obvious” (2015) by Sara Deal

But this wasn’t any old art gallery show and stroll. At 6:25 p.m. the crowd was welcomed by the gallery owners Holly Johnson and Cris Worley, who are the art chairs for the 2015 Art for Advocacy in November.

John and Paige Slates, Holly Johnson and Cris Worley

John and Paige Slates, Holly Johnson and Cris Worley

Next up were Art for Advocacy Co-Chairs Paige and John Slates. As John thanked the artists in the crowd for their contributions, Dallas Children’s Charities’ Stephen Howard said loud enough for all to hear, “Did you see the article in the paper saying how the quality of the art this year has really ramped up?”

Chris Blay, Liliana Bloch,  David Medina, Monte Martin, Alan Simmons, Lindsey Carneal, Stephen Howard and Wanda Dye

Chris Blay, Liliana Bloch, David Medina, Monte Martin, Alan Simmons, Lindsey Carneal, Stephen Howard and Wanda Dye

This comment was greeted with applause and smiles.

But the words were brief because the crowd had to board the luxury bus just after 6:30 to head on over to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center for a personal tour by DCAC President Lynn Davis.

It was a perfect opportunity for artists, art lovers and children’s advocates to see how children could benefit from the beauty of the Saturday, November 7th Art for Advocacy at F.I.G.

Illustration by Donald Robertson*

Illustration by Donald Robertson*

BTW, don’t tell anybody, but retail kingpin Brian Bolke is planning “a private celebration” for the Art for Advocacy host committee members and sponsors at Forty Five Ten with so-very talented artist Donald Robertson and Rodin Olio Lusso’s Linda Rodin with a percentage of sales going to DCAC. Donald is going to “reveal his illustrations featuring some of Dallas’ most fashionable women on Forty Five Ten shopping bags that will be installed in the T Room restaurant.” Sorry, but the precious deets about the by-invite-only party when and where are limited to the hardworking committee members and generous sponsors.

Suggestion: Make a healthy donation to Art for Advocacy and you just might become an honorary host committee member or sponsor. But if your budget ain’t that healthy, you can meet the two international talents at FFT from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.

* Illustration provided by 
Forty Five Ten

Enjoy It While You Can: Fellows Of The Dallas Historical Society Celebrate The Trammell Crow Estate

The home and property at 4500 Preston Road in Dallas, which was acquired by the late Margaret and F. Trammell Crow in 1961, for decades has been known as one of the finest, most historic estates in Dallas. So it naturally made for the perfect setting when the Dallas Historical Society held its black-tie Fellows Dinner there on Thursday, April 23. The Fellows group is the society’s major membership level.

Allan and Lynn McBee and Allie Beth and Pierce Allman*

Allan and Lynn McBee and Allie Beth and Pierce Allman*

Current Fellows co-chairs Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, who are marketing the Crow property through their real estate company, welcomed more than 70 guests to the sprawling, 103-year-old Tudor-style manse. Among them: Tincy Miller, Margot and Ross Perot, Susan and Joel Williams (he’s the Highland Park mayor), Madeline Jobst, Dr. Delva and Johnie King, and Itzel and Nathan Crow (he’s the grandson of Margaret and Trammell).

Joel and Susan Williams and Margaret and Lester Keliher*

Joel and Susan Williams and Margaret and Lester Keliher*

Itzel and Nathan Crow*

Itzel and Nathan Crow*

As guests enjoyed passed canapés including spinach asiago grilled cheese sandwiches and Pernod and dill cured salmon crostini, Pierce was explaining that the property, which sits on 6.6 acres, is one of just five multi-acre sites on Preston between Lakeside and Beverly. Miller, who serves on the State Board of Education, was chatting about her battles in Austin against the Common Core academic standards. And Caro Stalcup—she was the Fellows Dinner co-chair, along with Louise Caldwell—was reminiscing about how her grandmother and grandfather, Caro Buxton Edwards and H. L. Edwards, had had the home at 4500 Preston designed by C.D. Hill, a well-known Dallas architect. (It was Caldwell, by the way, who re-established the Dallas Historical Society Fellows in 1982 with Stanley Marcus.)

Louise Caldwell, Margot and Ross Perot and Caro Stalcup*

Louise Caldwell, Margot and Ross Perot and Caro Stalcup*

With dinner service underway—think baby greens salad, rosemary crusted beef tenderloin, corn pudding, and orange-ginger chocolate cake or Mascarpone ice cream—Lynn and Allan McBee, co-chairs of the society’s board of trustees, welcomed everyone before giving way to Allie Beth and Pierce. The latter made a joke: “Does everyone like the dinner?” he asked. “I’m from Arkansas, where a 7-course meal is a six-pack and a possum.”

Dallas Historical Society Dinner*

Dallas Historical Society Dinner*

Then Pierce turned serious, calling the Crow Estate one of “the most significant properties in Dallas County” and introducing the evening’s featured speakers: Stalcup, her brother John Alexander, and their nephew Stuart Thomas. Caro recounted details of the family’s history, stretching back to H.L. Edwards’ birth in Wales, his immigration to Texas as a young man, and his great success here in the cotton business.

Jennifer and John Alexander*

Jennifer and John Alexander*

Caro’s grandmother was a niece of A.H. Belo, she went on, recalling how, as a child, she often played in the attic and hunted for Easter eggs in the Preston Road mansion. John also remembered the home, 65 years ago: “I could climb up in the magnolias and look in the windows and see what was going on,” he said, drawing laughter. One time on the property, Caro added, her mother put a drop of bourbon in the chicken feed, and the chickens got so “warm and tipsy” they had to be helped up on the roost.

Then all too quickly the evening came to a close, and some realized the irony in celebrating the heritage of the grand old Crow Estate. With a price tag of just under $60 million, the mansion is likely to be torn down by its new owners, who probably will want a more contemporary home in its place.

Photo credit: Steve Foxall

Art Ball Auction Item #6: I’m A Curator!

Love L.A., but there’s so much to take in. This Art Ball 50 live auction item is perfect for the art lover searching for the extra-special spots with the Dallas Museum of Art as a guardian angel. And Irish guardian angel, at that!

I’m A Curator! — Art Trip To Los Angeles* (Value: Priceless)

Los Angeles***

Los Angeles***

Sure, Los Angeles is known for its movie star glitz, glamour and groupies. But within the art world, the City of Angels has enjoyed a very happy reputation for its own gee-whiz collections and artists. While some novices may think The Getty is the only place where art thrives there, true art lovers know LA is a feast of museums, like the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the MOCA . And there are loads of galleries like Fabien Castanier and Klowdenmann, and studios galore.

The winner of this package will be able to take in the art scene, while calling the Peninsula Beverly Hills home for two nights with first-class, roundtrip for two from Love Field provided by Virgin America.

Ah, but how to pick which venues to check out. Leave it to the Dallas Museum of Art to help out. The tour guide will be none other than the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Gavin Delahunty. With his Irish charm and “art-pertise,” he has already been making news at the DMA since his arrival last year after tenures as curator of contemporary art at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and the Tate Liverpool.

Suggestion: Just sit back and let Gavin do the picking, choosing and guiding. Who knows? You just may be a curator-in-the-making afterwards.

* Curated by Gavin Delahunty, Peninsula Hotels and Virgin America 
** Restrictions: Dates to be mutually agreed; must be a flight to/from Dallas 
Love Field; must be taken before April 11, 2016. 
*** Photo provided by 2015 Art Ball

Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Covered The Map Doing Site Visits Of 2015 Beneficiaries

Does anybody know where Bonton is? Not to worry. Check later.

The beneficiaries for the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball had been announced. It was to be a blockbuster of a year with 11 recipients and a goal of $6,310,957. 2015 CCB Chair Michal Powell and her team including Underwriting Chair Tucker Enthoven recognized the overwhelming task and Michal was throwing her all into accomplishing the funding.

Michal Powell

Michal Powell

2015 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour

2015 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour

But before they reached out to donors, the CCB gals checked off Tuesday, February 17, as the day to get to know the beneficiaries up close and personally. Bus Tour Chair Margaret Hancock had put together the world tour of the beneficiaries. It was quite an undertaking and came off flawlessly

As the early morning chill filled the bus in the Turtle Creek Village parking lot, CCB members piled into the bus that would tour the beneficiaries with facilities. Some sent representatives to explain their programs. That was the case for the first two.

Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center
Ellen Dearman

Ellen Dearman

Mary Crowley’s Development Vice President Ellen Dearman and Chief Operating Officer Shannon Cagnina hopped on board and with microphone in hand explained that thanks to CCB funding, the Mary Crowley team would be able to advance drugs for children battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, “a deadly pediatric bone and soft tissue cancer with an overall survival of only 30%.” Because the market is so small, “pharmaceutical companies do not lead with a pediatric drug, so that’s why private philanthropy plays such a key role.” The plan calls for Mary Crowley to “leverage the work they’ve been doing in adults for the over 20 years to move into the pediatric population.” In addition to the drug’s advancement, they’re undertaking “targeted therapy” that targets the driver gene in Ewing Sarcoma and “knocks it down” and stops the growth of the cancer. Shannon explained that past treatments like chemotherapy have been a shotgun approach in ridding the body of cancer, with tough side effects. The targeted therapy is more like a rifle, reducing the side effects. She also reported that traditionally treatments and therapies have been initially used on adults first, while children had to wait until it was proven effective. But the young patients and their families don’t have the luxury of time. Ellen concluded by saying, “I just can’t tell you the difference you’re going to make.”

Family Compass
Tina Robertson

Tina Robertson

Next on the bus was Family Compass Clinical Director Tina Robertson. She was subbing in for Family Compass Executive Director Jessica Trudeau, who was in Fort Worth for an interview. Tina told how the CCB funding would support Healthy Family Visiting, a home counseling program for teen parents and their children in low-income areas with the goal of preventing child abuse. The home visitor works with the clients for five years because change doesn’t happen overnight and the families need a support system. The curricula may include helping a mom bond with her baby and assisting in pre- and post-natal care. The better and earlier bonding of mother and baby results in fewer cases of abuse.

As Tina said, “Prevention is preservation. When we prevent child abuse, we are preserving their innocence.” To back her comments, she provided the following statistics:

  • One in five Americans was sexually molested as a child.
  • One in four was physically abused to the point where there were marks left on their bodies.
  • One in eight Americans witnessed family violence in their home.
  • One in 10 Americans is currently taking anti-depressants. Most of that is related to childhood trauma and abuse.

She added that those numbers are based on reported information and reflect “disturbing mental health and public health outcomes.” Tina proudly concluded by announcing that as a result of this prevention strategies in the homes, “last year 98% of our families did not sustain a referral to Family Protective Services… and 99% of the children were developmentally on track.”

Texas Health Resources/SANE Program
Renee Donald

Renee Donald

As soon as Tina stepped off the bus, the driver put the bus in motion toward Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital and its SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) program. While the powers-that-be at Presby had wanted the ladies to arrive at the main entrance, the ladies stayed with the original plan of entering via the Emergency Room entrance, just as a teenage rape victim might. As the CCB-ers walked up the hill from the road to the ER entrance, Texas Health Resources Foundation President Jay McAuley and his staff rushed from the main entrance to the ER. Luckily, the ER was calm at this time, so the CCB-ers’ arrival didn’t interfere with the staff’s business as usual.

After the ladies were separated into groups, they were toured through the facilities and stops that a teenager experiences. SANE Supervisor Renee Donald explained that the waiting room often is a place where family and “friends” wait while the victim is examined both verbally and physically. What really surprised the group was that it’s not unusual for the person who committed the rape to bring the victim in.

The visit was cut short. A 14-year-old was being brought in.

Dallas Children’s Theater
Robyn Flatt

Robyn Flatt

The next stop may have seemed a far cry from SANE, but it simply touched on another aspect of youngsters with unique needs. It was the Dallas Children’s Theater. DTC Co-Founder/Executive Artistic Director Robyn Flatt explained their Sensory Friendly Initiative, a program providing 21 performances especially designed to accommodate children facing challenges like autism. The money will also be used to provide classes in which the children can take part.

With CCB-ers sitting in a small theater, Robyn and Senior Director of Communications and Philanthropy Sandra Session-Robertson explained that so often families of such children avoid theatrical productions. Such things as sound and lighting can affect these children differently, resulting in reactions that can be disruptive or distracting to others in the audience. Through the funding by CCB, performances would be designed to allow these children and their families to enjoy theatrical productions and allow for possible interaction by the children in the audience. The CCB-ers then toured the DCT backstage operations and visited with schoolchildren, who were attending a performance in The Baker Theater.

Callier Center for Communication Disorder
Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin

The next group to visit with was Dr. Tom Campbell and Dr. Jeff Martin of Callier. They came on board the bus in the Dallas Children’s Theater parking lot to explain how the CCB funding would provide hearing aids for children in need.

Due to changes at the state level, funds that would have been used to help low-income children with hearing challenges had been all but eliminated. The CCB monies will pick up the costs of providing help for these children. The result will be to provide help for 120 families per year for the next three years. That help will include children who are provided hearing aids by the school district. Since the aids are owned by the district, the children aren’t able to use them out of school. This funding would provide for children to have aids outside of school. The program will also allow the children to go through a comprehensive evaluation and to be fitted with their own aids.

On the way to the next stop, Pam Perella introduced the new members — Anne Besser, Bunny Cotten, Laura Downing, Susann Glassmoyer, Cheryl Joyner, Brooke Shelby and Stacey Walker.

Interfaith Housing Coalition
Interfaith Housing Coalition

Interfaith Housing Coalition

The bus was then heading to the InterFaith Housing Coalition, which helps families transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Once again the CCB-ers broke into groups and were shown the plans for the new facilities that will include the Child Care and Youth Services Building that will house and expand the present services for children in a three-story, 20,000-square-foot building. The first floor will provide child care for existing families in the program as well as other low-income families in the surrounding East Dallas community. The new building will allow 200-500 children to be served yearly.

They saw where the children in the program have Tuesday and Thursday night meals together with real plates and silverware, while their parents are attending classes on such subject as budget training. Then the ladies visited apartments where families live while preparing for the transition into permanent homes. Everything in the apartments is new and is especially created for that specific family. Children find toys and stuffed animals waiting for them on their beds. When the families make the move to their new homes, they take everything in the apartment with them.

To help care for their children while their parents are getting their lives in order, the CCB funding will support the organization’s childcare and youth services center, including the Children’s and Teens’ Multi-purpose Room, the Library and Resource Room, the Counseling and Play Therapy Room, the Teen Lounge, the Art Therapy Room, Children’s Dining Room and furnishing for the rooms.

Dallas Services
Stephanie Fleming

Stephanie Fleming

After a group picture, the CCB-ers were back on the bus and joined by Dr. Stephanie Fleming, who rode along to the next stop and told of Dallas Services. She started off by recalling how the night before she had told her sons that she was going to be on a bus and tell some ladies about the glasses. The boys were so excited and asked if the ladies got snacks and if there was a bathroom on the bus.

Once the laughter died down, Stephanie, who is the clinic director for Dallas Services’ Low Vision Clinic, explained the problem of low-income children with vision problems handling classes and interaction with others. With a handful of glasses, she told how thanks to the funding they will be able to provide 4,500 school children ranging from pre-K to high school for the next three years. In addition to providing the specs, the clinic also works with families encouraging them to have their children tested.

As the bus rolled on, Stephanie walked up and down the aisle letting the CCB-er’s check out the frames.

Thanks to ordering large numbers of glasses, Dallas Services is able to get bulk discount rates.

Just as the bus pulled up to the next stop, Stephanie concluded her talk. When asked how she was going to get back to Dallas Services, she laughed. Evidently, she’d had a car following the bus that would take her back to work.

Dallas Life
Dallas Life

Dallas Life

The bus then pulled up inside Dallas Life’s gated parking lot for the CCB-ers to tour a 104-year-old former warehouse that is the “largest homeless shelter in North Texas” incorporating around 3,500 volunteers. Of the 500 people nightly living there, around 72 of them are children. It has 50 individual family rooms. Dallas Life is “the only shelter that allows families to stay together on a long-term basis.”

As Rev. Bob Sweeney showed the “Kids’ Wing,” he told how all these rooms will be expanded and open each night with volunteer babysitters from 7 to 9, thanks to the CCB funds. This expansion will include the activity area and restroom facilities. It also allows for the expansion of the children’s programming as well as helping the on-going costs of care of basic children’s services.

In addition he showed them the living quarters that included “designer rooms,” that require clients to sign an agreement including no water on the wood, always picked up, etc. and the “private rooms” that accommodate families with children under 18.

There were also the library with rows of computer stations that had been donated and the Senior Overcomer Lounge, where older residents can retreat from the children’s activities.

In the dining room, Bob pointed out that the men sit in one area, the women in another and the families “down the center.”

Dallas Life maintains a very tight schedule. Dinner starts at 4:30 for seniors and the disabled, then families and women at 5 p.m. and men at 5:30. By 6 p.m. dinner is a done deal. Chapel takes place twice a week at 6 p.m. From 6 to 7 p.m. it’s showers for children only. Then from 7 to 9 p.m. the kids in their jammies go the Toy Room, while their parents have time to shower and get ready for the next day.

For the first 30 days of residency, there is no charge. During the first five days, the clients watch a 45-minute video of Bob explaining the rules daily. In many cases, this repetition is essential for those who have had drug and alcohol problems. On the fifth day, they pick whether they want the long-term program or pay-to-stay for short-term residency. Stage Two of the program includes attending classes for two months dealing with anger management, the psychology of addiction, budgeting, etc. At Phase Three clients get a job, no if’s, and’s or but’s. During this three-month period 180 job applications are filled by the individual. Bob added, “We’ve never had anybody filled out all the applications and not get a job.” In addition to getting a mentor, the clients sign up for low-income housing. In Phase Four, the client gets a full-time job.

Recently the neighborhood association sent a NBC newscast link including Dallas Life to Bob, adding they were glad to have the organization in the neighborhood.

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Before boarding the bus, the CCB-ers spied the playground and headed straight for the swings. No, they weren’t going to swing, they were going to push the children already in the swings.

H.I.S. Bridgebuilders

The bus now headed to Bonton. Remember, it was mentioned at the beginning of this post. Bonton is an area of South Dallas that has a long history but until recently had little to brag about. That is, unless being described as one of the highest crime and greatest poverty neighborhoods in Dallas is something to be proud of.

As Tour Chair Margaret Hancock warned the committee members, she had visited the area and found it to be “truly eye opening.” On paper, the CCB donation would provide funding for the expansion of the Crossover Athletics program that would involve 96 male youths from 8 to 18 over a three-year period, plus the purchase of a 15-passenger van to help transport teams.

While that didn’t seem like a big deal, it was for this community bounded by Hatcher Street and South Central Expressway. Driving through the streets filled with aging homes, new homes with manicured yards and apartments appeared like an oasis. These new and restored residences are the results of efforts by many including Habitat for Humanity.

Brandon McCain

Brandon McCain

Laure Fechner

Laura Fechner

Michael Craven

Michael Craven

But those improvements are brick and mortar. To help the residents themselves, H.I.S. Bridgebuilders has developed programs that address education, health, economic development and spiritual development. One of those programs was the Crossover Athletics headed by Brandon McCain.

Joining Brandon on board the bus were H.I.S. Bridgebuilders Director of Development Laura Fechner and H.I.S. Bridgebuilders President Michael Craven, who explained the bigger picture of what they were accomplishing. As the bus toured the area, the CCB-ers saw such things as Bonton Farms, where chickens, goats — Laverne and Shirley — and a garden were being developed and maintained. The plan is for it to eventually supplement food for the community because a trip to the nearest grocery store is a 3-hour excursion via public transportation. In addition to the Bonton Farm, there is another community garden in another sector where they’re also raising tilapia.

Despite these improvements and projects, the past continues to linger. As the bus drove through the area, Brandon, Laura and Michael described progress and challenges. A liquor store was still a fixture fueling those dealing with futility. A young man was seen in front of a house teasing a gray pit bull dog with a steel pole. The neighborhood school has been closed down. Young people have been discouraged from going to the nearby lake because that’s where precarious activities take place.

Brandon told the ladies that he and his pregnant wife had moved to Bonton from Carrollton. He pointed out the homes on the street where he lives in which some of his Crossover youths live. The hope is that by involving young men in sports, it will provide them with tools like discipline, goal setting, respect, cooperation and hard work leading them to productive lives and breaking the cycle that has dragged down Bonton.

As the bus dropped off Brandon, Laura and Michael and headed to the next stop, the thought of having nearly 100 young men be part of an athletic program instead of heading to the liquor store or lake proved why the funding was so important.

Catholic Charities

Now the bus wove along the street leading to the Santa Clara Regional Community Center in West Dallas. It was obvious that the Center had gone through updating to provide services for the underserved in the neighborhood and had become a true gathering place for families pursuing opportunities to improve their lives, both personally and professionally.

Santa Rosa basketball court

Santa Rosa basketball court

In addition to the indoor basketball court and outdoor swimming pool for recreational activities, the Center provides programs for children and parents. Its Together We Learn program lets children participate in English-focused early education classes, while parents receive classes in children development, ESL and job readiness. It both prepares children for school success and empowers the parents.

The free after-school program takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a snack and dinner for the children. Providing a STEM-based curriculum, tutoring and recreational activities, the CCB funding allow the program to operate at full capacity for approximately 275 children from birth through 8th grade over a two-year period.

North Texas Food Bank
Jan Pruitt

Jan Pruitt

For the final stop of the day, it was the North Texas Food Bank in Cockrell Hill, where NTFB Executive Director Jan Pruitt was still adjusting to being a 2015 beneficiary. It wasn’t her first rodeo. She had warned her staff that when they approached her about applying for the grant.  Did they know what they were undertakign? Jan had been through the Crystal Charity Ball application process and knew it was a new definition of “tough.” Later she confided that the CCB 100 were daunting in their vetting of candidates. Jan admitted that most people didn’t realize the depth and focus to detail that the 100 undertook. She admired them, respected them and still was in awe of them. Like others who had been approved for CCB funding in the past, Jan explained that as incredible as receiving the funding was, the validation by this group was priceless regardless of the size of the nonprofit.

Regardless, the NTFB staff fearlessly sought funds for the Food 4 Kids Backpack program.

In addition to providing “170,000 meals each day for hungry children, seniors and families through a network of more than 1,000 programs and 262 partner agencies.”

North Texas Food Bank's Food glorious food

North Texas Food Bank’s Food glorious food

North Texas Food Bank's Food glorious food

North Texas Food Bank’s Food glorious food

North Texas Food Bank

North Texas Food Bank

Unfortunately, the “cost of personnel, food purchases, supplies and associated warehouse costs with the ultimate goal of eliminating the 42-school waiting lists for backpacks” is daunting, but it is possible.

With the funds provided by CCB, “approximately 1,468 elementary-aged children and their young siblings will be provided 52,854 backpacks each school year, or the equivalent of 634,248 meals over” a three-year period.

It had been a long day being inundated by much-needed services for area children. But looking at towering shelves filled with boxes of food, the cartons full of peanut butter, cereals and other items that will find their way into the backpacks, it reminded the CCB-ers that there were children depending upon their raising more than $6M.

Photo Gallery Alert: 2015 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Crystal Charity Ball bus tour

Crystal Charity Ball bus tour

On February 19, the Crystal Charity Ball ladies boarded a bus to get a firsthand look at the 2015 beneficiaries. It was going to be a long day… a very long day, since there were 11 nonprofits that made the cut.

Dallas Life

Dallas Life

Interfaith Housing Coalition

Interfaith Housing Coalition

North Texas Food Bank

North Texas Food Bank

While the lengthy post is being prepared, have a look at some photos taken from the day that are posted on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweet2015Goals: Lynn McBee

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Lynn McBee (File photo)

According to Foundation for the Education of Young Women CEO/business woman/community leader Lynn McBee,

“I am headed to Nicaragua in February for a field visit with UNICEF, so my goal is to quickly and finally become fluent in Spanish!”