Free Simulcast Of The Dallas Opera’s “Madame Butterfly” At The Star Saturday Night Thanks To The Dallas Foundation

How about a freebie Saturday night that’s a bit off the beaten track? The Dallas Opera’s Saturday evening performance of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at the Winspear will be simulcast free at The Star in Frisco. You know you’ve been curious about the Cowboys new digs and the temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 70s.

Hui He*

While the performance starring soprano Hui He and tenor Gianluca Terranova will start at 7:30 p.m., the evening’s program at The Star will begin at 6 p.m. with KLUV’s Jody Dean and The Dallas Opera’s Education program Senior Manager Kristian Roberts.

And the timing is perfect! Just when you’ve totally run out of things to do with the kids during spring break, there will be such pre-performance activities as the Family Fun Zone from 5 to 7 p.m., trivia, behind-the-scenes interviews and a WB Classics presentation of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in “What’s Opera, Doc?

While online registration are already at capacity-load status, walk-ups will be welcomed.

Thank-you notes should be sent to The Dallas Foundation. Why? Because the Foundation is sponsoring the simulcast.

According to The Dallas Foundation President/CEO Mary Jalonick, “The Dallas Foundation has been proud to serve as the Founding Sponsor of The Dallas Opera’s simulcasts at AT&T Stadium since 2012, helping to provide families throughout our community the chance to experience world-class opera in this unique and relaxed setting. This year’s simulcast performance at The Star in Frisco, will offer audiences an opportunity to enjoy one of the most well-known operas in one of our area’s newest event venues.”

BTW, you might want to bring along some hankies for Un Bel Di Vedremo.”

* Photo credit: Karen Almond

A Beacon of Hope Luncheon Introduced Faces Of Hope And Had Glennon Doyle Melton Mix Humor And Honesty About Mental Health

As final preparations were underway on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel for “A Beacon Of Hope” silent auction and luncheon benefiting the Grant Halliburton Foundation, a VIP reception was taking place on the fourth floor’s City View room on Thursday, February 23.

Foundation President/Founder Vanita Halliburton was surrounded by people whose had been touched by teenagers dealing with mental health issues. She herself had created the foundation due to the suicide of her son Grant Halliburton at the age of 19 in 2005 after years of suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

Dealing with teen mental health is very difficult issue for a fundraising event. It’s a delicate weaving of the emotional turmoil and hope for helping others overcome such challenges. On this occasion, Vanita was celebrating the launch of a new program — Faces of Hope. As Faces of Hope Chair Barb Farmer explained, the collaboration between the foundation and Gittings was to honor people within the community who “work in diverse ways to promote mental health every day.”

This year’s group of Faces included Suzie and Mike Ayoob, Senior Corporal Herb Cotner, Julie Hersh, Terry Bentley Hill, Patrick LeBlanc, Sylvia Orozco-Joseph, Sierra Sanchez and Priya Singvi.

Sierra Sanchez, Priya Singhvi, Sylvia Orozco-Joseph, Mike and Suzie Ayoob, Terry Bentley Hill, Julie Hersh, Herb Cotner and Patrick LeBlanc

In addition to pieces of crystal being presented to each of the Faces, their portraits were displayed in the lobby on the second floor.

Gittings Faces of Hope portraits

Following the presentation, Vanita had the day’s speaker author/blogger/newly engaged Glennon Doyle Melton briefly talk. Her message was that you can let tragedy drive you forward for the better or let it drive you further down.

Then, right on cue at 10:55, Vanita directed the patrons to the second floor to check the silent auction and buy raffle tickets. On the way down, Barb showed a bracelet that she got from last year’s raffle. It seems her husband bought ten tickets and claimed it was his. Luckily, he gave it to Barb.

Tom Krampitz and Terry Bentley Hill

Hailey Nicholson and Shannon Hollandsworth

The patrons discovered the lobby and ballroom jammed with guests like Tom Krampitz, Shannon Hollandsworth with daughter Hailey Nicholson. Dixey Arterburn was walking through the crowd with a Starbucks cup and a very hoarse throat. Seems she lost her voice at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Ball the Saturday before.

Dixey Arteburn and Ginger Sager

Taylor Mohr and Amanda Johnson

Taylor Mohr was with her buddy Amanda Johnson, who lost her sister to suicide resulting in Amanda’s working with others involved in such emotional crisis. Unfortunately, there were many in the audience with similar reason for being there. Luckily, they were there to not just support Grant Halliburton Foundation but each other.

Steve Noviello and Vanita Halliburton

Just past noon, KDFW reporter/emcee Steve Noviello recalled that the first year only 100 people attended the luncheon. Now eight years later there were more than 400. In introducing Vanita, he told how when he first met her in her office, he had remarked about the art on the walls, only to learn that it had been done by Grant.

Vanita told about the Foundation and its purpose to help young people struggling with mental health crises. In the past suicide had been the third leading cause of death among young people from ages 15 to 24. It is now second among those between 10 and 24. In Texas, the average is one suicide per week among young people.

After a break for lunch, Vanita and Glennon took their places in chairs on stage. Less than 30 seconds into the conversation, Glennon’s headset mic wasn’t working. A man hustled to the stage with a handheld. Despite the change of mic, there continued to be rustling noise over the PA. Another handheld was brought to the stage for Vanita. It didn’t seem all that necessary, since Glennon appeared to need no help in sharing her life of bulimia, alcoholism, drug addiction and her personal views.

Glennon Doyle Melton

She got sober when she was 25 after being in addiction for a decade and a half. Then she got married and life was good until her husband told her that he had been unfaithful. Learning that news, she just couldn’t stay in her house, so she headed to her yoga class, where they had her go to a hot yoga room. Upon entering the room, Glennon thought, “What the hell is this?”

When the question was raised about what the yoga members’ intentions were that day, Glennon admitted, “My intention is sit on the mat and not run out of the room.” The results? “It was the hardest 90 minutes of my life.”

While her talk was a mix of self-deprecating humor and brutal honesty, it was definitely not a scripted speech but rather just Glennon just being Glennon. 

But her message was clear — “My entire life is to not to avoid the pain of life.” She also said that as a parent, “It’s not our job to protect our children from pain.”

In closing, she consoled those who had suffered the loss of loved ones to mental illness by saying, “Grief is just the proof of great love.”

New Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Jim Hinton Met Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Members At St. V-Day Luncheon

Just outside the dining room at the Charles Sammons Cancer Center, there was a long line of people waiting to meet a Very Important Person when the Baylor Health Care System Foundation board met on Tuesday, February 14. And, why not? The quarterly meeting, after all, marked one of the first public appearances ever by James (“Jim”) Hinton, who’d been tapped to succeed Joel Allison as the president and CEO of Baylor Scott and White Health.

Jim Hinton, Lindalyn Adams and Margo Goodwin*

And, like savvy showmen saving the big act for last, the foundation scheduled Hinton as the final speaker on the 90-minute luncheon program, whose theme was, “Radiologists: Master Interpreters in Diagnosing and Monitoring Disease.” With board members including Barry Andrews, Lisa Troutt, Ray Washburne, Pryor Blackwell, Ron Steinhart, Jill Smith, Richard Holt, Aileen Pratt, Michal Powell and Steve Leiberman in attendance, Board Chair Margo Goodwin kicked off the meeting by urging the members to “up” their giving, in order to reach 100% by the next quarterly get-together.

Michal Powell, Robin Robinson and Aileen Pratt*

Pryor Blackwell*

Jill Smith*

“We’re at 67% participation now,” she said. “We’ve been at 100 percent for each of the last four years, and I hope we won’t break that spell.” Margo also encouraged gifts to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, which selected Baylor University Medical Center as the site of its newest facility. Hope Lodge Dallas will offer free accommodations for cancer patients who have to travel long distances for their care.

Margo gave way at that point to Foundation President Rowland Robinson, who noted the recent deaths of three strong foundation supporters: former Zale Corp. Vice Chairman Leo Fields, former Baylor liver-transplant recipient Ginny Sellers, and Tommy Valenta, a former top executive with Chaparral Steel Co. and Texas Industries.

Greg dePrisco*

With that, Robin talked a little about the meeting’s focus on radiology—“the last link in the diagnostic chain,” he called it—before introducing featured speaker Gregory dePrisco, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist and director of the MRI Fellowship Program at Baylor University Medical Center. During his fascinating and sometimes-humorous presentation, Greg explained that a radiologist is a “doctor’s doctor,” and that 1.2% of all doctors are radiologists.

He recalled the specialty’s history, from the discovery of X-rays through the widespread use of CT scans and MRIs. He told about his membership on an “anal/rectal task force” and showed and explained a number of MRIs, including an MRI comparison between a 40-year-old woman who presented normally (the subject was actually his wife, Dr. Michelle Nichols, who was in the audience) and another woman with rectal pathology and a prolapsed uterus. 

Greg also recalled how he had personally suffered a stroke; was misdiagnosed at another local medical center, where the paramedics took him; and then recovered after receiving the correct diagnosis. (Greg had “something in my lung” that caused the stroke, he explained.) The radiologist ended his presentation by showing CT images of a colonoscopy, a mammogram, and a cancerous lung, before concluding with this observation: “Radiology is a strong link in the healthcare chain. I did go over my time a little bit, but the [story about my] stroke slowed me down!”

Jim Hinton*

Then it was time for Jim to end the program with some brief closing remarks. He took the reins at Baylor Scott And White Health in January, after serving for years as president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, that state’s largest healthcare provider.

“It’s good to be in Texas,” Jim told the board members. “Typically in February I’m around a lot of Texans—but in the [ski] lift line at Taos. I wasn’t looking for a job when this one came around. But [Baylor’s] reputation and the opportunity to live in a community like Dallas were too much to pass up.”

The foundation’s fundraising efforts are crucial, Jim said finally, because “there’s not enough money in patient-care revenue” to support the Baylor healthcare system’s world-class work.

* Photo credit: Lara Bierner

JUST IN: Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni Is Heading To The Big Apple As Director Of Learning And Enrichment For The Wallace Foundation

Gigi Antoni (File photo)

Boxes of Puffs are being passed around over at Big Thought. The reason is the staff was just notified that after 20 years with the nonprofit, Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni will be leaving the education organization in April. The reason is that she is moving to New York City to join The Wallace Foundation as the director of learning and enrichment.  

The Foundation’s mission “is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone.”

Will Miller (File photo)

It was back in December 2015 that a presentation was made to a small group of area leaders addressing the problem of the Dallas education system going dormant during the summer. The research was culminated by The Wallace Foundation, the Urban Institute Policy Group and Big Thought. According to The Wallace Foundation President Will Miller, this type of situation was the reason the Foundation had spent $23M in the past decade to address such issues.

For a full release on the news, follow the jump. [Read more…]

The Family Place’s Legacy Campaign Is Within A Whisker Of Achieving Its $16.5M Goal And Needs Help To Close The Books

Paige Flink (File photo)

Was it really back on October 2015 that The Family Place’s Paige Flink announce The Family Place Legacy Campaign — Building For the Future — to build a 40,000-square foot Central Dallas Counseling Center? Her goal for the capital campaign was a whopping $13M. To get things rolling, The Moody Foundation kicked in $5M that resulted in the facility being named “Ann Moody Place.”

While the physical process of groundbreaking and building has been underway, so has the effort because the goal increased to $16.5M with good reason. According to Paige, the center is going to provide such services and offerings to “help us meet the burgeoning demand for our services. Every year there are approximately 15,000 incidents of family violence reported to the Dallas Police Department. The Family Place, which is the largest family violence shelter in our community and one of the largest service providers in Texas, shelters over 1,000 victims a year at our Safe Campus with 108 beds plus cribs. Our existing shelter is regularly full. The new facility will allow us to shelter an additional 45 women and children each night. It will also house our expanded Central Dallas counseling services for victims and their children, and a medical and dental clinic for clients.”

Ann Moody Place rendering*

To accommodate those needs, Paige and her crew recognized from experience some of the reasons people in need don’t seek help. For instance, “studies show that up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.”

Pets won’t be left behind

To ease those concerns, Ann Moody Place will have five dog kennels, five cat towers, a cuddle room where clients can visit their animals plus a dog run. Thanks to a partnership with the SPCA of Texas, a vet-tech will make sure all animals are vaccinated and care for.

But as the Monday, May 1st move-in date approaches, $220,000 is still needed to complete the fundraising. As a greater incentive to donate ASAP, Highland Capital Management has provided a $1M-challenge. For every dollar raised by Tuesday, April 4, Highland will provide 50 cents.

So, perhaps your budget can’t quite muster up a hundred thousand or two. Not to worry. There are other opportunities like

  • $500 for a 6” by 12” engraved brick
  • $1,000 for a donor to have his/her/their name(s) etched in a beautiful display in the breezeway connecting the two new buildings.
  • $7,500 for each of the two remaining outdoor seating areas in the healing garden

And wouldn’t you know that the dog kennels have all been underwritten, but the poor cats are playing second fiddle and are in need of $10,000-naming rights for each of the two remaining cat towers.

Of course, Paige has other underwriting opportunities. Why she just might arrange to have your name tattooed on her shoulder for the right price.  

* Graphic courtesy of The Family Place

Children’s Donor Reception Was Prepared For A Cowboys-Packers Showdown With A Flatscreen In The Dallas Country Club Ballroom

Sundays are usually sorta ho-hum. There are church services and brunches, but otherwise it’s rather calm. And on Sunday, January 15, it should have been especially so, since it was the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend.

That’s why “the Christophers” (Children’s Health President/CEO Chris Durovich and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher) figured it would be ideal for the 2nd Annual Thank You Donors reception at the Dallas Country Club.

What wasn’t predicted was Cowboys wunderkind rookies Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott. Thanks to the Cowboys making it to the NFL playoff and the game being played at AT&T Stadium starting at 4 p.m., the snoozy Sunday was no longer so sleepy.

Then there was the Liener Temerlin’s memorial service at Temple Emanu-El’s Stern Chapel at 3 p.m.

Chris and Christina Durovich

This Sunday was truly going into uber drive.

But then, of course, Mother Nature had to add her two cents with rain.

Luckily, Chris and Brent were prepared for the situation. As Brent chatted in the lobby area, Chris and Christina Durovich officially welcomed guests and let them know that a TV was broadcasting the Cowboys-Packers game at the back of the ballroom just past all the tables filled with goodies.

Randy Muck, Carol Bieler and Brent Christopher

When one guest asked Brent, Carol Bieler and Randy Muck about the Cowboys game, Randy quickly corrected the guest saying it was a “Packers game.” Bow-tied Brent smiled, “Randy’s a Packer’s fan.”

Among the early arrivals were new Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO David Scullin with his wife Susan Scullin, Fran and Bill Carter and Caroline Rose Hunt with Bob Brackbill. Katy and Ken Menges arrived reporting the latest score as they checked in. Katy will be having hip surgery and is glad to have it over with. Annette Leslie sans 25 pounds reported that the Carson Leslie Foundation had ramped up with greater structure.

David and Susan Scullin and Fran and Bill Carter

Katy and Ken Menges

Bob Brackhill and Caroline Rose Hunt

Magda and Dr. Halim Hennes told former Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal that the Children’s ER was on its way to being open. 

Kern Wildenthal and Magda and Halim Hennes

Kern had been an honorary pallbearer at Liener’s services, which were simply flawless with three generations of Temerlins recalling “Papa.” Despite the eloquence of daughter Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and grandson Blake Gottesman, it was great-granddaughter Avery Johl’s telling the story of “The Invisible String” with Rabbi David Stern that was the true memory maker.

In attendance at the service were Gail and Gerald Turner, Marnie Wildenthal, Martha Tiller (sans husband David Tiller, who was preparing for back surgery), Nancy Dedman, Nancy Halbreich, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Melina McKinnon and Michael Cain and Wick Allison.

But back to the Children’s reception. As the party closed down with a hair-pulling end to the Cowboys-Packers game, Ma Nature took over the spotlight with tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms. While disappointed Cowboy fans found themselves holed up at AT&T stadium, the Children’s guests were safe at home.

MySweet2017Goals: John Stuart

According to Foundation for the Callier Center President John Stuart,

John Stuart*

“My personal goal for the Foundation for the Callier Center is to build on the vision of Past President Bennett Cullum and continue to improve the visibility of Callier through a strong board, strong development and strong awareness within the greater community.

“My goal as Foundation for the Callier Center President aligns with our mission to support the Callier Center for Communication Disorders by increasing recognition of the center regionally and beyond, as well as boost our fundraising efforts that benefit patients with speech, language and hearing disorders who otherwise could not afford their care. I am hopeful that our annual Callier Cares Luncheon, scheduled for Thursday, April 20, at Dallas Country Club, will be another sold-out event thanks to the leadership of Chairman Emilynn Wilson.

“I want the citizens of Dallas and the greater Metroplex to know that right in their own backyard is the Callier Center – the crown jewel of treatment, training and research in communication disorders. Not only does Callier have brilliant researchers and clinicians, the people at Callier truly care and build relationships with individuals and families that last a lifetime.”

* Photo provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorders

Dr. Dan DeMarco Got Pretty Gutsy At The Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Luncheon

The word “gut” is usually not one that comes up at lunch. But on Tuesday, December 13, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board literally gutted up to learn about gastrointestinal research and developments.

Paula Walker

Ashley Jones

But before it kicked off, the Board members were entertained by musicians and artists like Ashley Jones from Baylor’s Arts in Medicine program at Sammons Cancer Center. Developed by Bonnie Pittman, the program is provided free-of-charge for cancer patients at Baylor as a creative therapy thanks to a donation by Paula Walker. Another part of the program is for musicians to play at bedside. When the program began in 2015, there were 300 requests for musical practitioners. This past year the monthly rate had risen to more than 2,000.

Margo Goodwin, Leonard Riggs and Annette Simmons

Amy Turner

Jerry Fullinwider and Martha Hackbarth

As guests like Nancy Dedman, Kelly Green, Richard Holt, Kathy Crow, Michal Powell, Amy Turner, Julie Turner, Su-Su Meyer, Leonard Riggs, Annette Simmons, Jerry Fullinwider, Martha Hackbarth, Trisha Wilson, Randi Halsell, Jill Smith, Paul Stoffel, Sharon McCullough, ­­­Lana and Barry Andrews and Tavia Hunt settled in their chairs at the Sammons Cancer Center, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin reported that Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Aileen Pratt and Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale had raised $1.8M for breast cancer research. Taking over the leadership for the 2017 Celebrating Women will be Tucker Enthoven as luncheon chair and Ola Fojasek as underwriting chair. 

Aileen Pratt

Tavia Hunt

With tongue firmly in cheek, Margo explained that due to the day’s subject matter the presentation would be held after the meal was consumed.

No need. For the presentation, Margo and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson had gotten retired Dr. Dan DeMarco to explain the various components of the digestive system. In introducing Dan, Robin admitted that he had done research by reading “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” by Giulia Enders. He described it as “a really cheeky, easy-to-read guide about both the secrets and the science of our digestive system. I recommend it. It’s a neat read.”

Dan DeMarco

And, yes, the topic did have a “yuck factor” about it, but with the charm of a leprechaun and the knowledge and skill of a recognized health care provider, Dan took the SRO crowd through the various steps of the gastrointestinal system, or as Robin put it, “from stem to stern.”

 Dan started off by recalling years ago, an Australian doctor — Dr. Barry Marshall — claimed that bacteria, not acid, caused ulcers. Experts poo-pooed the idea, despite the doctor’s even swallowing bacteria to prove his point. Years later, he was proved right and won the 2005 Noble Prize.  

In addition to “Gut,” Dan suggested another book that was easy-to-read-and-digest: “Gulp” by Mary Roach.

Then he rolled out some facts that impressed one and all.

  • 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut
  • The gut sends emotional signal to the brain — suggesting we “feel” with our gut first.
  • Gastro-intestinal conditions can be seen as the “mental illness” of your gut.
  • Food affects your mood, and not just “comfort food.”
  • You have 10 times as many microbes as cells in your body. The health of these communities determines your overall health. Collectively, these communities are called the microbiome.
  • Digestive insufficiencies contribute to a wide range of health issues, including migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more.
  • Lactose intolerance increases with age.
  • Gluten sensitivity is “relatively rare. It has to be confirmed with blood testing and intestinal biopsy. Certainly people do feel different on a gluten-free diet. People swear by it, but it’s probably not just the gluten. It’s due to other factors.”
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria. With the wide-spread use of antibiotics, the few bacteria that the antibiotics don’t kill get stronger, become resistant and become super bugs. Not everything should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria that help the digestive system.
  • Microbiome is the entire community of germs. By analyzing the microbiome, it is possible to create an individual’s “fingerprint” regarding their makeup. For instance, if antibiotics are given the first two or three years of life, they influence the microbiome.
  • Microbiome may have more of an effect on our makeup and well-being than genetics.
  • Diseases like Parkinsons, Lupus and others may be the result of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome is affected by whether you were born via C-section or natural delivery and if you were breast fed.
  • The gut affects the immune system, moods, personality and attitude. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. The gut is sometimes referred to as “The Second Brain.”
  • The small intestine is 21 feet long, which results in food taking about six hours to reach the colon.

The small intestine’s length was one of the challenges that had faced the medical community in detecting health problems. It was only accessible via the operating room. The traditional colonoscopy could only go so far, Dan said, but he had been involved in the creation of a new treatment combining the Double Balloon Scope and Spiral Component being “dropped from the top down.” The result was the shortening of the intestine “like rolling up your sleeve.” This procedure made it possible for the small intestine to be examined without trauma and reduced the six-hour traditional examination to a mere 30 minutes. It is currently going through national clinical trials for approval.

Another developments that is being tested at Baylor is the TransPyloric Shuttle for moderately overweight people and fecal transplants for colon diseases.

In conclusion, Dan discussed the gastroenterologist fellows program at Baylor in which, each year, two are selected to be part of the three-year program after finishing their training as internal medicine doctors. Emphasizing the need for gastroenterologists, he added that those participating in the fellowship program tended to stay locally.

To summarize his presentation, he suggested three take-home points:

  1. Think outside of the box
  2. Embrace new technology
  3. Keep learning, keep teaching and “support our fellowship program.”

Upon his retirement, Dan and his wife, Dr. Cara East, created an endowment to support a fellowship and, thanks to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, more than a million dollars was raised resulting in the DeMarco Fellow each year that is fully funded.

Jim Turner and Joel Allison

Following Dan’s presentation, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner told the foundation board members about the new Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton and extolled the accomplishments of retiring Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison. Among them: during Joel’s 23-year tenure, he grew Baylor from a $1-billion asset healthcare system to $10 billion today; the merger with Scott & White; heading up 45,000 employees, 48 hospitals and countless other undertakings resulting in Baylor being one of the top ten not-for-profit healthcare companies in the country and the leading not-for-profit in Texas.

While Joel will officially retire on his birthday (Wednesday, February 1), he will remain as an advisor to Jim Turner. This relationship dates back to their days at Baylor University, when Jim was on the basketball team and Joel played football.

MySweet2017Goals: Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Ros Dawson Thompson (File photo)

According to Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson,

“Professional Goal: My goal in 2017 is to inspire the incredibly generous heart of this community to increase its investment in our women and girls. Women are the face of poverty here, just as they are everywhere else in the world – and we need everyone’s commitment and support to help us expand resources that improve education and quality of life, give voice to the issues, and cultivate strong women leaders for the future.

“Personal Goal: My goal in 2017 is to make more time for learning instead of doing, to spend more time with my family and friends, and to stop ‘changing this occurrence’ on the calendar when it comes to my intended gym schedule!”

From An Olympian Gold Medalist To An Opera CEO, The Awards Of Excellence Celebrated A Wide Range Of Achievers

One of the favorite award luncheons of the fall season is the Dallas Historical Society‘s Awards for Excellence. Just the week before Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 17, the lovers of Dallas history and those who help make it all come true were at the Fairmont for the handing out of awards and the legendary A.C. Greene champagne toast. Here’s a report from the field:

The Board of Trustees of the Dallas Historical Society, with Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas, PhD and Robert Hyer Thomas and co-chairs Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm, welcomed over 650 attendees to the 35th Awards for Excellence (AFE) in Community Service luncheon on Thursday, November 17, at the Fairmont Dallas.

May Suhm, Amy Aldredge and Veletta Forsythe Lill*

As attendees arrived and took their seats, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas welcomed everyone to the 35th annual celebration, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated generosity of spirit, civic leadership, and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city. He then welcomed Reverend Richie Butler, senior pastor of St Paul United Methodist Church, for the invocation. 

Following the invocation, guests enjoyed a first course of spring pea and ham soup en croute with mint cream, followed by roasted chicken breast with demi glace served with old school stacked potatoes, arugula and carrot cardamom puree. Thomas returned to introduce Co-Chairs Veletta and Mary.

Bob and Gail Thomas*

Ms. Lill and Ms. Suhm expressed their gratitude to attendees, event sponsors and the luncheon committee for their support of this year’s Awards for Excellence, particularly Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas and Robert Hyer Thomas. Applauding the couple’s many contributions to Dallas, including their long-standing support of the Dallas Historical Society, the co-chairs announced that two special books would be donated in the Thomas’ honor to the G.B. Dealey Library and Reading Room at the Hall of State: for Bob, Darwin Payne‘s “One Hundred Years On The Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University” and for Gail:  the late historian A. C. Greene‘s “A Town Called Cedar Springs” for creating the sense of community from the many former historic villages that now comprise Greater Dallas.

Dallas Historical Society Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helmbrecht then took the podium recognizing event co-chairs and honorary chairs as well as Amy Aldredge, the Dallas Historical Society’s recently appointed executive director. Additionally, he thanked Arrangements Chair Shannon Callewart, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas, AFE Coordinator Louise Caldwell, Caro Stalcup and Staff Liaison Nora Lenhart for all the dedicated hours they put in to making the event a success.

He also shared the impact the Dallas Historical Society makes with its holdings of over three million archives and artifacts related to Dallas and Texas history, its exhibits and events, including two upcoming exhibits, “Polly Smith: A Texas Journey” and “Drawing Power: The Editorial Art of John Knott” and its education and public programs which reach approximately 20,000 area school students annually.

As dessert of caramel pecan cheesecake with salted caramel and Texas pecans was served, Stewart returned to recognize the 2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service recipients.  Each recipient was presented with their award by co-chairs Lill and Suhm.  

Keith Cerny, Holly Mayer and Emmanuel Villaume*

Anita Martinez, Eliseo Garcia and Patricia Meadows*

Richard Stanford and Pat Mattingly*

Hugh Aynesworth and Pierce Allman*

2016 Awards for Excellence recipients:

    • Arts Leadership – Keith Cerny, general director and CEO of the Dallas Opera
    • Business – Leonard M. Riggs Jr. M.D., noted Dallas civic leader who began his career as an emergency physician, became chief of emergency medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, and later founded the precursor of EmCare, Inc.
    • Creative Arts – Eliseo Garcia, international multi-media sculptor
    • Education – Pat Mattingly, long-time educator and former 26-year director of The Lamplighter School
    • History – Hugh Aynesworth, award-winning journalist and writer
    • Humanities – Molly Bogen, retired 40-year director of Senior Source
    • Medical Research – Eric Olson, renowned molecular biologist specializing at UT Southwestern Medical Center
    • Philanthropy – Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of the Meadows Foundation
    • Sports Leadership – Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time World Championship gold medalist
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Philip C. Henderson, architect and urban visionary and first president of the Friends of the Katy Trail
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Frederick “Shad” Rowe, co-founder of GIBI Investment Symposium and advocate and board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation
    • Jubilee History Maker – Margot Perot, community volunteer and philanthropist

Nancy Shelton and Molly Bogen*

David Dunnagan and Linda Perryman Evans*

Glenn Solomon, Louise Caldwell and Michael Johnson*

Shad Rowe and Willing Ryan*

Carol Montgomery and Margot Perot*

After the awards presentation, champagne was served to all attendees as well as recipients on stage. Stewart returned to the podium, with glass in hand, to conclude with the event’s traditional A.C. Greene toast:  “Would everyone who was born in Dallas, please stand up.  Would everyone who was born in Texas, please stand up. We toast the rest of you – who were smart enough to move here as fast as you could! Here! Here!”

The A.C. Greene toast*

As the event concluded, the Judy Moore Duo played the event’s signature song, “Big D” from the musical, “Most Happy Fella.”

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the Dallas Historical Society and its dedication to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history through its many programs, including educational outreach and public programs.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

The Two-Day “Christmas Is For Children Radiothon” Resulted In A Record-Breaking $1,262,704 For Children’s Health

KLUV’s Jody Dean seemed to put an extra “oomph” in this year’s two-day “Christmas is for Children Radiothon.” Perhaps it was because he will have his first granddaughter born this April.

And that “oomph” on Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9, at Children’s Medical Center resulted in a record-breaking sweet deal — a check for $1,262,704 for Children’s Health.

Jody Dean (File photo)

Jenny Q (File photo)

El Chiquilin (File photo)

Chris Sommer (File photo)

As part of the partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, Jody was joined by other CBS Radio DFW folks like KLUV’s Jenny Q, La Grande’s El Chiquilin, KRLD’s Chris Sommer and 26 patients and families like Lacey Parker and her mom Renee Parker for the 26-hour fundraiser.

Why La Grande alone broke another record by bringing in a record-breaking “$558,199, making it the No. 1 CMN Hispanic Radiothon in the country.”

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker

According to CBS Radio DFW Senior Vice President/Market Manager Brian Purdy, “CBS Radio DFW began the Radiothon partnership 11 years ago to support the incredibly amazing work of Children’s Health. Year after year, the generosity of our listeners continues to humble us as we are reminded of how truly blessed we are here in North Texas.”

In addition to the VIP guests like Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and former Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal dropping by to visit with the radio personalities, teams from area companies manned the phone accepting contributions.

Local sponsors of the event included presenting sponsor FairLease, phone line sponsor Credit Union of Texas, child champion sponsor Neighborhood Credit Union and others (Albertsons-Tom Thumb, The Children’s Courtyard, Granite Properties, Padrino Foods, Skanska, ReTrak, Dallas Fort Worth Acura Dealers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, ADT Security, Cisco, Marquis Group, UBC and El Rio Supermercados).

If you missed the opportunity to support the Radiothon, you can still support Children’s Health via the Children’s Medical Center Foundation by donating here!

MySweetWishList: CancerBlows

According to Ryan Anthony Foundation Co-Founder Niki Anthony,

Ryan and Niki Anthony (File photo)

CancerBlows was meant to be a once-in-as-life time musical event bringing together legendary trumpet players in a special concert and after party. The event sold out and raised substantial money for Multiple Myeloma patients and research via the Ryan Anthony Foundation.

“My husband, Ryan Anthony, principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at age 43 in 2012. Thanks to aggressive and ongoing treatment, Ryan is in remission.  But, our passion to eradicate the disease is still strong.

“We are so fortunate to have a second CancerBlows scheduled for May of 2017 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. We are anticipating 1,800 guests who will enjoy a performance with such headliners as Doc Severinson, Arturo Sandoval, the Canadian Brass and Dave Matthews Band trumpeter Rashawn Ross in addition to fifteen other legends.

CancerBlows*

“During this holiday season, we are so grateful to the have the endorsement of philanthropists Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger who have brought tremendous resources to our efforts being spearheaded by Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock with Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill.

“My wish is that everyone who has been affected by this dreaded disease finds the treatment, hope and eventual cure that is on the horizon. Proceeds from CancerBlows will directly benefit individuals in the Dallas area.  In the meantime, please make plans to join us for this important fund-raising event on May 10. Visit cancerblows.com for more information.”

-By Niki Anthony, Ryan Anthony Foundation co-found

* Graphic provided by CancerBlows

Karl Zinsmeister’s Talk Included Some Tabasco For Food For Thought At Communities Foundation Of Texas’ Annual Fundholders Dinner

Philanthropy is not all give, give, give. There are a lot of others perks besides sleeping very well at night. For instance, the fundholders at Communities Foundation of Texas are not only appreciated, they’re celebrated annually at an annual dinner. This year’s supper took place on Tuesday, November 1, at CFT (of course!) with keynote speaker/author Karl Zinsmeister, who wrote “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” You might be surprised how Tabasco sauce played a part in American philanthropy. Here’s a report from the field:   

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

It was a lovely evening, celebrating Communities Foundation of Texas’ fund holders and hearing from Karl Zinsmeister. Those attending included Jim and Judy Gibbs, Mary Anne Cree, Patrick Esquerre, Rila and Harvey Ladd, Cindy Simmons, Amelia Barber, Elizabeth Liser, Scott Sweet, Cathy Sweet, Sarah Higdon, Carolyn Tobin, Kristen Parrish and 150 more. CFT board Frank Risch welcomed fund holders to the annual dinner and gave a big congratulations to all staff and fund holders for the incredible $37 million success of North Texas Giving Day. Then he introduced Zinsmeister.

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Frank Risch*

Frank Risch*

Zinsmeister showed photos and told stories from his almanac “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” Stories centered around three things: great donors, great accomplishments and great ideas. He opened with a neat story about Ned McIlhenny, the maker of Tabasco and how he saved the egret as well as 150 Negro spirituals…both of which would have been lost to time without his efforts. He also talked about Alfred Loomis, who funded the development of radar which helped win World War II, and George Eastman, a chemist who built MIT as well as the Eastman School of Music, among many other important efforts.

Karl Zinsmeister*

Karl Zinsmeister*

Zinsmeister also talked about 80% of giving being from regular individuals citing the founding of almost all Ohio colleges being from farmers pooling their money, all presidents’ homes being saved and run by volunteer groups, etc. He talked about the rise of the internet and the hacker’s code and how giving is like that already. (yep! Like #NTxGivingDay!)

Susan Swan Smith ended with a reminder to register for GiveWisely, and for fund holders to join us for CFT’s annual volunteer event at North Texas Food Bank.

It was a very inspirational evening. Perhaps several locals in the crowd will be the ones for the history books and next edition of this philanthropic hall of fame.

* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

2017 Cancer Blows Kick-Off Party Has SRO Turnout Despite Traffic Jam And Competing Events

The world of nonprofits hit head on with the political universe on Tuesday, November 1, on Lakeside. While usually only geese and ducks honk on the elegant drive, on this night it was luxury vehicles with drivers getting steamed. One gent stood on the running board of his stationery SUV shaking his fist at the god of traffic jams.

The jam resulted from two big gatherings — the kick-off party for Cancer Blows at Ashley Tatum’s and Newt Walker’s residence overlooking Turtle Creek, and a get-together a block away for U.S. Representative Pete Sessions.

Linda and Steve Ivy

Linda and Steve Ivy

Adding to the mix was the fact that the Cancer Blows event had initially been planned for under 75 guests, but as the minutes ticked away, that headcount evolved to a number just a smidge less than 200, including Robin Robinson, Linda and Steve Ivy, Martha and David Tiller, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and newlyweds Emily Eisenhauer Freling and Darryl Freling, who had just returned from their wedding in California’s Napa Valley.

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Darryl Freling and Emily Eisenhauer Freling

Inside the Tatum-Walker abode, the trophies of Newt’s past hunting ventures had been replaced by artistic Ashley’s fav artists like David Bates.

Because it was such a busy night in town with Colin Powell at the Meyerson, Adele at American Airlines Center, etc., not everyone could stay for the presentation in the living room featuring a slimmed-down Cancer Blows Co-Chair D’Andra Simmons Lock and husband/Co-Chair Jeremy Lock and The Ryan Anthony Foundation President Ryan Anthony, who just happened to have his trumpet in hand. Fellow Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill were in Nashville attending the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards. D’Andra, Jeremy, and Ryan were engulfed by well-wishers and supporters throughout the evening. 

With the crowd spilling into the side hallways, plans were revealed that the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation fundraiser event will return to the Meyerson for its headliner concert on Wednesday, May 10, featuring the world’s leading trumpeters. Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger.

Leading up to the Meyerson performance, there will be two days in which a variety of activities are planned. Declared D’Andra: “We’re doing everything we can to make this the most incredible sell-out ‘Blows’ ever.”

In addition to the packed crowd, there were videographers recording the event. When event planner Hamilton Sneed was asked whether the crew was on hand for a local reality show, he looked shocked and responded that they were part of his team filming for future promotional purposes. Whew!

Interactive Artist/Activist Candy Chang Blended Art And Healing For Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 31st Luncheon

To compare last year’s Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 30th Annual Luncheon to this year’s was like comparing a trophy wife to a first wife.

Sure, the 2016 version had Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria at the podium, an A+ meet-and-greet structure, life was good and the economy was marching along. But this year’s Annual Luncheon on Friday, October 21, at the Hilton Anatole had a different set of challenges. The economy was antsy; nerves were on edge perhaps due to the political bickering; and frills of the past were toned down to satisfy the need to meet the bottom line.

Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Ros Dawson admitted that they had considered a six-figure type when petite urban artist/activist Candy Chang appeared at a conference that Ros attended. With the July 7th shooting in Dallas and the luncheon Co-Chairs/art champions Joyce Goss and Selwyn Rayzor at the helm, Ros just knew they had a perfect match — their keynote speaker blending art and advocacy together … and an on-target budget.

Joyce Goss, Candy Change, Selwyn Rayzor, Ellenore Baker and Ros Dawson

Joyce Goss, Candy Change, Selwyn Rayzor, Ellenore Baker and Ros Dawson

That tightening of the budget was paramount since establishing the Unlocking Leadership Campaign goal of $50M. It was a daunting challenge to raise that type of money.  Still, thanks to sponsors like U.S. Trust, the DWF mission of investing in women and girls and empowering women’s philanthropy to build a better world forged ahead.

But the day started off with the meet-and-greet in the Anatole’s Wedgwood Room. It had all the signs of being a repeat of last year’s flawless grip-and-grin. There was a cordoned-off area for guests to have their photos taken with Candy. There were cards to be provided to guests as they arrived to hand over when their photo opp took place. There was even the metal ring on which the cards were to be placed to help identify who was in each photo. The only thing missing was the (wo)manpower to make things happen.

Candy Chang and Regina Montoya

Candy Chang and Regina Montoya

Unlike last year’s photo opp, with one person to receive the card at the line up and another to take a handbag to the exit area, there was just one person who stayed at the exit. Some guests made it to the cordoned-off area with cards filled out, but most showed up at the exit with no card. Evidently, the cards were only sporadically being handed out and some folks didn’t realize there was a meet-and-greet taking place. There were times when Candy just stood like the last gal picked at a boy-ask-girl dance. But Candy was a good sport and stayed with a smile on her lips and an artistic tattoo on her right arm.

Just outside the Chantilly Ballroom, the lobby was highlighted by large panels headlined with “A better world is …”  The panels would be put to full use after the luncheon.

In the Chantilly Ballroom, organizers admitted that the luncheon headcount was down from 2015’s 1,800—if you call 1,300 down. But the money count was ahead of plan.

Kaleta Doolin

Kaleta Doolin

Joyce and Selwyn welcomed the group including Dallas Women’s Foundation Board Chair Ellenore Baker, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Paige Flink, Nancy Ann Hunt, Rex Thompson, Robin Bagwell, Wendy Messmann, Regina Montoya and 2017 Dallas Women’s Foundation Luncheon Chair Lisa Singleton, telling them the presentation by Candy would offer hope and healing. They told of the cards at the tables that could be filled out and placed on the lobby’s panels following Candy’s talk. They added that even before the doors of the ballroom were opened, more than a million dollars had been brought in.

After they recognized Honorary Chair/artist Kaleta Doolin, a powerful video was shown about the challenges facing a single mother in need of help.

p1210391Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Paula and Ron Parker and Trea Yip were on stage to stir up the Foundation’s fundraising campaign. Over $30,793,000 had been raised, but they wanted to match the 31st anniversary by hitting the $31M mark. If folks texted to #betterworld, they could make a donation to meet the goal. Immediately cellphones were pulled out on stage and in the audience to provide the funds.

Trea Yip and Ashlee Kleinert

Trea Yip and Ashlee Kleinert

On the screen, the names of donors like Clay Jenkins and Sandra Brown were shown. And while texting may still be like hieroglyphics to some, this one caused consternation even among the savvy types. There seemed to be problem that became a topic during the luncheon.

No problem. Soon Mother Ros was on stage explaining the hiccup. It seems that some folks had put a space between “better” and “world” and heaven knows where the money was going. But not to worry. The DWF braintrust had already taken care of the misdirected funds. With a sigh of relief, the cellphones were out again and successful donations were made. Whew!

Ros Dawson

Ros Dawson

Following a film, Ros invited people to keep talking as she spoke. And that is exactly what they did. Between the chatter and the clatter of the forks on plates, the folks especially in the back of the room missed her telling of the $31K anonymous donation that had just been made in honor of the 31st anniversary, helping the texting amount to $72K at that moment. They also could hardly hear Ros describing the great need to “harness the heart of this community to address the deep divide of race, class and gender.” It was for this need to bring people together that the decision had been made to bypass a big-name celeb and go for a peaceful and thoughtful activist like Candy Chang as the keynote speaker.

As Candy took the stage, the noise level in the room had decreased thanks to the winding down of the meal. With the help of the massive screens around the room, Candy told of her journey as a community activist and artist in New Orleans and the turning point that led her to create an international movement as well as become a TED Senior Speaker. It was the death of “Joan,” who had been so influential throughout Candy’s life. Her death had been sudden and unexpected. Candy went through a period of grief and depression.  She discovered an abandoned house in her neighborhood and decided to use it as a canvas. Painting one of its walls black like a chalkboard, she wrote on it, “Before I die, I want to…” Pretty soon the wall was filled with all types of comments reflecting on the authors’ lives. The wall allowed a coming together of feelings, dreams and concerns among the people. This one wall of words caught on like wildfire throughout the world. Today there are more than 2,000 “Before I die…” walls internationally. Each wall is unique to its own community.

Speaking of her own success, she admitted that she owed it “to the generosity of others who stepped in and caught me at that critical moment when I questioned whether I had the capacity or the confidence to try something new.”

She was especially moved by the day’s program, and hoped that the audience would pay it forward in providing support and empowerment for girls and women on their journeys.

Before concluding her talk, she added that all people have mental health issues like sorrow, anxiety, stress, etc.: “These feelings easily escalate to more intense conflicts like addiction or depression or self-destruction.”  As a result, she created an interactive exhibit in which writers anonymously confessed their feelings. One such confession read: “I’m afraid I’ll die alone.”

This sense of coming together to heal led her to her latest project — Atlas of Tomorrow in Philadelphia.

It is a huge interactive mural with a 6-foot dial which people are invited to spin to possibly resolve challenges or issues facing them. The number on which the spinner stops leads them to one of 64 stories taken from I Ching, one of the world’s oldest books of wisdom. The hope is to provide “a place to pause and try and make sense of our lives together,” according to Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Executive Director Jane Golden.  

But despite the huge project in Philadelphia and the worldly influence, Candy’s message was felt on a smaller plain. As guests left the ballroom, they let it be known that they had gotten Candy’s message by filling the panels in the lobby completing the line, “A better world is…” One read, “A better world is … because of the Dallas Women’s Foundation.”  Said others: ” … full of compassion,” ” … kind,” ” … possible.”  Those panels were not just for show. Their future lay at being positioned throughout the city including at NorthPark Center, Southwest Center Mall, The Stewpot Talent Show at Encore Park and The Stewpot.  

BTW, thanks to texting and generosity, the Foundation hit its $31M mark. Now, only $19M to go!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 31st Luncheon

The Dallas Women’s Foundation‘s 31st Luncheon took a different direction from last year’s fundraiser that starred Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria. This year they had interactive artist/activist Candy Chang, who shot to fame thanks to her “Before I die…” artwork that went international.

Joyce Goss, Candy Change, Selwyn Rayzor, Ellenore Baker and Ros Dawson

Joyce Goss, Candy Change, Selwyn Rayzor, Ellenore Baker and Ros Dawson

They also aimed to hit the $31M mark for their Unlocking Leadership Campaign at the luncheon. But there was a momentary snafu that almost slowed the raising down.

Trea Yip, Paula and Ron Paul, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert

Trea Yip, Paula and Ron Paul, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert

While the post is being completed, check out some of folks who were part of the 31st Luncheon at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery

Rita Wilson Showed Spunk, Humor And Courage About Her Breast Cancer At The 17th Annual Celebrating Women Luncheon

North Texas treasure Lindalyn Adams was under the weather on Thursday, October 20. Of all days to be ill, this one was the wrong one. It was also the day when her brainchild fundraiser, the 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon, was scheduled to take place at the Anatole. While it would be the first in its 17-year history for Lindalyn to miss, the show went on to raise funds for Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s efforts to battle breast cancer.

Despite her absence, Baylor Health Care System President Robin Robinson and Baylor Scott And White Health CEO/Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Joel Allison lauded her from the podium giving her full credit for the $26M that the annual luncheon has provided.

Lynn McBee, Caren Kline and Ros Dawson

Lynn McBee, Caren Kline and Ros Dawson

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Gail Fischer

Gail Fischer

Julie Turner

Julie Turner

Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven and Nancy Carter

Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven and Nancy Carter

Rita Wilson and Nancy Rogers

Rita Wilson and Nancy Rogers

The program for this year’s VIP reception in the Wedgwood Room was a tadbit different than past years. Robin decided all the speech making at previous pre-luncheon gatherings was unnecessary. So he killed the speeches and just let the crowd (Margo Goodwin, Julie Turner, Anne Nixon, Barbara Stuart, Sara Martineau, Randi Halsell, Angie Kadesky, Tucker Enthoven, Nancy Carter, D’Andra Simmons, Becky Bright, Caren Kline, Ros Dawson, Lynn McBee, Fredye Factor, Sarah Losinger, Gail Fischer, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Debbie Oates) have coffee, juice, pastries and chit chat. Great decision!

Kate Swail and Robin Robinson

Kate Swail and Robin Robinson

One topic was who the gal was in the hot pink embroidered caftan. It turned out to be Robin’s daughter Kate Swail.

Just outside the Wedgwood Room, a unique twosome posed for a photo — Gretchen Minyard Williams of the Minyard Food Store family and Connie Yates of Celebrating Women presenting sponsor Tom Thumbs. The two had a chuckle when Connie recalled upon arriving on the Dallas scene, folks would mistake her for Gretchen.

Connie Yates and Gretchen Minyard Williams

Connie Yates and Gretchen Minyard Williams

Joel and Diane Allison

Joel and Diane Allison

Honorary Co-Chair/Joel’s better half Diane Allison told how the couple had bought a condo in Waco and were looking forward to it. Only problem? Their Dallas digs sold faster than they had planned, so Diane was hustling to get things ready to move out. 

The only hitch was a very slow-mo, greet-and-meet photo session with keynote speaker/multi-talented Rita Wilson. While Rita was delightful, VIP guests were lined up three deep waiting for their photos.  

BTW, you would have loved Rita. Everyone did. Like you, she was gracious and fun. One couldn’t help but suspect she’s on everybody’s Christmas card list.

When the doors to the Chantilly Ballroom opened, you would have been amazed how filled the place was with Toni Brinker, Lana Andrews, Gene Jones, Lee Ann White, Al Hill Jr. with daughters Heather Washburne and Elisa Summers, Nancy Rogers and Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner.

While Event Chair Aileen Pratt visited tables, husband Jack Pratt revealed the secret of youth. With a smile, the spry 90-year-young Pratt attributed it to having young children, Aileen and three points that he had learned from Dr. Kenneth Cooper:

  1. Go to sleep each night at the same time
  2. Sleep for eight hours
  3. Eat healthy.

Once the program got underway, the speakers (Aileen, Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale, Robin and Joel) kept their words short and on point — genetic research is the future in the fight against breast cancer. Their words were supported by a video featuring experts like genetic counselor Ann Bunnell and breast cancer survivor Tracie Johnson

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

It was touching to see Joel on stage for his final appearance as CEO of Baylor Scott and White.

Another change in the luncheon’s program was the usual speech from the podium was replaced by a conversation between Rita and Robin. It was as if it was a chat in a living room as the two settled back in white easy chairs. It was the first time that Rita had discussed her having breast cancer in front of group, but her hopes was that one person might get a second opinion and save their life after hearing her story. 

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Ten years earlier, Rita’s doctor told her that she was at high risk for having cancer, but not to worry. Still she went to have yearly mammograms and MRIs. All was fine until one in 2015. She had a needle biopsy with no resounding conclusions. Still Rita wasn’t satisfied and had two lumpectomies to remove tissues. Still there was no proof of cancer. Then she stressed that all should listen, “I just had a gut feeling that that just didn’t feel right.” A breast cancer survivor friend suggested her getting a second opinion and recommended Dr. Ira Bleiweiss.  It just so happened that she was doing a play in NYC and flying home on the weekends for her surgeries. One New York surgeon asked why she was having all these lumpectomies… “Why aren’t you getting a second opinion? The guy we use is Dr. Ira Bleiweiss.” Tissue samples were sent to Ira and after other testing, the results proved that Rita was likely going to have breast cancer. The decision was made to have bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson

Robin asked, “Do you remember that ‘Ah, shoot!’ moment?” To which Rita broke up the seriousness of the situation by saying, “It was really more like ‘Ah, shit!’” It worked. The room was filled with laughter because everyone of the cancer survivors/patients understood Rita’s reaction.

A self-professed doer, Rita added the surgery to her “Must-Do-List.” But four months later when everything was done, it really hit her what she had been through.

Following the surgery, she returned to the play four weeks later and now admits that it was a bit ambitious.

Other highlights of their conversation included:

  • “I love anything that makes me feel happy. I look for project that make people smile.”
  • Life on the road with her band — “I was touring with the band Chicago and the bus broke down right around the Donner Pass. It was about two in the morning. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere.” But they made it to Reno for the performance. Still the bus needed to be replaced and it was in the middle of touring season when availability of buses is limited. They ended giving me Merle Haggard’s bus. He had bought this bus right before he passed away, which I thought was an amazing thing. He was thinking, ‘I’m just gonna keep on going.’ He had a safe in the box. I didn’t have the combo, so I don’t know what was in the safe.”
  • Her parents — “My mom [who died at 93] was a character. She was Greek. My dad, who died when he was 89. They were married 59 years. My mom always said things to me like, ‘You have to be your own best friend;’ ‘I like my own company;’ ‘You know in the beginning when you meet somebody and they say opposites attract? Later it’s opposites attack.’”
  • Her mother’s Alzheimer’s — “It’s (Alzheimer’s) really also a hideous disease. The last full conversation I had with her was really amazing because I went over to her house and I said, ‘Hi, mom, how are you doing?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m good.’ I asked if she knew who I was. And she said, ‘My daughter.’ I said, ‘That’s right. Which daughter?’ And she couldn’t answer that. So I said, ‘It’s me, Mom. It’s Rita.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘You’re too good looking to be Rita.’ I took it as a compliment.”
  • Her dad — “He escaped from Bulgaria and worked on a freighter ship to the Philadelphia, where he jumped ship. He worked as a bartender all his life and was supporting his family. His name was Hassan Halilov Ibrahimoff but he became Allan Wilson. My Dad’s name was difficult to spell or pronounce, so when he became a naturalized citizen, the judge said, ‘Do you want to change your name to something a little easier?’ He said, ‘Yeah, to Wilson,’ because that was the name of the street we lived on.’
  • Her birth name — “My original name was Margarita Ibrahimoff.” Robin told her that Margarita has special meaning here in Texas.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding — Having attended lots of plays in New York, she felt she had given “short shrift” to productions on the West Coast and decided to see one in LA. “I opened the LA Times and there was a little square for an ad and it was maybe a two-inch square saying Nia Vardalos in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ I thought that title makes me laugh. I’m going to see this. What’s the worst that can happen? I took my mom, my sister and my nieces and I thought, ‘The worst that can happen is we’ll have a bad show, but a great dinner somewhere.’ We went to see the show and it was great.” She told Nia that she thought it would make a great movie. Month or years later, Nia told Rita that they only had enough money to put an ad in the paper one day, one time and that was the day I saw the title.”
  • Her mom’s reaction to the movie — Imitating her mom, Rita said, ‘They are nothing like us!” Rita laughed saying, “Oh, no, they’re nothing like us. My sister lives next to my mom.
  • Meeting Tom Hanks — They met on the show “Bosom Buddies.” About two years later, they were cast in a movie called “Volunteers.” About a year afterward they started dating.
  • Rita Wilson

    Rita Wilson

    “Sleepless in Seattle” — The “That’s A Chick’s Movie” scene where the characters talk about “An Affair To Remember” was largely improvised. After Rita had done her scene recalling the emotional ending of the movie, Tom Hanks and Victor Garber improvised about “The Dirty Dozen.”

  • Her walk-up song — “Grateful”
  • Drug of choice — It used to be chocolate, but “I’ve been trying to give up sugar lately since Tom has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I also cut down on alcohol because my oncologist recommended five glasses or less of any kind of alcohol per week. He did say, ‘You can have it all in one day.’”
  • Bucket list — Not to have a definitive schedule and be more spontaneous.
  • Unknown — “I speak French and a little bit of Greek. I do ski. Don’t come with me if you want to go slow. I water color just for fun. I took lessons for five years and I learned that you can’t get worse at something, if you do it consistently.”
  • Message for those who are facing cancer — “For people who are not there yet, trust your instinct about anything and trust your gut and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from your doctor or a second opinion on your pathology. For those who are going through treatment or about to go through treatment, I know it feels like it’s never going to be anything other than what you’re doing and what that life is. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you’re going to be able to see that light sooner than you think. Keep the faith and do things that make you happy while you’re going through it.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Practically everyone added Rita Wilson to their Christmas card list after attending the 17th Annual Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Instead of giving a talk from the podium, she simply had a chat with Foundation President Robin Robinson. At times it felt like the Chantilly Ballroom was a living room with 1,200 buds sitting around.

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

While the post is being completed, check out the faces on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But if you’re looking for Celebrating Women First Lady Lindalyn Adams, you’re gonna come up short. She was home under the weather and had to miss this one. And in turn Lindalyn was missed.

While A Presidential Debate Got Testy, 2016 Folsom Awardee Gerald Turner Was Celebrated By Jack Ingram, Peruna And Loving Tributes

Mike and Marla Boone

Mike and Marla Boone

Hillary and Donald may have been slugging it out in Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 19, but the Anatole Grand Ballroom was in a political vacuum due to the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner benefiting the Methodist Health System Foundation.

Okay, so former Folsom awardee/emcee Mike Boone advised 2016 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Awardee Gerald Turner that as uncomfortable as he was receiving the accolades and teases, he would have been more miserable sitting at home watching TV.

Caren Prothro, Ken Altshuler, Calvert Collins Bratton, Ruth Altshuler and Vince Bratton

Caren Prothro, Ken Altshuler, Calvert Collins Bratton, Ruth Altshuler and Vince Bratton

But before the on-stage fun began to benefit Methodist Health System Foundation, a mega gathering of high profilers was taking place in the ballroom’s reception area spilling all over the Anatole lobby. At times it also appeared to be a suited version of an SMU pep rally, complete with adorable coeds and everyone wanting to pose with Peruna.

Gail Turner, Peruna and Gerald Turner

Gail Turner, Peruna and Gerald Turner

Only things missing were cheerleaders and a marching band. However, such Mustang alumni as Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Jan and Fred Hegi, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Bob White, were front and center.

Pete Schenkel, Bob White and Fred Hegi

Pete Schenkel, Bob White and Fred Hegi

Jerry Ford

Jerry Ford

Ray Hunt

Ray Hunt

Kirsten Fitzgerald , Kelli Ford and Cate Ford

Kirsten Fitzgerald , Kelli Ford and Cate Ford

Evening Co-Chairs Kelli and Jerry Ford, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt and Lottye and Bobby Lyle along with Gerald’s wife of 48 years Gail Turner had a great laugh watching honoree Gerald pose with SMU students and Peruna…Sarah Perot with her folks Leah and Jerry Fullinwider, who was celebrating his 88th birthday…. Dr. Dan Meyer reported that he had just recently joined Methodist Health System… Lee Ann White reported that the Whites’ new Preston Hollow house was “great” and their new puppy was due to arrive any day. Her date for the evening was son Michael FowlerBrent Christopher was on a two-night binge of event attending. The next night he was slated to honorary co-chair TexProtects with Mary Jalonick honoring Joe Straus at the Adolphus … Cary Maguire sat by the ballroom doors taking in the sights of the night.

Gene Jones and Annette Simmons

Gene Jones and Annette Simmons

Michael Fowler and Lee Ann White

Michael Fowler and Lee Ann White

Leah and Jerry Fullinwider and Sarah Perot

Leah and Jerry Fullinwider and Sarah Perot

Just in time the doors opened to the ballroom. And while the “get-yourself-in-your-chairs” chimes made the rounds herding guests into the ballroom, the SMU Belle Tones and SMU Southern Gentlemen drew them in singing some of Gerald’s favorite songs a capella.

As soon as guests took their seats, Mike Boone was at the podium welcoming the group and stressing the fact that they would be remiss by not including Gail Turner in the evening’s accolades. Mike went on to say that during Gerald’s 20 years at the helm of SMU, he had transformed the formerly regional university into an institution recognized internationally.

Marilyn and Stephen Mansfield

Marilyn and Stephen Mansfield

Following 2013 Folsom Award recipient Rev. Mark Craig’s invocation, Methodist Health System President/CEO Dr. Stephen Mansfield told that during his ten years with Methodist, it had tripled in size with a half-billion dollar payroll and is now the largest employer in the southern sector of Dallas. He reported that in following the tradition of the Folsom Awardees designating where the evening’s funds would go, Gerald had designated the proceeds ($1.4M) to “benefit the programs offered through the Methodist Dallas Medical Center Golden Cross Academic Clinic, which uses the services of medical residents and fellows to care for uninsured and under-insured patients who are in need of primary care and struggling with chronic diseases.”

Angela Turner Wilson and Clifton Forbis

Angela Turner Wilson and Clifton Forbis

Mike returned to the podium and reported that despite the Turners’ daughter Jessica Turner-Waugh and her husband Jeff Waugh not being able to attend the event due to being in Boston, their other daughter Angela Turner Wilson and her husband Michael Wilson were on hand. An accomplished singer and professor at TCU, Angela and SMU Professor/tenor Clifton Forbis beautifully performed one of Gerald’s favorite hymns, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

Following dinner, a video was show featuring CBS sports broadcaster Bill Macatee, who told of Gerald’s love of tennis and his Saturday morning games known as SMIT (“Saturday Morning Invitational Tournament”). Macatee reported that Gerald was known to be “great at the net, has a wicked volley, is also aggressive and super competitive.” Having covered numerous US Opens, Macatee went on to say that he felt “confident in saying that Dr. Turner has all the qualities that you see displayed at the US Open but executed at a slightly slower speed.”

Chris Kleinert, Frank Campbell, Dale Petroskey and Kit Carson

Chris Kleinert, Frank Campbell, Dale Petroskey and Kit Carson

He then introduced members of SMIT to the stage including Chris Kleinert, Frank Campbell, Dale Petroskey and Kit Carson. They told the history of the weekly tournaments and how founder Norm Green would show up around nine, while Gerald was already warming up. The highlight of the foursome’s tributes to their tennis buddy was the announcement that the name of the SMIT trophy had been changed to “Super Mustang Invitational Tournament.”

April Box

April Box

Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box replaced the SMIT players on staged and told of Gerald’s love of music and how a friend had reported being surprised to see Gail and Gerald at a Dire Straights concert. To get the crowd in the mood for a concert, guests were told to put on the wristbands at their places that lit up blue throughout the room.

Jack Ingram

Jack Ingram

As for the concert, the performer was former Mustang Jack Ingram, who regaled the audience with song and tales of his days at SMU. He went there because his brother went there and he thought he would at least have one friend. “It turns out we weren’t such good friends.”  

He told how he originally had planned to have a double major in psychology and business, “but then we had a thing in statistics,” so he downed it to a degree in psychology. “It turns out I used my degree in psychology because the music business is crazy.”

After 15 years of traveling around the country performing, he would listen to Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 on Sundays. “For 14 years in a row, I heard 3,742 George Strait songs.” He finally made it after coming out with “Wherever You Are,” which made the list in the 40th spot and Kingsley’s introducing him as making his debut. Then, 38 weeks later, it made it to the #2 spot. He was arriving in Dallas and sitting in the back of the van (“I realized that the difference between being #41 and #2 was, I wasn’t driving the van anymore.”) listening to the Countdown, hoping that he’d made it to the #1 spot. Luckily, he had played the tune on his own radio show the night before 16 times.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, “It took me 18 years to win the Academy of Country Music’s Best Newcomer Award.”

Jack also recalled how the last time he performed at SMU was on Dallas Hall steps, where he told the crowd that as a student he had done everything that any 19- or 20-year-old person might do on the Dallas Hall steps, except study. Looking at Gerald, Jack smiled, “I hope this doesn’t reflect on my daughter’s admission. Remember you told her that day when she was seven that she could come to SMU.”

That was just a smattering of his talk, which was one of the funniest heard in these parts.

Okay, so Jack used a couple of words one wouldn’t hear in church (one started with an “h,” and the other with a “s”), but, shoot, he managed to use them in such a self-deprecating way that even the most stuffy types laughed. Heck, this was a concert, not choir practice.

April returned to the stage and addressed Gerald about his days at Ole Miss when he had a friend who was a lawyer, who took up writing. It was novelist John Grisham, who traditionally sends a personally autographed copy of his latest book. His latest book, “The Whistler,” was due out on Tuesday, October 25. However, since he was out of the country and couldn’t make it to the dinner, he had sent an early edition to be presented to Gerald.

A 14-minute video was shown. Perhaps the reason for it running a bit long is because so many (Ruth Altshuler, Bill Banowsky, Tom Barry, Robert Bonham, Mike Boone, Linda Custard, Marvin Ellison, Rob Evans, Bob Ferguson, Jerry Ford, Mitch Hart, Ray Hunt, Mark Langdale, Bobby Lyle, Bill Macatee, David Miller, Bob Prange, Caren Prothro, Pete Schenkel, Dennis Stripling and Leslie Wyatt) wanted to praise SMU’s longest serving president.

A couple of tales revealed how the late Texas Instrument’s Jerry Junkins, who was on the SMU board, somehow managed to intercept a private jet [with Gerald] coming from Ole Miss going to Oklahoma for an interview. It landed at the Texas Instruments hangar and SMU delegates were there and talked to Gerald and he promised them that he wouldn’t do anything until he came back. He then went on to his interview and “the rest is history.”

Another tale involved lawn mowing. It seems that Mitch Hart used to mow the family’s lawn. It had a pretty good sized hill and it was before they had power mowers. He figured it would be better if he got a job and paid someone else to mow the lawn. When he left town, his mother hired Gerald. “The way Gerald tells it, he raised his price and mother fired him.”

Gerald Turner

Gerald Turner

A relieved Gerald arrived on stage and in turn paid tribute to everyone involved in the evening. He especially noted his hometown cronies — New Boston Mafia — “Mitch Hart is the Don, Bob Ferguson is the consigliere and I’m the director of education. And I have the hardest job.”

Gerald Turner

Gerald Turner

For a man who would much rather give out awards, he proved to be more than gracious in accepting the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award.

JUST IN: Dave Scullin To Head Up Communities Foundation Of Texas

Some in-the-know type recently asked, “So, what’s going on regarding the search for the Communities Foundation of Texas president/CEO?” Interesting question and perfectly timed.

Dave Scullin*

Dave Scullin*

The answer arrived late this very afternoon. A selection has been made! The new CEO is David J. Scullin (aka Dave Scullin), who will be moving into the CFT #! digs officially in January 2017.

So, who is this Dave Scullins? Here is the official word: “Scullin is a multifaceted leader, strategic business adviser, financial expert and CPA, having served Fortune 500 clients at two global firms, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen, across North Texas and far beyond for more than forty years. Prior to his retirement in May 2016, Scullin was recognized as a top partner, holding multiple leadership roles over his career including at different times managing partner for Fort Worth and Phoenix, the lead client service partner for major global audit and non-audit clients, the industry leader of multiple sectors and creator and leader of Deloitte’s nationally-recognized North Texas CFO Forum.

“Dave has extensive leadership experience with public, private, nonprofit and civic groups including the Fort Worth Chamber, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership.”

According to CFT Board Chair Frank Risch, “On behalf of the board of trustees, I am thrilled to welcome Dave Scullin, as the new president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. Dave is known for his seasoned leadership, strategic acumen, financial expertise and his ability to build relationships. We look forward to his leadership which we believe will bring CFT to even higher levels of achievement in developing philanthropy within our North Texas community.”

He may be sorta new to the nonprofit sector leadership role, but insiders are thrilled.

After picking through the stack of applicants, CFT Search Committee Chair Jim Bass said, “Dave is known as a builder—of people, relationships and goal-oriented teams. His prior leadership roles entailed creating growth and engaging diverse stakeholders to work together toward a shared vision, and that’s what he will do with Communities Foundation of Texas. Dave will boost the power of philanthropy in our region through Communities Foundation of Texas.”

* Photo provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

Award-Winning Journalist Bob Woodward Will Be Making Two Local Appearances This Week Discussing The National Election

While location is everything in real estate, timing holds the same importance in event planning. So, a couple of local nonprofits figured out that a week following the recent presidential election would be the perfect time to have a renowned journalist/author type in town for a fundraiser.

Bob Woodward*

Bob Woodward*

The catch was that both the Dallas Bar Foundation and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth picked the same fellow — Bob Woodward. But there were no hard feelings between the two groups. They probably were able to split Bob’s travel costs. You know, “You pick up his airfare coming and we’ll pick up his departure costs.”

First on his Dallas stop will be An Evening With Bob Woodward on Tuesday, November 15, at Belo Mansion for the Foundation’s Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarship Program for law students. He’s going to be chatting it up with attorney/historian Talmage Boston.

On Wednesday, November 16, he’ll return to Belo Mansion to discuss “The 2016 Election and What It Means for America” for the World Affairs Council luncheon.    

Ah, but poor Bob. He probably had his theories on the presidential outcome all prepared. Then last Wednesday’s early-morning news may have resulted in his being thrown into rewrite mode for the past few days.

If you want to hear the former “All The President’s Men” scribe discuss why ice skates are being rented in Hades, you have two opportunities.

To attend the Dallas Bar event, you’ll need to call 214.220.7487 ASAP. On the other hand, you can still get a ticket online for the World Affairs Council lunch.

* Photo courtesy of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

JUST IN: Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Resigns, Jim Johnston Named Interim President

Methodist Health System’s Stacy Covitz just sent official word that Jim Johnston has been named the Interim President of the Methodist Health System Foundation. He replaces Foundation President/CEO April Box, who resigned last week.

April Box (File photo)

April Box (File photo)

The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s 2016 Annual Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner, an annual event that April launched 11 years ago.

Over her 14 years with Methodist, April’s accomplishments included presiding over “numerous capital campaigns, such as Sammons Tower at Methodist Dallas in 2014, home to the system’s Level I Trauma Center, and the Tower Two Expansion at Methodist Mansfield in 2015, home of the Amon G. Carter Foundation Heart and Vascular Center. Box also created the Robert S. Folsom Award Banquet, which was consistently among the most successful fund-raising events in Dallas, raising more than $15 million for multiple successful programs and projects at Methodist Health System since 2005.”

Jim’s resume lists countless leadership positions in business including “40 years of experience in banking, most recently as vice chairman and board member for Bank of Texas. Prior to that, Johnston was Dallas Regional Chairman of Frost Bank.”

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Among his numerous North Texas nonprofit board associations are “Chairman of the Board for both the Arthritis Foundation of North Texas and Goodwill Industries of Dallas. He actively serves as Chairman of the Board for the Goodwill Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Boy Scouts/Circle Ten Council and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.”

Holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SMU, where he played football, Jim received the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award.

According to Methodist Health System President/CEO Stephen Mansfield, ““All of us associated with Methodist and the Foundation owe April a debt of gratitude for her accomplishments and leadership. I know Jim has the experience and the vision to lead the Foundation to more successes in the future.”

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

Folsom Leadership Award Patron Party Honoring Gerald Turner Looked Like A Coming Together Of Mustangs

While Second Thoughts Theatre and Texas Trailblazer Awards patrons worked the valets, caterers and donors south of LBJ, the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award patrons gathered at Ashlee and Chris Kleinert’s home-sweet-home in Preston Trails on Monday, October 3.

Angela and Brad Cheves and Ashlee Kleinert

Angela and Brad Cheves and Ashlee Kleinert

At times it looked like a besuited SMU pep rally, with Fred Hegi, Carolyn and David Miller, Caren Prothro, Folsom kids (Debbie Jarma, Diane Frank and Steve Folsom) and Mitch Hart on the patio overlooking the golf course.

Gail Turner looked right at home seated with Jan Hegi and Lottye Lyle. On the other hand, Gail’s husband,/2016 Folsom honoree/SMU President Gerald Turner, looked like someone preparing for a root canal. As he told the group, he’s much more comfortable handing out awards than receiving them.

Gerald Turner, April Box and Chris Kleinert

Gerald Turner, April Box and Chris Kleinert

Just before remarks were made, hostess Ashlee saw a problem dropping. It seems that with the sun setting, the home’s auto-shades were setting, too. The problem? The lowering shades were blocking the glass doors leading to the patio. As Ashlee scurried to raise the situation, host Chris smoothly commented, “That’s what you get when dumb people live in a smart house.”

While getting the guests’ attention at most gatherings can be a challenge, it wasn’t at this one. There was an excellent PA system in place and a stage just high enough for the speakers to be seen by all present.

John Scovell

John Scovell

Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield

Kelli Ford

Kelli Ford

Ray Hunt

Ray Hunt

After Chris welcomed the 100 or so guests including Pat and Pete Schenkel, John Scovell, Margaret and Lee Jackson, and Methodist Health System CEO Stephen Mansfield, he introduced Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box, who reported that according to policy, the honoree could designate where the funds raised by the dinner would go. For Gerald, who will be feted on Wednesday, October 19, at the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom, it was a natural choice — the programs offered through the Methodist Dallas Medical Center Golden Cross Academic Clinic, which uses the services of medical residents and fellows to care for uninsured and under-insured patients who are in need of primary care and struggling with chronic diseases.

Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, April Box, Gerald and Gail Turner and Kelli and Jerry Ford

Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, April Box, Gerald and Gail Turner and Kelli and Jerry Ford

Following the remarks, Gail and Gerald gathered with April and 2016 Folsom co-chairs Kelli and Gerald “Jerry” Ford, Lottye and Bobby Lyle and Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt for a group photo.

Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, Lottye and Bobby Lyle and Kelli and Jerry Ford

Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, Lottye and Bobby Lyle and Kelli and Jerry Ford

After the right-official photos were done, the co-chairs cut up a bit. While Kelli and Jerry posed perfectly, Ray did a kick and newlyweds Lottye and Bobby did a kiss and hug.