Share-A-Date: 3rd Annual Elisa Project Esteem Fashion Show

Rhonda Sargent Chambers (File photo)

Dallas fashion producer extraordinaire Rhonda Sargent Chambers has been working with fashion, runways and models since she was old enough to wear heels. Through the years, she’s gained a reputation for being extremely fashion savvy and generously supporting nonprofits, especially those dealing with young people.

One cause that Rhonda has seen impact both friends and associates is eating disorders for women and men of all ages.

So, it’s only natural that she would chair the 3rd Annual Elisa Project Esteem Fashion Show on Saturday, September 22, using her fashion production talents and connections.

Leave it to Rhonda to arrange for Saks Fifth Avenue at the Galleria to not only host the event complete with the latest men’s and women’s fall fashions, but to provide tips on how to sail through the coming season.

Because the show is “built around real people with real lifestyles,” Rhonda has also called in “real people” and celebrity types like The Elisa Project Executive Director Anne Besser and her daughter Zoe, philanthropists Yvonne Crum and Jill Rowlett, guy types Steve Kemble and Scott Murray, KISS 106.1’s Kellie Rasberry and daughter Emma and a slew of others to walk the fashions on the runway.

To emcee the event, Rhonda has tapped local fav/fashion lover Debbie Denmon.

Just think. You can attend the show that starts at 10:30 a.m., shop, have lunch at one of the Galleria’s restaurants and shop some more.

Proceeds will benefit the programs of the 13-year-old Elisa Project.

Share-A-Date: Center For Brain Health’s Legacy Award Dinner

Daryl Johnston (File photo)

Tuesday, October 23: Don’t be misled by the initial sound of this events. It’s not “boys only.” Sure, the honorees are former Dallas Cowboys Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan. And then there are the Legacy Award Dinner co-chairs Barry Andrews and Alan White. They’re legendary for their annual “boys-only holiday lunch” at Cowboys Stadium.

Lee Roy Jordan (File photo)

But these four gents and their leading ladies Lana Andrews, Diane Johnston, Biddie Jordan and Lee Anne White) along with a slew of Center for Brain Health supporters will dine at the Dallas Country Club to salute Daryl and Lee Roy for “their leadership and dedication to brain performance in athletes.

Why, oh why, do we think thee will be some Cowboys, both past and present, in the dining room?

Mark this one down for a quick sell-out when tickets do go on sale.

Mary Frances Burleson Is Deep In The Woods Helping Others Battle West Nile Virus

Mary Frances Burleson

What’s the hottest, newest accessory for the summer of 2012? Designer sandals? Refrigerated earrings? Chiller belts?

Just ask Ebby Halliday President/CRP Mary Frances Burleson. She came to Saturday night’s Blondes vs. Brunettes at the Cotton Bowl in neutral colors, of course, toting OFF! Deep Woods® Insect Repellent Towelettes.

Seems the recent death of Charlie Pistor due to West Niles Virus put her into overdrive to prevent others from being victims of the dangerous skeeters. In addition to packing wipes, she’s made sure that there was no standing water on her property including flower pots.

Prediction: Mosquito systems may replace media rooms as the “must have” for homeowners.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: The Warren Center’s Fantasy Football

Beverly Warren

According to The Warren Center’s Fantasy Football Co-chair Beverly Warren,

Mike Andereck and I were part of the group that founded the initial Fantasy Football charity event 20 years ago to benefit The Warren Center. We’ve both continued to financially support the event over the years, but we agreed to return to co-chair the event this year because of the tremendous growth of the agency, the wonderful work that the agency does, and the importance of continuing the growth of the Fantasy Football charity event.

“Fantasy Football XIX Draft Night will be held at Cowboys Stadium on Friday evening, September 7, and all proceeds from the event will go to The Warren Center. The Warren Center provides therapy for children with developmental disabilities, as well as much needed support for their families. In the Warren Center’s 44 year history, they have impacted over 16,000 children and families. The agency currently provides services to 1200 infants and toddlers per year, in addition to support for 600+ families.

“When Mike’s daughter and our son first started receiving services here, the Center only served about 60 children annually.  At the time, there was no place like it.  The staff gave us hope and support when we did not know where to turn, unsure of what our children might be able to do or accomplish. They continue to provide that to many more families who are struggling with their child’s developmental challenges.

“Mike’s daughter Kate and our son John, both in their 20’s, will be featured Warren Center graduates at this year’s Fantasy Football event.

Scott Murray will emcee the event again this year and we will be joined by 5 time Super Bowl Champion and Cowboys Ring of Honor inductee Charles Haley.  The event will also feature a guest appearance by the reigning Miss Texas DaNae Couch. Scott has helped us for many years and we are pleased that Charles Haley and Miss Texas will join us this year and lend their support.

“At the event, tables of 10 players draft Fantasy teams from the entire NFL roster and compete against each other throughout the NFL season. The ultimate Fantasy winner is awarded season tickets for the Dallas Cowboys 2013 season.  The event is shaping up well, and we’re hoping to sell out for the first time ever.  We are 5 tables, or 50 people, shy of a sell out for the event. Filling those 50 seats would help ensure that at least 25 more children with disabilities will receive the help they need to reach their potential. A chance drawing for a trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans will also be part of the evening, as will silent and live auctions.  There are also opportunities to underwrite portions of the event or make donations.

“Mike and I feel very fortunate to be chairing this event, knowing it will result in more quality services for more children and their families.

“To reserve a table ($3000-$10,000), a half table ($1500), or a seat ($300) for this incredible event, or for more information, contact Brandy Ammons at 972-490-9055 or [email protected].”

Photo provided by The Warren Center

Jonnie England Expands Her Role As Area’s Animal Advocate

Jonnie England (File photo)

Long known for her role as the Metroplex Animal Coalition‘s director of Animal Advocacy and Communication, Jonnie England will take on a new position starting August 16. That’s when she will also be director of Animal Advocacy and Communications for the Texas Humane Alliance (THA).

If THA is new in your vocabulary, it should be. According to Jonnie, the group

“launched last month with the announcement of a $25,000 reward, thanks to an anonymous donor, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for torturing and trying to kill little Hope, the dog found with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle in Parker County.”

THA’s mission is to improve the lives of animals through education and advocacy. It is a sister organization to the Texas Humane Legislation Network that was founded by animal-law attorney Yolanda Eisenstein.

In other words, Jonnie will “continue much of the work I’ve done for the past four years with the Metroplex Animal Coalition, but on a broader scale.”

BTW, speaking of Hope, she’s living the grand life with Kit and Charles Moncrief, who adopted her. She just moved in last week. Kit’s only regret is that Hope can’t talk and tell them who abused her.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Bridge Breast Network’s 20/20 Emerald Club

According to Bridge Breast Network President Hedy Rittenmeyer:

“The Bridge Breast Network saves lives by providing access to diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer to low income, uninsured and under-insured individuals. Uninsured women in the North Texas community can’t afford to fight breast cancer. But, they can’t afford not to. Only through the help of volunteers and generous donations from the North Texas community is The Bridge Breast Network able to carry out this vital mission.

“For every dollar donated, clients of The Bridge Breast Network receive nearly 10 times that amount in medical care. Hundreds physicians and medical facilities in the Metroplex have volunteered their services or drastically reduced their fees to make such a large discount possible. Your tax-deductible donation goes toward lifesaving evaluations and treatment such as biopsies, medication, and chemotherapy.

“In celebration of 20 years of service, tradition calls for a celebration in emerald green! Help us grow The Bridge Breast Network’s donor base! Help us sustain The Bridge Breast Network’s fundraising efforts!  Help us generate more green for The Bridge Breast Network!  Become a member of the 20/20 Emerald Club and assure that no woman goes untreated for breast cancer. Pledge to donate $20 (or more) per month for 12 months and contact 20 friends who will also donate $20 (or more) per month for 12 months.

“Go to for more information on this initiative, to donate on-line, or support The Bridge Breast Network in other ways.”

Blondes vs. Brunettes Just Met Their First Goal And Are Headed To The Really Big One By Saturday

2011 Brunettes’ trophy lift (File photo)

Ah, forget Olympic gold and London. You’ve never seen competition and world champs like those dazzling dolls of Blondes vs. Brunettes. Every week this summer they’ve been working out to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

While some folks think that money is raised solely by the powder puff football game, it’s not so. In order to go through the grueling workouts and be on the team, each player and coach has to raise money.

That work has paid off.

It was just announced that they met their first goal of hitting the $275,000 mark!

In this year’s BvB, that’s the silver medal. But these young men and women are greedy and want gold. That’s why they’re fighting to hit $325,000 by game day this Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.

Their reward? The Dallas BvB “will be the first BvB chapter in the country to hit 1 million dollars over the last five years.”

If you didn’t know, the Dallas teams have gained a national reputation for raising that bar. So make a donation and help Dallas achieve their “gold.”

Lyle Lovett Is Returning To Dallas For CitySquare’s “A Night To Remember” At The Majestic

Lyle Lovett (File photo)

If you weren’t able to see and hear Lyle Lovett‘s warming the hearts of thousands at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge gala opening in March, you’re in luck. Why you’re in luck if you were on the bridge that night and want an encore without the chill.

The bushy-haired Texas musician and his Large Band will be at the Majestic Theatre on Friday, September 7, for CitySquare‘s annual fundraiser, “A Night to Remember.” Co-chairs Cindy and Scott Collier and Kara and Ross Miller are overseeing the event that provides funding for “one of the largest outreach programs in the state.”

Last year they had Jay Leno and before that entertainers like BBKing, Steve Martin, Patti LaBelle and Bill Cosby.

According to sources, only a few tickets remain, so hop to it. Love yourself some Lyle and do some good for CitySquare.


The Return of Emily Giffin Once Again Results In New Best Friends And Benefits Community Partners Of Dallas

Emily Giffin

Trying to navigate along the 4200 block of Lorraine required a master’s degree in driving today. Mercedeses, Lexuses and Cadillacs were parked everywhere, except for one little spot that was just big enough for a Smart Car. The reason was a book signing at Sandy Moore‘s home with the author who set tongues wagging at the 2011 Chick Lit LuncheonEmily Giffin.

You remember when Giffin confided that Jennifer Aniston had been the victim of her then-husband’s future wife’s placing stories in the media about Jen’s not wanting to have children and that being the cause of the breakup of their marriage. The 700 guests cheered, whistled and whooped it up for Jennifer and Emily.

There were those who fell in love with her when she said that she had had better hair days and named the local hairdresser who had no-showed earlier that day.

Well, not to worry today because Emily looked darn good and proved that she was everybody’s best friend. . . except maybe that errant hairdresser and Anjelina.

Sandy Moore

Speaking of Chick Lit, when Sandy heard that her good bud Emily was going to be in town to promote her newest book “Where We Belong,” she suggested having the autograph party benefit Community Partners of Dallas.  Guests would be asked to “bring new school supplies to send our kids back to school with confidence!” Home run!

Gifts from guests

Guests brought backpacks filled with supplies for CPD’s Back to School Drive program, then chatted as they stood in line for their time with Emily and she gave it to them. Time and time again she was asked to pose for photos shot by professional looking cameras and smartphones.

Paige McDaniel

Another lady of note was CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, who was still celebrating her birthday (it was Monday). But why was she carrying around a platter of deliciously frosted cookies with “April 5” on ’em? That’s the date of the next Chick Lit Luncheon in 2013. Has the author been selected yet? Paige smiled and said they were close to finalizing the deal, but in the meantime they were in an all-out push for the Back to School Drive and Change is Good.

Carolyn Goelzer, Emily Giffin and Joanna Clarke

When asked if they were going to celebrate Paige’s birthday even Tuesday, her CPD partner Joanna Clarke said, “We’re doing it all month long.”

Translation: Birthday cards will not be late if delivered before August 31. Better yet — why not send some school supplies as a birthday gift? That’s what Paige really wants.

A Passing: Marvin Hamlisch

With a summer that seems to have had an overwhelming number of losses, we regret to report the death of composer Marvin Hamlisch, who was the principal pops conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

This morning the DSO issued the following statement:

“All of us at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are shocked and saddened by the new this morning of the passing of Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch.

“Marvin was a consummate musician and composer who in many ways revolutionized theater music, film scoring and popular song.

“Marvin brought unrivalled professionalism and skill to his musical leadership with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Pops series. His natural grace at the piano, his humor and his elegant style in many genres of music delighted and charmed audiences, and impressed his fellow musicians the world over.

“Everyone at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra sends our deepest condolences to Marvin’s family, friends and professional colleagues. Marvin Hamlisch was a true American original who will be deeply missed.”

In addition to his many personal and professional accomplishments (Tony, Grammys, Emmys, Oscars and Pulitzer), he had many friends in the Dallas area. While his death is a great loss, his legacy will play on for eternity.

Waiting Forever In The Waiting Room

If you’ll recall a couple of weeks ago, MySweetCharity posted about a waiting room. Here is a follow-up of what happened: [Read more…]

Children’s Cancer Fund’s Luncheon Hits The Big Top With $288,000 In 2012 And Plans For 25th Anniversary In 2013

Love to start the week with great news. Thanks to the Children’s Cancer Fund, it excellent news, both past and future.

Behind the scenes (File photo

The CCF accountants have been beating up their calculators and have come up with the final take for the May 2nd Cancer Fund Luncheon and Fashion Show. Thanks to Luncheon Chairs Lori Buschel and Keyea Webster and Honorary Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, they brought in a whopping $288,000! That’s $24,000 more than 2011!

And while that’s indeed great news, it also raises the bar for the 2013 Luncheon Co-chairs Jennifer DeLaughter and Elizabeth Farr. Not only are they going to have to try to top that, they’re also responsible for blowing the roof off the 25th anniversary of the annual fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Fund.

Not to worry. Jennifer and Elizabeth have already locked down the date. Mark Friday, May 3, at the Hilton Anatole on your calendars. Roger and Troy have.

MySweetCharity’s Elves Suffer Major Giggling Episode

The MySweetCharity elves have been having a giggling fit. Sounds cute, but it can get out of hand. When this situation occurs, Queenie usually grabs a bucket of Thompson’s maple syrup and pours it on the gigglers.

This time even Queenie started giggling, too.

Seems one of the MSC scouts reported the sighting of a blogger who admits s/he would be more favorably inclined to cover organizations’ events if they picked up the tab for his/her transportation, childcare, etc.

Well, at lunch one elf asked Queenie if she was going to start a new policy requiring hosts to pay someone to “elf sit.” In the back of the dining hall, the first giggle was heard as one of the elves asked, “Who would ever sit on an elf?” 

We needed a good laugh.

And if you’re wondering, MSC continues to cover news, people and events for the good of Dallas and not for compensation.

Tolleson Wealth Management Competes To Provides 12,000 Units For Community Partners Of Dallas’ Back To School Drive

Yesterday the campaign to prepare kids for school hit off with Mayor Mike Rawlings dancing at Fair Park for the Mayor’s Back to School program. While Mike definitely should not try out for Dancing With The Stars, he was welcome entertainment for the thousands who stood in line for vaccinations, haircuts, health care examinations and school supplies.

But that was just a smidgen of the assistance that is required to get kids prepared for the 2012-2013 school year. Other organizations are in high gear to help kids.The most gratifying programs are the ones that partner up nonprofits with the business sector.

Need an example?

Well, let’s try Community Partners of Dallas. Through the month of August, the group is collecting “new school supplies for abused and neglected children served by Child Protective Services,” with the hope to provide for 1,800 kids. Once again home-grown Container Store is coming through.

“The Back to School Drive is one of the most important activities we do all year, ensuring that more than 1800 children are ready to start school with brand new supplies, backpacks and uniforms,” said Paige McDaniel, President and CEO, Community Partners of Dallas.  “Each year the support we receive from the community continues to grow, and we are so grateful for their commitment to improve the school year for abused and neglected children in Dallas County.”

Tolleson Wealth Management

One company that has turned into a competition is Tolleson Wealth Management. Involved with the program since 2008, they’re set a mighty big goal for 2012 — 12,000 units of items.

How do they plan to accomplish this feat? Good old-fashioned competition.

According to Tolleson Director of Human Resources and Communications Katie Botik, “Each quarter as a company, we recognize one of our core values. For this we wanted to incorporate the value of teamwork. We put all of our employees into groups of people they may not work with on a typical workday. The prize was simply a lunch away from the office with their team at a restaurant of their choice, but it was unbelievable the response, and how hard each team worked to collect the most supplies.”

Leave it to the Tolleson crew to strategize, plot and execute POA.  Katie told how some teams “began cutting coupons to use the discount to buy even more supplies.” Another team “tried to trick the competition by only turning in a small amount of supplies at the weekly check-ins, but actually was hiding the bulk of their collection. At the end of the drive, the completed the largest community service initiative the company had ever participated in.”

Instead of sitting around griping about the heat and the need for DEET, why not think of ways to collect such things as three-ring binders, colored pencil, spiral notebooks, glue, markers, notebook paper, backpacks, construction paper, rulers, folders, scissors and watercolor sets. You can drop them off at any area Container Store during the month of August.

And, of course, $$ is always welcomed. Just send it and/or supplies to Community Partners of Dallas’ Central Location in the Wilson Historic District.

Ah, come on. Surely, you can skip a latte to let a munchkin have some colored pencils or some construction paper. That latte is will be history in a matter of minutes. The pencils and paper will be used for a longtime.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 47th Westapher Auction And Golf Tournament Benefiting Nexus Recovery Center

Jan Madigan

The first of our MySweetCharity Opportunities comes from Jan Madigan,co-chair of the 47th Westapher Auction and Golf Tournament benefiting Nexus Recovery Center. According to Jan,

“I am honored to co-chair the 47th Annual Westapher Auction & Golf Tournament this year with Sarah Katherine Francis and Larry Boerder. Nexus Recovery Center has been the beneficiary of this esteemed fundraiser since 2005, yet Nexus has been turning lives around for women and their children for more than 40 years. Our center, which sits on a 12-acre campus in East Dallas, offers a full range of recovery services from detoxification through residential and outpatient treatment – even aftercare and housing services.

“As the adult child of a recovering alcoholic, I have personally experienced the miracle of recovery. My parents have just celebrated 61 years of marriage and our family has enjoyed the joy of serenity. My mission is to save other women and young girls, who are less fortunate than we were, to find  a new life through sobriety. In this way we can create a ripple of change in our community, improving the lives of women by breaking the cycle of addiction.

“Generous people such as those within the Preston Center Rotary Club (PCRC) help keep the clients of Nexus on the right path. The partnership between the PCRC and the Nexus Board of Directors has resulted in 2 days of fundraising that include the auction and golf tournament. It was 46 years ago Father Westapher and some church members played a round of golf to get better acquainted; they passed a hat for charitable donations at the dinner following the round and the Westapher was born. Continuing Father Westapher’s legacy, The Preston Rotary Club, which now presents the tournament,  passes that ‘hat’ to us at Nexus.

Faye Briggs, a dedicated member of the Nexus Women’s Auxiliary, will host the Westapher Auction party at her sprawling Preston Hollow home on Sunday, October 7th. The occasion precedes the Westapher Golf Tournament on the 8th and celebrates the supporters of Nexus. Complimentary food and cocktails are provided for guests as they peruse the lovely estate and bid on coveted live and silent auction items. The tournament is held at the recently renovated Stevens Park Golf Course in Oak Cliff; an awards and cocktails party will commence at the tournaments end. Tickets are available: Dinner & Auction $50; Golf Tournament $250 per player. Contact Nexus at 214.321.0156 X 2102 with donation or participation interests.

“With continued support from our supporters and you Nexus will continue to be at the  forefront of specialized substance abuse services for females. Our hope is to remove all barriers for women suffering by allowing children to accompany their mothers into treatment if needed, welcoming those who are pregnant, and providing treatment without regard to ability to pay.  Nexus has been the ‘miracle in between’ addiction and recovery for more than 20,000 women, adolescents and children to date and we plan to keep on counting.”

Me Thinks We’ve Got A Winning Combination Of Shakespeare Dallas And The AT&T Performing Arts Center

There are those who can recall times when Bob Glenn beat his brains out producing the Shakespeare Festival. Despite Bob’s being gone from active participation, his beloved productions of Shakespeare continued on to become known as Shakespeare Dallas. It’s been a treasure, but relegated to outdoor venues in the summer and educational programs.

Today a change has been announced and a big one at that. Thanks to the Mankoff Family Foundation, “a new artistic collaboration that over the next five years will present” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

That means that during the months of September, October, November, January, February, March, April and May, monthly staged readings in the Nancy B. Hamon Hall in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House will take place with local and regional actors and directors on stage.

“Shakespeare’s timeless work connects with diverse audiences on every level, and now all of these works will be presented in one place in the span of a few years,” said Doug Curtis, acting president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “This is exactly the kind of creative, even ambitious programming Dallas expects this Center to present.”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare will utilize a staged reading format with simple props, lighting and costumes to keep the focus on the poetry and brilliance of the text. The performances will take place on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings, encouraging participation by a wide range of Dallas’ theatrical artists and audiences alike.

The 2012-2013 season is tentatively scheduled to have:

  • September 23 and 24 — Much Ado About Nothing
  • October 14 and 15 — Othello
  • November 25 and 26 — The Taming of the Shrew
  • January 13 and 14 — The Winter’s Tale
  • February 17 and 18 — Henry VI Part 1
  • March 10 and 11 — Henry VI Part 2
  • April 14 and 15 — Henry VI Part 3
  • May 19 and 20 — Richard III

“We, obviously, have a passion for Shakespeare and his entire catalogue of work,” said Shakespeare Dallas’ Raphael Parry. “This unique partnership really allows us to utilize our decades of experience in order to share all of this, including his lesser known works, with Dallas audiences.”

Seating will be limited to 200 people per performance, so when the tickets are made available for purchase, hop to it. 

The Bard and Bob are probably so pleased with this announcement. Nice one, Mankoff Family Foundation.

MySweetCharity Opportunity

The nonprofit community just knows it’s lucky to be in Dallas. There are a heck of a lot of folks who are preparing for a huge fundraising fall and winter.

You didn’t think these events just meant arranging the silverware and stamping envelopes? No, of course you didn’t. Any one of these people could easily outshine Danny Boyles in hoop-la special events.

For this reason, we’re going to let chairs and co-chairs provide you with the opportunity to “invest” in their projects of love in the days ahead. No, you don’t have to call your stock broker. Rather, if you’re impressed with their event, buy a seat or even a table. Better yet, think about a sponsorship.

Honest confession: This past year a number of event chairs had sad faces because guests who had purchased tables in the past were only buying a couple of seats. So the chairs and co-chairs have been working very hard to ramp up their events to get the table buys back.

Before You Vote, Make Sure You Know Where You’re Going

We’ve had a couple of unhappy voters notify MySweetCharity that their usual voting booth ain’t the place to be today. Because it’s a primary runoff, the voting places are all over the place.

Democrats will head here. Republicans go here.

You’ve got till 7 p.m. to vote, so scamper off and vote.

Dallas Film Society’s Lee Papert Is Mum On Art Of The Film But He’s Got Other News That Includes New Members And $$

Lee Papert

Ran into Dallas Film Society President Lee Papert at the Klyde Warren Park reveal event taking place at the Dallas Museum of Art today. Guess it was too hot to have it at the park itself, or the construction workers didn’t want a bunch of civilian types slowing down the progress.

Back to Lee. He looked like he had just popped in from a Hawaiian vacation in a Dale-Hansen-training-camp type shirt. The big smile on his face begged the reason. Was it the headliner of the Art of the Film in November? Nope. That person was yet to be decided/announced.

But he was very happy about the brand, spanking new members of the Dallas Film Society Board including Benton Bagot, Brad Berkley, Clare Freeman, Tara Lewis and Ian McGloin.

Then there were the plans for the April 4-14 Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF). Submission of films for the 2013 film extravaganza opened today.

In its six-year history, DIFF has received over 7000 submissions, screened 1162 films from 50 countries, hosted 1000 filmmakers and featured 62 world premieres and 17 U.S premieres.

That’s a heck of a lot of popcorn.

If you’re a film type or a wannabe, you need to know confirmed awards include an unrestricted cash prize of $10,000 for the winners of both the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition. Once again The Embrey Foundation’s $10,000 Silver Heart Award is awarded the film most dedicated to fighting injustices and creating social change for the improvement of humanity. The Texas Competition winner will receive a camera rental package worth $30,000 for their next production, courtesy of Panavision.

Early deadline for submissions is Friday, October 26.  Regular deadline is Friday, December 7.  Late deadline is Friday, December 14.

You don’t want to make a bad impression, so don’t be late.

Children’s Research Institute Celebrates Christmas In July Thanks To A $1M Gift From Emy Lou And Jerry Baldridge

The best things in life aren’t free. Example? Research. It takes time, equipment and brilliant minds to come up with solutions. But it eventually pays off. Detecting cancer used to be by a, “Do you feel something?” method. Leprosy was a one-way ticket to far-away-and-not-so-nice destinations. For years people were terrified to go to pools because of polio.

Because of research, machines have been created to detect the smallest sign of cancer in the breast. Leprosy is a ghoulish memory of the past. And thanks to research, polio is almost as rare as smallpox. Oh, smallpox has almost been officially eradicated thanks to research. Forgot to mention that.

But again these success stories didn’t happen by accident. It took money to fund the effort. That’s why Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge need a big old thank-you note. They just presented a $1-million gift to support Children’s Medical Center Research Institute, a joint venture between Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center to “make significant improvements in children’s lives.” It’s the largest donation to the not-for-profit pediatric hospital.

Dr. Sean Morrison

Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the Children’s Research Institute explained the goal of the Institute is to discover the therapies of tomorrow for children.

“We will take innovative approaches to make transformative discoveries — discoveries that will change scientific fields and yield new approaches for treating disease. We will integrate teams of leading scientists and outstanding physicians whose skills are rarely found in a single laboratory.”

According to Emy Lou, “When we heard about what the Children’s Research Institute could accomplish, the potential there seemed so great that we felt compelled to donate and say, ‘Go for it.'”

The hope for the program is to eventually “lead to new ways of promoting the regeneration of damaged tissues, and even to more effective ways of treating cancer.”

Photo courtesy of Children's Medical Center Research Institute

Share-A-Date: Third Annual Going For The Goal

Thursday, September 27: With eyes glued to the TV watching the Summer Olympics in London, everyone will suddenly become fans and experts of sports that are difficult to find on any school roster. What is amazing is the sports that aren’t included in the world games. Like baseball and golf. . . really! And what about lacrosse. . . . really? You did know that lacrosse is an Native American-born sport that was first played at early as the 12th century? It was once a part of the Olympics back in 1904 and 1908. Then poof, it was MIA. Oh, wait! It was demonstrated at the Summer Olympics in 1928, 1932 and 1948.

Over the centuries, the field game with “sticks with nets” has grown in popularity in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Australia with Scotland and Wales. Why in 1986 only the U.S., Canada, England and Australia competed in the lacrosse world championship. By 2006, the 2006 Men’s world Championship was contested by 21 countries. As for the gals, in the 2009 Women’s World Cup 16 nations participated.

In the Dallas area, there are 4,300+ youth players and 71 high school teams including  private  schools (Episcopal School of Dallas, Greenhill, Hockaday, Jesuit, Parish Episcopal, St. Marks and Ursuline) and schools in Allen, Frisco, Highland Park, McKinney, Plano and Southlake.

Lacrosse coach and player

Please don’t get the impression that like some sports, lacrosse is not for folks north of downtown Dallas.  It doesn’t require a string of ponies or heavy duty equipment. In fact, eight years ago Bridge Lacrosse was started at the St. Philip’s School. Bridge Executive Director David Higbee explained that  the purpose was to use “this popular sport as a vehicle for teaching character education values and life skills through the competition and social interaction.”

Over the years, it has expanded lacrosse to include more than 600 urban boys and girls in South and West Dallas at three urban schools in addition to various community centers. The success of this program has been so amazing that last week it was announced the Dallas Stars Foundation will “help fund valuable resources and equipment to serve the youth.” Thanks to this funding Bridge will be able to expand its program in West Dallas neighborhoods.

According to Higbee, “Having this kind of support from a large organization, such as the Stars Foundation, ensures that our programs and outreach will sustain themselves and grow. There are many similarities between the sports of hockey and lacrosse. They’re a natural fit to work together.”

To celebrate its success and raise additional funding to grow its efforts, Bridge Lacrosse is holding its Third Annual Going for the Goal dinner and auction. Among the 250+ guests at the Northwood Club event will be coaches, parents, administrators, supporters and volunteers.

In a world where fundraising dinners cost mega-bucks to attend, this one is a bargain. It’s $75 per person. If you can’t attend, why not buy a ticket and offer it up for one of the 180 volunteers to be there.

Female lacrosse players

Oh, and as for the Olympics, there’s talk that lacrosse will eventually return to the international games. Wouldn’t be remarkable if one of those future Olympians got his/her start at the “Bridge”?

Photos provided by Bridge Lacrosse

A Monster Continues Amongst Us

Today another dog was found with its mouth taped shut. Unlike Hope, this dog was dead.

The person(s) responsible is having fun, but their good times will not be stopped with cruelty to dogs. They’ll need a bigger thrill and escalate to obscenely abusing a child.

No doubt, they’ve shared their deeds with friends or family, who are too scared or too shocked to report. The way to stop him/her/them is to raise money that will loosen the tongues of those in the know. Then the predators will be brought to justice and the innocent will no longer be their playthings.

Breakfast With Dallas Children’s Theater Translates Into Major Fundraising Opportunities

Texas Instruments once again has stepped up. The TI Foundation at a recent breakfast provided a $100,000 operating grant for the Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT).

Whoa!  Let’s catch our breath on that one.

But, no! TIF was not satisfied with this contribution. TIF Board Chair Sam Self announced that TIF would grant DCT another $100,000 as a challenge.

Jennifer Altabef, Robyn Flatt, Sam Self and Deborah Stanford

According to Sam, “DCT is one of North Texas’ treasures. The TI Foundation Board appreciates the work they do in exposing our children to the arts. We see strong organizational leadership at the DCT board and staff level and their receptiveness to a challenge grant was impressive to us. They also came to us early in the grant process and this allowed us the chance to thoroughly examine their current financial status. After significant due diligence on our part, we found them to be an organization we wanted to invest in, in a meaningful way.”

OMG, what incredible news for the wonderfully whimsical program that allows children to learn about the world of stage and imagination.

But, no! There was more. Goodness, this is like a stellar play.

Stepping up to bat were Ernst & Young’s Managing Partner, Clint McDonnough, and TI Coordinating Partner Chris Chastain, saying that their companies would be the first to pledge their $10,000 in response to the TI Foundation challenge.

DCT’s Executive Artistic Director, Robyn Flatt, replied, “Texas Instruments Foundation cares a great deal about the arts organizations in this community and they back it up by listening to our challenges and opportunities, and by responding with great advice and strong financial support.  They are an outstanding example of corporate responsibility.  It is humbling to be associated with them.”

But to add the cherry to the sundae of fundraising, the Hoblitzelle Foundation has offered DCT an additional challenge: to raise $100,000 from first-time, new donors, after which they will provide a grant in the same amount to the organization.

Shoot! This breakfast was better than Mother’s Day Brunch at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Anyone interested in learning more about DCT or how they can contribute to these matching grant opportunities should contact Senior Director of Communications and Philanthropy Sandra Session-Robertson at 214.978.0110.

This development is more than a marvelous investment by great Dallas groups. It’s a very much appreciated opportunity for a unique organization for children.

A simple bravo will do for now. The encore will come when the challenges are met.

Photo provided by Dallas Children's Theater

Thanks To Fundraising, Vaccinations Are Available To Prevent Pain, Suffering And Death

With back-to-school already being promoted in every store from Office Depot to Target, it’s a good time to remind parents that munchkins are required to have their vaccinations for a number of communicable diseases (polio, diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, varicella aka chickenpox, and hepatitis A) before attending schools (Kindergarten through 12th).

As for wee ones attending day care in Texas, they must be vaccinated for three more communicable diseases (haemophilus, influenzae type b and invasive pneumococcal).

And speaking of chickenpox, in days of yore when one child came down with chickenpox, measles or mumps, it was no surprise to have friends bring their youngsters over to catch the disease and get it over with. Ah, but thanks to research, vaccinations were developed to prevent children from having to suffer through the pain.

Unfortunately, many baby boomers who did have a case of chickenpox are now facing the reality that they are susceptible to suffering from shingles. It’s a painful, ugly disease. Until you’ve had it, you’ve never experienced the true purity of pain.

Again, thanks to research, a vaccine (Zostavax) has been developed that will reduce “the course and severity” of the disease. It’s become such a hottie among the boomers that it’s even available at the Preston Road Pharmacy, Tom Thumb and Walgreens!

If you’re over 60, you do not need a prescription. However, if you’re still a baby-baby boomer, then your doctor will have to provide you with a script.

And one more thing. It ain’t cheap ($215 at the Tom Thumb in Old Town) and not all insurance plans cover it.  But just ask anyone who has had a bout of shingles and they’ll tell you they only wish they had spent the dough.

Once again thanks to fundraising, vaccinations have been developed to help both the very young and old.