Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence In Community Services Recipients Displayed Insight And Graciousness In Accepting Their Honors

While the Dallas Historical Society‘s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Community Services crowds gathered outside the Fairmont’s International Ballroom, the VIPs and 2017 Awardees attended a private reception in the Venetian Room on Thursday, November 9. For some it was a great opportunity for people whose paths had never crossed to meet up.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

For instance, historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was almost giddy meeting former Police Chief David Brown. Speaking of David, he reported that due to his ABC contract, he was splitting his time between Dallas and New York City… Across the way, Laurie Evans was doing the swivel head looking for her husband Dr. Phil Evans to arrive. She knew he would be there, but when? … Already on the scene were past Award recipients Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were there to celebrate Kern’s brother Hobson Wildenthal’s being recognized for his work in education…. Patricia Meadows reported that the family home in the State Thomas neighborhood was on the market… and others like Joan and Alan Walne, Mary McDermott Cook, Louise Caldwell, Diane Bumpas, Caro Stalcup, Mary Suhm, Creative Arts Awardee Carolyn Brown, Arts Leadership Awardees Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller and Sports Leadership Awardee Tony Dorsett with his wife Janet Dorsett.

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans


Just moments before the chimes called the group to the luncheon, Laurie was relieved to see her husband arrive with a big smile. Seems he had gotten an early Christmas gift — a million-dollar grant —from an “anonymous” donor. That’s a pretty darn good excuse for a delayed arrival.

The ballroom was filled to the max, as people like Jill Bernstein, Sandi Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Gail Thomas and Lee Cullum took their seats. At 11:50 a.m., Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas called the group to order. Following an invocation by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Rev. Chris Girata, Stewart introduced Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, who welcomed the group. They were followed by Dallas Historical Society Chair Bill Helmbrecht, who officially thanked all for attending and supporting the society.

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

All of this was done within six minutes! Promptly at high noon, Stewart reported that the program would continue in a few minutes and guests should settle back for lunch. Missing in action was table host Bobby Lyle, who was under the weather, but his table was filled with Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean… Arriving just after luncheon was underway was Shirley Miller.

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

At 12:25 p.m. Stewart was back at the podium and invited the award recipients to take their places in chairs on the stage.

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

  • Hobson Wildenthal for Education — The University of Texas at Dallas Executive VP recalled how 50 years ago TI was created and the UTD resulted. 157 National Merit Scholars were in this year’s freshman class and it was designated as the Best U.S. College less than 50 years old. He finished saying, “Margaret McDermott is the queen of Dallas.”
  • Steve Pounders for Health/Science — The internist told how in 1981 he was just starting his care and discovered a disease that was affecting young men that would late become known as AIDs. It would become his life’s calling resulting in his serving as the primary physician for men in the Dallas Buyers Club. He thanked Veletta Lill, Resource Center’s Cece Cox and his spouse James O’Reilly.
  • Willis Winters for History — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director gave thanks for the recent passage of the bond: “One of the first projects will be the restoration of the Hall of State.”
  • Jorge Baldor for Philanthropy — The Cuban-born businessman acknowledged that 800,000 have been the recipients of DACA and encouraged audience members to support the Dream Act. He went on to thank the event and kitchen staffs and finished by reporting that several hundred students are living under bridges and still going to school.

Then the most poignant moment came unexpectedly. It was when former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett accepted his award for sports. He admitted that he was a little taken aback by the people, and went on to recognize the late Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, who made Tony understand that things were going to be tougher in the NFL. Landry held Tony back and it taught the young football player patience.  Tony went on, saying, “I was always told that I was too small, time and time again.” Through effort and determination, he was able to play in the NFL for 13 years.  

Looking at the other recipients seated on stage, he went on to saying “These are fantastic and incredible people up here.”

He thanked his wife Janet saying, “What I’m going through is tough, and she puts up with me. It can be really difficult and she understands that that’s not the real me. This is tough.”

Having gone beyond his two-minute limit, Janet was seen quietly approaching the side of the stage. Tony heard her say, “Tony,” and he took note and sat down.

Moments later David Brown took his place at the podium to accept the Jubilee History Maker Award. He could have easily sucked the air out of the room for his leadership for the July 7 tragedy. Instead, David rallied the audience to give Tony another round of appreciation. The applause was deafening for both Tony and David’s act of graciousness.

David went to tell how his father hadn’t wanted him to be “a cop.” But on the day when he was made a lieutenant at the Hall of State, he had what would be the last conversation with his father, who said “You were right in your choice.”

Then David went further back in his history, telling how in fourth grade, he had played Captain George Ludwig von Trapp in the “Sound of Music.” The students had to do more than learn their roles. They had to research the backstory of the musical. Today he had become nostalgic when seeing the white flowers on the tables and hearing the musician play “Edelweiss” — the last song Richard Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein.

Tying it all together, he said, “Remember who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat each other.” Then he voiced disappointment at the lack of participation in the recent election.

At 1:14 p.m., Bill Helmbrecht returned to the stage and invited all to take part in the annual A.C. Greene Toast.

For more pictures of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party Patrons Walked A Cheetah-Printed Carpet To Tricia Sims’ Mansion And A Bounty Of Wolfgang Puck Edibles

The No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party Patron Party on Saturday, March 18, proved to be a mini-version of the 12th annual AIDS Services of Dallas fundraiser on Saturday, April 8, at Frontiers of Flight Museum. There was plenty of food, libations and eye-catching guests. Even the carpeted walk up to hostess Tricia Sims‘ mansion was not your every-day welcome mat. Here’s a report from the field:

David Nelson, Nicole Barrett, Tricia Sims and Amber Griffin*

This year, rather than a traditional red carpet, Chair David Nelson requested cheetah print. Such was the introduction and welcome to the patron event for the 2017 No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party, themed “An Artful Life,” at the opulent home of Honorary Co-Chair Tricia Sims. The No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party, presented by Purple Foundation, is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas, a non-profit that is celebrating 30 years of helping to improve lives of economically disadvantaged individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.   

Dennis Kershner and John Moreno-Kershner*

Brilliantly witty and entertaining, No Tie Chair David Nelson, who has served in the chair position for the last seven years, greeted guests and showered appreciation to No Tie’s numerous supporters. Although Honorary Co-Chair Dr. Alan Berg was not in attendance, he was the man of the hour by sponsoring Wolfgang Puck Catering for the evening. Hedda Layne took center stage on the grand balcony outside, delivering an explosive performance as guest mingled by the pool and Greek goddess statues. The signature cocktail, The Warhol, made with Reyka Icelandic Vodka, club soda, and angostura bitters, proved to be the refreshing drink of choice for the warm evening. Ben E. Keith provided wine and beer to complete the festive occasion.  

Don Maison and Ellen Sweets*

The patron party was attended by approximately 150 guests including ASD President and CEO Don Maison, former ASD Chairman of the Board Dennis Kershner, former Honorary Co-Chairs LeeAnne Locken and Patricia Deason, Entertainment Co-Chairs Deanna and Rob Cahill, as well as Chad Collom, Nicole Barrett, Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Donna Richardson, Ellen Sweets, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker, among others.

* Photo credit: Kim Grubbs

Laura W. Bush Institute Provided A Look At The Amazing Universe Of Stem Cells Thanks To Doris Taylor And Jay Schneider

Laura Bush and Lee Ann White

Lee Ann White had had a busy 24 hours. On Tuesday, February 14, (aka Valentine’s Day), she had orchestrated a sweetie of a celebration at the Ritz-Carlton with the Hamilton Park Choir and 50 besties. Alas, Annette Simmons and husband Jerry Fronterhouse and birthday girl Gene Jones had to send regrets. Couldn’t blame them. Annette and Jerry were out of town celebrating their first anniversary and Gene was over the pond to check out her new floating getaway.

But in attendance were Lana and Barry Andrews, Toni and T. Boone Pickens and the usual multi-gillionaires plus Laura and George Bush.

Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Troutt

Debbie Francis

Jeanne Cox

But early the next morning on Wednesday, February 15, Lee Ann, Lana, Jan Rees-Jones, Jeanne Cox and Debbie Francis were looking fresh-faced for the Laura W. Bush Institute gathering at the Dallas Country Club.  

Su-Su Meyer, Gayle Stoffel, Lana Andrew and Meredith Land

Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus

Kimber Hartmann and Angie Kadesky

Monet and George Ball and Tiffany Divis

After the breakfast coffee that included a crash of china coffee cups from the buffet to the tile floor, the group (Tiffany Divis with daughter Monet Ball and husband Dr. George Ball, Libby Allred, Pam Busbee, Ola Fojtasek, Michael Fowler, Kimber Hartmann, Debbie Francis, Lisa Ogle, Joanne Stroud, Kara Goss, Su-Su Meyer, Al Hill Jr., Angie Kadesky, Rhonda Marcus, Diane Howard, Jane Pierce and Lisa Troutt) gathered in the ballroom for “Stem Cells: Building Blocks For Human Organs And Tools For Therapeutic Discovery” by Dr. Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor, Ph.D., introduced by emcee KXAS’s Meredith Land.

Diane Howard and Marjorie Jenkins

Al Hill Jr.

Connie Tyne, Jay Schneider and Doris Taylor

Over to the side of the ballroom stood Laura Bush with Lee Ann, the speakers and Institute hierarchy. While this presentation was Lee Ann’s swan song as president of the Laura W. Bush Institute, Institute Executive Director Connie Tyne and Institute Chief Science Officer Marjorie Jenkins kept things popping.

After Lee Ann introduced Laura, the former first lady updated the group on the Bush family — former first Lady Barbara and President George H.W. Bush both got well in time to flip the coin for the Super Bowl, and Laura’s husband former President George W. Bush has been working on portraits and a book on wounded warriors (“Buy his book because he’s living on a government pension.” Actually, proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior project).

She then discussed the various programs and developments that the Institute will be hosting in the coming months.

It was now time for the two experts to discuss the day’s topic. First up was Doris Taylor on how the body heals itself with its own stem cells. Admitting that she saw the world through stem-cell glass, she saw aging and most chronic diseases as a failure of stem cells.

Her first two points of the day were:

  • Heart disease kills more women than men. Most clinical trials on restorative therapy for heart disease are done on men. Despite more equivalent trials being undertaken involving men and women, the chances are that a woman will still receive treatments designed for a man.
  • Sex is not the same as gender. While the rule of thumb is that at the first sign of a heart attack, it is essential to get to a hospital within four hours. Men usually get there within the four-hour window. Why? Because their wives drive them there. Women, on the other hand. don’t get there within that time period but not because of biologic or sex differences. Rather because of gender-based differences. A woman will delay getting help for various reasons like “The house is dirty,” “The kids are coming home from school,” I don’t want an ambulance guy to come in here when the house is dirty,” etc.  Due to the excuses, a woman doesn’t make it to the hospital in time. It is societal gender difference, not biological. 

Doris then addressed the future of stem cells in aging. Using a simple example, she told how when a young child falls and scrapes their knee, it’s not like they are going to be scarred for life. However, an adult may not be so lucky. That is because of the stem cells that take care of the normal wear and tear of the body aren’t as available as a person ages. 

She explained how inflammation is nature’s signaling that there has been an injury, and stem cells are needed to repair. If you get the right cells there, you can eliminate the inflammation.

Doris then said that she really wanted the audience to take away two points from her talk:

  1. Inflammation for a short time is a good thing, because it tells the body that stem cells are need and those stem cells get mobilized
  2. But chronic inflammation when you don’t get stem cells is a bad thing.

The problem with aging is that we lose stem cells and their capacity to handle the inflammation over time. Through cell therapy, those aging-out stem cells can be replaced.

Regarding heart disease, it occurs in men earlier in life, but then levels off. In women it starts slower and then speeds up. But by the 70s men and women are equal in the heart disease.

During that same time period, it was interesting to note the loss of stem cells take place at the same rate.

Stem cells can self-replicate and they can come from a lot of things. The common sources of stem cells are bone marrow, blood, fat, muscle and amniotic fluid. Thanks to research, almost any cell can be turned into a stem cell.

In a research project that Doris conducted in mice regarding plaque in the heart, she discovered that female stem cells worked in both males and females. But the male stem cells only worked in male mice and they worsened the conditions of the female mice.

Ways to solve the problem of :

  • Prevention
  • Repairing the right cells
  • Finding cogent stem cell
  • Getting the right stem cells from somebody else
  • Storing your cells
  • Picking the right patients
  • Mobilizing your stem cells by reducing stress, exercising, acupuncture, meditation, etc.

Stem cells are already in use in the treatment of arthritis, sports injuries, surgeries, cosmetic applications, etc. It was on that last point that Doris warmed about the problem of medical tourism in getting overseas applications of stem cells:

  • your own doctor will not know what he/she is dealing with
  • they probably haven’t been through the clinical trials

For these reasons, she encouraged the advancement of testing and gaining access to such treatments in this country.

A couple of final points:

  1. Integrated Healthcare Association has recognized that the sexes are different and those difference need to be addressed
  2. American Heart Association published a paper last year about the difference of heart attacks in men and women

Doris then talked about building hearts in the lab. By washing the cells out of a heart and replacing those cells, the heart was able to work, plus the women’s skeletal hearts were stronger than the men’s. Similar tests are being done in other organs.

But with all the advancements, the overall results will only be successful if the differences in the genders are included.

Her final comment was to push for answers and to discuss the topic with doctors and friends.

Next up Dr. Jay Schneider, who opened with the fact that before the day’s meeting with the former first lady, his previous Texas VIP meeting had been Willie Nelson … “This is much better than that.”

 He then turned to his talk, emphasizing that in addition to gender differences, each person is totally unique in their genocode “God gave our souls, but the code determines what our cells are.”

Thanks to the modern technology — CRISPR — the genetic code can be adjusted. Jay was positively high of the development of CRISPR predicting a Noble Prize in the future for those involved in its discovery.

Back story: CRISPR was discovered thank to scientists trying to find out why yogurt went bad. It was due to bacteria.

CRISPR will go through genome — all 46 chromosomes and billions of bases — and locate the basic mistake in the makeup and “actually fix them.”

He then gave two examples of the importance. First was a young man in Dallas named “Ben,” who is suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The disease effects boys, but it is transmitted from the mothers, who do not have symptoms. Using CRISPR, Ben has a single mistake in his gene that causes Duchenne. With the new technology, they can go in using molecular technology, change the sequence, and cure the muscular disease.  Until clinical trials are done, the treatment cannot be done. However, thanks to cells that were made from his blood, muscles can be built.

Jay emphasized that this was being done with Ben’s own blood and not embryonic fluid. He credited the development of creating stems from means other than embryonic fluid to former President George W. Bush, who restricted funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2012, thereby forcing scientist to undertake other alternatives.

His second example was his year-old great niece Allison, who suffers from Acting Mental Myelopathy. Like Ben, she had one mistake in her gene make-up. Only one other child was born with this condition. Thanks to CRISPR, technology is being created that will go into her muscle and release her from her paralysis.

But there is an urgency to solving these genetic situations. As one gets older, it is harder to correct the error.

Jay then smoothly made a suggestion to the former first lady, who was seated nearby. In visiting the Bush Center, Jay was surprised to see barely a mention of the former president’s involvement in changing the world of genetics. His suggestion was to take a tube of blood from the former first lady and use it to demonstrate how stem cells can be created, thereby not requiring embryonic fluid.

Marjorie then held a brief Q&A for Doris and Jay with the audience that addressed the following points:

  • The life span of cells varies.
  • A stem cell circulates for various periods of time. They then go to the injured site or back to the bone marrow.
  • Donating a body to Jay’s clinic for research is invaluable.
  • Ben’s case is already advanced and it will be a challenge to get to each cell in his muscles. However, most Duchenne patients and their mothers tend to die from heart disease. Luckily, the heart is more accessible for using CRISPR.
  • Allison is still much younger and her mass is still developing and more manageable.
  • AIDs is a disease that is having positive results due to CRISPR.
  • One of the great issues facing the use of genetic management: the ethical questions being raised.

Resource Center Kicked Off World AIDS Day On The Night Before At Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh With The Red Ribbon Bash

Leave it to Resource Center to always be a step ahead of the rest. While World AIDS Day is annually celebrated on December 1, the Center opted to start the festivities plus fundraising at the Red Ribbon Bash on Wednesday, November 30, at the Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh. In addition to the partying, the event also served as a reminder that AIDS continues to devastate the people of the world. Here is a report from the field:

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, Resource Center held a Red Ribbon event at Le Méridien, The Stoneleigh on Thursday, November 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Observed on the first of December each year, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to honor those who have died from the disease. Red Ribbon provided the community an opportunity to kick off the holidays while coming together for a cause in a beautiful and historic setting. For more than 30 years, the Center has served the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as well as all people affected by HIV/AIDS and all proceeds from the event support the Center’s services and programs.

Along with staff and volunteers, Resource Center’s Chief Executive Officer Cece Cox welcomed over 75 sponsors, guests and board members to the festively decorated penthouse of Le Meridien, Stoneleigh Hotel which overlooks the Dallas skyline. After a fun photo opportunity in the foyer, attendees adorned in red ribbons and holiday apparel enjoyed music while mixing and mingling in the lavish living room and library originally designed by Dorothy Draper. Built in 1923, The Stoneleigh has a rich history of haunted tales and secret passageways and was a perfect venue for the Red Ribbon event.

Chris Parker*

Tasty signature cocktails such as a Basil Gimlet and Ruby Slipper were provided by Stoli and contained flavored vodka such as blueberry, raspberry, citrus and vanilla. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres created by Stoneleigh’s in-house chefs were offered such as Wild Mushroom and Beef Wellington, Cheese Corn Cakes with Avocado, and Chili Rubbed Shrimp on a White Cheddar and Jalapeno Grit Cake. The formal dining room was dedicated to delicious sweets from The Original Cupcakery and were paired with a hot cocoa and coffee bar complete with toasted coconut, mini marshmallows, candied orange peels, peppermint, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and whipped cream.

Red Ribbon Bash Christmas tree ornaments*

Party-goers also had the opportunity to purchase beautiful glittered Christmas ornaments to decorate their own Christmas tree and each ornament was available at a different sponsor level. The purchase of a $30 ornament represented a gift of a daily hot meal for a client living with HIV for one month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $60 ornament represented the gift of vital, fresh groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $90 ornament represented the gift of an educational guest speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

Holiday gift-giving ideas were met with a silent auction that included fabulous home and gift ideas including 30,000 American Airlines miles, a two-night stay for two at The USA Grant, a luxury hotel in San Diego, California, a one-night stay in a King Suite at The Highland-Dallas with complimentary valet and complimentary room service for two, a one-night stay at The Warwick Melrose Dallas, tennis lessons for 1-2 people by Harlan Tennis, and a signed Dragon Lady, 3 1/2 inch crystal Aurora Borealis rhinestone with gold finish brooch covered in Swarovski stones.

Mary and Mike Waller*

Connie White and Kate Newman*

Al James, Don Gaiser and Wayne Medina*

Roneka Patterson and Nathalie Dadje*

In attendance at the Red Ribbon event were longtime Resource Center supporters and advocates James Lester, Jay Maggio, Chuck MarLett, Kate Newman, Jay Oppenheimer, Chris Parker, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Mary and Matt Waller, Connie White and Kay Wilkinson. Several supporters who made the Red Ribbon a successful event included

  • Platinum Sponsors — Ethan Killgore, McDonald’s and Texas Instruments
  • Gold Sponsors — Dana Barber, Charles D. MarLett and Jay Oppenheimer
  • Silver Sponsors — Avita Pharmacy, Cece Cox, James Lester, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Steven Pounders, MD and Jimmy O’Reilly and Mary and Matt Waller
  • In-Kind Sponsors — Bartech Services, Kurt S. Adler, Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, Lion Ribbon, MarceloMedia, Mickey Briggs, The Original Cupcakery, Stoli and Sam S. Tucker

$10,000 was raised at the Red Ribbon event with all proceeds from the ornaments and silent auction benefiting the services and programs of Resource Center. World AIDS Day and the Center’s Red Ribbon event reminds us that HIV has not gone away; there is still a vital need to expand awareness, combat prejudice, and improve education. For more information about Resource Center, please visit myresourcecenter.org.

* Photos provided by Resource Center

MySweetWishList: AIDS Services Of Dallas

According to AIDS Services of Dallas CEO Don Maison,

AIDS Services of Dallas*

“As the saying goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Now imagine not having a home for the holidays – or any time of the year. No place for shelter, for warmth, for safety, for a hot meal. Our holiday wish is to provide a home for the 122 economically disadvantaged individuals living with HIV/AIDS who have been on our waiting list year after year.

AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD) provides quality, affordable, service-enriched housing, food, transportation and support services for 225 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. The largest organization in Texas providing these kind of services and shelter, we currently have four facilities and are ready to grow in 2017. We are now raising much-needed funds to build a new housing structure to provide additional homes for residents.

“2017 will be ASD’s 30th Anniversary. Help us make it an iconic year with your donation by clicking here, or visit www.aidsdallas.org to learn more about our organization.

“Wishing you the happiest holiday season.”

-By Don Maison, AIDS Services of Dallas president and CEO

* Graphic courtesy of AIDS Services of Dallas

DIFFA Dallas’ 8th Annual Burgers And Burgundy Is Moving To Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge On Texas-OU Friday Night

While most folks believe that Texas-OU weekend closes down everything not Longhorn- or Sooner-related, DIFFA Dallas is planning on testing this theory. Instead of like years past, when the organization held its Burgers and Burgundy outdoor fundraiser at a private estate on a Saturday or Sunday, they set their GPS and daytimer for a different location and day.

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

Burgers smoking on the grills (File photo)

This year’s event will take place on the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 7. Yup, you guessed it. That’s the Friday when local restaurants, bars and hotels will be brimming with Red River revelers.

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge (File photo)

In addition to having Chef John Tesar once again hosting the B and B, Event chair Aileen Roach and Honorary Chair Simona Beal have given a theme to the event — DIFFAcella. It will “feature three live art installations by Jason Reynaga, Anthony Gonzales and Matthew Brinston, as well as three caricature artists and a henna artist.”

John Tesar (File photo)

John Tesar (File photo)

According to John, “It’s always a great time when I get to bring together my good chef friends, but this event is made even better by the fact that it’s for a great cause. It’s been an honor to work with DIFFA/Dallas for eight years to put on this event and watch it grow year after year, with last year being our most successful. We have even higher goals set for this year!”

There will be plenty of entertainment, Pawkitecture live auction and, of course, food and libations.

And the big news of the night will be the reveal of the 2016-2017 Style Council Ambassadors, who will serve as DIFFA/Dallas representatives “charged with the task of helping DIFFA/Dallas raise awareness about the organization’s cause, as well as continue efforts in the education and prevention of HIVAIDS throughout North Texas.”

Tickets for the 8th Annual Burgers and Burgundy are $150.

The Resource Center’s 8th Annual 5 Factor Honorees Revealed

Steve Kemble (File photo)

Steve Kemble (File photo)

The Resource Center has released the names of the five honorees, who will be celebrated at the 8th Annual 5 Factor on Friday, September 23, at 7 for Parties.

Drum roll, please. The five, “who have been valuable partners of the Center and community,” are:

  • Community — Christine Bengston of Caven Enterprises
  • Culinary — Culinaire food and beverage concepts
  • Government — Adam Medrano, Dallas City Council District 2
  • Media — Steve Kemble, radio personality and lifestyle expert
  • Philanthropy — Patti Le Plae Safe, entertainer

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here.

Resource Center Grand Opening Attracted VIPs and Hundreds To Dallas’ Newest LGBT Community Center

While others primped and prepped with stylists for a nighttime affair du jour, about 500 stalwarts gathered just west of Inwood Road on Cedar Springs around noon on Saturday, May 21. The draw was the official opening of the newly built, 20,000-square-foot Resource Center complete with the Turtle Creek Chorale, music, dancing and, of course, a ribbon cutting.

Turtle Creek Chorale

Turtle Creek Chorale

Resource Center

Resource Center

Thank heaven for I.M. Pei-trained architect James Langford’s design, as the V-shaped second floor overhang provided shade and comfort those waiting in line for tours of the new facility. The premature summer heat and humidity made the surroundings seem like Houston.



Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

While the adorable Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and pooches may have been the head turners, the real in-the-know types spotted Center CEO CeCe Cox, Veletta Lill, Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson, Sarah Losinger, Clay Jenkins, David Brown, Laura Martin, Katherine Wynne, Steve Kemble, Chad Collom, Don Gaiser, Pam Gerber, Suzanne Slonim, Elba Garcia and Joe Pacetti.

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

While many may dismiss HIV/AIDs as a painful memory of the past, the Resource Center is a place with its services, gathering places and opportunities for those affected by HIV/AIDs. With more than 60,000 people using the Center and its more than 1,200 volunteers and 50 paid staffers, Dallas’ Resource Center is “one of the largest centers of its kind in the United States.”

2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Boasted 007 Babes, Beverages And Bond-iful Partying For AIDS Services Of Dallas

When James Bond would loosen his tie, you just knew he was taking enjoyment to a new high. So, how fitting it was that the 2016 No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party would have a Bond theme at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, complete with grown-up beverages, Bond babes and partying. Here’s a report from the field:

Michelle Bradwell, David Nelson, Angel Irvine, Bret Gallagher Jr.*

Michelle Bradwell, David Nelson, Angel Irvine, Bret Gallagher Jr.*

Only David Nelson and his creative team can make a casual-chic affaire go glam without a tie. Welcome to No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party! The eleventh annual fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas, presented by Purple Foundation, went Bond-chic at The Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, with the theme “You Only Live Twice” to celebrate the non-profit’s long history of providing a second chance at life for its residents.

No Tie Chair David Nelson and Honorary Co-Chairs Marie Reyes (as seen on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Dallas) and husband Angel Reyes greeted the 1,500 guests who indulged in lavish cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, chocolates and pies from some of the city’s finest eateries, such as Apples and Onions, Dallas Affaires Cake Co., Daisy Cakes, Uncle Willie’s Pies, and Frosted Art Bakery & Studio, among many others. The signature Reyka Double Bond cocktail made with Reyka vodka, cranberry juice and a splash of ginger ale proved popular at the bars generously sponsored by Ben E. Keith (Bud Light)  and William Grant & Sons (Reyka, Sailor Jerry, Tullamore D.E.W., and others).

Marie and Angel Reyes*

Marie and Angel Reyes*

Ron and Deanna Cahill*

Ron and Deanna Cahill*

Upon arrival, one might have caught a glimpse of the stunning Deanna Cahill poised on top of a cupcake platform dressed in her Bond-girl finest of all black leather. She and husband Rob Cahill and Alika Ray produced a surprise dance performance by the Dallas Cowboy R&B dance team set to Madonna’s “Die Another Day.” Another surprise was the announcement of Carol Hatton as the recipient of the “Sheila Dolezal Humanitarian Award for her volunteerism and community support and the newly-retired Dennis Kershner as the recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his long-term support as ASD Chairman of the Board for seven years and No Tie Chair for ten years.

Thanks to DJ Mark Ridlen, the dance floor bounced with energy to set the stage for the live auction which showcased everything from an $8,500 Louis Vuitton Chaise Lounge Chair donated by Scott + Cooner to a vacation package in a fully-restored 800-year-old, three-story chateau in the French countryside. Other vacation packages included trips to Belize, Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado and Hotel del Coronado Resort in San Diego. Guests could also bid on silent auction items and original artworks, curated by Christina D. Yielding, who also featured “live art” throughout the evening.

Christina D Yielding*

Christina D Yielding*

Christian Iles, Tricia Sims and Van Haden*

Christian Iles, Tricia Sims and Van Haden*

Other attendees included: ASD President/CEO Don Maison, ASD Chairman of the Board Don Neubauer, Purple Foundation’s Blake Baker, Chris Huffstutler, Sara Fangmeyer and Dylan Orrell, Sterling Deason O’Donnell, Patricia Deason, Tricia Sims, Merlene Phillips and Tony Fielding among others.

* Photo credit: Gregory Martin

No Tie Dinner And Dessert Patron Party Set The Stage For The Aids Services Of Dallas Fundraiser At Frontiers Of Flight Museum

The No Tie Dinner And Dessert Party crowd just doesn’t do anything without beautiful people, great food, music and grown-up libations. To prepare for the AIDS Services of Dallas fundraiser at Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, April 9, they gathered at Marie and Angel Reyes home on Saturday, March 12, with all types of plans being revealed. Here’s a report from the field:

The night was filled with music . . . a cabaret of song, piano, chatter, and praise. Toasts were made. Delectable food was devoured. The musical night was an appreciation to those who support the upcoming No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party, presented by the Purple Foundation. The gala is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas which has improved the lives of economically disadvantaged individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS for over 25 years.

David Nelson, Angel and Marie Reyes and Don Neubauer*

David Nelson, Angel and Marie Reyes and Don Neubauer*

Honorary Chairs Angel and Marie Reyes (who will soon be appearing on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” on April 11) opened up their beautiful new Preston Hollow home to host the special event. No Tie Chair David Nelson, well-known in Dallas as a Renaissance man for his style, artistry, interior design, and witty jokes, and pianist/musician Leslie Frye took center stage in a deluxe entertainment room complete with lounge chairs, state-of-the-art audio and sound, and stage, in a duet of song and piano.

Nelson said, “I haven’t performed for 10 years but can’t think of a better reason to start than to thank our event’s wonderful dinner hosts and sponsors.”

John Moreno Kershner, Kristi Holman and Dennis Kershner*

John Moreno Kershner, Kristi Holman and Dennis Kershner*

Guests mingled, savoring the scrumptious meal of gourmet meats, sushi, and cheeses prepared by Texas de Brazil. The signature Reyka Double Bond cocktail, made with Reyka Vodka, cranberry juice and ginger ale, proved popular. Ben E. Keith provided wine and beer to complete the festive occasion.

Event Director Kristi Holman shared exciting fundraising news. “This year, those who purchase a Month of Housing before the live auction gets to enter a drawing for a chance to win their choice of a live auction package (excluding the vacation in Maison Rouge, an  800-year-old, five-bedroom vacation home in the French countryside amid vineyards, ancient bastides and medieval villages). A Month of Housing per resident is $1,218, which provides shelter and care to help individuals regain and maintain their health and lead an independent life.”

Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer and Chris Huffstutler*

Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer and Chris Huffstutler*

A few of the live auction packages include a getaway for two to Los Angeles and visit to the Magic Castle, an exotic couple’s vacation in Belize, and a book autographed by Lady Gaga (contributed by former No Tie Honorary Chair and RHOD diva LeeAnne Locken) plus a suite at American Airlines Center.

Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker and Tricia Sims*

Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker and Tricia Sims*

The patron party, attended by approximately 150 guests, included Purple Foundation’s Dylan Orrell, Sara Fangmeyer, and Chris Huffstutler; AIDS Services of Dallas Chairman of the Board Don Neubauer; Dennis Kershner, who retired as ASD Chairman of the Board and No Tie Chair this year; former Honorary Chairs Patricia Deason and Jody O’Donnell; 192nd Civil District Court Judge Craig Smith; Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez; Rob and Deanna Cahill (who appeared as Jacqueline Kennedy on Hulu’s 11/22/63 mini-series); Tricia Sims, and Sheri and Patrick Moneymaker.

The 2016 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party will be held on Saturday, April 9, starting at 7:00 p.m., at the Frontiers of Flight Museum (6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75209). VIP tickets are $150 (includes deluxe VIP lounge with bar and exclusive auction and raffle items), and general admission tickets are $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.notiedinner.org.

* Photo credit: Kim Grubbs

The Resource Center’s Food Pantry’s Move Has Been Moved Up And Could Use Some Help

The Resource Center has been in the midst of an $8.7M capital campaign that would not only provide a new 20,000-square-foot community center, but also renovate its building at Reagan and Brown, where it can consolidate HIV services, nutrition services and the food pantry. The great news is that the effort has paid off in raising $7.6M, or 88% of its total goal.

Unfortunately, there’s been a development forcing a change of plans. It seems that the Center has had to “accelerate renovation improvements of the food pantry,” due to the loss of its lease on the current space at 5450 Denton Drive, where more than 800 per week are serve.

The Resource Center's new food pantry under construction*

The Resource Center’s new food pantry under construction*

For 31 years, the Center’s food pantry has provided fresh produce, canned goods, frozen foods and perishables thanks to “purchases from the North Texas Food Bank, as well as through generous donations from supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, community groups and individuals.”

According to Resource Center CEO Cece Cox, “This timeline was not ideal, but we are committed to clients. We will not miss one day of services at the pantry. Staff is working to accommodate clients to ensure that their needs are being met during this transition phase.”

In order to achieve this transition in mid-February, the Resource Center “is calling for community support to construct a new food pantry.” To do this it “will take $600,000 to renovate the Reagan and Brown building including the construction and relocation of the food pantry.”

If all follows to plan, the Reagan and Brown renovations should be completed this summer.

* Photo courtesy of the Resource Center

MySweet2016Goals: Justin W. Bundick

According to DIFFA/Dallas Chairman of the Board Justin W. Bundick,

Justin W. Bundick*

Justin W. Bundick*

“The goal of DIFFA/Dallas in 2016 is to continue to increase the amount of funding DIFFA/Dallas grants to the eighteen HIV/AIDS direct-care service providers we support in North Texas so that they can continue their work with the over 20,000 individuals infected with or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

DIFFA Dallas*

DIFFA Dallas*

“Since DIFFA/Dallas was founded in 1984, we have granted more than $7 million to over twenty-five North Texas AIDS Service Organizations and emergency. As in every year past, these funds will be used for education, transportation, housing, mental health and meal programs; especially for women, children, and those in low income situations.

“For more information about DIFFA/Dallas or to purchase tickets for House of DIFFA: Circo Rouge, please visitwww.diffadallas.org or email [email protected].”

Jerry Jeff Walker And Jillie Kerwin Helped Lonestar Charity Two-Step Raise Funds For Bryan’s House

Sarah Siegel, Ben Siegel, Emma Siegel and Lynn Siegel*

Sarah Siegel, Ben Siegel, Emma Siegel and Lynn Siegel*

While some folks were trying to recover from an overdose of turkey, cranberries and stuff(ing), the second Lonestar Charity Two-Step was high-stepping the following Saturday. Here’s a report from the field:

Lonestar Charity Co-Founder Ben Siegel with Event Co-Chairs Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage welcomed over 260 party goers to Gilley’s Dallas for the second annual Lonestar Charity Two-Step on Saturday, November 28. Event proceeds benefit Bryan’s House, a non-profit organization serving children with medical or developmental needs and their families by providing specialized child care, respite care and social services.

Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage*

Reagan Beck and Margaret Hardage*

Upon arrival, DJ’s Jennifer Miller and Paul Parades provided a cool vibe as partygoers mingled while enjoying cocktails and an hors d’oeuvres buffet. As guests played the casino tables, Highland Park grad Jillie Kerwin and her band took the stage for a lively performance, including some of her own original songs.

Following her set, co-founder Siegel welcomed attendees and thanked them for their support of Lonestar Charity Two-Step, the second annual event that encourages philanthropy in college students. Lisa Genecov, president, Board of Directors for Bryan’s House followed to share the mission and services provided by the non-profit agency, as well as thanked Lonestar Charity for selecting their organization as the beneficiary for the evening.

Co-chairs Beck and Hardage then added their thanks to the event committee, advisors and sponsors, before turning things over to auctioneer Louis Murad. Murad got things started with a fun game of “Heads or Tails” with the winner receiving a new Apple TV and a $200 Mr. Mesero gift card. The live auction followed with competitive bidding on items including two courtside seats adjacent to the Dallas Mavericks bench with a parking pass donated by the Charlie McKinney family; a delicate gardenias sterling silver and 18-karat yellow gold necklace courtesy of deBoulle; an Argentina dove hunt, which had two winning bidders; and a signed Jerry Jeff Walker guitar.

Jerry Jeff Walker*

Jerry Jeff Walker*

Iconic Texas country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker immediately followed with attendees dancing to his classic hits. DJs Miller and Paredes then returned to keep the party going until midnight.

As the evening came to a close each patron received a commemorative T-shirt as a thank you for their support.

* Photo credit: Wiley Williams

MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Marketing and Communication Coordinator Jennifer Williams,

“Resource Center provides needed nutritional support to people living with HIV/AIDS with food distributed through our Food Pantry and weekday hot meals program.  Weight loss and malnutrition continue to be common problems with HIV and can contribute to HIV disease progression. A healthy diet improves quality of life, and good nutrition helps the body process the many medications taken by people with HIV. Good nutrition helps keep the immune system strong, enabling a person living with HIV to better fight the disease.

Resource Center*

Resource Center*

“Our wish is that food continues to be medicine for our clients. Resource Center is requesting support of our HIV nutrition programs. During the holiday season we see a huge influx of clients that stock up on several weeks’ worth of groceries when normally they are allowed to shop once per week. After the holiday rush, inventory can become low and we will need to restock to continue to meet the high demand of activity.

“We have a need for the following items:

  1. “Canned vegetables such as green peas, all styles of tomatoes, sliced, diced and or whole potatoes, asparagus and red beans.
  2. “Canned meat such as chili, Spam, chicken, Spaghetti-o’s with meatballs, ravioli with meat and sardines.
  3. “Canned fruit such as, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears and or pineapples
  4. “Meal replacement drinks and shakes like Ensure

    Resource Center*

    Resource Center*

“In addition to perishable food items, a monetary gift makes an impact!

  • “$30 provides a daily hot meal for a person living with HIV for one month at Resource Center’s Hot Meals program.
  • “$60 provides vital groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Food Pantry at Resource Center.
  • “$90 provides an educational speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

“Donations can be made at www.myresourcecenter.org/give. For more information about Resource Center, visit www.myresourcecenter.org.”

-By Jennifer Williams, Resource Center marketing and communications coordinator

* Photos provided by Resource Center