2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Team Handed Out A Whopping $462,750 To 15 Park Cities Non-Profits

Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning

As the sun was slowly switching place with a perfect full moon on Thursday, September 7, the North Texas Food Bank’s Harvest underwriters were gathering at Mud Hen to celebrate the upcoming Friday, September 15 fundraiser. Across town in Highland Park Village’s Mockingbird Room, there were more happy faces. The occasion was the check distribution of 2017 La Fiesta Des Las Seis Banderas checks. Needless to say, when it comes to doling out the dough, the crowd is polished shoulder to shoulder.

Euan Blackman and Anne Besser

The biggest smiles were on the faces of La Fiesta Co-Chairs Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning along with Gala Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Michelle Johnson and Las Fiesta Board President Mary Hubbard. There was good reason. The take for the Saturday, June 10 black-tie fundraiser was $462,750. Just who says fundraising dries up in the summer?

On hand to accept checks and provide big old smiles were HPISD Superintendent Tom Trigg and wife Julie Trigg, The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Habitat for Humanity’s Euan Blackman.

Mary Hubbard, Michelle Johnson, Amy Hughes and Paige Flink

Tom Trigg, Kelly Walker and Jim Hitzelberger

The check presentation included:

  • Dallas Heritage Village — $5,000
  • Moody Family YMCA — $3,500
  • CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education) — $12,640
  • Connecting Point of Park Cities — $19,500
  • The Elisa Project — $18,500
  • The Family Place — $10,000
  • Friends of the University Park Public Library — $30,500
  • HP Arts — $60,000
  • HPHS Community Service Council — $8,000
  • HPHS Habitat for Humanity Campus Center — $10,000
  • HPHS Science Festival — $1,600
  • HPHS Counseling Department and Student Council — $3,000
  • Highland Park Literary Festival — $26,000
  • HPHS Student Emergency Fund — $4,000
  • Highland Park Education Foundation — $250,510

More good news included the fact that Anne will cho-chair 2018 La Fiesta with her buddy Elizabeth Gambrell for the fundraiser that return to the Hilton Anatole for a summer sojourn.

33rd Annual Care Dallas Breakfast To Feature Actress/Author Mackenzie Phillips And Breathe Life Healing Center Founder Brad Lamm

Perhaps Mackenzie Phillips was the first one to spot Harrison Ford as a hunk in 1973 when she and Paul Le Mat drag raced with him back in “American Graffiti.” She was just 14 years old and already part of the celeb universe being the daughter of The Mamas and The PapasJohn Phillips. The hit movie had hardly made the rounds before Mackenzie was in the TV comedy “One Day at a Time.”

By the third season of the show, the 19-year-old Mackenzie was already in hot water that included arrests for disorderly conduct, drug and alcohol abuse, two near-fatal overdoses and various stints in rehab. Despite efforts to deal with her addictions, she relapsed time and time again even admitting to using cocaine when she was pregnant with her son Shane Barakan.

While she appeared to have cleaned up her act by 2010, she also made headlines in 2009 with her telling Oprah Winfrey that “she was raped by her father in a hotel room when she was 18 while passed out after a drug binge but continued to use drugs and have consensual sex with him for years.”

Since that time Mackenzie’s life has gained a sense of normalcy. In 2013 she became a Primary Substance Use Counselor and began working in the addiction field as a counselor. Just last year she joined the Breathe Life Healing Center’s staff.

Mackenzie Phillips*

Brad Lamm*

According to Breathe Life Healing Centers Founder Brad Lamm, “We are thrilled to have Mack join the Breathe family. Our clients will no doubt benefit from her expertise in the field and her personal journey to recovery. She has recovered so much – a life rich in value and substance and I cannot wait to collaborate with her. She is a brave warrior who has trudged a long road, and has built a true bridge back to life. Plus, she’s not a glum gal!”

33rd Annual CARE Dallas Breakfast Chair Mary Martin just reported that both Mackenzie and Brad will be the featured guests at the Care Dallas fundraiser at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, at the Dallas Country Club. Honorary Event Co-Chairs are Lindsay and George Billingsley.

In addition to the talk by Mackenzie and Brad, Charles Carneal will receive Margaret Sharpe Award and JDs Chippery will be presented the Community Partner Award.

While individual tickets are not available now, tables and sponsorships are. Check here to get your spot.

* Photo provided by Care Dallas

MySweetWishList: Homeward Bound

According to Homeward Bound Executive Director Douglas Denton,

Douglas Denton*

“Homeward Bound, Inc., a nonprofit Dallas drug, alcohol and mental health treatment center, is asking for support for its share of the costs of a training for and presentation of a free storytelling program at the Bath House Cultural Center on the evening of Friday, January 6. Clients and former clients who have been coached by professional storytellers will be sharing snippets of their life stories for a public performance at the Bath House. This is an exceptional opportunity for our clients to tell their healing stories. We would appreciate financial help with the production and have been awarded a Texas Commission on the Arts grant for this program. We have an ongoing gofundme campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/homeward-bound-storytellers to cover these costs.

From the left: Homeward Bound audience member, Homeward Bound audience member and Peggy and Gene Helmick-Richardson*

“Behind the scenes are Gene and Peggy Helmick-Richardson of Dallas, the Twice Upon a Time Storytellers. They have been on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Arts Roster since 2003.

“The Helmick-Richardsons believe in Homeward Bound’s cause as well as the therapeutic power of storytelling. Together, they have been presenting their stories to our residential clients for more than 20 years as volunteers. In addition to their usual weekly schedule in our HIV-positive unit, the Helmick-Richardsons have been working with our clients for months, helping them to polish their stories and selecting the tellers for the Bath House program.

“’Our ultimate goal is to not only assist storytelling program participants in crafting their own stories to further their personal healing but to also reach out to others wanting to break the bonds of addiction or to have a deeper understanding of what addiction truly means,’ Peggy explains.

“Note that the audience will be limited to adults only, due to adult subject matter and language. Thank you for your support.”

-By Douglas Denton, Homeward Bound executive director

* Photos provided by Homeward Bound

Golf Analyst David Feherty Was A Keynote Hit At 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast Blending Addiction Struggles With Irish Humor

One behind-the-scenes story speaks volumes about the irreverent, freewheeling nature of the sold-out 32nd annual CARE Breakfast, which was held Wednesday, November 9, at the Belo Mansion and “starred” keynote speaker David Feherty, the hilarious NBC Sports pro golf reporter—and recovering addict.

It seems, we were told, that David learned about the kidney replacement surgery undergone a while back by Norm Bagwell, husband of CARE Dallas mainstay Robin Bagwell. Once Norm received his new kidney from Robin, David was told, his golf handicap plummeted from 14 to 5. Whereupon the morning’s keynoter cracked that if Norm “had only had his spleen taken out, he could have been a scratch golfer!”

Robin Bagwell, David Feherty and Norm Bagwell*

The golf theme—Irish-born Feherty, after all, is a former pro on both the European and PGA tours—was prominent during the breakfast, a big fundraiser for CARE Dallas and its work to educate the community about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. The table centerpieces, for example, were clever decorations consisting of green felt, two golf balls, and a spray of red tees.

Following the “serenity” prayer delivered by the Rev. Paul Rasmussen, CARE’s new executive director, Susan Morgan, explained that CARE Dallas is a “safe and confidential place for families to learn about resources that are available to fight addiction.” In 2017, she added, the nonprofit plans to start up several new support groups.

Scott and Jan Osborn*

Then Robin, who’s been involved with CARE for 16 years, presented the group’s Margaret Sharpe Community Service Award to her pal Jan Osborn, an eight-year veteran of the group and the board chair for three years. Said Robin: “My greatest accomplishment was bringing Jan Osborn on to the board.” When Jan proceeded to deliver the world’s shortest acceptance speech—basically just saying thanks—Terry Bentley Hill took the stage and quipped, “If this was the Academy Awards, the orchestra hadn’t even pulled up the violins yet.” With that she introduced the keynoter, Feherty, calling him a “combination of Oprah and Johnny Carson.”

Terry Bentley Hill*

It was an apt description, if a little too G-rated.

At the lectern, Feherty set the tone right off the bat: “The first thing I thought this morning when I woke up was, ‘Hey, shit. I need a drink!’” After some jokes about the weak urinary stream of a 58-year-old man—that’s him—he quickly turned serious. “There’s no such thing as ‘recovery,’” he said. “Any addict knows that. I don’t need to be sober the rest of my life. I just need to be sober today.”

But then, soon enough, he was back to cracking wise: “The doctor asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about getting help?’ And I said, ‘No, I can drink it all by myself!’ ”

With that Feherty took off on the “dark sense of humor” found in his native Northern Ireland: “I don’t know if my father was an alcoholic, but he made a solid attempt at being one.” He introduced his 86-year-old mother, Vi Feherty—she was sitting in the audience—and said she’s been married for 63 years to Feherty’s 91-year-old father, Bill Feherty, who’s suffering now** from Alzheimer’s. The disease has its upside, Feherty said, explaining that Billy “broke out of his assisted living home, but couldn’t remember why he broke out. So he broke back in.” When Billy would come home late years ago after drinking at the club, Feherty recalled, his dad would ask Vi, “Is my dinner still warm?” And she would reply, “Yes. It’s in the dog.”

David Feherty*

Then came a series of random—and hilarious—stories and quips:

  • “A cop says to a drunk, ‘Sir, can you step out of the car?’ ‘No, I’m too drunk. You get in.’ ”
  • “The only reason I’m here today is because [Jan] Osborn has pictures of me with a goat.”
  • “I love Texas. It’s like America—except better.”

Concluding his entertaining talk, Feherty waxed serious again about his struggles with addiction. After his “career and marriage ended on the same day,” he recalled, he began taking 20 to 30 pills, plus two bottles of whiskey, daily. … “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great drunks and with some bad drunks,” Feherty said. “I was a spectacular drunk!

“I was sober the best part of 10 years, until 10 months ago,” he went on. “Like most alcoholics, I can’t believe it came back to bite me. I ended up in the Mayo Clinic rehab center in Rochester [Minnesota]. There are more friggin’ bars in that town! It was probably the worst 11 days of my life.” Turns out, Feherty had been suffering from a neurological disease in which “the frontal lobe of the brain doesn’t work properly,” he said. “It’s called the Comic’s Disease—Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters had it. … But, I’ve been sober for a few months now—again.” (At that, the crowd applauded enthusiastically.)

He ended on a poignant note: “I can drink it all by myself,” Feherty said. “But I can’t be sober without your help.”

Many in the crowd, it seemed, could relate.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee 
** Editor's note: Billy Feherty died two weeks later on Thanksgiving morning

Smokey John Reaves Delivers A Powerful Message At Reconciliation Outreach’s Legacy Of Hope Luncheon

For a second day in a row, one of the Park Cities main arteries was blocked on the verge of creating a traffic heart attack. While the itty, bitty Callier Cares Former Chairs Luncheon had had guests parking on the curb due to the golf tournament, that was nothing.

On Thursday, October 13, a flood of Reconciliation Outreach guests created a mind-blowing back-up on Mockingbird. Whether it was turning right or left onto the club property, it had vehicles backed up.

Some guests just gave up the challenge of making it to the porte-cochere’s valet and just found one of the limited parking spots and huffed it to the club house. Here’s a report from the field:

The Annual Legacy of Hope Luncheon benefiting Reconciliation Outreach was held on Thursday, October 13, at the Dallas Country Club to a sold out audience. Jan Pickens and Alison Farrow were Honorary Chairs with Nena Boyd and Faith Stazzoni serving as Luncheon Chairs.  The luncheon raised $135,400.

Nena Boyd and Faith Stazzoni

Nena Boyd and Faith Stazzoni

Guest Speaker Smokey John Reaves challenged each guest to “be available to do what needs to be done in your community.” To the amazement of the guests at the end of his presentation he asked those in the audience who would make a commitment to stand and publicly pledge to bring honor in their lives by agreeing to be “available to God and to your neighbor.” Everyone stood!

“I have heard many luncheon speakers and Smokey delivered one of the most authentic messages I have heard,” said Lisa Troutt as she left the DCC.

Dorothy Moore presented the Servant’s Heart Award to Eloise and Tom Chapman and the Junior Servant’s Heart Award to Keaton Kinard for their commitment of time and volunteer work at Reconciliation Outreach (RO).

Lifetime Achievement Awardee Nancy Beth Robert recalled, “Almost 30 years ago, Dorothy and I walked the drug infested neighborhood now the campus of Reconciliation Outreach and visualized how it could serve East Dallas and transform lives with your support true hope and change are occurring daily in our neighborhood.”

Founded by Dorothy Moore in 1986, RO stands as a beacon of hope to people in Dallas, providing residential and non-residential programs for people who have life-controlling problems such as abuse, homelessness, and addiction. RO also serves the children of East Dallas through its After School Program and Reconciliation Academy. RO’s mission is to establish and maintain a strong Christian community within the inner city, and to provide a safe and loving environment for healing lives and restoring families and individuals to a productive lifestyle. Funds raised from this event will support both RO’s youth and adult programs.

Offering leadership direction for the Legacy of Hope Luncheon were Luncheon Advisor Katherine Coker and the Advisory Committee consisting of Marilyn Augur, Nell Bush, Amy Simmons Crafton, Leah Fullinwider, Margaret Hancock, Sarah Perot, Carol Seay and Lisa Troutt.

Major donations were given by the following:

  • Legacy Platinum ($20,000) — Amazing Grace.Life
  • Legacy Gold ($15,000) — Faith and Ray Stazzoni
  • Legacy Silver ($10,000) — Marilyn Augur Foundation, Highland Park Presbyterian Church and Morning Star Family Foundation
  • Promise ($5,000) — Anne Compton, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Empower Dreams Inc. and Alison Farrow and Jan Pickens
  • Hope ($3,000) — Martha Lou and Dan Beaird, Nena and Ken Boyd, Eloise and Tom Chapman, Dorothy and Bob Moore and New Covenant Foundation
  • Outreach ($1,500) — Brad Gresham, Michael Held and Stacey McCord
  • Partners ($1,000) — Barbara Croft, Maureen Lupton and Judy and Keith Martin

Author/Sportscaster David Feherty Steps In For Susan Hawk As Keynote Speaker At 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast In November

David Feherty*

David Feherty*

Anyone who has experienced a David Feherty talk knows the former professional golfer/NBC sportscaster/author is a master at storytelling. With a twinkle in his eye and the charm a leprechaun would envy, the bearded Irishman regales folks about people and issues. Whether it’s questioning the return of Tiger Woods to greatness or admitting to his own demons, he doesn’t hold back, but he does it with humor.

In discussing his own struggle with depression and drug/alcohol abuse, he told Golf Digest , “a typical day was 30-40 Vicodin and two and a half bottles of whiskey…real whiskey. Whiskey with an ‘e.’ There was cocaine, there was dope. When I think about it now I’m like, ‘Why am I alive?’”

It’s that self-revelation, plus tales of his shenanigans after winning the Scottish Open in 1986 and the all-too-well-known people who helped him in his recovery, that David will provide at the 32nd Annual CARE Breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, at Belo Mansion.

BTW, David is stepping in for Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk, “who was originally scheduled for the event.” Due to Susan’s seeking help in fighting her own issues with depression, she had to bow out.

* Photo provided by CARE

Susan Morgan Named CARE Executive Director

Jan Osborn’s tenure as CARE interim executive director was brief. 2016 CARE Board Chair Paula White Hayes just sent word that Susan Morgan will take over as CARE’s executive director on Thursday, March 1.

According to Paula, “Susan brings more than two decades of nonprofit leadership and management to CARE, with most of her experience being in the drug/alcohol prevention and intervention arena. Her wealth of knowledge in program design, grant writing and partnership coalition will be invaluable to CARE. During her tenure with the East Texas Council of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Susan grew the agency from $640,000 to $2.1 million and increased its outreach to over 23 counties. She is recognized state wide for her advocacy on behalf of the addiction and recovery community. Her passion for helping families and children affected by addiction is evident the minute you meet her.”

A graduate of Baylor University, she earned her master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University.

With Pam Murray’s Departure, Jan Osborn To Serve As Interim Executive Director For CARE

For nearly four years Pam Murray has been executive director for CARE with great success. On the heels of the CARE Breakfast at Frontiers of Flight Museum with Charles Haley last fall, she had undertaken the “first ever Youth Rally featuring Chris Herren” in April. But just before Christmas Pam told the CARE board that she had accepted a job offer from EnterHealth.

Sure the board was disappointed to lose her, but it was a great opportunity for Pam and she had helped CARE grow under her direction.

Pam Murray (File photo)

Pam Murray (File photo)

Jan Osborn (File photo)

Jan Osborn (File photo)

But what to do about a new executive director? The board decided to undertake a search to find just the right person. In the meantime, former Board Chair Jan Osborn will serve as interim executive director.

According to 2016 CARE Board Chair Paula Hayes, “CARE has experienced unparalleled growth in our programs and outreach over the past few years. At last count, CARE has served well over 60,000 families. Pam Murray has helped us achieve all of these goals and we are indebted to her for all of her dedication and hard work. We are supportive of Pam as she moves to her new job. At the same time, we are very excited that Jan Osborn will be leading our organization forward as we expand our footprint in the community, bringing education and hope to families struggling with addiction.”

MySweetWishList: Homeward Bound

According to Homeward Bound Executive Director Douglas Denton,

Doug Denton*

Doug Denton*

“We tackle the roots of so many social problems at Homeward Bound that it’s hard to know where to start. We are a mental health, drug and alcohol treatment center that primarily serves people in poverty. Our wish would be to multiply our impact on the community. We could do that with your help.

“For example, homelessness. Some 45 percent of the people we treat are homeless. They often arrive at our door with no shoes and just the clothing on their backs. We also address the problems of broken families and mental illness, which are often linked to substance use. In each case, the men and women we treat are highly motivated to stop using alcohol and drugs. We believe that they deserve the same chance to change their lives that others have. We believe that their courage to change themselves will change the community we all live in, as well.

“We can put a monetary value on what we provide. One day of care for a person in psychiatric crisis is $300. One day of medically supervised detoxification is $180. One day of intensive residential treatment for a pregnant woman is $170. One day of residential substance abuse treatment is $90; for those who are HIV-positive, the cost is $116.

Homeward Bound*

Homeward Bound*

“These rates are a fraction of the daily charges for treatment in hospitals or private treatment centers. A national study found that treatment for drug use disorder at a community-based hospital averages $900 daily. For alcohol use disorder, $1,100 each day.

“A donation to Homeward Bound goes a long way to improve North Texas communities. We hope you’ll consider helping us realize our wish this Christmas season. We see it as a gift for you, too.”

– Douglas Denton, Homeward Bound executive director

* Graphic and photo provided by Homeward Bound

MySweetWishList: CARE

According to CARE Executive Director Pam Murray,

Pam Murray*

Pam Murray*

“CARE has been educating children and parents on the dangers of drug and alcohol use for over 30 years. The average age a child becomes addicted is now around 12. It is important to educate kids before they become closed off to the true information about substance abuse. Evidence shows that teaching kids the truth, while helping them learn to make better decisions and feel better about themselves will have a much stronger impact when a child is faced with the inevitable decision of whether to try an illicit substance.

CARE*

CARE*

“In 2013 we took our CARE programs to Collin County and began working with school districts to continue early education and intervention programs. On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, CARE will hold its first ever Youth Rally featuring Chris Herren, former NBA star and sober since August 1, 2008. Chris will share his story of abuse and recovery with hundreds of youth from Collin and Dallas County in hopes of reaching at least one person and making a difference in their lives. Our venue holds 3000 youth and adults and our goal is to fill that to capacity. With the cooperation of school districts, kids from around the city will arrive on buses for the rally to participate in entertainment, giveaways, enjoy vendors and to hear from Chris Herren.

“CARE’s SweetWish for this year is to acquire sponsors who wish to make this event happen. Sponsorships start at $500 and can be in-kind donations that would appeal to a high school audience. Partner with CARE in 2016 to work to end adolescent addiction in our community.”

-Pam Murray, CARE executive director

* Graphic and photo provided 
by CARE

Charles Haley Tackles Addiction And Recovery At CARE Breakfast

If you want to know what it’s like grappling with drug addiction and mental illness, you really should hear it first-hand from someone who’s been through it—like NFL Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy Charles Haley, for example. Haley, a notoriously aggressive player who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder only after he retired from the NFL, talked about his struggles during a lively onstage conversation with Scott Murray on Monday, October 5, at the 31st annual CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education) Breakfast.

CARE Breakfast*

CARE Breakfast*

During his football days, “They called me Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I was either bouncing off the walls or talking to everybody,” Haley told the early-morning crowd of more than 500 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. “I didn’t play well with others. I never fit in with nobody. I was always in attack mode. Emmitt [Smith] said, ‘You don’t let anybody be your friend.’”

After struggling unsuccessfully to deal with his daughter’s leukemia—and abandoning his wife, to boot—Haley said he “started doing cocaine and drinking a lot.” Eventually, though, he decided to enter a treatment center for alcohol, drugs, and bipolar disorder and started seeing a psychiatrist. “When the pain gets overwhelming—that’s when change happens,” Haley said.

Then he turned to the topic of teenage drug use. “Most kids do drugs because they want to fit in,” Haley said. “They feel lost and abandoned. They have hopelessness. [But to get well], they have to set goals for themselves.”

One big factor in his own recovery, Haley said, was his Christian religion. “The reason why I didn’t kill myself was because of my faith,” he said. “God put me in the Hall of Fame when I was ready.” (That happened just this year, in August.)

Emmitt and Pat Smith, Charles Haley and Natalie and Mike McGuire*

Emmitt and Pat Smith, Charles Haley and Natalie and Mike McGuire*

The only player with five Super Bowl rings (three with the Cowboys, two with the San Francisco 49ers) to his credit, the ex-linebacker and defensive end attracted a rapt crowd at Frontiers of Flight including Pat and Emmitt Smith, Michael Hinojosa, Lee Ann White, and Natalie and Mike McGuire, who served as honorary chairs.

During preliminary remarks, CARE Executive Director Pam Murray announced Becky McCamey as this year’s recipient of the group’s Margaret Sharpe Community Service Award. Murray also announced that the event had raised $215,000, just shy of its $235,000 goal.

* Photo provided by CARE

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Homeward Bound Inc.

“Odds are that you have a family member or know someone who drinks too much, takes too many pain pills or has crossed the line to street drugs.

“As many as two-thirds of American families are affected by alcohol or drug addiction, according to a 2004 report. Once that addiction is treated, all kinds of good things happen: Debts get paid off. People get jobs. They stay out of emergency rooms and the criminal justice system. They spend more time with their families. The benefits, compiled in 2014 by the nonprofit Faces & Voices of Recovery, go on and on.

Homeward Bound*

Homeward Bound*

“We could talk about numbers ($343 billion in this nation every year) – or we could talk about human costs. Either way, the price is almost unbearable. We see the pain and stigma of addiction every day as people line up for treatment at our front door. Thankfully, we are also surrounded by people who have taken advantage of second chances. They are working hard, making good choices, keeping us proud. They remind us daily of the importance of what we do.

Photos of people in recovery*

Photos of people in recovery*

“We are Homeward Bound, a nonprofit that treats people recovering from mental illness and substance abuse. Our 152 beds in Dallas make us the largest center in North Texas serving those who cannot pay for treatment, probably don’t have insurance and may be homeless. We are one of the largest companies of this kind in Texas.

“We make mental health and sobriety possible for 5,000 people every year. We do it with grants and donations. With your help, we can do more for more people. We participated in North Texas Giving Day last year, and this year on September 17 we hope to equal or exceed the thousands we received from the generous people who understand how vital our services are to individuals and to the community. Bookmark our giving page and give 6 a.m. to midnight that day to extend your donation with bonus funds and prizes.”

-By Douglas Denton, Homeward Bound Inc. executive director

* Photos courtesy of Homeward Bound

MySweetCharity Opportunity: CARE Breakfast

According to the CARE Annual Breakfast Honorary Co-Chairs Natalie and Mike McGuire,

Mike and Natalie McGuire (File photo)

Mike and Natalie McGuire (File photo)

“The annual CARE Breakfast is crucial to supporting the mission of CARE and its programs that serve those within our community suffering from drug and alcohol dependencies.

“We are thrilled to have former Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers defensive end and linebacker, Charles Lewis Haley, as the featured speaker at the breakfast. During the breakfast, Scott Murray will interview Haley, who has battled bipolar disorder and drug abuse. Today, Haley is now in recovery and has started a fund, ‘Tackle Tomorrow,’ to educate children who struggle with reading and writing during non-school hours.

“CARE (Chemical Awareness, Resources & Education) was established in 1984 as a response to the increasing problems related to drugs and alcohol. CARE is a valuable community organization that funds education classes for families struggling with substance abuse and provides speakers for students, parents and educators throughout the greater Dallas area. Guests are invited to enjoy breakfast while supporting CARE and the crucial assistance they provide for individuals and families who struggle with the challenging repercussions of substance abuse.

“CARE Executive Director Pam Murray adds: ‘We are honored to have Charles share his powerful story and bring awareness to the work CARE is doing in Dallas and Collin County to help those struggling with addiction. His story and passion for helping children is truly inspirational.’

“The breakfast will be held Monday, October 5, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Individual tickets for the breakfast are $150 each and sponsorship opportunities begin at $600. For tickets or sponsor information, please contact the CARE office at 214.526.8986 or email [email protected]. Space is limited and reservations are required.

“We hope you will grab your sports-loving family and friends, and join us for this special morning!”

JUST IN: NorthPark Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary Today With The Announcement Of NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Just before noon today, NorthPark Center‘s Nancy Nasher addressed more than 225 people representing 50 nonprofits, friends and media from a stage set up in NorthPark’s NorthCourt. She told how at that moment 50 years ago, she and her sisters were part of the festivities when her parents, the late Patsy and Ray Nasher, officially opened NorthPark.

Nancy recalled how she wore a dress that her mother had designed for her.

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

With husband/business partner David Haemisegger sitting on the front row smiling, Nancy announced that in celebration of NP’s 50th anniversary, they had created NorthPark50: Fifty Years of Giving.

Fifty Years of Giving*

Fifty Years of Giving*

The 50-day program will allow “specific gifts to be announced in the days and weeks ahead in order to shine light on their individual missions and inspire others to embrace a spirit of philanthropy. The announcement of the gifts will be made through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NorthPark50.”

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

The lucky 50 nonprofits are AT&T Performing Arts Center, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Bookmarks – A Dallas Public Library, Business Council for the Arts, Cancer Blows, CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education), Catch Up & Read, Children’s Cranifocial Association, Children’s Health, Community Homes for Adults Inc. (CHAI), Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas CASA, Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater enter, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, The Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Heroes on the Water, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, Junior League of Dallas, KERA, Nasher Sculpture Center, North Texas Food Bank, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Sam’s Day), Parkinson Voice Project, Preservation Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Share Housing Center Inc, SPCA of Texas, Susan G. Komen Dallas County, TACA, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Two x Two for AIDs and Art, University of North Texas – Texas Fashion Collection, Uplift Education and Vogel Alcove.

Once again, the NorthPark family has found a new way to give back to the community’s nonprofits. Happy anniversary, NorthPark.

PS — You might to also send a happy birthday wish to Nancy Thursday.

* Graphic provided by NorthPark

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Homeward Bound Inc.

UPDATE: Due to damage from spring rains, Irving will not be able to have our site ready in four weeks! Mountain Creek Park is north of I-30 on MacArthur to Hunter Ferrell Road east or Loop 12 west on Shady Grove to Nursery south which runs into Hunter Ferrell, or continue on Shady Grove to MacArthur south to Hunter Ferrell then east.

According to Homeward Bound Inc. Community Communication Director Betsy Simnacher,

“The Run for Recovery 5K/10K benefits the nonprofit Homeward Bound. Homeward Bound’s mission is to save families and change lives by treating people with mental illness, and drug and alcohol addiction.

“The Saturday, September 12th run in Irving is being presented by 2nd Chance Ministries of Farmers Branch. The sponsor is Idabel Chiropractic Clinic, and the run website is www.runforrecovery.com. The site is Richardson Park on Campion Trails in Irving.

“Very few of Homeward Bound’s clients can pay for treatment, so the 501(c)(3) nonprofit relies on grants and donations to fund treatment for about 5,000 clients each year. Homeward Bound’s 152-bed Dallas facility is the largest of its kind in North Texas and one of the largest in Texas.

“Clients will be running but will not be able to pay the registration fee, so 2nd Chance Ministries is providing an option on the run website for people to sponsor runners. All donations will go directly to Homeward Bound’s mission to help people achieve recovery. The run is just one of the healthy alternatives Homeward Bound offers to its clients, who are motivated to overcome mental illness and addiction.

“Most will be successful. Typically, clients stay from four to 30 days. Eighty percent will finish treatment. We know that program completion usually indicates a long-term positive result. More than 75 percent checked at a three-month follow-up are still clean and sober.

“We know that people who come to us sincerely want to stop cycling through the emergency room and end the downward spiral of homelessness and poverty. They tell us so in messages that arrive through our website. A typical message reads: ‘I’m so so tired but at the same time so so scared. I’ve tried getting sober before only to get everybody’s hopes up, and I let them down. Very, very tired of hurting people around me, including myself.’

“We also hear from them on the other side, when they complete treatment. ‘This place saved my life. Without the staff, I would probably be dead. I love them all dearly,’ was a recent comment on our Facebook page.

“We hope you will join us in our mission by sponsoring one of our runners, running yourself, or donating through the Run for Recovery website (click on ‘Register Now’ for all these options) or our own website, www.homewardboundinc.org. Thank you.”

Third Annual Red On The Runway Will Make A Splash With Men’s Summer Fashions At Sisu

Fashion shows are not limited to non-fat-bearing females in couture designs. Need proof? How about a runway around a pool featuring “the hottest looks in men’s summer fashions”? That’s exactly what Dallas Red Foundation and Clay Cooley Auto Group will present at the 3rd Annual Red On The Runway on Saturday, July 25, from 9:30 p.m. until midnight.

Benefiting the Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, the fashions (i.e. swimwear, pool wear, underwear, casual clothing and even a collection of semi-formal wear) will be provided by Lux, Edo Popken, ES Collection, Fallen Pearls and Thriii.

And what pool would be the perfect setting for such an event? Why Sisu in Uptown, of course! It’s just across from Capital Grille and is a fav of the well-tanned crowd.

According to Dallas Red Foundation Board President Justin Williams, “We are turning it up this year with our Red On The Runway event by partnering with well-known fashion brands you like to wear and a venue in the heart of Uptown. It’s time to up the ante for fashion events in Dallas and what better way to do that by raising money for Legacy and the work they do in our community.”

It’s that time of year when folks are yearning for something different, and this is just made for it. Have dinner at an Uptown restaurant and then stroll over to Sisu for the partying with music by DJ Jose G and complimentary cocktails provided by Equality Vodka. But don’t forget to make your reservations now.

Salvation Army DFW’s Doing Most Good Luncheon In Fort Worth Featured Golf Pro Lee Trevino And Texas Country Singer Pat Green

Sometimes folks on this side of Six Flags Over Texas don’t realize that the Salvation Army DFW provides support for Fort Worth as well. In addition to providing much-needed services, it also rallies financial support by holding events. On Tuesday, April 28, one such event took place with a PGA champ and a “green” American Texas Country artist. Here’s a report from the field:

Betsy Price and Lee Trevino*

Betsy Price and Lee Trevino*

Six-time PGA Champion Lee Trevino has proven he is still the most entertaining personality in the world of professional golf. Trevino spoke at the Salvation Army’s 2015 Doing The Most Good Luncheon held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. He aced the keynote speech with funny stories from his life and years on the PGA tour.

The event included a video of former professional football player John Corker, who told the story of how he lost his career to drugs but found his life again thanks to the Salvation Army’s Drug & Addiction Program. Corker is now a Salvation Army Fort Worth advisory council member.

Pat Green and Nancy Woodson*

Pat Green and Nancy Woodson*

Corker’s video included a golf challenge to Trevino who happily accepted it.  Trevino called Corker to the stage at the end of his keynote speech and presented the 6’6” former linebacker with a new club. Then, Trevino jokingly told Corker it wasn’t right for him and that they’d have to take it back to wherever they got it.

Country music hit maker, Pat Green, who has released a string of top 10 hits and sold more than two million albums, sang America the Beautiful and led the entire room in a second verse sung a cappella.

Lee Trevino and Bobby Patton*

Lee Trevino and Bobby Patton*

Bobby Patton, honorary co-chair of the event, is part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a driving force behind this year’s Crowne Plaza Invitation at the Colonial. Patton introduced Trevino as “a poor kid who taught himself how to play a rich man’s game and became a champion.” Patton also drew a chuckle when he told the crowd, “Though he (Trevino) does not believe in luck on the golf course, he has been struck by lightning. But says he’s learned to let God play through.”

Brian Estridge, WBAP morning news anchor and voice of the TCU Horned Frogs, emceed the event.

* Photos provided by the Salvation Army

A Night At The Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge Brought Out A Flock Of Songbirds And Wannabes

Don’t you just hate things that fall through the cracks. Especially when they’re really truly special like diamonds and credit cards. Well, this event did just that in the MySweetCharity roster. Sorry for this late field report on April 17th “A Night At The Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge.” Here goes:

A Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge*

A Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge*

The evening began with cocktails and everyone perusing the Big Board silent which included:

  • Four VIP tickets and backstage passes to the upcoming Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on June 12th at Verizon Theater;
  • a two night stay in a deluxe guest room at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel,
  • a $2500 gift certificate to Diamond Doctor,
  • four-night stay at newly renovated cabin in New Mexico and
  • fun spring handbags from Belk.

The Emerald City Rockstar Karaoke Band got the vibe going with Top 40 hits as partygoers enjoyed Edison’s delicious food stations which included: Gourmet Mac and Cheese station; Appetizer station featuring crab cakes w/ aoli sauce, cream cheese and sausage stuffed mushroom caps, chicken wrapped in bacon bites, and grilled shrimp on a skewer and Mini-sandwich station with grilled ham & cheese, tender beef brisket on toasted bun w/ BBQ sauce, tuna salad on toast points, chicken salad on slider bun, and smoked chicken breast on mini buns; and Quesadilla station.  

Steve Kemble, Ashlee and Trey Weidner*

Steve Kemble, Ashlee and Trey Weidner*

Master of Ceremonies Steve Kemble welcomed 140 guests and thanked everyone for their support of Turtle Creek Recovery Center. He then kicked off the karaoke by announcing Whole Food gift cards would awarded at the end of the evening for “Best Solo,” “Best Entertainer” (which as he said “think Brittney Spears – not the best singer or the best dancer but always entertaining”) and “Most Memorable.”

Laura Bhatti*

Laura Bhatti*

Amy Turner and Alison Pearl*

Amy Turner and Alison Pearl*

There was some talent in the audience with Gretchen Rose (who was awarded “Best Entertainer” singing two songs, “Forget You” and “September” and husband Hal taking his turn with “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”… LeeAnne Locken took the stage twice with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Shake it Off”… Karen Lukin showed off an awesome voice with “Proud Mary”…The Cattle Baron’s Ball gals sang “Poker Face”… Co-chair Ashlee Weidner sang “All About That Bass”… “Best Solo” winner Laura Bhatti sang two tunes as well – “I Will Survive” and “Me and Bobby McGee”… Honorary Chair/sponsor Amy Turner closed out the night with “Uptown Funk” with everyone dancing and singing… “Most Memorable” was giving to Darryl Freling for singing “Happy Birthday” to girlfriend Emily Eisenhauer.

Danya Anderson and Emily Eisenhauer*

Danya Anderson and Emily Eisenhauer*

Sean Gleason and Kim Lewis-Gleason*

Sean Gleason and Kim Lewis-Gleason*

Watching and dancing were Turtle Creek Recover Center Executive Director John Castaneda with Chrysta Castaneda, Co-Chair Trey Weidner, Alison Pearl, Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi and Alex Laurenzi, Rachel and John Michell, Maggie Cooke Kipp, Carol and Matt Holmes, Dawn Greiner, Nita Hudson, Nancy Gopez, Danya Anderson, Greg Nieberding and LaVerne Nieberding, Jill Tananbaum, Cindy StagerBrynn and Taylor Allday, Katherine and Jason Groen, Paige Westhoff, Lisa Bhattacharya, Terra Najork, Kim Lewis-Gleason and Sean Gleason, Leigh Bailey and Vincent Carrizales, Jay Hull and Katy and Lawrence Bock.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

 

“House Of Cards’ ” Robin Wright To Speak At Phoenix House’s Triumph For Teens Luncheon

Let’s make this short and sweet because you’re gonna want to get your reservations in ASAP.

Robin Wright*

Robin Wright*

If you’re a fan of “House of Cards,” then you definitely know Robin Wright. If you remember Forrest’s love in “Forrest Gump,” then you saw Forrest love of Jenny (Robin). If you recall “the 1987 “The Princess Bride,” then you remember Robin with long flowing hair.

But did you know that she was born in Dallas? Did you know her mom was a Mary Kay national director? Did you know she’s going to be the keynote speaker at the Phoenix House’s Triumph for Teens Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Thursday, May 7?

It’s a natural fit. Robin is the honorary spokesperson for the Gordie Foundation, which was established by Leslie and Michael Lanahan following the death of their son, Gordie Bailey, resulting from a hazing incident involving alcohol.

The luncheon that is being chaired by The Honorable John Creuzot will honor the Lanahans “for their courageous and monumental efforts in raising awareness and establishing a nationwide campaign to fight substance abuse.”

* Photo provided by the Phoenix House

Kickoff Party Trumpets The Third Annual Karaoke Lounge Fundraiser For Turtle Creek Recovery Center

Roz and Robert Colombo generously turned over their Sfuzzi restaurant on Cedar Springs on Thursday, March 19, for a kick-off party touting the Turtle Creek Recovery Center’s upcoming Karaoke Lounge fundraiser. The get-together for members of the TCRC board and event-host committee attracted about 50 guests, including the likes of Nancy Gopez, Danya Anderson, Lisa Battachary, Lauralee and Robert Gunby, and Karen Lukin.

John Castaneda*

John Castaneda*

Ashlee and Trey Weidner*

Ashlee and Trey Weidner*

Karen, it turns out, had just committed to a $3,000 Whole Foods sponsorship for third annual Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge, which will be held April 17 at Edison’s after a few years’ hiatus. As TCRC executive director John Casteneda told the Sfuzzi’s crowd, the always-fun event is critical to helping the nonprofit provide care for its mostly-homeless clients who are battling addiction and mental illness.

Castaneda then introduced Karaoke Lounge co-chairs Ashlee and Trey Weidner. The Weidners explained that Amy Turner would serve as the event’s honorary chair, that Steve Kemble would be returning as emcee, and that the crooners that evening would be performing karaoke-style with Emerald City’s Rock Star Karaoke band. (They’ll even make drums and a guitar available for those who want to “jam” with the band.) Tickets are $175 per person, and as many as 350 are expected to show up.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

A Night At The Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge Returns To Edison’s With Emerald City Band

After a couple of years of resting their throats, the lovers of A Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge are back to the mics.

Benefiting Turtle Creek Recovery Center, the Friday, April 17th event showcases the area’s finest and worst voices. The funny thing is even the most monotone singers get applause for just having the courage to step up on stage. Equally interesting is to discover there are some very good closet singers who are outed.

Amy Turner (File photo)

Amy Turner (File photo)

But Co-Chairs Ashlee and Trey Weidner and Honorary Co-Chair Amy Turner have ramped up the plans for the night. Instead of having a glorified boombox blaring, they’ve arrange for the Emerald City Band to play. That guarantees that it’s going be a night of dancing, as well as listening.

Not everything is new, though. The Weidners and Amy are bringing back Steve Kemble as master of ceremonies and the party will once again be at Edison’s.

So, even if you know you will no way get near the stage and microphone, you are guaranteed to have a great time on the dance floor, eating a buffet dinner by Eddie Deen’s and cellphone-snapping your buddies as they sing their hearts out.

Americana Fav John Hiatt Drew A Boots And Bling Crowd At Courtyard Theater For Caron Texas Fundraiser

Rhonda Sargent Chambers was leading the fashion crowd (Ekaterina Kouznetsoval, Danielle Ellis, Milind Kothare, Mindy Boykin and Keyla Garrido) in raising funds and awareness at Little Black Dress at Ilume on Thursday, January 15, benefiting Legal Hospice of Texas.

Others headed way north to the Courtyard Theater in Plano for the John Hiatt concert benefiting Caron Texas.

Joe Lauginiger, Amara Durham and Michael Fowler

Joe Lauginiger, Amara Durham and Michael Fowler

As John grabbed a bite to eat in his dressing room, the VIP types like Mike Puls, Dr. Stephen Garrison, Kathy and Mike Early, Barb Reynolds, Brent Bevelhymer, Yvette Reher and Joe Lauginiger Amara Durham, and Michael Fowler just back from the holidays in Colorado partied up front and checked out the silent auction items. Here’s a report from the field:

Mike Puls and Brent Bevelhymer

Mike Puls and Brent Bevelhymer

Barb Reynolds and Yvette Rehr

Barb Reynolds and Yvette Rehr

Stephen Garrison, Shelley Early and Mike and Kathy Early

Stephen Garrison, Shelley Early and Mike and Kathy Early

“Boots and Hats and Guitars – Oh My! It was an exciting evening of fun and music last week as fans of Grammy nominee and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner John Hiatt gathered at the Courtyard Theater in Plano for a special concert benefiting patient care at Caron Texas. Caron Texas is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment center for young adult men ages 18 to 25 and adults located just north of Dallas.

“Many friends of Caron braved Dallas rush-hour gridlock including Board Member Robin Bagwell, Board Member J.J. Gomez and his lovely wife Ashley, and Nate Hutcheson.  Advisory Board member Andrew Clyde traveled in all the way from Tyler for the concert. Now that’s commitment!

Kathy Bourk walked away with a song in her heart and a select group of silent auction items, including a one-of-a-kind acoustic guitar signed by John Hiatt and a private house party by Fort Worth singer/songwriter (and opening act) Brad Hines.  And what’s an event without emcee “Big Gus” from KHYI, media sponsor of the event.

“Thanks to the City of Plano and the staff at Plano Stages for their work. We are grateful to board members Jim Hutcheson and Fred Ball, and advisory board member Liz Pasquinelli for their support.  Special thanks to PlainsCapital Bank for their generous underwriting of the concert and their continued commitment to saving lives.”

Round Robin November 5: Too Many To Mention But Dang It If NorthPark Isn’t Part Of All Of ‘Em

According to six degrees of separation, everyone/everything is just six or fewer steps away from another person in the world. On Wednesday, November 5, NorthPark was less than two steps away from all the fundraising activities in the area.

Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party

Billie Leigh Rippey*

Billie Leigh Rippey*

The Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign Kick-Off Party was taking place at CH Carolina Herrera at NorthPark. According to plans, “The annual appeal kick-off event, chaired by Faye Briggs, will be hosted at CH Carolina Herrera in NorthPark Center. Guests of the chic occasion including society fixtures, fashion savvy personalities, media and Nexus patrons and leaders— will savor champagne, wine and heavy hors d’ oeuvres. In addition, partygoers will have the chance to win a donated CH Carolina Herrera tote. Mid event Nexus Executive Director, Becca Crowell, will express her gratitude to Faye Briggs and CH Carolina Herrera for their support. She will also highlight the annual appeal campaign which begins on November 7th with a mail drop of 9,000 appeal letters to supporters, associates, friends and family of Nexus and of Faye Briggs. Furthermore Carolina Herrera CH will announce that 15% of purchases made at the event will be donated to Nexus Recovery Center as well as any purchases made through November 9th, 2014 with a mention of Nexus Recovery Center.”

Everything went according to plan except Faye wasn’t there. A Nexus representative reported, Faye “had two events booked and wasn’t able to be in two places at once unfortunately. She was trying as far as my understanding to make both.

“The event however, despite her absence was a success.”

So, where was Faye? Check the next item.

TACA’s Founders Circle Dinner

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

Alas, poor Faye Briggs was in a quandary. She had just recently been named the honorary chair for Nexus Annual Appeal Campaign and they were having their kick-off party at CH Carolina Hererra in NorthPark. But she was also slated to be at Barbara and Don Daseke’s place for a seated dinner honoring the TACA Founders Circle. (The Founders Circle included people who’ve made multi-year commitments of at least $5K per year.) Since cloning was not available, Faye could only attend one and it was the Daseke dinner catered by The Joule Hotel with Chef Jaco Smith orchestrating in the kitchen.

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Barbara Daseke and Nelda Cain Pickens

Sure, it may have been dark, rainy and chilly outside, but inside the Daseke’s teak mansion, it was glowing with TACA art lovers. Despite the fact it was less than 24 hours after the area elections, the world “politics” never was heard. For this crowd of 20+ (Linda and Steve Ivy, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Nelda Cain Pickens, Karol Omlor, Addison Mayor Pro Tem Blake Clemens, Caroline Kohl and Holly and Tom Mayer) had art on the brain.

Caroline Kohl

Caroline Kohl

Karol Omlor

Karol Omlor

Linda Ivy

Linda Ivy

As guests gathered in the two-story living room overlooking the wooded grounds, Diane Brierley welcomed the group and TACA President Becky Young reported how TACA had grown over the past 30 years. She added that the Founders Circle’s commitments represented $2.5M to TACA through 2018.

Then it was time for a little art talk. That’s when Dallas composer Margaret Barrett, who is one of the TACA grant recipients, took over. She told about the “Universal Language” performed by The Obscure Dignitaries and inspired by the DMA exhibit “Concentrations 57: Slav and Tartars” taking place on Saturday, November 22. Free to the public, it will be performed in the DMA Horchow Auditorium.

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

Diane Brierley and Tom and Holly Mayer

While Barbara, Becky and Diane were single wives for the night, others enjoyed a fabulous dinner of scallops, lamb chops and killer lemon tart. And the talk of the performing arts continued to be the table topic.

Fall Into Fashion

Over at Neiman Marcus, the United Way was literally “falling into fashion. Here’s a report:

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas hosted a sold-out crowd for its fabulous ‘Fall into Fashion’ runway show and fundraiser on the third level of Neiman Marcus NorthPark.  More than 300 guests (Robin Bray, Debra SoRelle, Allison Shelton, Emily Hatcher, Brenna Pontarelli, Meryl Olsen, Laura Downing, Donna Epps, Lori Mc Williams, Susan Hutcheson, Debbie Stewart, Jessica Lee, Scarlett Landry, Pamela Osborne, Kristy Faus, Jan Strimple, Lauren Hendershot, Caroline Vu, Deborah Arango, Debra von Storch, Donna Sweatman, Ashley Wathen, Stacy Gibson, Margie Elkins, Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Jamie Sowa and Katie Anderson) sipped on champagne and cranberry cocktails as they enjoyed watching models display the latest fall must-haves.

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Cecelia Hodges, Arden Ellis, Susan Hutcheson, Jamie Sowa, Katie Anderson and Debbie Stewart**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

Ginger Allen and Jan Strimple**

“United Way supporters, many of them Women of Tocqueville members, mixed and mingled, nibbling on heavy hors d’oeuvres and listening to beats, courtesy of DJ Blake Ward.  Attendees were entered into a drawing to win a Gucci handbag, and all left with swag bags featuring the best in fall beauty.

“CBS 11/KTVT senior reporter Ginger Allen graciously served as the evening’s emcee.  Guests were generous in bringing their gently used career clothes, accessories, and shoes to donate to United Way programs supporting victims of domestic violence.  For more information about United Way programs, please visit www.unitedwaydallas.org.”

Trains At NorthPark Sponsor Party

And while the Ronald McDonald House’s Trains at NorthPark Sponsor Party didn’t take place at the shopping center, it was certainly center of conversation. Here’s a report from the field:

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

Tia Wynne, Len Critcher and Jamie Singer***

“Before The Trains at NorthPark, Dallas’ favorite holiday miniature trains exhibit, rolls through Dallas for its 27th year, there’s plenty of fundraising, building in the new trains space, and thanking the sponsors for their incredible support. At the November 5th Trains sponsor party, hosted in the home of Len Critcher, there was plenty to celebrate, but apparently the House is nearing capacity.

“The House referenced isn’t Critcher’s that could be in the pages of Traditional Home, but the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, the organizer of The Trains at NorthPark—its largest fundraiser.

Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, welcomed about 100 supporters. ‘Thank you for your support. The House is at 93% capacity tonight, and The Trains raises nearly a third of our operating budget. Our Trains co-chairs, Jamie Singer and Tia Wynne, have done a tremendous job of fundraising, and we can’t wait to see all of you at the opening on November 22.’

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

Courtney Westerburg and Claire Raggio***

“Jamie Singer, who has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House since she was in high school, thanked Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg, last year’s Trains co-chairs who organized the sponsor party. ‘I’m also pleased to announce next year’s Trains co-chairs Jennifer Tobin and April Cook to fill our shoes.’

“Tia Wynne, who has taken her children to the attraction for seven years, added, ‘Thank you for Bank of Texas for helping make the Trains roll as our presenting sponsor for the sixth year.’

“Bank of Texas’ Bob White added, ‘What Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does is important work, and it’s a pleasure for us to be a part of this community.’

“Dr. Jeffrey Fearon and his wife, Regen Fearon, serve as this year’s Honorary Co-chairs. (Regen was just named the Junior League of Dallas’ Sustainer of the Year on November 6 at a luncheon where Laura Bush spoke.)

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

Bob White, Diane Fullingim, Regen and Jeffrey Fearon and Jill Cumnock***

“He told a personal story from his childhood about how his mother had taken his sister to Boston Children’s when she was very ill, and there wasn’t a Ronald McDonald House for his mother. She stayed in a hotel by herself and apart from the family. Fast forward years later, and he worked at the same hospital.

“Through his practice as a craniofacial surgeon, he sees plenty of patients, many of whom stay at the House. He finally decided as a family that he and Regen needed to take their twins and visit this place. ‘I was taken by the humanity of the people feeding families at the House.’ He was referring to the fact that volunteers serve families three homemade meals a day, the caring staff that supports the families, and the comfortable accommodations each family receives. ‘The amount of stress that the House reduces is enormous.’”

* Photo provided by Nexus Recovery Center 
** Photo provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas 
*** Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Despite Cowboys Loss To The Cardinals, CARE Breakfast Patrons Partied On Without A Care At Natalie And Mike McGuire’s Home

Despite the Cowboys loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, November 2, the 75 guests including Paula McLeod, Brenda and Bob White, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman and CARE Co-Founder Steve Schiff at the CARE Breakfast patron party were in a great mood. But how could it be otherwise at Natalie and Mike McGuire’s wonderful Park Cities home?

Scott and Jan Osborn, Steve Schiff and Natalie and Mike McGuire

Scott and Jan Osborn, Steve Schiff and Natalie and Mike McGuire

Natalie’s dad, Barry Andrews, who hasn’t missed a Cowboys game in 20 years, admitted that loss without quarterback Tony Romo “was a tough one.”

Barry and Lana Andrews

Barry and Lana Andrews

When CARE Board Chair Jan Osborn was asked if keynote speaker retired Celtic Chris Herren would be at the party on the eve of the breakfast, she explained that he was on his way….from New York. It seems that he had run in the New York Marathon earlier in the day and was flying in. Wasn’t that calling it close? After all the breakfast started bright and early at 8 a.m. at the Omni Hotel with 600 expected to attend. With total confidence, she said he would indeed make it. But again, what if? Then Jan smiled, “Then I’ll get up there and talk.”

Husband Scott smiled, knowing darn well that Jan would handle any situation that might arise.

Speaking of husbands, Honorary Co-Chair/Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw was looking a bit overwhelmed by all the guests. Luckily, Honorary Co-Chair/wife Ellen Kershaw eased his concerns during a brief time out in the hallway.

Bob and Brenda White and Ellen and Clayton Kershaw

Bob and Brenda White and Ellen and Clayton Kershaw

Then the golden Highland Park High School sweethearts posed for photos. When asked if they had been in Africa for their projects in Zambia, Ellen smiled and said that due to circumstances, they’d had to put the trip off to 2015. That circumstance is the upcoming January birth of their first child…a daughter.

How was Clayton handling the arrival of Baby Kershaw? Ellen glowed, “He’s thrilled.”

But before that took place, the Kershaws were carrying on with business as usual, including the Kershaw’s Challenge at the Rustic later in the week. It’s been a success in Los Angeles and this would be the first for their hometown.