VNA’s 5th Annual Power Of Pie Order Deadline Extended To Saturday

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

Once again VNA is coming to the rescue. With Thanksgiving dinner menus in countdown mode, they’re helping to solve the problem of dessert with their 5th Annual Power of Pie.

For a mere $25, hosts/hostesses can order a pecan or pumpkin pie cooked up by top-notch operations and chefs like Empire Baking Company, Oddfellows, The Ritz-Carlton, The Adolphus Hotel, Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar, Knife, Dessert Dreams, Ida Claire, Bisous Bisous Patisserie, La Duni, Norma’s Café, Fairmont Hotel, The Ranch Las Colinas, Pink Apron Pastry, Haute Sweets, Mansion on Turtle Creek, El Centro College, Brownwen Weber Frosted Art Bakery and Studio, Collin College Institute of Hospitality, Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Park Central, Wolfgang Puck, Crossroads Diner, Society Bakery and Central Market.

There’s also the lighter-than-air Zero Calorie Pie. According to Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow, a couple of folks, who bought “Zero Calorie Pies” last year, showed up expecting to get one. Wrong. The Zero Calorie Pie is simply a way to make a $25 donation.

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

Katherine Krause (File photo)

Proceeds from the pie-athong will benefit VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs

Pie pickups will take place on Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22.

Due to the fact that the VNA team is bound and determined to accommodate all and beat last year’s total, VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause reported that they’re extending the order deadline to Saturday. So, order online now! And why not get one of each?

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Power Of Pie

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

According to Power of Pie Co-Founder Meaders Ozarow,

A couple of us started Power of Pie as a way to add an accessible opportunity for charitable giving to the VNA fund raising effort.  We have so many volunteers and supporters that would like to give at the $25 or $50 level and this gives them something in return. Power of Pie, the fundraising campaign benefiting VNA Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care, is back for its 5th year!  Pumpkin and pecan pies are sold for $25 each, and thanks to the generosity of many of Dallas’ best bakers, 100% of the money comes to VNA.  It allows people to feed more than just their own family at Thanksgiving.

From Thursday, September 7, through Monday, November 13, supporters can log on to and purchase pumpkin or pecan pies and pick up Tuesday, November 21-Wednesday, November 22—just in time for Thanksgiving.

The official listing of chefs for 2017 will be released in October. Participating chefs in 2016 included Jill Bates of Fearing’s, Gianni Santin of Haute Sweets, Chad Houser at Cafe Momentum, Danyele McPherson at Remedy and HG Supply, Nicolas Blouin at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, John Tesar of Knife and Anastacia Quiñones of Oddfellows. Additionally, Dallas treasures such as Abacus, The Anatole, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Central Market, Collin College, Empire Baking Company, Experimental Catering, The Fairmont, The Gaylord, Hattie’s, The Joule, Lakewood Country Club, The Ritz-Carlton, as well as well-known Dallas pie institutions, Norma’s and Uncle Willie’s, have also participated.  We are spending the summer adding more notable chefs and restaurants to the list!

VNA pecan pie*

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

If you are out of town for Thanksgiving, we also have an option. Our Zero Calorie Pie gives donors the opportunity to support the campaign without receiving an actual pie. Over the past four years, Power of Pie has raised more than $125,000 for VNA! And we hope to make 2017 the biggest year yet!

We love it since we love feeding people and a good pie really shows the love! 

* Graphics provided by VNA

In Addition To Naming Three New Trustees, Presbyterian Communities And Services Board Has Promoted President Tim Mallad To CEO

Was it just about a year ago that Tim Mallad joined Presbyterian Communities and Services as president? Sure was. Now, word arrives that Tim has been named CEO of the not-for-profit organization.

Tim Mallad (File photo)

According to PCS Board of Trustees Chair Phil Wentworth, “I am continuously impressed by Tim’s genuine passion for our mission and ability to lead our organization in the right direction. Mallad, much like our board, is focused on enriching the lives of seniors, making a meaningful difference and providing exemplary care and support for seniors and their families. We are focused on growth with the expansion of Presbyterian Village North, the opening of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center and the master plan which is currently underway at Grace Presbyterian Village.”

In addition to Tim’s taking on the new title, three new board members have been named — Laura Wright, Liza Lee and Allen Tilley. They will be joining current trustees Ronald J. Gafford, L. Gerald “Jerry” Bryant, Dr. Lisa H. Clark, Cornelius “Neil” Foote, Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, Douglas D. Hawthorne, Cynthia K. Hudgins, Ellen H. Masterson, Andrew Meyercord, Brad Nitschke and Michael Wright.

Phil added, “The new board members are fantastic additions to an already impressive board, and I believe together with Tim, we will expand our mission even further by growing our organization.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Each Moment Matters

David and Laurie Peacock*

According to 2017 Each Moment Matters Luncheon Co-Chairs Laurie and David Peacock,

When Laurie and I were asked to chair the 2017 Each Moment Matters Luncheon we had no idea how impacted we would be by the work that Faith Presbyterian Hospice does in the Dallas community. We have heard so many stories from people who wish they had done things differently when their parent or spouse passed away on hospice.  Faith Presbyterian Hospice is the hospice that changes the end-of-life experience for both patients and families. We are honored to be a part of this signature event which supports customized services and excellent hospice care, both at home and at the recently opened inpatient hospice center, the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

Marlee Matlin*

We invite you to join us at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, September 29, with Academy Award winning actress and activist, Marlee Matlin as our guest speaker. With an extensive list of Hollywood career achievements including the movie “Children of a Lesser God,” for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress, Marlee is an advocate for children and those struggling against domestic abuse and addiction, as well as other humanitarian causes. Having lost her hearing at 18 months of age, Marlee never let her challenges dictate her future or deter her dreams.

In its eighth year, the Each Moment Matters Luncheon will once again honor 25 community leaders through the Each Moment Matters Award. The event raises awareness of hospice care and how to navigate tough end-of-life decisions. Funds raised at the luncheon ensure that Faith Presbyterian Hospice can continue to provide services to those needing care regardless of their ability to pay.

Each Moment Matters*

Thanks to the following underwriters, the cost of this year’s event is fully covered allowing sponsorships and donations to go 100% to the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Caring Fund and the patients it serves: Cathy and William Davis, The Don W. Hodges Family, The Billie and Gillis Thomas Foundation, Business Jet Center, Messick Peacock and Associates, Knightvest Management LLC, Marcia and Noe Hinojosa and Margie and Ray Francis.

Table sponsorships start at $1,750 and individual tickets are available for $200.  To purchase a sponsorship or to find out more, please visit

The 2017 Each Moment Matters Honorees: Arcilia C. Acosta, Stefanie and Steven Ailey, Yasmin Zarolia Bhatia, Thomas CampbellLisa Harper Clark MD, Joy Cruse, Mrs. David Curtis, Alison Doherty, Jane Benedict  Echols, Lisa Englander, Terry N. Ford, Tricia M. George, John Killian, Sandy Massie, Trish Matthews, D.Min., Carlin McDonald Morris, Scott Murray, “Smokey” John Reaves, George R. Schrader, Susan E. Stephens, Andy Kaye Walsh, Stephanie Ward, Pierre Michaela “Mickie” Watson and Janita Hemphill Wells.

* Graphic and photo provided by the Dallas Arboretum


Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton Brought “Zest” To Sold-Out Lunch Fundraiser For VNA Programs

Nancy Silverton

There’s just something about the creation of a meal that is both soothing and magical. At the Haggerty Kitchen Center on Mockingbird, it came together for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon Tuesday, February 28. As Los Angeles-based James Beard Foundation 2014 Outstanding Chef Awardee Nancy Silverton prepared for a demonstration, the sold-out crowd including Honorary Chair Sara Fraser CrismonPaula Lambert, Rena Pederson, Caren Prothro, Mary Martha Pickens, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Anne Leary, Cathy Buckner and Lucian LaBarba with Christina LaBarba gathered. Paige McDaniel proclaimed, “This is one of my favorite events.”

Sara Fraser Crismon

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

Lucian LaBarba, Jennifer Atwood and Christina LaBarba

But before things got started and folks checked out the silent auction items, Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow recalled her childhood with her creative mother. The twosome would drive in from Abilene and visit NorthPark Center with its Magic Pan, Carriage Shop and Neiman’s. It was her mother’s creative spirit that both baffled Meadows and planted the seeds for her own talents.

Janet Ryan

But all too soon, the program was underway with VNA Board Chair Janet Ryan revealing that it was also President/CEO Katherine Krause’s birthday. Instead of blowing out candles on a cake, Katherine focused on the importance of the fundraiser that would provide funding for the Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

Katherine Krause

Katherine told of heart-wrenching numbers and stories about the people served by VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. For instance, 65% of the 4,600 home-bound and in need of the service are women. Of that number, 14 are more than 100 years old. The oldest is 105. Katherine shared the story about hospice-client Priscilla Hartman, who had just recently died at the age of 107. She had started using Meals on Wheels in her 90s. While others her age had found a comfy couch to retire to, she had discovered a new life literally by volunteering at Parkland holding newborn babies until her retirement at the age of 92.

Speaking of hospice, Katherine reminded the guests that Medicare covers hospice care for those over 65 years of age. On the other hand, VNA’s Hospice Care is able to step up and help those under 65 in need of hospice care.

VNA kettle

Chris Culak and Paige McDaniels

Next up was VNA Director of Development Chris Culak, who reported that each year VNA has to spend about $300,000 to replace the kitchen equipment that provides 6,000 meals daily. He then directed the attention to a kettle displayed on the terrace that was the size of a small car. It carried with it a price tag of a SUV — $40,000. But it alone can produce 1,800 meals. Chris then made the request that people donate to the Kitchen Fund to help replace the equipment.

But the day’s program wasn’t to focus on the deeds achieved daily by VNA. Its focus was Nancy, who had also been heavily involved with Meals on Wheels in LA.

Kale salad with zest grater

Despite having more experience and credentials than could be put into that kettle, Nancy walked the room through the creation of her Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pine Nuts and Anchovies. She emphasized the fact that despite 21st century techie tools found in many kitchens, she still prefers some old favorites like her zest grater. She also stressed the importance of fresh ingredients. Despite the initial eye shifting by some members of the audience at the thought of kale and anchovies being tasty, they changed their tunes when a parade of servers presented plates with the salad to kick off their family-style meal made up of recipes (Flattened Chicken Thigh with Charred Lemon Salsa Verde; Pasta Salad with Bitter Greens, Parmigiano Cream and Guanciale; Oily Galicky Spinach; Glazed Onions Agrodolce; Bean Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto; Marinated Lentils; Slow-roasted Roma Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme; Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers; and Four-layer Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart) from Nancy’s recently published cookbook, “Mozza At Home.” Organizers were so smart. In listing the various items on the menu, they also included the page on which the recipe could be found.

One guest later admitted that she went home and tried the recipe, only to discover that it was just as good as what had been served at the luncheon.

In between stages of preparation, Nancy provided anecdotes like the fact that the VNA’s purchase of 400 copies of her new cookbook “Mozza At Home” as favors had turned out to be a record-breaker for her. The book was the result of Nancy’s realizing that after rising up the food chain and running six restaurants in the U.S. and Singapore, she had gotten sidetracked from her original love of cooking for friends. During a restful trip to Italy, she started rediscovering the joy of food, friends and fresh ingredients. She also realized that other hosts/hostesses found themselves in similar situations. So, she put together 19 menus with easy-to-follow recipes that could be prepared in advance and interchanged.

But her work wasn’t done. Later she would do another demonstration for the sold-out Celebrity Chef Dinner.

For more pictures from the food-fest fundraiser, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: VNA’s 2017 Celebrity Chef Luncheon

Nancy Silverton

Each day VNA turns out thousands of meals for those in need through its Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

But on Tuesday, February 28, the Haggerty Kitchen Center added a couple of additional feedings — VNA Celebrity Chef Lunch and VNA Celebrity Dinner — to provide $400,000 to support its programs.

Both events were sold out thanks to longtime supporters and food-lovers, and author/award-winning Chef Nancy Silverton demonstrating how to make a kale salad complete with anchovies yummy.

Kale salad with zest grater

While the post on the lunch is being cooked up, pictures are available over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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

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

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

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

Big Brothers Big Sister Lone Star — $500,000

Bill Chinn

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

Rainbow Days — $500,000

Tiffany Beaudine

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

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

The Autism Treatment Center — $582,020

Neil Massey

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

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

Autism Treatment Center

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

Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation — $541,098

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation board member Mary Ann Hyde

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

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

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

Presbyterian T. Boone Pickens Center guest suite

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

Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program play room

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

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

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

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

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

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance

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

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

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

Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program aquatic facility under construction

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

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

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

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

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

Hunger Busters — $1,192,500

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

Iron fences topped with razor wire at Hunger Busters

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

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

Hunger Busters volunteers

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

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy — $850,000  

Sandra Helton

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

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy

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

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

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

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

Sold-Out Alert!: VNA’s Celebrity Chef Lunch And Dinner

In the past VNA has limited its annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon to a noontime fundraiser. This year they decided to expand to have a dinner as well on Tuesday, February 28. The hope was “to double the funds raised to serve Meals on Wheels clients and patients in need of charitable hospice care.”

The results? They both sold out!

Nancy Silverton*

No wonder, since the celebrity chef will be Chef Nancy Silverton, who “is the only chef to be awarded both the Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Pastry chef awards from the James Beard Foundation. Nancy is co-owner at Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, Chi Spacca, and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, Singapore, and Newport Beach.”

It’s interesting to also note that VNA’s team has adjusted their marketing strategy. They’ve done away with their Legends And Leaders luncheon and created the VNA Chairman’s Society, which is a giving society “with a minimum annual donation of $15,000, and every dollar going to the programs.” So far, the Society has been a big hit. According to VNA Director of Community Engagement Cara Mendelsohn, “the Chairman’s Society has completely replaced the income from Legends & Leaders and has the potential to be an important source of funding for Meals on Wheels and charitable hospice care in the future.”

Sponsors for the Celebrity Chef include the following:

  • Presenting — Valley Services Inc.
  • Platinum — Lyda Hill
  • Gold — Sara Fraser Crisman and Peggy Dear
  • Silver — Linda and Jay Barlow, Jill Bee, Ben E. Keith Company, Becky and Mike Casey, Energy Transfer Partners, Katherine Krause and Warren Zahler and Nichole and Chris Culak, Astrid Merriman and Bob and Janet Ryan Stegall
  • Bronze — Lydia and Bill Addy, Susie and Steve Anderson, Bank of America/U.S. Trust, Suzanne and Enrico Bartolucci, Mary Frances and Timothy Bellman, Della and Bob Best, Kathy and Gene Bishop, Jan Hart Black and Rena Pederson, Angie and Marshall Brackbill, Neva and Don Cochran, Bess and Ted Enloe, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Brooke and Jason Villalba, Susan and Bill Montgomery, Meaders and Robert Ozarow, Katherine and Bob Penn, Property Advisors Realty, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Cathy and Ike Vanden Eykel and Paula and Charles Wills.
* Photo courtesy of VNA

Thanks To Four Generous Donations, The T. Boone Pickens Hospice And Palliative Care Center Is Within $1M Of Its $43M Goal

Hospice is a blessing when all the world around seems to be falling apart. While the primarily focus is on the individual in the last stage of life, the program is also an incredible support for the family and friends who are emotionally, financially and psychologically overwhelmed by the traumatic situation.

T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center*

Traditionally hospice has been provided in homes which can be daunting in itself. In some cases, it requires having round-the-clock care providers that can add even more anxiety to the household, especially if it is a young family with children. And then there are those who will be haunted by the sadness of the death taking place in their home.With the baby boomers aging out, hospice care has become more important than ever before. And to accommodate this growing situation, Faith Presbyterian Hospice undertook a $43M campaign to build Dallas’ first independent, residential hospice care center, the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.  It will have the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center, The Donald and Charlotte Test Outdoor Reflection Center, The Hamon Resource and Education Center, The Spiritual Care Center and The Pickens Center Child and Family Bereavement Center.

Godwin Dixon, T. Boone Pickens and Tom Leppert (File photo)

When T. Boone Pickens made a kick-off gift of $18.4M in September 2010, that $43M goal seemed decades away, but thanks to the four latest donors of $2.8M, they’re just $1M away. And that last crop of generous folks include:

Ross and Margot Perot (File photo)

  • The late Don Hodges family — $1M
  • Sammye and Mike Myers — $1M
  • Margot and Ross Perot — $500K
  • Charlotte Test — $344,500 in addition to her previous donation of $2.5M

Ironically, it was the late Don Hodge who involved T. Boone Pickens on the project. Don’s son, Clark Hodges recalled, “Our father played a key role in the early stages of the project by introducing Mr. Pickens to the hospice center, and we are delighted to carry on his legacy and honor him with our family donation.”

Located at 12379 Merit Drive near Medical City, the 53,388-square-foot facility on a 9.3-acre campus is projected to serve 1,200 families annually. The 36 suites will “have a bed-accessible patio or balcony overlooking serene gardens and a community lake. There will be private sleeping and dressing accommodations for families as well as a children’s play space, teen entertainment area, exercise room, family dining and business center.

According to Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation Executive Director Peter Lynch, “These generous gifts will help us serve families in Dallas by enhancing landscaping and various other areas both indoors and outdoors at the center, and we are extremely grateful for these contributions. The center is a reality thanks to our many donors, and because of their support, we will provide comfort and quality time for families to spend together.”

As Sammye said, “With all of the special care, it allows families to concentrate on time together and to gently ease their loved one over to the ‘other side.’”

* Graphic courtesy of Faith Presbyterian Hospice

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation

“Loss happens. Loved ones die, and suddenly you don’t know what to do.

Tyra and Steve Damms*

Tyra and Steve Damms*

“Can you imagine seeing your children struggle with your terminal illness, fearing no one will be there to help them through the most painful time of their lives? Meet the Damms Steve, Tyra and their children Cooper (age 8) and Katie (age 4).

“’Steve was my one true love. He loved Cooper and Katie more than any parent I’ve ever seen love a child. Steve started showing symptoms in the fall. In January, tests revealed a mass in his brain stem, a glioblastoma grade IV, the most aggressive kind of brain tumor in a location that’s not operable,’ shares Tyra.

“The children watched their lives unravel as Tyra cared for Steve during his illness while struggling to maintain daily life and deal with her own grief. That’s when Faith Presbyterian Hospice stepped in with care and support from Faith’s Child Life Specialist. Valerie Sanchez, Director of Bereavement at Faith, explains, ‘Adults often ask: is it OK to tell children that mom or dad is dying? What do we say? Together, the Child Life Specialist and the family figure out how to get through when those tough times come.’

“Grief support for children is so important. Children who lose a parent are at much greater risk for falling behind in school, depression, anger and substance abuse. Faith provides a dedicated Child Life Specialist to help children through their grief journey – something very few other hospices provide.

“’It was time for me to tell Cooper and Katie their daddy was going to die soon. We sat in the family room and with the support of Faith and our pastor, I told Cooper and Katie that daddy had fought very hard but he was about to die.

Steve Damm, Katie Damm and Cooper Damm*

Steve Damm, Katie Damm and Cooper Damm*

Katie Damm with blanket*

Katie Damm with blanket*

Cooper Damm, Katie Damm and Tyra Damm*

Cooper Damm, Katie Damm and Tyra Damm*

“’Having Faith’s support made Katie and Cooper more comfortable discussing their emotions. Faith staff made them special blankets with pictures of Steve that they sleep with every night. When we celebrated Steve’s birthday after his death I used Faith’s idea to release balloons. Cooper has fond memories of his buddies around him and writing notes to Steve and seeing 100 balloons go up in the air. Those were special moments created because we have the support of Faith.  As Katie and Cooper grow, they’ll have different kinds of questions, reactions and emotions. Knowing I have the caring support of Faith means a lot,’ shared Tyra.

“The kind of hospice care that makes Faith different includes patient therapies and grief programs that Medicare and insurance don’t cover. Traditional hospice support ends after 13 months, but not at Faith.  Faith staff are there for children and families as long they are needed. Donations provide for 100% of Faith’s Child Life Services and grief support.

“With your support on North Texas Giving Day, we can continue to help families like the Damms who are going through the scariest time of their lives. We will be there in their worst moments to support them through their struggle – before and after the loss.

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation helps ensure compassionate care for residents, patients and families in Greater Dallas served through Faith Presbyterian Hospice, and two senior living communities, Grace Presbyterian Village and Presbyterian Village North.

“When the personal finances of a resident or patient are exhausted, the Caring Funds ensure that quality care is available, regardless of ability to pay.

North Texas Giving Day is a great source of blessing for our Caring Funds. Please consider a generous gift on September 22, 2016. Together we can provide a much-needed lifeline for those we serve!”

-By Anita Ray, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation Manager of Annual Giving

* Photos provided by Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

Aayyy! Fonzie Will Be The Guest Speaker At Each Moment Matters

When Henry Winkler was in Dallas back in 2010 at St. Philip’s School and Community Center, the Golden Globe Winner/author/philanthropist in the suit addressed the gym filled with students, their parents and others adults. Before he talked to the crowd, the kids were preparing to hear a grownup talk about the importance of reading and education. On the other hand, the adults couldn’t help but think two words — The Fonz.

Henry Winkler with St. Philip's School students (File photo)

Henry Winkler with St. Philip’s School students (File photo)

Henry met the expectations of both groups. He talked with the kids and not at them, as Fonzie would have. He still had the “Happy Days” cool.

But his involvement in making people aware of community involvement didn’t stop there. Few realized that he had been a longtime mentor for Academy Award-winning Marlee Matlin. Why, following a cruel comment by Rex Reed regarding her winning the Oscar, she “fled to Winkler’s home in Los Angeles for solace. An offer to spend the weekend turned into two years while she rebuilt her career.” It was at Winkler’s house that Matlin’s wedding took place 20 years ago.. So, it was no stretch of the imagination that Marlee would be a guest speaker at St. Phillip’s a couple of years later.

Now, Each Moment Matters Luncheon Co-Chairs Barbara Hunt Crow and Lucy Johnson are tapping Henry’s talents by having him be the guest speaker for the Faith Presbyterian Hospice fundraiser on Friday, October 28, at the Hilton Anatole.

In case you’re lucky enough to get a ticket and meet Henry at the luncheon, how about some Winkler trivia? Did you know he:

  • is the cousin of “Law and Order” actor Richard Belzer.
  • is the godfather of Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of Ron “Richie Cunningham” Howard.
  • is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
  • has written more than 18 books.
  • had a rough time in school due to undiagnosed dyslexia.
  • loves fly fishing.
  • will turn 71 two days after appearing at Each Moment Matters. You might want to wish him an early happy birthday.

“Dean Of Moderators” Jim Lehrer Addresses The Past And Present State Of Journalism At VNA’s Legends And Leaders Luncheon

Despite the do-si-do dance of vehicles vying for entry to the Hilton Anatole on Friday, April 14, around noontime, things were hustling inside the hotel complex. In the Chantilly Ballroom, Amal Clooney was packing the stiletto crowd in for the New Friends New Life Wings Luncheon.

At the opposite end of the building, a large group of hotel guests checked in early for their rooms. Bypassing the folks with luggage were more than 600 local familiar faces heading to the upstairs Imperial Ballroom for the VNA’s Legends and Leaders Luncheon.

Hugh Aynesworth

Hugh Aynesworth

Lottye Brodsky

Lottye Brodsky

As the luncheon guests made their way down the hallway leading to the ballroom, tales of traffic hassles seemed to rumble. So much so, that by 12:06 word was passed that the start time of high noon had been delayed because of “a 30-minute wait outside.”  But once in the ballroom guests doffed off the problems of the day and settled back into catch-up conversations like a college reunion. Perhaps the conviviality was due to the fact that everyone either knew or felt like they knew the day’s “legend” — award-winning veteran journalist Jim Lehrer. Peppered throughout the crowd were Hugh Aynesworth, Caroline Rose Hunt, Bob Brackbill, Debbie Francis, Lyda Hill, Lottye Brodsky, Janie McGarr, Regen Fearon, Ruth Buzzi and husband Kent Perkins, who had made the trek from their Stephenville ranch to Dallas.

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

By 12:11 an organizer asked if one of the production team could flash the ceiling lights to let folks know that the program was getting ready to start. Only problem was that the Imperial Ballroom lights had been flickering all morning. A member of the Murray Media called over the chap with the chimes and had him play the tune into the mic. Between the light show and the chimes, the room was starting to become a sensory experience. But it worked.

Within a couple of minutes, emcee Scott Sams introduced Rabbi Nancy Kasten who gave the invocation, and lunch was served. For this the house lights were brought up and the conversations ranged from the fact that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 daily to an Emmitt Smith party the night before. Seems the event had been scheduled to take place in the area surrounding Tony Tasset’s “Eye.” But due to the rain, it was moved across the street to The Joule’s ballroom.

Nancy Kasten

Nancy Kasten

As the ballroom’s ceiling lights flickered like a chorus of lightning bugs, one organizer’s fingers were turning blue because they were crossed so tightly. Seems the issue of the two mega-luncheon events ending at the same time had been addressed weeks earlier. The game plan was to stagger their endings with New Friends New Life finishing first. But there was now a touch of concern that perhaps the NFNL had also delayed their start time. Not to worry, though.

As it was, author/journalist Rena Pederson and Jim didn’t take their places in easy chairs on stage until a little after 1 p.m. for a chat. Before talking about his lengthy career, the 81-year-old reviewed his health experiences that included having a heart attack in 1983, cataract surgery (“I can now read agate print and see from here to the Rocky Mountains”), getting a hearing aid, lifestyles changes (“When traveling, I leave a little earlier. It’s to cut down on the stress”) and aqua jogging.

He then recalled his days in Dallas working at the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News, when he worked with then DMN Assistant City Editor Bob Miller, who was in the audience. In remarking about the differences of the days of manual typewriters and today’s high tech, Jim recalled, “Everyone was a writer. We argued about phraseology and who had the best leads.” There was also a competitive spirit between reporters at the two daily papers.

Moving on to his days at KERA, he admitted that he joined the station for “all the wrong reasons.” It seems that he and his wife/novelist Kate Lehrer had agreed that when they had enough money he would quit his job as city editor at the Times Herald. That came about when his first novel “Viva Max” provided him with a landfall of $45,000.

But a call from Robert Wilson changed those plans. When Bobby heard that he was quitting, he asked Jim to be a consultant for KERA’s start-up news program called “Newsroom.” Jim was amazed. He got “paid more for working three days a week than working at the paper.” At that time Jim had been making $82.50 a week, while Kate, who was teaching school, was making $90 a week and got three months off in the summer.

In putting together the team for the local news program, he “hired nothing but newspaper people because that’s all I knew and there was no such thing as TV journalists.”

By 1:17 p.m. Jim was recalling tales of his 37 years at PBS. One memory was his interview scheduled with President Bill Clinton. The morning of the interview, he toddled out to get the morning paper and there was the lead story about the President’s supposedly having had an affair with an intern. Jim’s comment to his wife, “Oh, golly gee, sweetheart.”

While the other national news anchors (Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings) were all in Cuba for the Pope’s visit, Jim had the story of the day. Why, ABC even wanted to air it live!

Despite the fact that “you could hear a pin drop,” the interview took place with Jim asking, “Mr. President, there’s a story in the Washington Post that said you had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Is that true?” The President responded, “There is no improper relationship.” Jim prodded. The President stayed with his statement.

Jim admitted that he was pleased with the interview, until Kate reported that their daughter Amanda had called and pointed out that Jim was talking in the past tense and Clinton was responding in present tense. “That’s an interview I’ll never forget.”

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Speaking of U.S. Presidents, Rena asked him which had inspired him the most. Jim responded, “Do you think I’m gonna answer that?” Then he added, “I never interviewed one where I walked away thinking that was an accident.”

When asked about the current presidential campaigns, Jim described them as a cross between a “game show, reality TV and second-level pep rallies.”

Having moderated 12 presidential debates, he was disappointed in the lack of civility in the most recent debates, but he admitted that it was still good to see the candidates in a comparative situation.

Regarding the media’s coverage of presidential candidate Donald Trump, he suggested that when Trump started, serious journalists reported it and didn’t take him seriously, but not Lehrer: Trump “was successful as a candidate, so he had to be covered. He said things that were newsworthy. And by then they…by that I mean us…the media were caught.”

Chuckling he admitted that “The media…it sounds like a venereal disease. ‘I’ve got the media.’”

Getting back to the state of Trump and the “media,” Jim said journalism has three sides —

  • reporting,
  • analysis and
  • opinion

In the case of Trump, Jim said the analysis and opinion parts of journalism “raked Trump over the coals. Everything he said was dissected.”

Rena asked Jim (aka the “Dean of Moderators”) if he would moderate any future debates, to which Jim said, “No,” but he was now on the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In closing, Rena asked about Jim’s next book. He opted not to answer, saying, “It’s bad luck to talk about fiction ahead of time.” But with a twinkle in his, he added, “It has to do with a gun.”

By 1:30 p.m. the luncheon was over and the guests left, satisfied that Jim was still a great interview, even if he wasn’t doing the interviewing.

JUST IN: Jim Lehrer To Be Guest Speaker For VNA Legends And Leaders Luncheon

Jim Lehrer (File photo)

Jim Lehrer (File photo)

For oldtime locals the name Jim Lehrer brings back thoughts of the early ’70s, when he headed up KERA’s “Newsroom” surrounded by the likes of Billy Porterfield, A.C. Greene, Lee Cullum, John Anders, John Merwin, Jim Atkinson and Bob Ray Sanders. Airing weekday evenings, it was a different type of news program. Instead of a couple of anchors reading prepared scripts, it was more of a discussion-in-the-round of the day’s activities and issues.

After a couple of years, Jim headed up north to Washington D.C., where he eventually joined “Robert MacNeil for PBS’s ‘The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,’ which later evolved into ‘The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.'”

Rena Pederson (File photo)

Rena Pederson (File photo)

But over the years Jim never lost touch with his Dallas connections, which included his early reporting days for The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald.

That’s why the VNA’s Leaders And Legends Luncheon will be like a homecoming of sorts with Jim chatting on stage with former Dallas Morning News editorial page editor  Rena Pederson on Thursday, April 14, at the Hilton Anatole.

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause, “We’re very proud to welcome Mr. Lehrer back to Dallas for this event. His illustrious career began in Dallas newsrooms, and he is a former member of the VNA Board of Directors, making him a perfect speaker for the Legends & Leaders Luncheon.”

Chairing the event will be Lynn and John Sears, Jacky and Bob Spears and Paula and Charles Wills with Claire Dewar serving as honorary chair.

Proceeds from the annual luncheon will provide funding for the VNA Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels programs. Ticket and sponsorship information is available here.

MySweetWishList: VNA

According to VNA’s President/CEO Katherine Krause,

Katherine Krause*

Katherine Krause*

“What is a memory?

“Sometimes it’s the most important thing we have.

“The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but for many, the emotions run much deeper. Every year at VNA, the oldest and most experienced hospice provider in North Texas, we see families facing their first holiday season without a special loved one — a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend. It’s a tremendous adjustment. The loss of a loved one can turn treasured family traditions upside-down.

“At VNA, we recommend a new family tradition to honor the one you lost. Every year, VNA hosts Light Up a Life trees at locations around North Texas. For a suggested donation of $10, you can honor the memory of your loved one with a paper dove to display on a community tree. The money raised will go to help VNA fulfill its mission of providing compassionate end-of-life care for patients, caregivers and loved ones, no matter their ability to pay. Doves can also be purchased directly through our website at

VNA Hospice Care is there when traditional medical treatments no longer offer the hope of a cure. VNA Hospice Care focuses on living life to its fullest and treating our patients and families with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our highly qualified and experienced doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement coordinators and volunteers work as a team with the patient’s current doctor to provide care that meets the medical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical needs of patients and families. Terminally ill patients often feel like they are losing control — VNA helps give them back the control they need by providing the necessary freedom to age their final days as they wish in a pain-free, loving environment.

“My wish this holiday season would be for people throughout North Texas to make their memories part of their holiday tradition, to donate to VNA by purchasing a Light Up a Life dove to honor those they have lost and help raise the funds VNA needs to provide quality, compassionate end-of-life care for all who need it.”

-By Katherine Krause, VNA president/CEO

* Photo provided by VNA

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.”

MySweet2015Goals: Chris Culak



Chris Culak*

Chris Culak*

According to VNA VP of Development Chris Culak,

“I’m the new VP of Development at VNA. On the first day of my new job, my wonderful new boss Katherine Krause charged me to meet the ever-growing need for our Hospice Care, Meals On Wheels, and Private Care services.

“To do that, we must raise an additional $5 million in annual operating revenue in the coming years.

“So my goal in 2015 is to encourage, engage and ask for support from our great North Texas Community to help the new guy look good.

“Please donate to VNA today!”

* Graphic and 
photo provided 
by VNA

JUST IN: VNA’s 2015 Legends And Leaders Luncheon To Spotlight Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw*

Tom Brokaw*

It seems like ages and ages since former NBC anchor/author of The Greatest Generation Tom Brokaw was in town. After a bit of head scratching, it seems that the last time he was in these here parts was back in 2010 to interview Bob Schieffer for the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “A Conversation with a Living Legend.” And even then he wasn’t the center of attention.

Leave it to the VNA to change that. The 2015 Legends & Leaders Luncheon Co-Chairs Linda and Jay Barlow, Angie and Marshall Brackbill and Jan and Al McClendon just revealed they’ve locked down Tom for the Thursday, April 23, fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole.

Forrest and Sally Hoglund (File photo)

Forrest and Sally Hoglund (File photo)

Not only that but the honorary co-chairs are Sally and Forrest Hoglund!

It benefits the VNA that is busier than ever. Most folks know about their Meals on Wheels program, but there’s so much more (Hospice Care, Private Car, Pet Care Program, Senior Resources, etc.).

Just in case, you need to brush up on your Tom Brokaw file…after all, it is pretty lengthy, follow the jump for his bio.

* Photo provided 
by VNA

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