MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner

If anyone mistakes the Center for BrainHealth types as strictly cerebral types, who sit around and use four syllable words, they definitely need to rethink that train of thought.

Need proof? Well, Brook Hollow was filled to the max with North Texas’ extreme boldfacers for the Legacy Award Dinner on Tuesday, November 14.

Debbie Francis, Laura Bush, Margaret McDermott, Deedie Rose and Caren Prothro

And what else would one expect when the co-chairs were Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose and the  honoree was that wheeling wonder Margaret McDermott? The lady-in-white, who is headed for her second century of philanthropy and wisdom, was the belle of the ball and joined other Legacy Awardees like Debbie Francis, James Huffines, Dee Wyly and Jane and Bud Smith plus a former first lady.

Patty and James Huffines

Dee Wyly

While the post is being prepared, check out the pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Jennifer and Keith Cerny and Nikki and Crayton Webb

BTW, this was The Dallas Opera GM/CEO Keith Cerny’s social swan song and he didn’t let on that a move to Calgary was in his future. Shoot!

JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s GM/CEO Keith Cerny Resigns To Head Up Calgary Opera

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

The Dallas Opera‘s GM/CEO Keith Cerny has just turned in his resignation to take over the position of general director/CEO of Calgary Opera in January.

During his seven-and-a-half years with the Dallas company, Keith presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets and a host of artistic projects, expansions, and technical innovations.  These include a highly-successful simulcast program; regional, U.S. and world premieres; and innovative community outreach programs.  

According to Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy. We wish him every success with his new responsibilities as we turn our efforts to maintaining this company’s impressive forward momentum and strengthening the collaborations with other arts organizations that have marked Keith’s tenure here in Dallas.”

Dallas’ loss is Calgary’s gain.

2018 Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon To Honor Founder Ann Williams As Awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash And Linda Todd

Back in 1996 Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder Ann M. Williams wanted a fundraising event to support the organization’s community outreach and education programs in the area including dance classes, workshop and lecture-demonstration for students. She also wanted to recognize “civic and business leaders of Dallas who have impacted Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas arts community.” Her supporters came up with the perfect solution — the Annual Founder’s Award Luncheon

Thanks to the support of such sponsors like Presenting Sponsor Chase, the event became the major community fundraiser for the “oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas,” that was established in 1976.

But the upcoming fundraiser on Wednesday, January 17, at the Hilton Anatole has been renamed the 2018 Farewell Founder’s Award Luncheon. The reason is that it will be the last one. It’s time to launch a new “initiative.”

But the luncheon will be far from a boo-hoo occasion. It will be a celebration highlighting “the legacy and extraordinary service of Ms. Williams, to Dallas and the field of dance,”as well honoring the 2018 awardees Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash and Linda Todd

Doug Curtis, Lucy Billingsley and Ann Williams*

Joining Event Co-Chairs Kimberley Runnels and the Rev. Lelious Johnson will be Honorary Co-Chairs Lucy Billingsley and Doug Curtis.

With this finale luncheon just a few weeks away, better lock down your reservations pronto. Plans for the fundraiser’s replacement will be revealed at the meal.

* Photo credit: Derrick Waiters

MySweetWishList: Dallas CASA

According to Dallas CASA Volunteer Manager Sandra Teter,

Sandra Teter*

“My wish for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) this holiday season is that more community members will join me and serve as volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes and are in foster care or alternative placements.

“I joined CASA’s cadre of volunteers 20 years ago in 1997. Since then I have worked 24 different cases involving 47 children. I have always been pretty altruistic and when I found CASA I knew I had found my place.

“Though I have always been one to speak up, CASA gives my “voice” the ability to affect real immediate change.  As an advocate you have to ask the tough questions and the best decision is not always the easy one. These kids deserve someone that will really listen to them and go to bat for them to ensure their wellbeing. The healing that often occurs in whole families can make positive change for future generations.

“People tend to be afraid of volunteering at places like CASA because they worry about seeing things they do not want to see. The truth is these situations happen whether we see them or not. The toughest job out there is a Child Protective Services caseworker. They see the situations the children are removed from in real time. CASA is assigned after the children are in protective care and safe and it is time to pick up the pieces.

“CASA has taught me to be more compassionate and look at every side to a story. Every time I read a new case, I get angry. I have learned there are truly so many sides to every story. Many of the children’s parents have been victims themselves and are repeating learned behavior. Though we wish there was not a need for the process, the court’s intervention provides access to services such as counseling, drug and alcohol treatment and mental healthcare. I have gained perspective and balance as a CASA volunteer and feel I gain as much, if not more, than I give.

Dallas CASA*

“I hope you will join me on this walk as a Dallas CASA volunteer. As of Tuesday, November 7, 1,264 volunteer advocates have served 2,928 abused and neglected children in Dallas in 2017. The numbers are heartbreaking but the results are amazing.

“There are more children who need advocates. Dallas CASA is currently able to provide advocates for three out of four children in need. As proud as we are all of that, it is the child without an advocate I can not stop thinking about. These children deserve our care and attention, not just during the holidays but year round.

“The first step is to go to an information session at Dallas CASA.

“New volunteer information sessions are offered weekly, go to DallasCASA.org to register.”

-By Sandra Teter, Dallas CASA volunteer manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA

A Passing: Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler (File photo)

Perhaps it was just selfish, but no one ever thought Dallas would be without Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler. She exemplified the city with her energy, determination, humor and ability to rise above loss. That’s why her death Friday night will cause many to recall their favorite stories about “their Ruth.”

There won’t be many who will remember the little girl who started life in 1924 on Swiss Avenue. Five years later when the Great Depression threw the country into a financial nightmare, her family’s resources protected her and her two brothers (Carr Collins II and Jim Collins) from the poverty that ravaged others.

At the age of 21, she was widowed when her first husband’s plane was shot down during World War II. A couple of years later she met and married her second husband Charles Sharp. Together they made a striking couple and their marriage of 40 years would produce three children (Sally, Stanton and Susan). It would also test the part in the wedding vows — “in sickness and health” — when Charles was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Ruth Altshuler and Susan Sharp (File photo)

It was during their marriage that she joined the Junior League and took on a lifelong mission to support the nonprofit sector including the Crystal Charity Ball, SMU, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Dallas County Medical Society, The Salvation Army DFW, Susan G. Komen, Dallas Summer Musicals, North Texas Giving Day, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Family Gateway, I Stand For Parkland, Laura Bush’s Foundation for America’s Libraries and countless others. 

In 1963 both the 39-year-old Ruth and the city of Dallas faced a turning point that would determine the city’s fate when President John F. Kennedy was killed in downtown Dallas. Overnight the city became internationally synonymous with hatred. But eventually the city rebounded, thanks to the leadership of the late Mayor Erik Jonsson and others including Ruth, who was on the grand jury that indicted Jack Ruby the day after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

The following years were indeed challenging on a personal level as well for Ruth with Charles’ disease progressing until his death in 1984. Still she carried on, juggling her family’s needs and her community involvement.

Ruth and Ken Altshuler (File photo)

With the children grown and, widowed once again, Ruth threw herself into helping others. Eventually, she found the perfect partner in Dr. Ken Altshuler, who shared her sense of humor and her commitment to others. Just this past Tuesday, they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

True to form, Ruth was always a magnet for attracting people. Whether it was U.S. Presidents (four of them to be exact — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George Bush and Barack Obama), movie stars like Ginger Rogers and Sophia Loren, noted intellectuals like David McCullough or just a child in need, Ruth treated all the same with appreciation and that legendary quick wit.

For instance, at the 2014 Callier Center for Communications Disorders luncheon when she presented the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Cares Award to her longtime friend Sara Martineau, she “admitted that her own grandchildren had held ‘an intervention,’ because no matter what they said, their grandmother would say, ‘What?’ She then reported that in her own household, she and husband Ken constantly exchange, ‘What?’ As Ken choked hearing Ruth tell the group of their personal experience, Ruth admitted that Ken had already gotten a hearing aid and she had ordered one.”

In the days, weeks and years ahead, it’s going to be difficult to imagine a world without Ruth. But on the other hand, if one just looks around, they’ll see her in the programs, buildings and people that have benefited from a life well lived.

According to The Dallas Morning News, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane. A reception will follow at the Umphrey Lee Center at SMU in the Margaret Mack Ballroom. Both will be open to the public.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs Continue The Conversation Of “Not In My Home And Not In Yours Either” For The Next Generation

The problem of domestic violence is not a current problem. It’s a multi-generational tragedy. Like a hand-me-down, the abuse within the home is shared through the ages. Tackling the break in the generational cycle of violence has been the mission of the Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s HeROs (He Respects Others). To take their message to more in the North Texas community, Jennifer and Travis Armayor and The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated hosted “An Evening With Gentle Men” on Thursday, November 9, at Harlan Crow‘s breathtaking library. Here’s a report from the field:

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support and its men’s group, Genesis HeROs (He Respects Others), hosted the second annual “An Evening with Gentle Men,” presented by Jennifer and Travis Armayor and The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the Crow Library. Along with Event Co-Chairs Jennifer and Travis Armayor and more than 40 host committee members, the room was filled with 230 men and women who share zero tolerance for domestic violence.

Jesse Barnett, Chris Petrawski and Zach Townsend*

Guests like Jesse Barnett, Chris Petrawski and Zach Townsend stepped into the elegant, historical library of Harlan Crow, surrounded by historical treasures dating back centuries. Antique cigar boxes overflowing with succulents were arranged by Dallas Petal Pusher, making the perfect centerpiece arrangements. Guests were treated to beer-tasting sponsored by Four Corners Brewing Company and complimentary shoe-shining. Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond scotch whisky were also available for tasting, courtesy of Mary Bowman Campbell. Attendees explored the three-story library, lingering in front of historical gems from figures like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill. Pianist Scott Willis played in the grand library, providing live entertainment sponsored by Crossmark.

An Evening with Gentle Men at the Crow Library*

The informal program began with a welcome by Genesis Women’s Shelter Senior Director of Fund and Community Development Bianca Jackson. Guests gathered in the main library, while attendees on the second story peered over the balcony to hear her remarks. Shortly thereafter, HeROs Board President Crayton Webb shared how men must be known as more than simply a part of the problem – in order to effect real change and make a difference in the fight against domestic violence, men must become a part of the solution by taking a stand. “Not in my home, and not in yours either.” Jennifer and Travis then closed with comments about having the tough, important conversations with the next generation – it is not enough that girls are taught how to protect themselves and stay alert, boys should be taught to respect and value women.

Bianca Jackson*

The rest of the evening was open for guests to mingle and network, and take in all the wonders of the library. Thanks to Ormsby Catering, attendees enjoyed heavy appetizers like Ahi Tuna sashimi, sweet corn empanadas, pulled pork and blue corn tamale tartlets, and individual beef bourguignon pot pies paired with a mushroom and port wine sauce. Nearly 20 men joined the HeROs organization during the event. Favor bags included men’s shaving cream and lotion thanks to gift sponsor Mary Kay, along with information on how to become involved with Genesis HeROs.

* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter and Support

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

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

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

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

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans

 

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

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

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

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

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

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

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MySweetWishList: Readers 2 Leaders

Norma Nelson*

According to Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director Norma Nelson,

“My holiday wish is for all third graders in Dallas County to receive the early literacy skills they need to succeed! I’d like to introduce you to three Readers 2 Leaders students: Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina go to different schools, but they have something in common: they all dream of helping others in the healthcare field. Maybe they will become doctors, nurses, or medical researchers! Like all kids, they have big dreams.

“The road from career dress up day at Readers 2 Leaders’ Summer Camp to advanced medical training will be long no matter what, but together we can make it smoother. We know that 2 out of 3 economically disadvantaged children are not reading on grade level by 4th grade, and that makes them six times less likely to graduate from high school, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Imagine if only one of the sweet girls in this photo made it to college! We can’t let that happen.

“At Readers 2 Leaders, children get help learning to read on grade level so they are prepared for the challenges they face on the way to fulfilling their dreams. At R2L, we know that literacy isn’t the only thing kids need to make things go right, but it’s just about the first thing that must! When you support Readers 2 Leaders, you’re helping literacy go right for kids.

Readers 2 Leaders*

“Also, students in Readers 2 Leaders’ programs are making great progress! They gain an average of a year and a half of reading skills in just one year, and 94% of this year’s summer campers did not experience the “summer slide”– in fact, they gained 3.5 months of skills!

“I hope that you will consider donating to Readers 2 Leaders this holiday season.

Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina*

“Your support helps children like Catalina, Fernanda and Alaina get the early literacy skills they desperately need. You can connect with Readers 2 Leaders by donating, attending a tour or volunteering to read with a child in our program. Thank you for helping children in our community achieve their dreams!”

– By Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director

* Photo provided by Readers 2 Leaders

A Passing: Eli

Eli (File photo)

Eli worked with more patients than most doctors. You might say he was a general practitioner since his skills were limitless.  And his bedside manner was better than even Marcus Welby’s.

For a decade, Eli was the Numero Uno member of the Baylor Animal Assisted Therapy program. From his birth on March 13, 2007, there was something special about the Golden Retriever. Sure, he was like any dog if a tennis ball caught his eye. But once he arrived at any of the Baylor campuses in North Texas wearing his ID badge and bandanna, he transformed into a care provider.

By an act of the fates, Eli was able to pursue his calling with his partner Linda Marler, who was in charge of the Baylor program. Partner? Yes. Anyone could see that in Eli’s and Linda’s relationship, there was no “owner.” They were partners.

For years, Linda and Eli would daily go to “their” office on the first floor of Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation and set up schedules and work with all types of patients. In some cases, it was just to provide some comfort for a patient who missed their own dog. For others, it was helping a young person trying to regain the use of their hands after a motorcycle accident. And for still others, it was quietly putting his head in someone’s lap when they were having a bad day.

Linda Marler and Eli (File photo)

However, it was more than the patients who got the Eli treatment. Baylor staff members would greet them as they walked through the halls.  Their little office became the “must-stop-by” spot for anyone working in the building. It was never surprising to see a patient in a wheelchair roll up to the door to see how Eli was doing. The Golden Retriever greeted each visitor with a wagging tail and a smile. Yes, Eli did smile.

Alas, poor Eli had to put up with some of Linda’s silliness. She would balance everything from treats to balls on his nose to show how obedient he was. Everyone from children to the most highly educated specialist would look in amazement as he held his nose just the right way until Linda gave him the signal to release.

Eli in the center with Baylor Animal Assisted Therapy testing team (File photo)

And, of course, Eli became the rock star of the Animal Assisted Therapy program. The temperament testing team considered Eli not to be a dog, but rather one of the testers. When new dogs would be tested for the program that was considered one of the toughest, Eli would quietly lie nearby until Linda needed him.

Eli (File photo)

As the years passed, Eli found himself training a new puppy in the Marler household. The pup’s name was Micah and, like Eli, he was a Golden Retriever. Only Micah was a bit of a cut-up. As a youngster, he got loose and was the victim of a hit-and-run. Luckily, Micah pulled through, but it is believed that Eli took him aside and told him to get his act together … which he did.

In recent years, Eli’s muzzle was turning white and he was slowing down a bit. After all, that’s why he had been training Micah to take over some of his duties. But Eli was still showing up for work with Linda and taking care of their patients and staff.

Just this past Sunday, an email was sent by Linda, “Went to ER today. Eli has hemangiosarcoma … We brought him home with us…..giving him extra love and attention. He is not eating….. it is only a matter of time.”

That time came last night, when Linda watched her partner cross the rainbow bridge.

Crystal Charity Ball Committee Does A “Mary Tyler Moore” Singalong For CCB Chair Pam Perella On The Eve Of The Children’s Nonprofit Gala

T’was the night before Crystal Charity Ball and all through the Anatole the finishing touches were being polished up for the 2017 fundraiser for the Dallas County children’s nonprofits. With nails broken and fashionably torn jeans, the committee had finished their three days of installing the “Evening In The Alps” finery in the Chantilly Ballroom. To celebrate their year of working under the leadership of 2017 Chair Pam Perella, a champagne get-together was held in a suite high atop the hotel.

When Pam started her reign a year ago, she announced that the internal working theme would be TV shows of the ’70s. Still it became known that Pam’s fav program had been “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” How simply wonderful and typical of ever-smiling Pam.

But as CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers noted tonight, “Mary Tyler Moore died just days later.” That might have put a crimp on the POA, but this was a Pam project and the energy and collaboration continued in a MTM spirit.

Anne Besser, Leslie Diers, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell

Tonight as a surprise for Pam, the committee led by Pam’s chief lieutenants (Anne Besser, Leslie, Cheryl Joyner and Elizabeth Gambrell) led the group in singing the theme song of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” with the lieutenants tossing their berets as the end.

Stacey Walker, Lisa Cooley, Caren Kline, Connie O’Neill and Angela Nash

While the CCB team is a gangbuster in raising funds for area charities, they had better not think about going professional with their choral singing. Still, Pam, with husband Vin Perella supporting her, was truly touched by the moment, the laughter and her cohorts.

Vin and Pam Perella

Another surprise was the arrival of Matthew Trent’s donation to the silent auction. For ages, Silent Auction and Special Gifts Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Cheryl Joyner had been crossing their fingers for the arrival of Trent’s handiwork. Alas, it arrived just that night and too late for the catalogue. As the ladies opened the box, they discovered a beautiful gold necklace with a brilliant gold fish highlighted by white sapphires valued at $15,000+.  BTW, Event Producer Tom Addis has truly created an Alpine experience, from a skiers’ hut to the aroma of fresh-cut firs. And that’s just for the cocktail party!

Dallas CASA’s Champion Of Children Underwriters Enjoyed An Evening Of Food, Flowers And A Story About A Little Client

An evening at Lisa and Clay Cooley‘s estate is always filled with loads of delicious food and eye-opening touring of the mansion. But on Wednesday, November 8, the Dallas CASA‘s Champion of Children‘s underwriter party at the Cooley homestead was highlighted by a story about a nine-month client of the organization. Here’s a report from the field:

Lisa and Clay Cooley sure know how to throw a party! Gorgeous house, full of food, flowers and fall décor – everyone really enjoyed the evening of Wednesday, November 8. It was a lovely party and a terrific way to say thank you to the Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children underwriters. Here’s a report from the field:

Christie Carter and Lisa Cooley*

Lisa and Clay Cooley opened their beautiful home for Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Patron Party, on Wednesday, November 8. The Cooleys’ home was perfectly decorated with pumpkins and flowers in muted fall shades of orange, cream and burgundy, and guests enjoyed passed appetizers in perfectly bite-sized portions including tiny crab cakes, beef tenderloin and Korean meatballs.

John and Laura Losinger and Priscilla and Corey Anthony*

But everyone was reminded of the purpose of the evening and next week’s dinner when Priscilla Anthony, one of the co-chairs of the Thursday, November  16, and a Dallas CASA volunteer advocate, spoke about the baby she’s been advocating for since May. He was removed from home after his mother was arrested and he was left with no one to care for him. She warmed the hearts of all in attendance when she described visiting the nine-month-old in foster care Monday, and shared that he recognized her and lifted his arms to be held for the first time.

Michael and Christina Swartz and Linda and Rob Schwartz*

Kathleen LaValle and Jim Thompson*

Hannah and Greg May*

The Champion of Child Award Dinner was to be Thursday, November 16, at the Fairmont Dallas. Co-chairs of the event are Priscilla and Corey Anthony and Laura and John Losinger; honorary chair is Christie Carter. The Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award will be given to the Junior League of Dallas for its commitment and dedication to the lives of children in our community. Many longtime Dallas CASA supporters were in attendance, including Sally Hoglund, Sarah Losinger, Debbie Oates and Jim Thompson. The Junior League’s president Jennifer Tobin was also in attendance.

Dallas CASA board member attendance was strong with Steve Penrose, Janice Davis, Virginia Schaefer, Mike Brosin, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, Scooter Smith, Jonathan Bassham, Linda Swartz, Retta Miller, Aubrey Labanowski and Greg May. Outgoing Board Chair John Gibson and incoming board chair Bob Schleckser ducked out early because the Dallas CASA board of directors was being honored the same evening by the Dallas Business Journal as the top nonprofit board in town.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

Cattle Baron’s Ball Newbies Debuted With Cowgirl Chapeaus And Smiles

Remember those days when pledge ship was a recipe of “What have I gotten myself into” with “Gee, I made it!” Those memories may have kicked into play for the newest Cattle Baron’s Ball members on Tuesday, November 7, at the ZaZa Art House and Social Gallery.

While oldtimers like past CBB Chairs Sunie Solomon and Andrea Weber and loyal committee types like Dawn Greiner, Callan Harrison and Katie Layton were right at home, the new girls on the fundraising organization looked a bit wary. There were rows of chairs with cowboy hats set up by CBB New Member Liaison Marjon Henderson. What was expected of them?

Frosh member Kristen Gibbins didn’t hold back. “She got me into this,” said Kristen as she pointed to longtime pal Andrea Nayfa.

Jonika Nix and Katy Bock

Kristen Gibbins and Andrea Nayfa

But once 2018 Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix called the newbies together, the 15 newest members (Jennifer Burns, Alexine Cryer, Catherine Flagg, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau, Kelley Ledford, Rachel Osburn, Melissa Pastora, Lauren Phillips, Jill Ritchey, Brittany Smalley, Tara Versfelt, Mackenzie Wallace and Claudia Williams) sans Lisa Hewitt discovered they weren’t going to play “Truth or Dare.” Instead it was a couple of photos — one without the hats and one with — and a brief orientation by 2018 leaders.

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

From the left: (standing) Jill Ritchey, Alexine Cryer, Melissa Pastora, Claudia Williams, Brittany Smalley, Mackenzie Wallace, Kelley Ledford, Kristen Gibbins, Suzi LeBeau and Lauren Phillips; (seated) Rachel Osburn, Tara Versfelt, Jonika Nix, Katy Bock, Catherine Flagg and Jennifer Burns

Then it was back to socializing and the march to raise funds for cancer research and treatments.

35th Annual Friends Of Dallas Police Banquet Salutes The Heroes In Blue With Fanfare, Elected Officials And Awards

With Dallas’ new Police Chief Reneé Hall and loads of city leaders in attendance, the 35th Annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet was quite a stellar affair complete with Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and the Dallas Police Honor Guard on Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency. In additions to awards being handed out to officers in blue, there was fire fighter / paramedic / new dad William An, who knew firsthand how Dallas’ finest will make the difference in lifesaving situations. Here’s a report from the field:

Dallas Metro Police Pipe and Drums and Dallas Police Honor Guard*

Described as the Oscars for the Dallas Police Department, more than 600 gathered to attend the 35th annual Friends of Dallas Police Banquet held Monday, November 6, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The stars of the evening were the 115 police officers and non-sworn employees honored for their strong leadership, courage and exceptional service demonstrated throughout the past year. Not only were Medals of Valor and Life Saving Awards presented, but top honors were announced for Officer of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Detective of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Non-Sworn Employee and more. For a fifth year, Highland Capital Management stepped up as presenting sponsor.

George Dunham and the Dallas Police Choir*

The Ticket radio host George Dunham was tapped to keep the jam-packed program moving. The evening began as the Dallas Police Honor Guard and the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums presented the colors in a moving ceremony, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Dallas Police Choir and the invocation given by Dallas Police Chaplain Rayford Butler.

Friends of Dallas Police Chairman Lamonte Thomas described the DPD as “one of the finest police departments in our nation.”

“When I hear of the everyday sacrifice and heroism demonstrated on the streets and behind the scenes by the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, I am humbled, proud and grateful,” he added.

This was the first Friends of the Dallas Police Banquet for Dallas’ new “top cop” – Chief U. Reneé Hall, who was on hand to present the awards and take photos with all 115 winners.

Tennell Atkins, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Mike Rawlings and Omar Narvaez*

Elected officials from local to national levels were there in force to back the blue. In addition to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who delivered remarks at the VIP reception, special guests included Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano and Dallas City Councilmembers Rick Callahan, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Omar Narvaez, Adam McGough and Casey Thomas. Also attending were Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax, Dallas Fire and Rescue Chief David Coatney, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners Dr. Elba Garcia and Theresa Daniel, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, State Senator Don Huffines, State Representative Cindy Burkett and State Representative Toni Rose, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Pete Session and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

Rick Callahan and Elba Garcia*

Mark Okada and Don Huffines*

One highlight was the introduction of Dallas Fire and Rescue firefighter and paramedic William An, who was seriously injured when shot by a suspect. Nine officers – including Sergeant Robert Watson who rescued An, put him in his police car and took him to the hospital thereby saving his life – were awarded Medals of Valor for their bravery under fire. Watson invited An and his family to sit at his table with his family members. (It was the first time they’d seen each other in a very long time.) The Dallas Morning News’ Naheed Rajwani interviewed An that evening and reported the following:

William An, Robert Watson and An son*

“An’s 3-week-old son is named Watson, which An’s wife had picked out before the shooting. The couple realized later that it was the lifesaving sergeant’s last name, too.
“‘Purely coincidental,’ An said, ‘but some people say there’s no such thing as coincidences.'”

Top awards were given to Officer Joe King, who was named the John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year, and Stephanie Mendoza, who was named the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Officer King works in the Legal Services Division, and Mendoza works as an office assistant in the Auto Thefts Division.

Joe King and Reneé Hall*

Stephanie Mendoza and Reneé Hall*

Noe Camacho and Reneé Hall*

Ivan Gunter and Reneé Hall*

Other winners included Detective Noe Camacho named the James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year, Sergeant Ivan Gunter named the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year, Senior Corporal David Feinstein named Field Training Officer of the Year, Reserve Lieutenant D’Andrea Gadbury named Supervisor of the Year, Fernando Garcia named the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year, and Supervisor III Brian Hansen named Non-Sworn Supervisor of the Year.

David Feinstein*

D’Andrea Gadbury and Reneé Hall*

Fernando Garcia and Reneé Hall*

In addition to their awards, the top honorees received a variety of prizes, ranging from hotel stays and entertainment packages, to dinners and VISA cards. 

Also, two $1,500 scholarships were presented to the children of Dallas police officers. The 2017 Educational Scholarship Awards went to Courtney Jones, the daughter of Detective Charles Jones, and Hannah Kim, daughter of Senior Corporal David Kim.

There was no lack of community support! In addition to

  • Presenting sponsor — Highland Capital Management,
  • Chief Sponsors ($10,000-$25,000) — The Men & Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc., The Marilyn and Sonny Oates Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Kenny A. Troutt
  • Major Sponsors ($5,000 level)— Cigna, Freeman Auto Group, Don Henley & Family, Al G. Hill Jr., Ellen and John McStay, Scovell Family Foundation, Sewell and Marianne and Roger Staubach
  • Lieutenant Sponsors ($3,500 level) — Central Market, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Kroger and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP.

For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Police, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.

* Photo credit: James Edward

Jubilee Park And Community Center Celebrated Its 20th Birthday With Balloons, Cakes, Cannon Confetti And Some Off-Scripted Moments

The Omni was the site of two groups that split centuries ago on Saturday, November 4. In the Dallas Ballroom, a largely Catholic contingency rallied for 2017 St. Jude Evening Under The Stars. Just a hallway way in the Trinity Ballroom, the Jubilee Park and Community Center’s 20th anniversary “Celebrate Love Dream” was being celebrated with a large number of Jubilee’s founding partners, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

But both groups faced a common challenge. It was in the bathrooms. Despite the best efforts, people emerged from the restrooms with soapy hands. It seems that the sensor-detecting faucets in the lavatories were playing hard to get. One woman, upon seeing another guest failing to find water at any of the six basins, buddied up and held two fingers against the sensors, resulting in flowing water. The soaped-up guest’s wasn’t very quick. By the time she put her hands under the faucet, the water had stopped. The two women partnered up; while one blocked the sensor, the other finally got the now sticky soap off. Gents reported a similar situation in their lavatory.

Anne and Bill Johnson

Ken Malcolmson and Stacey Paddock Malcolmson

But the soapy challenge was soon forgotten as the partying commenced. Before even entering the cocktail party in the ballroom’s lobby, arriving guests saw hundreds of colorful ribbons hanging from equally colorful balloons hovering overhead.

As the 800 members of the Jubilee black-tie set like Marla and Evening Emcee Tony Briggle, Brent Christopher, Anne and Bill Johnson, Stacey Paddock Malcolmson and Ken Malcolmson, Heather Furniss, Delilah and Sam Boyd and Amanda and Price Johnson cocktailed, chatted and made great use of MirMir in the lobby, Event Co-Chair Lydia Addy was in the ballroom going over last-minute details.

Delilah Boyd and Price and Amanda Johnson

Heather Furniss

Lydia Addy

The room was like a mega birthday event, with a mammoth chandelier of huge balloons, party games like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and “Putt Putt” in the corners of the room, and a 12-foot-high, multi-layered birthday cake in the center of the dance floor.

Birthday cakes

On each table was a cake topped with electric candles. The confections looked good enough to eat, and guests would soon learn that they were, indeed. Despite looking like faux cakes, they actually were chocolate and vanilla, double-layer cakes.

Organizers had planned to run a tight program, with each speaker limited to two minutes. But as speakers with the best of intentions addressed the crowd, they said those infamous words that give event planners conniption fits — “I’m going to go off script.” It started when Rev. Mark Anschutz, who was to provide the invocation, told the audience that they should have known better than to give a minister the mic. His two minutes ended up being a lengthy thank you to individuals who had worked over the years to make Jubilee happen. That opened the floodgates, with Lydia and her Co-Chair/husband Bill Addy also expanding upon their two minutes in making their remarks. One behind the scenes person said that Jubilee CEO Ben Leal would stay on script, only to hear Ben tiptoe off script, too.

Ben Leal

But seriously, who could blame them if they wanted to thank everyone involved in the success of the southwest Dallas oasis? Since 1997, Jubilee Park has strengthened the 62-block community in southeast Dallas based on the five pillars of education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for both children and adults. As Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings noted of Jubilee Park and its supporters in addressing the crowd: “This marks the best of Dallas.” Not to mention that, instead of hitting the goal of $1.3M, the event had brought in more than $1.4M!

Ann and Bob Dyer, Guy and Louise Griffeth and Les and Linda Secrest

In between the speakers, salads were followed by chewy short ribs. Servers removed the centerpieces and returned minutes later with slices of the cake on plates and flutes of champagne. Ben invited all who had had any part of Jubilee to come to the dance floor to toast the occasion. With the dance floor filled, the rest of the guests, like Louise and Guy Griffeth, Linda and Les Secrest, Ann and Bob Dyer and Ken Schnitzer, stood in their places to join the birthday toast and sing “Happy Birthday.” With that, a confetti canon showered the room with paper.

Confetti Cannon

Then, to keep the action going, Emerald City quickly followed to transform the dance of toasters to dancers with glow sticks.

A Gentle Reminder: Over The Years Thanksgiving Day’s Has Been The Occasion To Show Gratitude And “Heal The Wounds Of The Nation”

According to tradition, Thanksgiving was a coming together of two people of different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs in 1621. So the story goes that on this occasion, the Plymouth colonists only survived their first year in the new world thanks to the Native Americans teaching them how to grow food and weather the harsh conditions. To celebrate and show their gratitude, the Pilgrims feasted with the Wampanoag tribe on the autumn harvest for three days.

Over the years similar occasions would be held in the young country as it grew in territory and population. It wasn’t until 1827 that the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” Sarah Joseph Hale undertook a 36-year campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday.

Finally in 1863 when the country was suffering through the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln officially designated the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day. His hope was to “commend to his (God’s) tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners and sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

However, that date changed during the Depression when President Franklin Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week to encourage additional shopping.

Dinner table (File photo)

Today, Thanksgiving has turned into a day of feasting, parades and football with families and friends. But its roots still hold true — to show gratitude regardless of differences and “heal the wounds of the nation.”

2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Is Presented With The Former Chair Bracelet

The makeup from Halloween’s haunting had hardly been scrubbed off than news of 2017’s final fundraising push as underway. Over at the Dallas Country Club Founder’s Room, the Callier Center’s Callier Care Luncheon leadership was doing double duty at noon on Wednesday, November 1.

Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Libby Hunt

Launched last year, the past luncheon chairs come together to present the recent chair with a bracelet. This year past luncheon chairs Libby Hunt (2012),  Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014) and  Angie Kadesky (2016), Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Dr. Tom Campbell and Jennifer Fowler were on hand to present 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson with the Tiffany sack containing her new trinket.

Angie Kadesky and John and Barbara Stuart

The gathering was also the official handing over of the baton to 2018 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele fresh from her chairing the Equest Luncheon and Style Show in October.

Emilynn Wilson, Tom Campbell and Beth Thoele

Joining Beth for the Callier Center for Communications Disorders fundraiser on Tuesday, April 17, at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Co-Chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte. Receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award will be The Meadows Foundation.

As for Emilynn, she’s still recovering from the record-breaker fundraiser and a nasty cough, as well as preparing to chair The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon on Monday, May 7, at Dallas Country Club.

The Senior Source Honored 2017 Spirit Of Generations Awardees Diane And John Scovell With Some Tricks And Treats

Hyatt Regency Dallas guests probably thought that Halloween was getting an early start on Tuesday, October 31. Passing them by were a blonde in black attire topped off with a black cowboy hat and red cape, a person in oversized cowboy costume, cheerleaders and munchkins in red T-shirts reading 2027 Panthers.

Actually, all these characters were on site as part of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring longtime Texas Tech loyalists Diane and John Scovell, as well as present the 2017 Molly H. Bogen Service Award to Lori Daniels.

Fred and Jan Hegi

Bob White

Carolyn Miller

As the Landmark Circle filled to capacity for the VIP reception with Gail and Gerald Turner, 2016 Spirit Awardees Jan and Fred Hegi, 2011 Spirit Awardee Carolyn Miller, 2010 Spirit Awardees Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Caren Kline, Kristen and Jim Hinton, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, John and Betty Crawford, Debbie Oates, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson and Margo Goodwin, The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney Nicolato and Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White welcomed the crowd.

Diane Scovell

One or two of the group admitted that they had headed to the Anatole, where the event had been held in the past. But since John had built the Hyatt along with the world-renowned tower, it was only right to honor him in his hotel.

One guest was huffing as she arrived after parking her car in the satellite parking lot. She admitted that the lunch was just the second time that she had been to the Hyatt and climbing the hill in high heels for John was a labor of love. The next time she was gonna valet.

Alan White and John Scovell

Mary Montgomery and Kristi Hoyl

At 11:30 the Landmark Ballroom was filling with longtime friends of the Scovells like Texas Tech buddy Alan White was tableside with Pat SchenkelKristi Hoyl and Mary Montgomery spied each other across the way. They were both in similar dresses… Alan Walne was still sporting a sling due to surgery…Former Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen arrived to hugs from Lindalyn Adams …’nother former Senior Sourcer Betty Houser reported that after a year off for “temporary retirement,” she was considering a return to the nonprofit sector… and Pat McCallum, Barbara Stuart, County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, District Attorney Faith Johnson and Brad Cheves.

Pete Schenkel, Brad Cheves and Alan Walne

Betty Houser and Stephanie Russell

Just past noon Senior Source Board Chair John Taylor III got things started by introducing Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Matthew Ruffiner, who gave the invocation, and Luncheon Chair Carol Lupton Huckin and Diamond Underwriter Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton addressed the crowd as lunch was served.

In presenting the Bogen Service Award with Molly to Lori, Cortney told how Lori had served in various capacities to help the elderly. Lori even created an underwear donation drive called “The Reverse Panty Raid” and a gift drive for the holidays. That first year, “ten seniors were adopted.” Last year 200 personalized gifts were delivered to clients.

Lori Daniels, Cortney Nicolato and Molly Bogen

Lori recalled how she had joined The Senior Source after seeing a notice in The Dallas Morning News for a volunteer opportunity. That was 20 years ago. Since that time, she has involved friends, family and especially her husband, Jim Daniels.

A video was shown detailing the countless programs that The Senior Source provides. Just last year they accommodated 33,000 “older adults.”

As the lights came up, a couple of white rocking chairs were now on the left side of the stage in front of a row of faux hedges with twinkling lights. In the back of the ballroom, cheerleaders and other characters waited.

Red Raider and Masked Rider

Following the video, Cortney asked that guests visit a senior and text donations. She then explained that while the fundraiser often took place around Thanksgiving, this year “We’re just trying to mess with you today and do it on Halloween.”

As Cortney left the stage and Diane and John took their places in the rocking chairs. A voice over the PA revealed how it was a Scovell tradition at Halloween that trick or treaters must do a trick before getting a treat. In keeping with that idea, it was announced that Stage Fright Events had been hired to screen the masses who seek their 15 minutes of fame “on the Scovells’ front porch.

John and Diane Scovell

The skit provided laughs as one of the screeners proved not to be the sharpest tack in the box saying that

  • John had met Diane when she was a traveling rodeo clown. No, Diane had been a rodeo queen in Brady. And they met in college — Texas Tech, of course.
  • John’s dad, Field Scovell, had been “Mr. Spandex Bowl.” No, Field had been Mr. Cotton Bowl.
  • John had built the Eiffel Tower. No, he had built Reunion Tower.
  • In college, Diane and John were named Mr. and Miss Texas A and …. No, they were named Mr. and Miss Texas Tech.

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

The first to tryout were future Hillcrest Panthers/third graders from Preston Hollow Elementary, who sang “Skin and Bones.” [Editor’s note: It was pretty darn adorable.]

Next up was the Reunion Tower Ball that texted via the big screen that it and the Scovells go back 39 years. For its trick, the revolving ball displayed a lit pumpkin.

Reunion Tower

Texas Tech cheerleaders

The final tryout on stage was the Texas Tech crew including the cheerleaders shouting “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for seniors  stand up and holler.” With that the Tech fight song played, Masked Rider and Raider Red arrived on stage and the guests stood.

With the Diane and John still rocking, Underwriting Chair John Crawford replaced the Stage Fright team and told how the Scovells had made a dynamic impact on Dallas education, business, health and environment by looking “to the future with a reverence for the past.” In the Scovell world, “Success is a team sport.”

John Crawford, Carol Huckin, John and Diane Scovell and John Taylor

John Taylor and Carol joined John Crawford in presenting the award to the Scovells.

After receiving the award, John Scovell retired to his chair and Diane admitted, “I want to shut the doors and get around to everybody…We’re appreciative and so very uncomfortable. It’s kinda not our style.” She asked everyone who had been involved with any of the Scovell projects for the betterment of Dallas. It seemed like all but a handful stood. At one point she told how their sons had been such troopers even when John coached them in soccer but knew nothing about the sport.

It was now time for John to address the group by defending his soccer skills. “My father told me early on. He said, ‘Son, if you can’t use your hands, it must be a communist sport.’ That was my introduction to soccer.” He then had Diane join him at the podium. Once again he recalled something his father had told him, “He had spent a lot of time at events like this and he said, ‘Son, if you’re to speak and have a nice audience, here’s what you tell them. You stand up to be seen. You speak up to be heard. You sit down to be appreciated.”

And from the audience’s response, the Scovells were truly appreciated.

For more photos of the day’s activities, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon And Anne Stodghill Present A Whopping $4M For Cancer Research And Treatments

Less than a month ago, weather threatened to put a real damper on the year-long work of the Cattle Baron’s Ball committee led by Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill. But the CBBers stood their ground at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21, and Mother Nature held back until the last guests partied on home. The fundraising was deemed a major party success.

Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon

Today at the CBB fall luncheon at Truluck’s, Anne and Sunie revealed the results of their team’s efforts. It was a whopping, holy mackerel $4M to support cancer research and treatments.

That’s not the gross, not the amount raised! It is the bottom-line net.

Now, 2018 CCB Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Jonika Nix pick up and carry on the fundraising for the 45-year-old organization. First on their must-do-list is the announcement of the 2018 theme. That is scheduled to happen after the holidays. Stay tuned.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 18th Annual Mission Ole

Lesley Lanahan, Matt Schooler and Ann Kellogg Schooler and Michael Lanahan

Despite the ghoulish faces and the chill in the air, the Trinity River Mission’s 18th Annual Mission Ole at Chicken Scratch and The Foundry was festive, fun and fundraising on Saturday, October 28. With the fire pit blazing and portable heater blowing, the cold factor was nihil. But at times it was hard to know just who was behind the painted faces. Why the face painters were busier than NorthPark Neiman’s cosmetic counter on a Saturday afternoon!

Web Pierce

Yatzil Rubin and Thomas Surgent

While the post is being finished, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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?

The Scripps Society Celebrated The Moody Foundation’s Announcement Of A $12M Gift To CRI With Dinner And A Very Special Singer

While Kathy and Harlan Crow were in Washington, D.C., they left “the key under the mat” for The Scripps Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday, October 24.

For newcomers, The Scripps Society was named after Debbie and Ric Scripps, who “have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission.” It’s made up of people who have provided one million dollars or more for the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, better known as CRI.

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

But on this occasion, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and Children’s Health CEO Christopher Durovich had a breathtaking surprise for the group whose funds had generously supported pediatric healthcare.

Following dinner in the Crow Library, it was announced that The Moody Foundation had gifted a whopping $12M for CRI.

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

Despite having coordinated the arrangement of the gift, Foundation Human Resources Director/Regional Grant Director for North Texas Jamie Williams admitted that it had been quite an undertaking, but well worth it. Thanks to the gift, CRI will be able to “attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas to work alongside other researchers at CRI and will fuel their research for the next decade.”

As for Moody Foundation Chair/Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg, they were amazed at the magnificence of the library. It was their first time to visit.

In the crowd were CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Dr. Hao Zhu,Christina Durovich, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sherry Vittrup and CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, and Dr. Hao Zhu.

Hao Zhu, Russell Vittrup and Sherry Vittrup

Another highlight of  the evening was Children’s patient Russell Vittrup‘s singing some “Old Blue Eyes” favorites. Having been diagnosed with leukemia his first  year in college, Russell’s story, like his singing, is mesmerizing.

Thanks to The Moody Foundation and the members of The Scripps Society, medical research is creating life-saving treatments and diagnoses for others like Russell.

Despite Ma Nature’s Threatening With Weather Woes, Cattle Baron’s Ball “Shot For The Stars” With Paddles Waving And Guests Partying

Las Vegas oddsmakers thought they had all their bets covered on Saturday, October 21. The Astros were facing off against the Yankees in the 2017 American League playoffs, and the 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball was facing incredible odds to raise bunches of money for cancer research.

While the Astros won the pennant in Houston and prepared to meet  the L.A .Dodgers in the World Series, the CBB-ers were also rising to the occasion at Gilley’s Dallas. With all types of ugly weather once again threatening to create a Debbie Downer predicament, CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill prepared for battle, making Eisenhower’s D-Day playbook look loosey-goosey.

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Sunie and Steve Solomon

The layout had been redesigned from past CBB gatherings at Gilley’s to address any possible stormy outburst. And as the days got closer and a norther started ambling its way southward, tents sprung up like bluebonnets in spring. Even the brief crosswalk between Gilley’s proper and the football stadium-size tent for the Brooks and Dunn concert was encased. Only the Ferris wheel lay bare.

Ferris wheel

But then, the Baronesses were old hands at dealing with Ma Nature, and Sunie, Anne and their committee members were prepared to take the old wet gal on. One longtime CBB vet was amazed at how seamless the evening went. The POA was created to be flexible, just in case an “Oops!” situation arose. And it did—but more about that later.

While the very fashionable types sported everything from suede skirts to custom boots, the accessory du jour was made of paper. No matter the amount of turquoise worn, it was the color of a guest’s wristband that established their pecking order. Talk about a caste system! It not only determined when and where a guest could venture, but it also reflected your exact ranking of table assignments at the Brooks and Dunn concert—if you scored the limited meet-and-greet with the duo.

Alison and Mike Malone and Hallie Lawrence

John Buchanan and Ken Paxton

Dwight and Claire Emanuelson

Andrea Weber, Mary Parker and Olivia Kearney

Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

Barbara and Don Daseke

Stubbs and Holly Davis and Kent Rathbun

Phil White and Danice Couch

Alex Laurenzi

Tom and Amy Hughes and Pam and Vin Perella

As guests like Ken Paxton (who was attending his first Cattle Baron’s in six or seven years), Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Pam and Vince Perella, Rhonda and Fraser Marcus, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Olivia and Jeff Kearney, Barbara and Don Daseke, Bethany and Stephen Holloway and past CCB chairs (Olivia Kearney, Jennifer Dix, Cindy Stager, Mary Martha Pickens, Mary Parker, Amy Turner, Katherine Wynne, Tia Wynne, Kristen Sanger and Brooke Shelby) partied in the main ballroom, some super VIPers waited for their meet-and-greet time with Winston and Strawn Live Auction entertainer Pat Green.

Among them: Co-chair Husbands Steve Solomon and Steve Stodghill, longtime friends who passed the time bantering about their outfits (Stodghill bought his tricked-out C&W jacket at Manuel’s in Nashville, it seems, while Solomon joked that he got his duds at Neiman’s). Stodg also revealed that his Winston and Strawn law-firm pals had bought five tables for the big party.  

Terra Najork

Steve Lamb, Pat Green and Deborah Ferguson

Katie Layton, Megan O’Leary, Paige Westhoff, Andrea Nayfa, Pat Green, Diana Hamilton, Terra Najork, Katy Bock, Nancy Gopez

That’s when the “oops” happened. As it turned out, the Pat Green meet-and-greeters waited … and waited … and waited. Seems that Pat had gotten a late start and then had been stuck in traffic. Not to worry, though. Food and beverages were brought in, creating a mini-party, as calls were made checking on Pat’s progress. Once he finally appeared, though, things went perfectly, with Green apologizing to each of the guests as their photos were taken. “It was the craziest thing in the world, trying to get here,” he explained to anyone who would listen. Who couldn’t forgive the baby-faced blonde? In the meantime, Pat’s wife, jewelry designer Kori Green, made her way to Jacqueline Cavender’s table for the performance leading up to the live auction, which would have a different feel tonight.  

Jacqueline Cavender and Kori Green

Pat Green and Steve Stodghill

As the two Co-Chair Hubby Steves introduced Pat to the audience, Pat came up behind Stodgie and wrapped his arms around the attorney. At points throughout his performance, Pat managed to not only play his guitar and sing, but to pose for selfies with loving admirers on the floor. He also chided the crowd at one point: “It’s Saturday night, and you don’t have to apologize until tomorrow. You all sure are quiet Christians! I guess for the Brooks and Dunn show, you’re gonna be hammered!” Pat even spied his Cavendar pals and thanked them for supplying his evening’s entire wardrobe—right down to his undies.

Kevin Kuykendall

Annika Cail

Elizabeth Tripplehorn-Laurenzi

No sooner had Pat left the stage than it was time for the live auction to get underway. Some longtime observers were concerned. After all, stalwart paddle-hoisters like Nancy Rogers, Diane and Hal Brierley and Lisa and Clay Cooley were MIA, due to out-of-town ventures and other commitments. Not to worry. Such names as Wagner, Kuykendall, Fischer, Turner and Maguire not only filled the void, they raised eyebrows. One CBB vet stood in amazement as uber-bidding took place.

An auction package of a trip to Umbria and Florence to create custom porcelain place settings for 16, plus dinner afterwards at Truluck’s Dallas for 20, was won by Sabrina and Kevin Kuykendall for $100,000.

Kevin and Sabrina Kuykendall

Gail and Cliff Fischer

When the poker game with former Dallas Cowboys went up for bid, Cliff Fischer put on his best poker face, waved off auctioneers and watched the bidding proceed. He had snapped it up last year for $100,000 and was playing hard-to-get. Just as the bids slowed to a standstill, Cliff raised his paddle to snap it up for $75,000.

Cary Maguire wheeled up to the Deason table on the front row with his posse just long enough to have the last paddle standing for the Las Vegas package that included a concert with Reba McIntire and Brooks and Dunn for $50,000. No sooner had he signed on the dotted line than the Maguire entourage was gone.

Steve Stodghill and Todd Wagner

Amy Turner

Todd Wagner took home the Indie package for $41,000 and Amy Turner picked up the Chefs’ dinner for a nice round figure.  

A last-minute add was artwork by Ronnie Dunn, who appeared on stage to discuss his artistic venture. Art-loving Steve Stodghill couldn’t resist and snapped up Ronnie’s piece for $14,000.

Like clockwork, the live auction ended and the thousands headed to the big tent. For a handful of super-duper VIPs, it was backstage then for the meet-and-greet with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. As per the routine of most grip-and-grins, guests are photographed sans purses and other distractions.

Ronnie Dunn, Anne Stodghill, Sunie Solomon, Kix Brooks and Steve Solomon

But on this occasion, there were the exceptions. Barry Andrews proudly hoisted a Miller Lite. Who could blame the Miller distributor, who had once again sponsored the Miller Distributing Main Stage presented by Miller Lite?

Mike McGuire, Ronnie Dunn, Sophie McGuire, Natalie McGuire, Barry and Lana Andrews and Kix Brooks

Ronnie Dunn, Kinky Friedman, Nicole Barrett and Kix Brooks

And then there was this one fella who couldn’t be separated from his stogie. His name was Richard Friedman, but he’s more commonly known as Kinky Friedman. Perhaps he hadn’t been told that the fundraiser was benefiting the American Cancer Society?

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn

No sooner had the photo session ended than it was time for Sunie and Anne to greet the more than 3,000 guests from the stage, announce the winners of the raffle, and get the concert underway with salutes to the military. And, what a concert it was! As two-steppers flocked to the front of the stage, Brooks and Dunn pumped out hit after hit: “Brand New Man,” “Red Dirt Road,” “Lost and Found,” “Play Something Country,” “Neon Moon,” “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” “Husbands and Wives,” “My Next Broken Heart.” Suffice to say, the big crowd got their money’s worth—and more. 

In the distance, meantime, Mother Nature was holding off. She was either was on her best behavior, or flat scared that Steve Stodghill would sue her for tortious interference. Regardless, as if perfectly planned, the heavens opened up and the rain started pouring down just as the final shuttles were hauling guests back to their cars at 2 a.m.

Yup, this year the CBBers had a game plan ready to take on all challenges. And the plan worked out just beautifully.

For a look at the festivities, check out the 90 pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN : Hamon Charitable Foundation Creates $10M Endowment For Laura And Jack Roach Center For Translational Research In Alzheimer’s

The late Nancy Hamon was a magnificent example of philanthropy. She lavished funds on various nonprofits from the arts to healthcare. Advising her over the years was attorney Jack Roach. Before she died in July  2011 at the age of 92, she established the Hamon Charitable Foundation to continue her philanthropic legacy. And, of course, Jack was a Foundation officer.

Laura and Jack Roach*

Today it was announced that the Foundation has created a $10M endowment “to support the new Laura and Jack Roach Center for Translational Research in Alzheimer’s Disease” at UT Southwestern. The endowment was establish to “honor the Roaches after Laura [Roach] was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”

Thanks to the gift, UT Southwestern will be able research better ways to treat Alzheimer’s and “delay its onset from the laboratory into clinic practice.”

Hamon Charitable Foundation President Kelly Roach explained, “We’re hoping for a cure and that researchers can slow progression of the disease. We believe $10 million will get us a step closer in the right direction. It’s a difficult disease to watch – they call it ‘the long goodbye.’ We hope other families don’t have to experience what we’re experiencing.”

Daniel Podolsky (File photo)

While some consider Alzheimer’s to be an older person’s disease, its effect touches the patient’s family and friends of all ages.  Amazingly, 90% of the developments in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s has been made in the past 20 years.

According to UT Southwestern President Daniel Podolsky, “This magnificent gift from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will strengthen the infrastructure for translational research within the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Already, work at UT Southwestern is leading to promising new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. A strengthened translational research program will bridge the gap between scientific discovery and clinical care and accelerate progression between today’s medical challenges and tomorrow’s cures.”

Thanks to Nancy Hamon’s philanthropy and her relationship with Jack Roach, her support of her adopted hometown continues.

* Photo provided by UT Southwestern