Attention, Nonprofits: Wait Til You Hear This One!

The Real Estate Council and the Center for Nonprofit Management got together and realized how tough the nonprofits have it . . . especially now. They’ve come up with a solution that does not require money, longterm commitments or your first born thanks to Chase underwriting the program and TREC’s Eliza Solender‘s donating her time to develop it.

It’s a five-part series on the “most important real estate issues facing nonprofit agencies and how to address these needs.” Designed for nonprofit executive directors, senior staff and board members, the series takes place once a month from September to January 2011.

TREC VP of community services Beth Lambert Saul says, “Real estate is typically the second-largest budget item for a nonprofit and a high priority for decision makers.  TREC, along with member Eliza Solender of Solender/Hall, has created a curriculum to help educate those in charge of real estate decisions.”

Even after the course is complete, mentor volunteers from TREC will be “assigned to each nonprofit to provide ongoing support and problem solving as needed.”

Here’s the catch:  Space is limited to 25 agencies and the deadline for applications is August 27.

Would someone please thank TREC, the CNM and Chase for (a) being very creative and (b) putting together a brilliant program?


Budget Cuts? How About Adopting A Station?

With City Manager Mary Suhm putting a red pencil to city departments, you might want to consider the “Adopt-A-Station” program. In need of a fire station to adopt? How about Fire Station #55? They’re having a tour of the facility on Sunday, August 15, around 3-ish.

What’s that? What’s expected from adopting a fire station? Well, they need everything from towels to mattresses. That isn’t all that much when you realize that they firefighters save lives daily.

Mayor’s Back To School Fair Results In Thousands Lining Up Despite The Heat

It’s already 82 degree and Mayor Tom Leppert has his hands full this morning with the Mayor’s Back To School Fair presented by Walmart. The families have been lining up since 3:30 a.m. The place looks more like free day at Six Flags. Congratulations to organizers for providing such needed services for families!

The sponsors and donors are just about everybody and everything that make Dallas great. Here is the link to who they are.

BTW, don’t you feel sorry for the poor person who is in the Rowdy costume.


Billie Leigh Rippey And Her Tiffany Circle Ranked #1 In The American Red Cross World

Photo provided by the American Red Cross

It’s extremely pleasing when Dallas folks score a numero uno place nationally. And that’s exactly what the Dallas-Area Chapter Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross did when they attended the annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Honorary Chair Billie Leigh Rippey (pictured in red with, from the left, Cathy Keating, Anne Compton and Tricia Besing) and her entourage brought home top honors.

(In case you’re brand new to the world of giving, the Tiffany Circl is a society of female leaders and philanthropists who annually invest $10,000 in their local American Red Cross chapters.)

With 300 Tiffany Circle women in attendance, the Dallas 10 brought home “two prestigious awards that honored them for having hte most Tiffany Circle Members in the nation, as well as the most commitments to the Bonnie McEvleen-Hunter Lifetime membership (a gift of $100,000 that spans over 10 years).

Just in case you’re wondering, the 52 members of the Dallas Tiffany Circle have raised more than $1,001,612 for the Red Cross to use in the local community.

Who are the 52? Of course, you want names, so here goes: [Read more…]

Hutchins BBQ Has Got A Deal For You And The Samaritan Inn Today

If you’re up in McKinney today, stop off at Hutchins’ BBQ (pictured) to start the week off right. Besides having some good barbecue, you’ll also be helping The Samaritan Inn.  Owner Tim Hutchins will donate ALL the proceeds from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to The Samaritan Inn.

That’s right. Not a portion of the day’s take — the whole day’s dine-in and take-out sales will go to The Samaritan Inn.



Pat and Emmitt Smith Are Going To Have A Very Busy Fall

This fall is going to be a busy one for Dallas’ #1 couples Pat and Emmitt Smith. As if Emmitt’s being inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and being in the spotlight at the North Texas Super Bowl XLV’s final concert, Pat is due to have a baby. Whew!

Now comes word that the twosome will receive the Methodist Health System Folsom Leadership Award at the annual dinner on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Hilton Anatole.

Past honorees have included former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom (2005), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Troy Aikman (2007), Laura Bush (2008) and the late Norman Brinker (2009). Nice group to hang with.

BTW, each event has netted more than $1 million for Methodist Health System’s programs and services.

Today Is Quite A Day! Thank You, John And Tom

It was just 234 years ago today that the Declaration of Independence was signed.

It was just 184 years ago today that both  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other.

Today is a day to be remembered for a new nation’s birth and the passing of its fathers.

Entrepreneurs For North Texas Salutes Bill Lively As Social Entrepreneur

Ever since its inception, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship has been presented to business entrepreneurs and politicos (Jim Keyes, Ray Hunt, Craig Hall, T. Boone Pickens, Roger Staubach, Charles (pictured left with Patrick and Natalie Brandt) and Sam Wyly, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry). Thursday night that tradition was broken with the presentation of the ninth annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship award plus navy blue blazer, cuff links and custom pen to Bill Lively at Communities Foundation of Texas. He was recognized as a “social entrepreneur” by the Entrepreneurs for North Texas. You gotta love entrepreneurs. They’re such mavericks and are not limited by traditions or rules.

Just listening to Bill’s acceptance speech made you realize that he belonged with this crowd:

  • “Being an entrepreneur is as my dad said to me when I was in the fifth grade: ‘Just think you can do anything.’ And in Dallas, you probably can.”
  • “In Dallas if you galvanize leaders, you can do anything.”
  • On the Super Bowl: “Everyone will see that Dallas is the greatest place in this country to live.”
  • To young people: “Give back to Dallas. Make Dallas a better place. Find projects that will make a difference.”
  • “We were raised in Oak Cliff. We were poor, but my parents valued two things: us and education. We also learned the importance of teams from my dad, who participated in ‘teams’ at church, at the PTA, etc.”

Among the crowd of can-do’s were

  • Mayor Tom Leppert who said, “If Bill comes near you, you may want to guard your wallet.”
  • Mavericks’ go-to-man Terdema Ussery (pictured right with Mickey and Bill Lively): “You can reach this guy (Bill) 24/7 — especially if you want to give him a check!”

Also recognized for their support of entrepreneurship in Dallas and awarded the EFNT’s North Star Recognition were

  • ES On Demand
  • Ashlee (pictured) and Chris Kleinert.

Walking 2 Destiny Celebrates Juneteenth And Honors Rev. Dr. Larry McGriff

As part of the Juneteenth celebration this past Saturday, the Memnosyne Foundation held its Walking 2 Destiny Festival for more than 300 youngsters (five to 18) and their families at the Lifeway Church.

Photo credit: Marty Perlman

Built upon last year’s celebration,this year’s event was dedicated to the late Bishop Dr. Larry McGriff of the Church of the Living God, who died earlier this year from an aneurysm. To mark the occasion, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert joined Larry’s wife, the Rev. Dr. Karen Hollie (pictured with Tom), and many others in creating a day of activities to help youngsters “to make positive changes in their lives as they become involved on a personal level with others who care.”

This year’s festival was loaded with activities including dance, traditional African prayers and music by both Bandan Koro and Kweku G. Kordrington, thanks to the Office of Cultural Affairs. Bobby Patterson, recording artist and KKDA radio personality, emceed between acts performed by Genesis, the Cameron Parks Mime Troupe and Apostle Darrell Yancey, gospel recording artist.

In addition to Dusti the Clown, they also had “AFI” Bell from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, who came dressed in traditional African dress and captivated the audience of both children and adults with her dynamic storytelling.  She incorporated instruments, songs and chants to educate the audience in a dynamic, interactive way about the history of black people in America and specifically the reason behind the celebration of Juneteenth.

Freddie Jones, nationally-acclaimed composer, producer and trumpeter, provided a music workshop for children inside.  Jones also took the main stage outside and entertained the crowds with his contemporary jazz music.

Photo credit: Marty Perlman

And the smart organizers arranged to have lunch provided free for all. And we all know how very important it is to close with a winning moment. Well, it came when Imam Muhammed Shakoor of the Merciful Redeemer Mosque, Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk and the Rev. Dr. Todd Collier distributed (pictured) more than 100 pairs of Nike gym shoes and more than 200 backpacks to community children.  The backpacks were provided by the Memnosyne Foundation and filled with food donated by Christian Community Action of Lewisville.

The festival’s success was possible thanks to volunteers from the Memnosyne Foundation’s Interfaith Service Network, Lifeway Church, the Ismaili Muslim Community, Baha’i Temple of Dallas, Center for Spiritual Living and individual volunteers from various faith traditions across Dallas.  Participation from the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation and local arts organizations, as well as sponsorships from Taylor Rental, Oak Cliff Presbyterian and Cathedral of Hope, and The Office of Cultural Affairs.  KHVN-FM and Elite News also contributed to the success of this year’s Walking 2 Destiny Festival.

Just In: ELECTRIC Is Sold Out, But Saturday’s Baseball Game Is Still Pitching!

We were just getting ready to announce that the VIP packages for Friday night’s ELECTRIC at the House of Blues were sold out, but general admission was still available.

Forget that! Now everything ELECTRIC is sold out. Oh, shoot! You’re gonna miss the 1,000 Edison lightbulbs, 8,000 feet of cable, 3,000 mirrors, 1,200 candles, 12 electricians and a heck of a lot of good looking people. That’s not saying that the 12 electricians won’t be hunks.

You’re upset we can tell and some of you aren’t quite sure what ELECTRIC is. It’s part of [Read more…]

Aetna Provided $338,000 To Area Groups In 2009

Did you know Aetna and the Aetna Foundation in 2009 awarded 27 community grants and sponsorships in North Texas totaling $338,000? While their primary focus was on disease prevention, obesity and health screening, they didn’t leave other needy groups out.

Out of the $24M awarded nationally by the Aetna Foundation, the following North Texas groups received grants from Aetna and its employees:

  • $75,000 to the American Heart Association;
  • $25,000 to the American Diabetes Association Inc.,
  • $25,000 to the Dallas Concilio of Hispanic Service Organizations,
  • $15,000 to the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA),
  • $10,000 to the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and
  • $5,000 to the Back to School Round-Up.

Also, receiving Aetna grants or sponsorships were [Read more…]

Get Out Your Top Hat And Tails Dusted Off For Paws In The City Saturday Night

Paws in the City got a nice story on WFAA last night. Perfect timing! Their annual fundraiser, “Top Hat and Tails,” will have a “Dancing With The Stars” feel this Saturday night at Frontiers of Flight Museum.  Hosts Drew Pearson and Scott Murray have arranged for such celebs as Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Patterson, foodie Dee Lincoln, KTVT-CH. 11’s Gary Seith, Dallas Cowboy wife Michelle Witten, chef Richard Chamberlain, TV/radio personalities Jocelyn White and Brendan Higgins and KXAS-CH. 5’s Kim Fischer to dance up a storm.

The dance competition will pair celebrities with Arthur Murray dance pros. There will be one dance routine performed by each couple and judged by  Claudia Marshall, Kellie Rasberry and Tony Dorsett. You just know there will be some Simon Cowell comments dropped. Winners will be determined by a combination of judges’ scores and guests’ voting.

In addition to the fun, the St. Francis of Assisi Award will be presented to Holly Forsythe for her dedication and service to animals.

Barking Hound Village, Toothacres, Urban Paws, Tailwaggers, WUF, Kinder Kritter, Boarding Bungalow and Bikerdogz Dog Training will be presented awards for their support of Paws In The City. What kind of support? They have helped board and train dogs in the program.

Event chair Becky Haisma and Vice Chair Tina Fairbanks have Honorary Chairs Samantha Reid, Andrea Alcorn and Nancy Latner helping them make this another success story for Paws In The City.

Understand there are a few tickets still available.

ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Programs Ceremony Was All Smiles

With moms pushing baby strollers in one direction at the Arboretum entrance this morning, more than 200 nonprofit leaders and interns headed straight to the Arboretum’s Rosine Hall for Exxon Mobil Community Summer Jobs Program.

The program is a lifesaver for many of the nonprofits. Exxon provides the funding for nonprofits to have interns. It’s a win-win scenario. Not only do the nonprofits get eager young people to help out, they students get internships which definitely dress up any resume.

According to Exxon’s Corporate Citizenship and Community Investments Manager Robert Lanyon (pictured) with his oh-so charming British accent, “More than 1,400 young people have participated in the program since its start 20 years ago.” (Don’t plan on seeing Robert at next year’s event. He’s headed this fall to handle public affairs for Exxon in London. Hmm, as one astute observer said, “Everyone in public affairs nowadays is British.”)

One of the highlights of the ceremony was [Read more…]

Jaylyn Gramer Is Making Her Mom Proud

Caring for and watching a loved one suffer through cancer is unimaginable for most of us. But try being a son or daughter whose parent loses the battle to breast cancer.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure that has time and time again created new programs and assistance for families of breast cancer patients has once again risen to the cause. It has created scholarships ($10,000 a year for up to four years) for four undergraduates who have lost a parent to breast cancer.

One of the recipients this year is from our neck of the woods. It is Jaylyn Gramer of Aledo. While you may not know Jaylyn, you should. She was just 14 when her mother passed away from breast cancer. Jaylyn worked two jobs while completing high school to help pay off debt from medical expenses and maintained an exemplary grade point average.

After losing her mother, Gramer began participating in breast cancer awareness activities, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. She also spent time in Mexico and Peru doing mission work and has been involved in community service projects like Habitat for Humanity. This disease is personal for Gramer, and she has dedicated her life to being an advocate for breast cancer awareness.

This fall Jaylyn will be a freshman at Texas A&M University, where she plans to study business education. Her ultimate goal in life — to make her mother proud.

Why do we suspect her mom is already very proud?

Steel Magnolias Celebrate With Chuckles And Macaroni

Last Friday before Dallas was abandoned for the summer, the second annual Steel Magnolia Luncheon was held at The Aldredge House to announce the 2010 Women That Soar.  The honorees were Diane Brierley (arts patron), Ana Cristina Reymundo (media) Gail Warrior Lawrence (business), Janelle Friedman (civic), Bobbi Topfer (philanthropy), Lori White (education), Khanh Nguyen (fashion) and Rhonda Hunter (legacy).

With the crowd literally spilling into all parts of the Aldredge House, the honorees had front row seats along with yellow rose corsages. How very southern belle! When was the last time you worn a corsage? Yup, that’s what we thought.

But after all it was an event with ladies in drop-dead hats, southern blues n’ jazz and speakers with the best southern accents this side of the Mississippi. Even emcee Rawlins Gilliland (pictured) warranted a corsage and it was well deserved. With his wit, wisdom and way of weaving a tale about the great ladies in his life, he had the packed crowd nearly falling out of their white, wooden folding chairs.

Then featured speaker/author Ronda Rich (pictured) took the podium and almost walked away with the audience. In a perkier than perky turquoise suit (“I got it from Neiman ‘Mawcus'”), she commended the honorees for their efforts and then told marvelous anecdotes about southern women and their ways. One of her stories involved a delicious recipe for macaroni.

After Ronda finished her talk, the group was told that it was time for lunch in the tree-shaded back lawn of Aldredge House. . . with the infamous macaroni on the menu. And as a bonus, guests were given the macaroni recipe to take home with them. (If we get a copy, we’ll see if we can post it.)

Benefiting the Women Called Moses and The Memnosyne Foundation’s Joppa Women’s Entrepreneur Program, the event was hosted by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk (pictured left with Ronda), Joshua Raymond Frenk and Gina Grant.

Early Morning Call for Memorial Day Weekend

It’s Memorial Day weekend. A perfect time to sleep in. More than perfect would be heading out to D/FW International Airport to greet the returning troops. Yes, you have to be there by 7 a.m. when the plane arrives, but when you see the soldiers’ expressions as they see the people welcoming them home. . . well, you’ll want to be there daily.

The organizers have even arranged for you to have free parking.

Did you know that D/FW International is one of two U.S. airports where troops arrive before going to their hometowns? That means the first time they touch American soil is right in our backyard.

For details, just go here.

A.W.A.R.E. was Dandy-less but Still Memorable

Since it was announced that this year’s A.WA.R.E. luncheon would honor Don Meredith, anticipation was in overdrive. It had been quite a while since the lovable, legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback/ABC sports commentator had been seen in these parts. It had even taken the very persuasive team of former teammate Lee Roy Jordan and his wife Biddy to personally fly to Santa Fe to talk Don and his wife Susan into accepting the honor.

But behind the scenes there was always the concern that 72-year old Dandy’s health might trump all the planning and hopes.

Unfortunately, it did. Susan admitted that he was just not well enough to make the trip to Dallas and stood in for him. With this in mind, this post is being written, so Don will know what happened. Like Don, it was an event that was endearing, full of fun and legendary.

It seemed that nearly all the 1,110+ crowd attending the luncheon Wednesday at the Fairmont had some sort of personal connection to the man who led the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-1968 at the Cotton Bowl for coach Tom Landry under the ownership of Clint Murchison.

Besides videos about the Don, a celebrity panel of “Dandy Don’s” friends and colleagues at times mistook the event for a roast. But what else would you expect from the likes of football legends Walt Garrison, Bob Lilly (pictured) and Roger Staubach; Frank Gifford, one of Meredith’s broadcast partners on ABC’s Monday Night Football; and emcee Phyllis George, the Denton-born former Miss America (1971)/former CBS sportscaster.

The celebrity panelists described the Mount Vernon native as a fiercely competitive leader with a rowdy, down-home sense of humor. In a video tribute, for instance, Lee Roy said he once asked Meredith why he chose to attend SMU. Don’s reply: “It was close to home, and I could spell it.” [Read more…]

Beyond the Rainbow Treasures Another Success

Question of the day: Why should this photo of Jordan Flint and Barney bother you? Answer: Later.

Last Friday two groups of heroes took to the funway, or rather runway, in the Anatole decked out in Dillard’s fashions for the 22nd annual Beyond the Rainbow Fashion Show/Luncheon. One group was made up of jocks and celebs who go beyond the call of duty in participating and chumming it up with the other group of models — children who have/had cancer.

While all the well-dressed guests were browsing at the silent auction during the pre-show reception, the corp of adult and youth models were having a grand old time in other areas. The youngsters were in the prep room chatting with Mother Goose, clowns and other kid-friendly characters (pictured). They were also getting all dolled up for their catwalk. Think Six Flags Over Texas indoors. It was so much fun that KDFW-CH. 4 anchor/show emcee Clarice Tinsley starting iPhoning photos (pictured).

Across the hallway, the adults were having grownup fun. [Read more…]

Sit, Heel and Set Your Recorder

KERA is airing “Through a Dog’s Eyes” tonight at 7. It’s a documentary dealing with “services dogs and the people whose lives they have changed.”

One Mother Helping Another Mother Sleep

Brandi Todd is the Morgan Mill mother who was sitting on a park bench watching her children when a man stabbed her for no apparent reason. The results? Authorities suspect the perpetrator has mental problems and medical experts fear that Brandi is paralyzed from the waist down.

Her neighbors and even strangers have rallied to help the young mother. Among those strangers is mom/wife/Sleep Experts President Christine Cook and her crew with the donation of a new Simmons Comforpedic mattress complete with an adjustable base just like a hospital bed. The family-owned company has made it a habit of stepping in to help others.

This donation plus the efforts of the Morgan Mill community probably doesn’t belong on MySweetCharity because Brandi is not an official, state-recognized non-profit. It’s doubtful that Sleep Experts is going to get a big old tax write off and the folks of Morgan Mill aren’t going to be on Oprah, but their coming together to help a victim should be recognized and serve as an example for all.