Laurie And Wade Phillips Are Class Acts

Yesterday Dallas was celebrating the Cowboys win over the Giants. Among the jubilation was a couple that showed a lot of class — Laurie and Wade Phillips. Just a week ago Wade made headlines nationally when he was let go as head coach of the Cowboys by Jerry Jones.

Most of us would have taken an extended vacation, locked our front doors and not answered the phone, or groused about how badly we were treated.

Luckily, Laurie and Wade aren’t like most of us. Monday morning they were at the C.A.R.E. breakfast in downtown Dallas to support the war against substance abuse. Emcee Scott Murray pointed them out to the group that gave them an extended standing ovation. Tearful Laurie (pictured) and grateful Wade were touched by this show of support.

After the talk by John Larroquette, the line formed to the right for folks to have their pictures taken with the Phillips.

Wade may no longer be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but he and Laurie continue to be role models for the rest of us. Our community is better for their presence among us.

Thanks To Jan And Trevor Rees-Jones, The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Is $5M Closer To Becoming Reality

Nowadays financial support seems to be as hard to find as a Cowboys win. But when it happens, it’s the sweet smell of happiness. Last Tuesday the oh-so marvelous fragrance was in abundance as the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Board of Trustees was celebrating at Ginny and Conner Searcy‘s Park Cities home. How the Searcys did a party after just hosting another event at Three Three Three for the DCAC, one will just have to ponder!

But Tuesday evening was to honor Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones (pictured right with Jan Rees-Jones) for their generous support ($5 million) to the $11 million capital campaign to build a new facility. The new building will be off of Samuell Boulevard with Phase One being 47,861, square feet eventually including another 31.902-square-foot addition.

When you realize that the current facility on Swiss Avenue is only 14,000 square feet, you can understand why Mary Blake Meadows confirmed, “We can service more children” at the new building.

With the Rees-Jones contribution plus $860K from Crystal Charity and others — including

  • $500,000 – $1,000,000 –Crystal Charity Ball, Hirsch Family Foundation and J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation
  • $250,000 – $499,999 — Hillcrest Foundation founded by Mrs. W.W. Caruth Sr.; Roger Kent and Mr. and Mrs. Rick Scripps
  • $100,000 – $249,999 — Dr. and Mrs Kenneth Altshuler, The Baldridge Foundation, Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Meadows, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Olson, Mr. and Mrs. James Pasant, The Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Regard
  • $50,000 – $99,999 — Hawn Foundation Inc., The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable  & Educational Trust, The George and Fay Young Foundation Inc. and Mr. and Mrs. Conner Searcy
  • $25,000 – $49,999 — Hoak Foundation, Hegi Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Moor; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Norville, The Rudman Partnership and Mr. and Mrs. Paul F. Tagg,

— they just need $2 million more.

According to Mary, the Rees-Jones Foundation had three giving options when it met including one that was only $1 million. But Jan and Trevor cut to the chase and committed to $5 million.

Perhaps the driving force was the fact that there are 5,000 to 6,000 confirmed cases needing DCAC’s services in Dallas every year. Presently the DCAC is handling 2,000. With the new facility, that number will double.

President Lynn M. Davis said, “This building is desperately needed by the children of Dallas County.”

Trevor (pictured) spoke for Jan saying that their foundation likes DCAC because it’s “trying to help those who are least able to help themselves.” He went on to say that the Rees-Jones Foundation is passionate about abused kids because they’re suffering through no fault of their own.

Chuck Meadows followed Trevor, saying, “The campaign is not over. We’ll try to find 1,000 people to give $1,000 each. We need to expand our base. We have several big ‘asks’ out there.”

Chuck went on to add that his wife Mary got him up at 7:30 in the morning (“kicked my butt out of bed”) to go meet people at breakfast for the cause. Mary was supposed to fade into the sunset after serving last year, but she told him, “No, we’re taking on the capital campaign!”

Also on hand to emphasize the importance of the capital campaign was Dallas Police Chief David Brown (pictured), who said, “This group is flying at 30,000 feet. The Dallas Police Department has worked very closely with them for years. What they’ve done here in Dallas is a model nationally. It’s something to be proud of. They show true compassion for our children. This group is leading the charge to help grow services” for the children.

Dallas Historical Society’s “Awards For Excellence” Embraces Native Born And Born-Again Dallasites

The Dallas Historical Society’s “Awards For Excellence in Community Service” (AFE) may not be the largest gathering inDallas, but it attracts decision-makers of Dallas, both past and present. Why just at Tuesday’s reception for the 2010 event at the Fairmont, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Dr. Gail Thomas (pictured right with Kay Bailey Hutchison) were comparing notes about the October celebration of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Before even locking down the weekend of October 14 for the launch, Gail checked Kay’s schedule to make sure she would be available.

Besides being a past recipient of the AFE, Gail had still another connection to the day’s event — son Stewart Thomas was co-chairing the luncheon along with his wife Michelle and Honorary Chair Mary Anne Cree, the daughter of the late Rosine and Charles Sammons.

Now before you go off thinking that everyone associated with DHS had ancestors who arrived in Dallas with John Neely Bryan, rethink that one. Many of its members and leaders like former DHS Chair Diane Bumpas (pictured) and past AFE recipients Diane Brierley and Ebby Halliday weren’t even born in Dallas. All it takes is an interest in history.

Because this luncheon is known for running on schedule, lunch started promptly because there were a number of awards to give out. After recognizing various supporters, committee members and local community leaders, DHS Exec Director Jack Bunning gave a “state of the union” report of all the activities that had taken place including Phil Collins‘ interview on the Alamo, author Tom Alexander‘s conversation about his book on Stanley Marcus, and the Tom Landry exhibition during the State Fair that alone resulted in more than 100,000 people visiting the Hall of State. He also recognized Tom’s widow Alicia Landry (pictured), adding that due to the success of the Landry exhibition, it would  be relaunched on Thanksgiving weekend in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl XLV.

Then it was time to hand out the awards to the following:

  • Jose Antonio Bowen PhD for Arts Leadership
  • Albert Black Jr. for Business
  • Paula Lambert for Creative Arts
  • Susie and H.B. Bell EdD for Education: Administrative
  • Ed Long for Education: Teaching
  • Joyce Pickering of The Shelton School for Health/Science
  • Rev. Larry James and Rev. Gerald L. Britt Jr. for Humanities
  • The Hillcrest Foundation (Bill Caruth and Harold Caruth) for Philanthropy
  • Laura Estrada for Volunteer Community Leadership
  • Howard Hallam for being the Jubilee History Maker

Highlights of the acceptance speeches included:

  • Jose:  “It you’re a patron of the arts, please stand. . . especially if you go to events you don’t like!”
  • Albert’s (pictured) mentioning his friend Larry Lacerte’s not being present due to illness and Albert’s working with Mayor Tom Leppert to open Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the old Frazier Courts community of East Dallas, where Albert grew up.
  • Paula: “I’m especially proud because I’m from Fort Worth!”
  • Susie and H.B. acknowledging the people who helped them at “Tables 21, 22 and 23.”
  • The number of hands that went up in the room when asked if Ed Long had taught their children.

To conclude the luncheon, the traditional A.C. Greene toast of champagne was made asking those born in Dallas to stand first, those who were born in Texas to also stand, and finally all who had made it to Dallas as soon as possible to stand.

Bravo, DHS for never getting old, and for just celebrating Dallas’ young roots.

John Larroquette reviews: He’s An AMAZING Speaker

MySweetCharity’s Houston bud Kristi Hoss Schiller just sent the following note about Dallas C.A.R.E. speaker John Larroquette:

“He is an AMAZING speaker — we just had hin at the Houston Council two weeks ago — LOVED HIM!”

Trust MSC when we say that Kristi never ever understates anything.

See you tomorrow morning with Johnny boy at Belo. Coffee is on us!

Thank You

Today is Veterans Day. Every day should be Veterans Day for the remarkable services they have and are providing our country. If you know a veteran, thank them. If you don’t, go out and meet one. There will a whole slew of them at the Veterans Day celebration starting at 11 at Dallas City Hall.

30th Anniversary of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Brings Honors, Joys And Tears

Friday evening was a very special one for Cindy Brinker Simmons at the 30th anniversary of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer at the Adolphus. Having founded the organization to help children and their families battling cancer, Cindy’s work both professionally and personally have been amazing and inspiring.

To mark the occasion, Event Chair Mary Poss created an evening for the 300 guests that was personal and reflected the core of what WOKC has come to mean to so many.

One of the highlights was the presentation by Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (pictured left with, from the left, Cindy Brinker Simmons and City Councilman Ron Natinsky) to Cindy of a proclamation designating Friday, November 5, 2010 as “Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Day in Dallas.”

To commemorate the 30th anniversary, the first Norman Brinker Humanitarian Award was presented to Pete and Pat Schenkel “for their extensive community support and philanthropic service to the Dallas community.” It was especially touching that Cindy and her stepmother Toni Brinker presented the award to the Schenkels.

Then it was time to present the “Little Mo” awards, that were named in honor of Cindy’s mother, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly Brinker, who died of cancer at the age of 34. Given to community leaders who represent Little Mo’s spirit of hard work, humility, compassion and excellence, the awards were given to the following:

  • Cristy Ecton of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas — Education & Awareness Award
  • Dr. Meaghan Granger of Cook Children’s Medical Center of Fort Worth — Medical & Health Achievement Award
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs — Philanthropy Award and
  • Lori Freeland — Volunteerism Award.

The heartbreaking moment in the evening occurred when Honorary Chair Annette Leslie (pictured left with husband Craig Leslie) shared the story of her 17-year old son, Carson, who died earlier this year from medulloblastoma. She told of Carson’s “courageous fight with cancer the impact WOKC had on their family and the inspiration his legacy is providing to other teens with cancer.” Following her very personal story, Carson’s book Carry Me was given to the guests.

To help other families like the Leslies, more than $200,000 was raised thanks to the live auction and event underwriters like

  • Celebrating Success ($20,000) —  Margot and Ross Perot
  • Changing Lives ($10,000) — Kenny Can Foundation and Mary and Mike Poss/Living Green Designs
  • Researching a Cure ($5,000) — Brinker International, Cindy Brinker Simmons and family and Rosemary Haggar Vaughan Family Foundation
  • Sharing the Vision ($2,500) — Ann Cain, Dean Foods Company, Inwood Village Pediatrics, Paula and Bob Strasser, Safeway, Inc./Tom Thumb, Toni and Norman Brinker Fund, UT Southwestern Medical Center/Southwestern Medical Foundation and Wells Fargo
  • Presenting Sponsor – American Airlines
  • VIP Cocktail Reception Sponsor – Jersey Mike’s
  • Media Sponsor – Modern Luxury

“We are overwhelmed at the generosity and support of the sponsors and guests for tonight’s event and we thank each one of you for your contribution to our cause,” said WOKC CEO Evelyn Costolo (pictured left with Mary Poss). “Fundraising from tonight’s event far surpassed our goal and raised over $200,000! The majority of these funds will be used to fund Medulloblastoma research at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas and Plano and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Medulloblastoma is the most common type of brain tumor found in children and accounts for 15-20% of pediatric brain tumors. Each dollar contributed tonight will allow us to continue our fight against childhood cancer, until the day when all children are living cancer free.”

Cindy, your folks would be very proud of you.

Photo credit: Alana McIntyre, 1000 Words Photography

The Senior Source Calls In Nobel Laureate To “Roast” Marnie And Kern Wildenthal for “Spirit of Generations 2010”

Only Marnie and Kern Wildenthal could be “roasted” by a Nobel Laureate with a sense of humor. That’s what happened at The Senior Source’s “Spirit of Generation” luncheon Friday at the Anatole.

But before the stellar crowd lunched and laughed, the VIP reception took place in the Wedgwood Room that was just a tad bit chilly. It seems that prior to being the place for the reception, a flock of flowers had been in a holding pattern.  No problem. With the cold front that had moved in earlier that day, the ladies like Helen Storey and Virginia Chandler Dykes had pulled out their wool suit jackets for the lunch and others like Ruth Altshuler (pictured right with, from the left, Alicia Landry, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Helen Storey) and The Senior Source Exec Director Molly Bogen wore extremely fashionable six-foot long  scarves.

The hot topics of conversation ranged from 2011 Equest Co-chair Barbara Stewart (pictured) reporting that her daughter/Equest co-chair Margaret Macatee will be handling the hi tech aspect of promoting that annual event at Brook Hollow; Mary McDermott talking about the October opening festivities for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge;  and Isabell Haggar happily recalling Dinner Under the Star’s incredible success.

One person steering away from a particular topic was Ross Perot. He opted to take pass regarding the week’s elections.

Then it was on to a ballroom full of boldface types like Jess Hay seated with Margaret Crow, who just a couple of weeks ago had been on hand for the opening of the “refreshed” Anatole lobby. . .  Faye Briggs with her daughters Pebble McKenzie and Hester Briggs had French beauty Sylvie Wainwright (pictured left with Faye Briggs) at her table.

When all were settled in, it was time for the program with Luncheon Chair Sandra Estes teasing the group that for a long time she had considered “senior citizens as the ‘others.'” But her thinking had changed over the years and now, “I’m sold on old!”

Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson (pictured) did a nice job subbing in for Baylor Health Care System CEO Joel Allison who was in Washington on business. As you can guess, Baylor, like so many of the health care providers, is very concerned about providing for the upcoming flood of baby boomers as they approach the senior years.  “Both organizations (The Senior Source and Baylor) are committed to meeting the physical, the spiritual, the emotional and the mental needs of our clients.”

Following a video and a note from British operatic great Robert Lloyd recognizing the Wildenthal for their contributions throughout the years and their friendship, it was time to get down to business, or in this case, laughs. That was left in the hands of UT Southwestern Nobel Laureate Dr. Al Gilman, (pictured right with, from the left, Margo Goodwin and Kern and Marnie Wildenthal) who really should start a second career of roasting great people. While Al lauded Marnie for her decades of teaching at Episcopal School of Dallas, he gently poked fun at Kern with decades of stories about Kern even before his days as UT Southwestern president. A recurring theme was bird droppings that seemed always to find Al but avoid Kern.

But Al was not going to just tease Kern. He told the group of Kern’s incredible work ethic, his vision in orchestrating the growth of UT Southwestern, as well as the Dallas Opera.

Kern must have known that the lunch was going to have some mischief from the red-ribbon-tied Coke bottles at his table (pictured). Luncheon guests learned that Kern has a love for Coke. They also learned from this brilliant, world-famous friend that not only did they share the same birth date, but they also have a respect and friendship for each other that is unmatched.

With that Marnie and Kern accepted their award with the grace, eloquence and humility proving they rightly deserved the 2010 Spirit of Generations Award.

Laura And George Bush Host Very “Special Friends” Of 2010 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner

Yes, former First Couple Laura and George W. Bush have been keeping a pretty low profile since moving back to Dallas. Well, as low a profile as possible when you consider they are accompanied by an entourage of Secret Service folks.

Wednesday night they opened their home for “Special Friends” of the 2010 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner that will take place at the Anatole on Thursday, November 11, benefiting Methodist Health System. If you’ll remember, Laura received the Folsom Award in 2008 and the late Norman Brinker received it last year.

Established in 2005, the award was named in honor of former Dallas Mayor Bob Folsom and presented to those who “demonstrate commitment and excellence in the community leadership” emulating the achievements of the Mayor.

This year’s awardees Pat and Emmitt Smith (pictured right with, from the left, Laura Bush and Pat Smith) may also be the busiest people in Texas when you consider their philanthropic projects, his being inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and their just having baby Elijah on September 22.

After a brief welcome by the former president, Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain described the Smiths as the “Dream Team” in their representing Bob Folsom’s legacy of love and commitment of service to our community.”

While luncheon Co-chair Troy Aikman was unable to make the event, his fellow teammate and Co-chair Daryl Johnston (pictured center with April Box Chamberlain and George W. Bush) told the group that Pat and Emmitt had requested that “proceeds from this year’s Folsom Event support indigent care. This is intensely meaningful as Methodist Healthy System strives each day to provide quality health care to a growing number of disadvantaged families in their service area — particularly in Southern Dallas County. Pat and Emmitt have a demonstrated passion for reaching out and helping those who need it the most.”

Emmitt responded, “Pat and I want to thank Daryl and Troy for being a part of this prestigious award. Being able to extend our hands to the less fortunate opens our hearts and make us feel very blessed. To whom much is given, much is expected. We try not to take things for granted and do our very best to help others.”

Among the guests were Bob Folsom’s wife Margaret and their son Steve Folsom, who is Methodist Health System Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman, along with Norman’s widow Toni Brinker (pictured center with, from the left Pat and Pete Schenkel and Dr. Stephen and Marilyn Mansfield).

(Photo credits: Scott Hagar and Ronnie Dunlap)

Queen Latifah Inspires Both Young And Old For The Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 25th Anniversary

Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Whether you loved Queen Latifah (pictured) in Chicago or Hairspray, you gotta admit there is no one quite like her. That smile, that personality, that voice — a totally winning combination and that is why it was so appropriate for her to be the keynote speaker at the Dallas Women’s Foundation‘s 25th anniversary luncheon at the Hilton Anatole Friday.

Queen is known for being her own woman, so it should have been no surprise that she would do something unexpected.

Photo credit: Lisa Stewart

It seems that in addition to 2,000 luncheon guests, a group of 250 girls from North Texas schools gathered in a special “Girls Viewing Room.” The plan was for the youngsters to watch a live video feed of Queen’s remarks.  Imagine their surprise when Queen made an “in-the-flesh” appearance (pictured). She then took the opportunity to talk with the girls about the importance of empowerment of the next generation of women leaders and philanthropists.

“Stay positive and keep your eyes on your goals and don’t let anyone hold you back from pursuing your dreams,” Queen said. “Just know that you can achieve anything you want, as long as you put your mind to it, and you work hard to achieve it, and, you know, every once in a while get on them knees and ask for a little help, you feel me!”

Needless to say, Queen knew how to punctuate her appearance. She gave a copy of her book, Put On Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom to each of the girls.

Then the Queen had to head to the luncheon where Cecilia Guthrie Boone was honored with the Power of the Purse® Award. An active volunteer and philanthropist, Boone has focused her work on issues that most impact the lives of women and girls.  She is the past chair of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of North Texas Action Fund and Annie’s List, a PAC that recruits, trains and funds progressive female candidates running for statewide office in Texas.  She is also president of the Boone Family Foundation in Dallas.

Currently Cecilia is the chair of the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s $30 million comprehensive campaign. She is chair-elect of the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America board and is a member of the Harvard-Kennedy School Women’s Leadership board and the international Women’s Funding Network board.  In Dallas, she is on the Parkland Hospital Foundation Steering Committee and the Southwestern Medical Foundation board.  Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

“While this event is a celebration of the past and how much Dallas Women’s Foundation’s volunteers, partners and grantees have accomplished in this community, it is really an invitation for the future – an invitation to learn, connect with extraordinary women and get involved,” said Becky Sykes, Dallas Women’s Foundation president & CEO.

Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

To close the luncheon, 30 girls from Booker T. Washington performed “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray. While Queen didn’t sing along, she and other members of the Dallas Women’s Foundation joined the group dancing, clapping and celebrating (pictured) “the day’s spirit of investing in women and girls and empowering women’s philanthropy.”

In addition to Queen, Becky and the other hardworking folks who made this anniversary so special, you’ve got to give a pat on the back to the following sponsors who dug in their pockets to make it all happen: [Read more…]

Swab And Possibly Save A Life This Thursday

While MySweetCharity is dedicated to local nonprofit and charitable causes, there are rare exceptions that “sorta” fit the purpose of MSC. This post is one of them.

The following email has been making the rounds that you might want to consider for participation —

Long time community supporter, Larry Lacerte, is in need of a life saving bone marrow transplant. Jesuit College Prep located at 12345 Inwood Road, 75244 will host a bone marrow drive on Thursday, November 4th from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm in the Terry Center. Donors must be between the ages of 18-60 years old. It’s a simple process. There is a short questionnaire to complete, and then a swab of your cheek that the donor does himself.  Take 10 minutes and be a potential match for Larry or someone else. You could save a life! Please let your children or friends know about this important drive.

If you have questions, please contact Patty Leyendecker either via email at [email protected] or visit

While the event is focused on finding a donor for Larry, remember the process could match you with another person in desperate need of a transplant. You might just be the one who could make a difference to the recipient, as well as their family and friends. It doesn’t cost you a cent and you could be a hero.

If you are a bit leery about what’s expected, here’s link to answers.

Now, put “Swab” down on your agenda for Thursday.

Northwood University’s Distinguished Women To Commence This Weekend Despite Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Being MIA

There’s been an ever so slight change of plans for the upcoming weekend of activities for Northwood University‘s “Distinguished Women‘s” activities. It seems that the keynote speaker Barbara Taylor Bradford had to cancel her appearance at the Saturday forum and luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton.

Too bad for for Barbara. She’ll be missing the Distinguished Women’s panelists tackling the topic, “Juggling Family, Work and Personal Happiness: Is It Achievable?” on Friday and the black-tie awards ceremony Saturday night at the Ritz.

Established in 1970, the Distinguished Women’s Award was created to “recognize the enormous contribution women make to communities, businesses, volunteer agencies and public and private sector services worldwide.”

Quite frankly, the lineup of this year’s recipients truly reflects the philosophy behind the award’s creation. They include:

  • Elizabeth Acton (Dallas, Texas) —  Beth Acton is Chief Financial Officer of Comerica Bank, the largest bank with headquarters in Texas. Previously, she was Treasurer of Ford Motor Company’s worldwide treasury activities. As Board Chair of Vista Marie, a non-profit that helps children recover from abuse, she headed the first ever capital campaign to build a new charter school.
  • Wanda R. Brice (Plano, Texas)  —  Wanda Brice is currently CEO of The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future, a national museum and Smithsonian affiliate. A past President of the International Women’s Forum-Dallas, Brice is a lifelong entrepreneur and public policy advocate; she has championed issues benefitting small business and women.
  • Karen E. Burke (New York, New York) —  With a Ph.D. in Biophysics and an M.D. degree, Karen Burke has made significant contributions to medical research in several areas including Dermatology. The author of six books, she is included in the Castle-Connolly Guide of Best Doctors. Burke serves on numerous boards ranging from the medical field to education.
  • Kerry R. Graham (Paradise Valley, Arizona) —  Kerry Graham, a life member and three-time national President of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, has worked tirelessly to promote and expand the opportunities for women in golf. Graham’s dedication to growing the game of golf and LPGA T&CP membership has earned her numerous awards.
  • Julie K. Hersh (Dallas, Texas) —  Julie Hersh, author of Struck by Living, is a mother, corporate wife, suicide survivor and advocate of mental health awareness. Board President of the Dallas Children’s Theater, she is also an active supporter of the Suicide and Crisis Center and other non-profit organizations.
  • Ruta Lee (Los Angeles, California) —  Ruta Lee has had an incomparable career acting in movies, television (over 2,000 appearances) and on stage. Over the past 45 years, as Chairperson or President, roles exchanged between herself and Debbie Reynolds, she has helped to raise millions for the Thalians Community Mental Health Center located in Los Angeles.
  • Petra Levin (Palm Beach, Florida) —  Petra Levin has been selfless in lending her celebrity to a long list of charitable organizations. She has worked tirelessly and raised millions for the Caron Foundation which she has chaired for the past six years. The former Miss Germany has chaired benefits for the American Folk Art Museum, where she is a Director, and for the Palm Beach Heart Ball.
  • Jan Dedrie Strimple (Irving, Texas)  —  Couture fashion model Jan Dedrie Strimple has been recognized worldwide for her unique career. In 2009, Women That Soar honored Strimple for empowering, supporting and inspiring other women on their personal and professional journeys. She has helped raise more than $3 million for education and services for those living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Margaret Daniels Tyler (Alexandria, Virginia) —  A bridge-builder, change-agent, and teacher, Margaret Daniels Tyler is Senior Program Officer, U. S. Special Initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her responsibilities include providing strategic guidance for the $2 billion investments in scholarships, and advancing college completion goals for young adults of poverty and color.
  • Goldie B. Wolfe Miller (Bannockburn, Illinois) —  Goldie Wolfe Miller is one of the country’s most successful female commercial real estate brokers with over $3 billion in transactions. Wolfe Miller’s Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative at Roosevelt University-Chicago empowers women in commercial real estate to achieve leadership.

Tickets are still available for the various activities to meet these incredible women.

Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Celebrates 30th Anniversary By Saluting Others

Back in 1980 Cindy Brinker Simmons created Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer to help children and their families battling cancer. She was inspired to found this organization by the death of her mother Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly Brinker‘s from cancer. In 2005, “The Spirit of Little Mo” awards were established to “honor community leaders who represent Maureen Connolly Brinker’s spirit of hard work, humility, compassion and excellence and have a commitment to eradicating childhood cancer.”

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of WOKC, the inaugural Normal Brinker Humanitarian Award was created to honor Cindy’s father, the late Norman Brinker.

This Friday the WOKC 30th Anniversary Gala will take place at the Adolphus Hotel  to present the awards to these very deserving people with Honorary Chairs Annette and Craig Leslie, whose 17-year-old son, Carson, lost his battle with medulloblastoma earlier this year.

Receiving the awards at the event will be: [Read more…]

T. Boone, Emmitt And Roger Upped The Ante For Expanding Worlds With Flying Footballs And Talk

It’s challenging when your annual luncheon doubles in size and that’s what happened to LaunchAbility‘s “Expanding Worlds 2010” lunch Tuesday at the Fairmont. Last year’s event of 200, mostly gals, at the InterContinental Hotel for an onstage conversation of Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Tincy Miller, grew dramatically. Instead of being north of LBJ in the intimate Malachite Room, this year’s venue was held straight in the heart of downtown Dallas at the Fairmont’s International Ballroom. In place of three proper ladies chatting, it was guys whom other guys just wish were their best friends — T. Boone Pickens, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach (pictured right  with, from the left, T. Boone Pickens and Emmitt Smith).

The results — twice as many guests and many, many more men!

The VIP reception starting at 10:45 a.m. in a part of the International Ballroom proved to be a bit of a challenge. It appeared that everyone was a VIP and wanted to have their photos taken with Boone and Roger. Word had spread through the crowd that Emmitt “was running late” and wouldn’t be there til lunch started. Also, someone said that he would not be signing anything.

As the official event photographer hustled people through to have their official “grip and grin” photos taken with Boone and Roger, the two VIP’s cordially and good heartedly posed with one and all.  The whole scene reminded one of high school prom photos without corsages.

On the sidelines, Ebby Halliday who came up with the idea of having “the triplets” for the star attraction sat smiling gleefully at the mass that had responded to her suggestion. That gal knows how to create a winning operation.

Former KXAS-CH. 5 anchor Mike Snyder was talking with friends about his involvement with American Airlines and the veterans program.

On the other hand, across the ballroom table hostess Ruth Altshuler was masterminding the arrangement of guests at her table by placing cards at each seat. Smart move on Ruth’s part. Recently luncheon and dinner guests have been complaining that after placing their materials at a certain seat at a table, they return only to find that other table guests have moved them to another seat. It happened at this event — several times at several tables. Gee, you would have thought the guests were preparing to go on a death march instead of to eat.

But all was soon forgotten when lunch began and a video presentation about LaunchAbility was partly shown. Alas, the tape stopped midway, but adlib expert/ emcee Scott Murray picked up the story without missing a beat. Who needs a video when you have Scott?

Also helping in the communications at the luncheon was signer Connie Miller (pictured), whose hands never stopped throughout the event.

Soon it was time for the Big Three to take to the stage. Before they took their seats, Roger got his hands on the two footballs that had been autographed by the three and auctioned off. Emmitt warned the hundreds of guests, “Folks, watch out. He is going to throw it.” And Roger did just that, twice. The first time caught some off guard. The second time set a covey of guests scrambling to catch it. The fellow who caught the ball put it neatly in an empty seat next to him with pride, only to have an event staffer retrieve it for the winning bidder.

Scott quipped, “Come to think of it, the Cowboys are in the market for a quarterback, Roger.”  To which Roger responded : “I was trying to get warmed up for the Jacksonville game next week.”

The ball throwing naturally launched the conversation into the sports arena. Here are some highlights from the chat (pictured from the left, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach and T. Boone Pickens): [Read more…]

CASA Celebrates 30 Years With A Homecoming

It was just 30 years ago that the CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocates) was started. Over the years many came to recognize it as the group that builds and sells the darling playhouses each year at NorthPark Center. For others it became the powerful frontline defense for “the best interests of abused and neglected children in protective care.”

But this powerhouse group didn’t start out that way. No, it started with one staff person and 10 volunteers. All were dedicated and unfortunately, all were in overwhelming demand. Today CASA has 650 volunteers and more than 40 staff members. And from the turnout (pictured)  for the Dallas CASA Homecoming Celebration Saturday night at Eddie Deen, it appears they were all there to celebrate 30 years of working together for children in need of protection.

And what would a homecoming be without a homecoming queen and king? Not to worry.  Fulfilling those roles were former federal prosecutors Madeleine Johnson and Paul Coggins, (pictured right with Madeleine Johnson) who were literally crowned and presented with trophies for putting the shindig together. After wearing his crown for a few minutes, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddel partner Paul told the crowd, “I’m getting used to this crown thing. I’ll be wearing it around the house, Regina. And, Veronica, I’ll be wearing it at the office as well.”

Like any good queen, Madeleine, who is now VP/general counsel for Southwest Airlines, gave credit for the success to others like WFAA-CH. 8’s Brett Shipp, who produced a marvelous video featuring former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, District Attorney Craig Watkins, DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and philanthropist Caroline Rose Hunt on behalf of CASA.

While all the speakers including CASA Executive Director Beverly Levy, Board members Darrel Rice and Dave Kroencke and Jim and Angela Thompson were impressive, as was the recognition of the members of the “Ring of Honor,” it was when they asked the CASA advocates to stand that made the greatest impact on assembled. Nearly half of the audience stood to the applause of the rest except for Sidney Tassan. He couldn’t because he was holding the hand of his wife/CASA volunteer, Cynthia Hinojosa,(pictured right with Sidney Tassan) who was standing.

It was that kind of night when people who go that extra mile for others got a pat on the back from the community.

If you weren’t able to make it to the 30th anniversary, why not sign up and volunteer so you can stand up at the next one?

Genesis Family Shelter’s Luncheon Speaker Announced — Kofi Annan

The 18th annual Mother’s Day luncheon speaker for Genesis Women’s Shelter was announced at Christopher Martin Gallery. It will none other than former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan. It will be a family affair with the Ray Hunt family gals (Mom Nancy Ann Hunt, sisters Ashlee Hunt Kleinert and Heather Hunt Graham, and Ashlee’s daughter, Connie Kleinert) chairing the event.

Mark Thursday, May 5, on your calendar for the lunch. It’ll be a traditional sell-out.

2010 Signature Chefs of Dallas Auction Brings In $455,000 For March Of Dimes

The 2010 Signature Chefs of Dallas Auction’s Angels & Aces achieved $455,000 for the March of Dimes thanks to Event Co-chairs Brynn and Taylor Allday and Sue and Britt Fair, 500 guests, 40 members of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and 20 of Dallas’ leading chefs led by Chef Kent Rathbun.

Kicking the total up was the record-breaking $26,000 for a painting created by Christopher Martin “with help from former preemies who directly benefited from the March of Dimes.”

Plus it helped to have the following sponsors on board: [Read more…]

Volunteers Needed To Get Rid Of Dogs

All right. Settle down. You know MySweetCharity would not mean “get rid” the same way others might. Here’s the situation. Perhaps you’ve hear about Tawana Couch and the Society for Companion Animals. They arrange to save “a lot of death-row dogs by flying them to a shelter in Spokane, Washington,” where (believe it or not) adoptions are through the roof.

But Tawana needs help starting this weekend. According to Jonnie England:

“Now that the weather is good, volunteers are needed each week to help set up crates, foster dogs overnight and/or transport them to DFW Airport the next day for an early-morning flight.

  • Volunteers are needed this coming Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24, or Monday, Oct. 25, during the day to help Tawana clean, set up and label crates for shipping the dogs.
  • Volunteers are also needed on Monday afternoon, Oct. 25, to pick up dogs at Dallas Animal Services and either transport them to their overnight foster homes or—better yet—take them home to foster for the night. Fostering for one night is easy, but that also means you’ll need to get up really early to be at DFW Airport at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26!  But the good thing is you can still get to work on time.  And the even better thing is that YOU WILL HAVE SAVED A LIFE!

“This week’s VSP/Urgent list at Dallas Animal Services includes 24 dogs. Tawana hopes to have enough volunteer help to save 10 of them—or more, if enough people volunteer and foster.

“Just think:  By giving a few hours of your time and giving up a couple hours of sleep, you can literally mean the difference in life and death for a happy, healthy dog!

“If you can help, contact Tawana: [email protected]

Who Is Responsible For Tuesday’s Lunch With T. Boone, Emmitt and Roger?

Last year’s LaunchAbility‘s* “Expanding Worlds 2010 Luncheon” featured a conversation with an all-star cast of gals (Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Tincy Miller) with the late Paul Bass serving as interrogator. . . or, rather moderator. It was one of Paul’s last on-stage appearance and quite memorable as he combined humor with typical Paul Bass witticisms in chatting with the ladies.

Before the organizers had even had time to clear the tables, Ebby Halliday (pictured) asked LaunchAbility CEO Cathy Packard, “That was great. Who are you going to get for next year?” Cathy admitted that she hadn’t started that thinking process yet and asked Ebby who she would recommend. Without hesitation, the ageless Ebby with that well-known twinkle in her eye said, “T. Boone Pickens, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach.”

After Cathy got up off the floor from the suggestion of the stellar trio, she realized that Ebby was dead serious and told Ebby that it would be a killer group, but how do you get on the schedule of these three never-stop, national headline makers.

“I’ll get T. Boone and Roger,” Ebby smiled. “You get Emmitt.”

While Cathy didn’t know Emmitt, she did know former sports anchor Scott Murray, who was an old friend and had helped produce the past lunch. And Scott came through with Emmitt.

So, when you see the three chaps on stage at the Fairmont next Tuesday, just remember that it all started with the twinkle in Ebby’s eye.

* formerly known as Special Care & Career Services

Signature Chefs Made A Perfect Landing At Frontiers of Flight Museum Wednesday

Chef Kent Rathbun has added still another item to his resume — philosopher. Wednesday night as the Lead Chef marshaled the Signature Chef’s “Angels & Aces” at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, he was asked about his non-stop schedule of activities. His response, “There’s a window, and it’s always closing. So you’ve got to get in an doubt of the window before it closes.”

And there were 20 of Dallas’ leading chefs and 40 wineries from the Napa Valley, who were probably thinking the same thing. This time of year the food and beverage industries are in overdrive donating time, money and services to help non profits like the evening’s March of Dimes.

For instance, Abraham Salum reported that the following Sunday he was headed to Balch Springs to prepare a dinner for 100 at one big communal table to raise funds for the farmers. In the meantime, he’s gotten his permits approved to move with his new restaurant that will be located right next door to his Salum.

Another person who has windows closing all around her is Ellen Winspear(pictured).  The petite blonde may appear to all the world as the epitome of femininity, but step back and rethink that image. She’s not limited to one image. Wednesday night she was all revved up for the upcoming days ahead.  Ellen admitted that she’d have a tear in her eye seeing Mike Modano playing in a Detroit uniform at the Stars  game. Friday, she was headed to the Rangers’ game against the Yankees. Saturday, she would be back to the Stars. Sunday, she was having an October birthday brunch for the opera singers in town for Don Giovanni with Gretchen Rose catering.

But Wednesday night was to raise money for the March of Dimes and once again the Signature Chefs proved to be a hit across the boards. Unlike last year’s event at which the heat from all the cooking warmed up the Fairmont’s ballroom, Co-chairs Brynn and Taylor Allday and Sue and Britt Fair had seen to it that the Frontier of Flight Museum’s thermostat was set just right to accommodate the 550 guests on both the main floor and the upstairs landing.

While the big screens showing live interviews with various personalities and chefs, it was the first hand chats with the chefs and vintners that hit the spot. Marc Cassel (pictured) was treated like a rock star. Perhaps it’s his trademark goatee and sneakers that sets him apart from others.

Alas, the only place that seem sparse was the upstairs VIP Lounge where the Moet Chandon hostess admitted, “I’m all by my lonesome.” Little did she know that even the VIP’s were too busy in line getting food to lounge.

American Heart Association and W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Team Up To Save Lives

The American Heart Association and the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation of Communities Foundation of Texas are joining forces on a two-year project that will allow the AHA “to enhance the heart attached emergency response system in Dallas County.” This $3.5 million grant “has the power to transform patient care for future heart attack victims in Dallas and to serve as a model for the rest of the state and country.”

Thank you notes should be in the mail today!

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ “Real Girls Real Women” Prove To Be Pretty Sharp Cookies

The gals invaded the Anatole Tuesday. All ages of ’em. It was the Girl Scouts’ Sixth Annual Real Girl Real Women Luncheon honoring Real Women (Ebby Halliday, Harriet Miers and Becky Sykes) and Real Girls (Haley Ann Avery and Ashton Gepfert) with nearly 700 guests in attendance. With Gina Betts chairing the event, you just knew that it was going to run as efficiently as an atomic clock. Just as promised, the program started at high noon with KDFW-CH.4’s Clarice Tinsley (pictured) handling the emcee duties in a Girl-Scout-green dress with her lifetime pin prominently on display.

Now when you are the mistress of ceremonies at one of these events, you are supposed to know everything that is to happen. No surprises! But the Girl Scouts claimed, “Exception!” After being introduced by Clarice, Frito-Lay North America’s Jenny Birgé amazed the crowd with all the projects that had been undertaken by the partnership of Girl Scouts and Frito-Lay with Clarice’s hands-on-involvement. Then Jenny went totally off script. As organizers were flipping through their pages trying to see where that presentation was in the script, Jenny presented Clarice with a “very special patch” for her help. Surprises can be fun and this one was!

But this was not to be the only touching moment in the luncheon that caught guests off guard. For instance, first Lifetime Achievement recipient Betty Perot (pictured) surprised some guests by assisting in the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to 99-year old Ebby; and Gina’s revelation that she would be chairing next year’s luncheon.

Despite all the high-powered “women” in the room, the scene stealers were the two young recipients Haley and Ashton. Ashton (pictured), who has overcome the challenge of profound hearing loss to be a member of the National Honor Society, is in her 11th year of scouting. Within the Girl Scout world, she is a golden girl having  received the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Haley, who suffered life threatening burns while conducting a science experience when she was 13, joined the Scouts when she was in kindergarten. She is working on her Gold Award by volunteering at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

It was in Haley’s acceptance speech that Haley (pictured) showed true Girl Scout compassion and honesty in recognizing a man who was so instrumental to her recovery — Dr. Gary Purdue, who headed the burn unit at Parkland until his untimely death last week .

For nearly 100 years Girl Scouts have been developing leadership in girls and Ashton and Haley just prove that it’s paying off.

Dean Foods Employees And Foundation Made A Big Difference For The North Texas Food Bank

Since September was “Hunger Action Month,” the employees at Dean Foods made it a priority to “help collect and put food in the hands of those who need it most.” Their work paid off sorting and packing more than 83,000 meals and donating 3,740 pound of food that translates into 13,000 meals.

To enhance this roll-up-the-sleeves attitude, the Dean Foods Foundation has just announced its pledge of $300,000 over a three-year period to North Texas Food Bank programs to feed and educate at-risk children and youth.

This pledge is the largest in NTFB history.

“Dean Foods is dedicated to providing wholesome dairy products every day to families and children across the country,” said Chris Sliva, president of the Morningstar Division of Dean Foods and a NTFB Board member.  “Giving North Texas children access to healthy nutrition and educating them on positive lifelong eating habits are critical services that are an ongoing passion for our employees and a natural fit for the Dean Foods Foundation’s support.”


Sneak Preview Of Cattle Baron’s “Great State Fair” Plus Tips

Just returned from Southfork where the Cattle Baron’s committee is setting “The Great State Fair” for Saturday night. Prepare yourself. With everything (ferris wheel, margarita carousel, a ginormous indoor midway and food stations everywhere) you can imagine of an upscale state fair, the ladies have cranked it up even higher. That’s why Ball Chair Kristi Sherrill Hoyl is literally floating around the acreage. Robert Hayden (pictured left with Kristi Sherrill Hoyl) and his of Fauxcades production team even created a gigantic popcorn box in her honor!

Of course, you want details, so here are just some tidbits:

  • There’s an incredible Cotton Bowl, where you can settle back and watch the sports of the day. Whether it’s the Rangers playing late or college football, AT&T will have media areas all set up.
  • To even out the footing in the silent auction area, the entire thing has been covered with wood flooring.
  • The ferris wheel is ultra cool because you can see both stages. Only problem is going to be the wait in line. This is going to be a very popular ride.
  • Eddie Deen has been feeding the entire crew all week and you should see what he has planned for the menu Saturday night. Think along the lines of chicken-friend chicken sliders, cilantro burger sliders, hand-battered chipotle corny dogs, Frito chili pies and deep-fried pickle spears.
  • A lovely 921 Rolls-Royce (pictured) is parked nicely in the silent auction tent all revved up for a winning bid thanks to Ann and Hugh Corrigan.
  • Tyler Junior College Apache Belles will be performing on the Bank of America Live Auction Stage in honor of their fav alumna Annette Simmons.
  • Jack Ingram appears on the BofA stage at 7:30 p.m.
  • Live auction starts at 8:30 p.m. and hopefully big numbers will be chalked up.
  • Alan Jackson performs on Dr Pepper Main Stage at 10:30 p.m.

Making all of this happen are about 100 women (most of whom have ponytails and no makeup) who are ripping open crates (pictured), walking around with power tools (Laura Jorgeson pictured with power drill) and learning how to operate the state-of-art computers for the auctions. (Check out MSC’s photo gallery for proof.)

The interesting thing is that there is a mood on the property that is contagious. Everyone is happy. And they have a right to be. It’s going to be a great event.

To make your drive safe, here are some tips:

When you take the Parker Road exit off of I-75, get in the far right lane on the frontage road. (There’s all types of construction equipment hunkered down on the left side of the road.) Stay there until Parker Road. Do no go under the overpass. You’ll want to, but don’t! Turn right and take Parker through Plano (speed limit is a sedate 40 MPH) and into Parker (speed limit is 45 MPH). After about 5.5 miles, you’ll see the lights of Cattle Baron’s Ball. Turn right on FM 2551 and you’ll be part of the Great State Fair.

You’re on your own going home, but please drive smart and safely home.

Announcement of 2011 TACA Silver Cup Recipients Pending

Am off to cover the announcement of the 2011 TACA Silver Cup recipients.