Soup’s On Patrons Join The Stewpot Alliance Fundraiser’s Speakers Constance Curry And Kristina Wandzilak On The Luncheon Eve

Susie Simon

On the eve of The Stewpot Alliance‘s  10th Annual Soup’s On! Luncheon at The Statler on Monday January 29, the patrons were celebrating at Susie Simon‘s more-than-comfortable home.

Surrounded by her collection of roosters, Susie was bright and chipper after cataract surgery on her left eye the Wednesday before. She admitted that she had already seen improvements since the surgery.

Allison Salas, Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry

With the baby grand player piano providing the musical backdrop, guests did make themselves at home. While Luncheon Co-Chair Kelly Donohue was on her way, her Co-Chair Allison Salas and Gail Davis were in Susie’s dining room with keynote speakers/authors of “The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s Worst Nightmare” Constance Curry and Kristina Wandzilak as they were sampling the goodies on the dining room table.

The Family Place Adds 13 New Members To Its Board Of Directors And The Family Place Foundation Board

The Family Place has just announced 13 new volunteers to its leadership positions.

The Family Place*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reported the organization’s board of directors has added Jeannie Barsam of Gifting Brands, Kerry Cole of Trinity Industries Inc., Monika Flood of Istation, nonprofit consultant Carlos Gonzalez-Jamie, Margo McClinton Stoglin of Ignite, Aaliyah Miranda of Seguin Elementary School, Debbie Munir serving on behalf of The Family Place Partners, Daniel Pidgeon of Starpower Home Entertainment Systems Inc., Kristen Sanger of Kristen Sanger Consulting and Erika Toledo-Mortensen of Burford And Ryburn LLP to its membership.

Joining The Family Place Foundation Board are Carol Levy, Harold Ginsburg and David Orlandella.

According to Paige, “We are so excited to have these new board members joining us at The Family Place. Board members are the lifeblood of new ideas, fundraising and strategic planning. Each of their experiences and expertise in their fields will help us continue to grow as an agency and aid us in our mission of ending family violence.”

* Graphic courtesy of The Family Place

The Family Place’s 2017 Partners Card Team Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary With Another $1M+ Banner Year

Having recovered from shopping overload with deep discounts, The Family Place‘s 2017 Partners Card Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, their sponsors and committee members had the Dallas skyline in the background as they celebrated their million-dollar plus haul on Thursday, January 25, at Dec on Dragon. Here’s a report from the field:

Over 150 guests overlooked the gorgeous Dallas skyline from the rooftop terrace of Dec on Dragon Thursday, January 25, where The Family Place held the Partners Card Announcement Party. Retailers, sponsors, past chairs and other supporters joined Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of Partners Card presented by Bank of Texas and benefiting The Family Place.

Paige Westhoff, Theron Bryant, Jennifer Burns and Samantha Wortley*

Taking place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5, more than $1 million was netted making it possible to provide over 14,000 nights of lifesaving shelter for men, women and children escaping domestic violence which represented an increase in funding from last year’s campaign.

Brett Dougall and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Guests like The Family Place Board of Directors President Eric White and his wife Adriana White, Mike Meredith, Carolyn Kerins, Judy Rowan, Paige Westhoff, Jennifer Tobin, Tyler Sweatman, Michelle Davenport, Lora Farris, Brett Dougall, Tina Peterson, Carol Seay, Gloria Warren, Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Susan Farris, Gay Donnell, Lynn McBee, Jennifer Tobin, Nancy Gopez and Kristin Sanger celebrated their accomplishments with music by DJ Niro, strolling bites provided by Food Glorious Food, an open bar, and the fabulous view of downtown Dallas. Brynn and Jennifer kicked off remarks by thanking retailers, sponsors, card sellers, volunteers and media who make the annual Partners Card fundraiser possible each year.

Mike Meredith, Paige Flink and Bob White*

Brynn introduced Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White, who spoke on behalf of the bank, which has been the presenting sponsor of Partners Card for 10 years and officially committed to sponsoring Partners Card again in 2018. “What The Family Place is doing is important, end of story. It’s important to the country, it’s important to Dallas and what happens here tonight matters,” he said.

Leigh Danley and Tierney Kaufman*

Family Place CEO Paige Flink concluded remarks by showing appreciation to everyone who was involved in making Partners Card the largest fundraiser for The Family Place, and Paula Davis was recognized as the top community seller for selling 166 Partners Cards. The other top sellers were Sara and Cass Robinson and Jody and Mike Coffey. All top sellers received a special prize from Bachendorf’s.

In addition, Flink announced the 2018 Partners Card Co-Chairs would be Leigh Danley, Tierney Kaufman and the first-ever male chairman, Julian Leaver.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

Sold-Out And Grovel Alerts!: 8th Annual Celebrity Chef

Katherine Krause (File photo)

VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause will be spending her birthday celebrating all day on Wednesday, February 28. It seems that the staff once again scheduled VNA’s 8th Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser at VNA Haggerty Center on her natal day.

The evening event is already sold out and the lunchtime is just seats away from the same status.

Ted and Bess Enloe (File photo)

There are so many reasons why it’s on the verge of being a done deal. In addition to having Mary Frances Bellman and CiCi Weinmann co-chairing the two-in-one day fundraisers, they’ve arranged to have Bess and Ted Enloe as honorary co-chairs.

Still another reason for the swift sell-out and almost sold-out is the featured chefs, who will be doing a cooking demonstration and orchestrating the meals. Yes, it will be a twosome — the husband/wife team of Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza.  

In addition to their recently released “State Bird Provisions” cookbook and industry recognition by the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit to mention a couple, they own two of San Francisco’s top restaurants — Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco.

Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza*

While Stuart honed his cooking skills working for Chicago’s Chef John Hogan at Savarin, Nicole’s specialized in pastry and baking skills under Chicago Chef Nancy Carey at the Red Hen Bakery.

These meals are always fun and eye-opening for the professional chef and the Hello Fresh novice.

Funds raised from the lunching and dining will support VNA’s Meals on Wheels and Charitable Hospice Care programs.

* Photo credit: Ed Anderson

Leslie Ann Crozier Ramps Up Her Mission To Raise Funds And Awareness For Greater Alzheimer’s Research With Stellar Experts And Fundraiser

If the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones is serious about winning a Super Bowl, he needs to recruit Leslie Ann Crozier, founder of the It’s Their Time foundation. The only problem is that Leslie Ann’s red zone-to-end-zone drill is already committed to a bigger game.

That focus was clearly obvious at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, January 23, for the kickoff of an upcoming foundation event called “From Red Zone to End Zone.” The invitation-only reception attracted a heady crowd of about 125, including early arrivals Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, who had to check out due to another event. Gee, who could blame ’em. After all, Sally Hoglund was hosting a get-together in the Founder’s Room at DCC for Kouy Novice, wife of new Dallas Summer Musicals President Ken Novice. And across town, Lisa and Clay Cooley’s mansion had Roger Staubach recalling the wonderfulness of the late Ruth Sharp Altshuler.

And there are still those who swear nothing happens in January!

Lee Bailey and Doris Jacobs

Stan and Barbara Levenson

Pete and Jackie Delkus and Mark Goldberg

Gloria Snead and Jimmy Westcott

Gail and Richard Sachson

Ken Cooper

But back to Leslie Ann’s gathering and her mission, which is conquering Alzheimer’s disease. Among her early supporters on hand were Lee Bailey, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Jackie and Pete Delkus, Dr. Mark Goldberg, Carol Seay, Jimmy Westcott with gal pal Gloria Snead (Jimmy will be part of the upcoming Gloria-Juan Ernesto Snead‘s anniversary), Rhonda and Fraser Marcus, Debra Nelson, Jill Smith, Dan Owen, Sunie Solomon, Millie and Dr. Ken Cooper, Ramona Jones, Doris Jacobs, April Bosworth, Dawn Mickey, Laura and Dennis Moon, and Connie and Denny Carreker.

Rhonda and Fraser Marcus

April Bosworth and Dawn Mickey

Connie and Denny Carreker

Katherine Wynne and Sunie Solomon

Denny was ramping up for his turf battle with Park Cities types on Monday, January 29. When asked about the situation, Denny didn’t hesitate — he was ready to take it on.

While Leslie Ann seemed overwhelmed at the turnout, she didn’t let it slow down her mission to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s research. Unlike other Alzheimer’s programs, Leslie Ann’s was laser-sharp in that her foundation is totally focused on research to solve the deadly disease that

  • is the sixth-leading cause of death in America.
  • And, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is projected to rise 55%  by 2030.

In other words, this disease is a baby boomer’s tsunami.

What was driving Stanford grad/SMU MBA grad Leslie was the journey that she and her family had undertaken as her mother was swallowed up by the disease.

Leslie Ann Crozier, Dale Bredesen and Billie Leigh Rippey

Before revealing details about the 2018 fundraiser by Event Chair Katherine Wynne, Leslie Ann presented a stellar gathering of brainiacs front and center. Among them were UT Southwestern Medical School NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center Director Dr. Roger Rosenberg, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, and the evening’s speaker Dr. Dale Bredesen. Said Leslie breathlessly, before introducing Bredesen, “Man, it’s a powerful group!”

While Dale’s talk at times was a bit over the heads of some in the SRO crowd, the message was clear: Alzheimer’s does not have to be a death sentence. In fact, thanks to a test of Dale’s research-based protocol, which rebalances metabolic factors by adjusting such lifestyle factors as stress, sleep quality and diet, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline are being prevented and in some cases reversed.

Many in the audience knew all too well the devastation of the disease. They had either had a family member suffer from it, or they themselves were embarking on the journey. But Dale calmed their fears, reporting that in his study of 2,000 patients, dramatic improvements were taking place.

Following Dale’s talk, Leslie Ann and Katherine revealed that the foundation would be holding a forum/dinner on Monday, May 7, at the Bush Institute to raise funds and awareness in support of Alzheimer’s victims. The “From Red Zone to End Zone” event will feature a panel discussion with Rosenberg and Rudolph Tanzi, the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Michael Hayden, Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia.

Like a tease, Leslie Ann concluded by admitting that changes are afoot for It’s Their Time, including a name change for the foundation. But, alas, the lawyers were going through the picky problems of trademarks and had barred her from revealing the group’s new moniker.

JUST IN: Jan Rees-Jones To Receive 2018 Partners For Children Award At Community Partners Of Dallas’ 12th Annual Chick Lit Luncheon

Chick Lit Chair Mersina Stubbs is adding to her all-star lineup for the Community Partners of Dallas 12th annual fundraising luncheon on Friday, April 13, at Hilton Anatole. In addition to having Katie Holmes on stage, Nancy Perot as honorary chair and Presenting Sponsors Lara and Bob Tafel, she just revealed that the 2018 Partners For Children Award recipient will be Jan Rees-Jones.

Mersina Stubbs (File photo)

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

According to CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, “We are truly honored to recognize Jan Rees-Jones with our Partners for Children Award this year. Through her work on behalf of The Rees-Jones Foundation, Jan has helped CPD and more importantly the children we serve, in countless ways. As longtime supporters of our emergency resource center for children entering protective care, the Rainbow Room, and as one of the lead donors in our capital campaign, The Rees-Jones Foundation has been with us for every step of our agency’s growth. There is no one more dedicated and committed to this sector of the social services community; The Rees-Jones Foundation is the leader and strongest voice in support of abused and neglected children in the Metroplex. No one is doing more for child protection.”

Having grown up in Richardson, Jan is well aware of the needs of North Texas and has been a driving force in The Rees-Jones Foundation with a focus on “helping children suffering from abuse and neglect and children and youth facing mental health challenges and other disabilities, providing young people with opportunities for enrichment and character development, and promoting the humane treatment of animals.”

The results have been major funding for the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health, the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Rees-Jones Center for Child Protection, and the Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

A graduate of Texas Tech, she is currently serving as co-chair of the National Advisory Board for the Laura W. Bush Institute for women’s Health at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, as well as an honorary member of the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors.

Presented annually to “an individual or an organization that has shown an ongoing commitment to the philanthropic needs of our community and whose years of service meet the needs of abused and neglected children,” past recipients have included The Bitzer and Needleman Families and Peacock Alley, Jill C. Bee, ORIX Foundation, Junior League of Dallas, Lynn McBee, The Container Store, Fidelity Investments, Cheers for Charity, Northwood Woman’s Club, Attorneys Serving the Community and Mersina herself.

Sponsorships and tables are available now, with individual tickets not being available until late March.

Harper’s Bazaar‘s Avril Graham To Share Spring Fashion Trends At “2nd Annual Room To Grow” In NorthPark’s Neiman Marcus Courtyard

Kim Bannister (File photo)

Jamie Singer (File photo)

Andrea Weber (File photo0

Andrea Nayfa (File photo)

The lineup of nationally known types keeps growing for this spring’s fundraising. Room To Grow Co-Chairs Kim Bannister, Jamie Singer and Andrea Weber along with NorthPark Center Chair Andrea Nayfa have arranged to have Harper’s Bazaar Fashion And Beauty Editor Avril Graham to be on the agenda for the Dec My Room fundraiser.

Avril Graham*

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman (File photo)

Avril will be “presenting trending colors of spring fashion trends with NorthPark Ambassador Kim Schlegel Whitman at the luncheon on Wednesday, April 18. Following the seated luncheon and chat, guests will after-party it up on Neiman Marcus NorthPark’s Level Two.

Where is the luncheon going to take place? That’s what separates this lunch from the usual fare. The event will be held in the Neiman Marcus Courtyard, located between Neiman Marcus and the Eiseman Jewels entrance. Talk about a beautifully landscaped setting with its towering trees and artwork.

And speaking about the beauty of the environment, the timing couldn’t be better. It coincides with NorthPark’s Spring At The Park Home And Garden Show that runs from Friday, April 13 to Monday, April 23.

According to Dec My Room – Dallas Director Karen Michlewicz, “We are so grateful to NorthPark Center and to Neiman Marcus for partnering with us to host the second annual ‘Room to Grow’ luncheon and fashion presentation. We look forward to attendees enjoying the latest spring fashions in the beautiful courtyard setting at Neiman Marcus. Most importantly though, we are so appreciative of the community for not only supporting this event, but also recognizing the impact that it has on the children served by Dec My Room.”

If Dec My Room is new on your radar, it was actually established in 2007, when Houstonians Susan Plank and her daughter Kendall Plank learned that a friend’s son would be traveling from Austin to Texas Children’s Hospital for a bone marrow transplant. That was the good news. But the problem was the youngster’s stay would be three weeks away from family and friends. The mom-daughter wanted to do more than a nice floral arrangement or a visit, so their contacted the family to learn about his favorite things. After hitting Target, they had his hospital room “decked” out with University of Texas logo and other “stuff.” His reaction was amazement resulting in hugs for Susan and Kendall. That one act of kindness gave birth to “Dec My Room” for children staying in hospitals.

When “Dec My Room” arrived in Dallas a couple of year ago, the perfect spot for the “healing place for children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time” was Children’s Medical Center. The very first year a half dozen rooms were decorated by volunteers.

It’s a great program to apply your creative juices, so why not volunteer? And don’t forget to get your tickets to the luncheon!

* Photo provided by Dec My Room - Dallas


MySweet2018Goals: Roslyn Dawson Thompson

According to Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson,

Roslyn Dawson Thompson (File photo)

“2018 is being called ‘The Year of the Woman,’ and my goal is that it’s the first of many ‘Years of the Woman’!  

“It is time to double down on the work to advance equality, equity and opportunity for all women and girls. At Dallas Women’s Foundation, we are especially focused on strengthening women’s economic security and increasing women’s leadership across North Texas and around the state. The needs of women and girls are real and acute in our community, where only 30% of all households are headed by a woman, but 53% of all poor households are women-headed – and the majority of these are women of color with children. 

“There’s so much work to be done – and so much benefit when we do this work, because the economic future of our region and our state truly depend on how we address issues of gender and racial inequity, and how we create opportunities for all.

“My wish for 2018 is that everyone, who understands the power of the ripple effect that investing in a girl or woman has on her life, her family’s life, our community and our world, will join with us in this work.”

JUST IN: Jeannette “The Glass Castle” Walls To Keynote Jonathan’s Place’s 7th Annual “A Chance To Soar Luncheon”

After last year’s gangbuster fundraiser featuring Olympian Simone Biles on stage and Dirk Nowitzki in the audience, Jonathan Place’s 7th Annual A Chance To Soar Luncheon organizers decided they needed bigger digs for the event on Tuesday, April 3.

According to Jonathan’s Place CEO Allicia Graham Frye, “We’ve already sold so many tables that we had to move to a larger venue (Hyatt Regency – Downtown Dallas).”

Allicia Graham Frye (File photo)

Jeannette Walls*

There are loads of reasons for the early sales success. First of all, author of best-seller “The Glass Castle”’s Jeannette Walls will be the keynote speaker. Just this past August, Jeannette’s story made it to the big screen starring Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and Brie Larson.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Robyn Gould and Linda Wimberly chairing the fundraiser. They’ve even managed to have Shannon and Ted Skokos as honorary co-chairs as well as their foundation — The Ted and Shannon Skokos Foundation — as the presenting sponsor.

Other sponsors include:

  • Speaker Sponsor: Rachel and Brad Stephens
  • Hero Sponsors: American Airlines, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Jennifer and John Gates, Propac Agency, Hyatt Regency Dallas and Bob Mohr

Those sponsors and $2,500-table purchasers and above will not only be able to attend the pre-luncheon reception with Jeannette but also an invitation-only patron party on Tuesday, February 6.

Proceeds from the event will support Jonathan’s Place to provide “a safe place, loving home and promising future for abused and neglected children, teens and young adults.”

So, if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, get your tickets now.

* Photo provided by Jonathan's Place

MySweet2018Goals: Mersina Stubbs

According to Chick Lit Luncheon 2018 Chair Mersina Stubbs,

Mersina Stubbs (File photo)

Lara and Robert Tafel (File photo)

“One of my goals for 2018 is to raise important funds for Community Partners of Dallas, and the abused and neglected children we serve, by having record-breaking support for the 12th annual Chick Lit Luncheon presented by Dr. Robert and Lara Tafel!

“I hope the community will join Honorary Chair Nancy Perot and me for this year’s luncheon, which will be held on Friday, April 13, at the Hilton Anatole. We are most excited that Katie Holmes, known for her work in films and television and on Broadway, will be our featured speaker.  

Nancy Perot (File photo)

Katie Holmes*

“The Chick Lit Luncheon will include a wine reception followed by a seated luncheon and remarks by Ms. Holmes. Tables begin at $2,500 and are on sale now; individual tickets will go on sale in early April if space permits. For more information, visit

“We are expecting a sell-out event, so buy your table now!”

* Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Comerica’s Prom Dress Drive Is Providing An Opportunity To Play Fairy Godmother For Dallas CASA And Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas Cinderallas

It’s time to part company with old friends. While many gals are cleaning gently experienced grown-up fashions from their closets for the Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon, there are some retired prom dresses that could be put back into action.

Dallas CASA and the Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas have hundreds of girls, who just might not be able to go to their proms this spring because they have nothing to wear. But thanks to Comerica, you can play Fairy Godmother to these teenage Cinderellas.

Comerica Prom Dress Drive*

For the Fourth Annual Prom Dress Drive, the following five Dallas-area Comerica banking centers will be available to accept “new or gently-used, cleaned formal dresses and accessories” starting Thursday, February 1:

  • Cole-Fitzhugh (3202 North Fitzhugh, Dallas)
  • Forest-Inwood (5200 Forest Lane, Dallas)
  • NorthPark (8850 Boedecker Street, Dallas)
  • Parker-Premier (3310 Premier Road, Plano)
  • Preston Center (8225 Preston Road, Dallas)

Sure, it’s going to be hard to give up that adorable gown that you wore, but betcha you’ve got photos of the night that it was worn and you looked pretty darn adorable. And besides, you’re not going to wear it again. You’ve moved on. Or, perhaps that dress that your daughter wore ages ago would like to be released from confinement to show its stuff at a 2018 prom?

And while you’re editing your wardrobe, look into those nooks and crannies for shoes, purses, gloves and accessories. They’ll be welcomed at the Comerica collection stations, too.

So, dig through you closet and take your finds to the cleaners and then onto Comerica for another special night. The drive ends Wednesday, February 28.

* Photo provided by Comerica

MySweet2018Goals: Jimmy Westcott

According to Children’s Hope Dinner Founder Jimmy Westcott,

“My goal for this year is to help as many children and women as possible served by Orphan Outreach Services by supporting the 5th Annual Children’s Hope Dinner and assisting in the organization’s fund-raising efforts. Raising awareness and funds are both vitally important. The dinner will take place on Thursday, April 19, at the Hilton Anatole with keynote speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy, the inspiration behind the Academy Award-winning film ‘The Blind Side.’

“I am honored to champion this important cause that transforms lives and raises awareness for orphans, vulnerable children and women’s issues in several impoverished countries around the world.”

North Texas’ Hope Lodge Plans And Designs Revealed As Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Jennifer And Richard Dix Ramp Up For $25M Goal

Brr! With the first kiss of winter’s chilly lips waking North Texas on Thursday, December 7, there were a heck of a lot of Lexuses and Mercedes headed to the former Dallas High School on Bryan Street. The drivers weren’t doing carpool duty. They were there to hear about the sneak preview of The Hope Lodge designed by Perkins And Will Dallas in their news digs in the former school.

As the crowd gathered, Perkins And Will architect John Strasius pointed out the windows of the former classrooms. With new panes of 21st glass, the taller than an elephant’s eye windows allowed the room to be shown in natural light.

But as John explained, the windows had been adjusted to modern-day convenience. While they would no longer be able to open for the day’s breezes, they were sealed tightly.

Deidre Bacala and John Strasius

Janet Ryan

Jonika Nix, Cara French and Katy Bock

As soon as the guests like Katy Bock, Cara French, Jonika Nix, Kristi Hoyl, Tim Moore, Susan McSherry, Janet Ryan and Deidre Bacala took their places at the tables arranged in a horseshoe, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson, American Cancer Society Regional Distinguished Partners VP Annie Russell and John welcomed the group.

Kristi Hoyl, Robin Robinson and Susan McSherry

Then Perkins And Will’s Tori Wickard unveiled plans for the incredible complex on the Baylor Scott And White Health – North Texas campus that would allow 50 cancer patients and their families to reside free of charge while going through outpatient treatments at any area medical facilities.

Tin addition to providing 50 private ensuite bedroom suites, the 40,000-square-foot Hope Lodge will have a shared kitchen, dining spaces, a garden, facility recreation rooms and resource library with an Internet computer station, as well as such services as daily transportation to and from treatment facilities and peer support groups and cancer care networks.  

To assist residents during their stay in the four-story facility, Perkins And Will created a design that would “enhance the mental and society aspects of healing” including natural light, clean air and water, fitness and nourishment.

Located just southeast of Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at the intersection of Elm and Hall, the remarkable project is due to a partnership between Baylor and the American Cancer Society.

The capital campaign is already underway thanks to Hope Lodge Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix. What surprised the Dixes was the fact that this hadn’t already been done.

Jennifer and Richard Dix and Tori Wickard

According to Jennifer, who chaired the American Cancer Society 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball, “Did you know that Dallas is ranked number 7 in the national for cancer care? What a point of pride for our city and an amazing resource, not only for the residents of DFW, but for the thousands of people who travel annually to Dallas for cancer care. Hope Lodge is the missing component for these patients and we fervently believe Dallas needs this vital asset.”

With the cost of construction hitting $20M and an additional $5M need for operating support, the capital campaigns goal is $25.

While Jennifer and Richard have already locked down underwriting for the outdoor spaces as well as the main lobby, living room, library, meditation room and 12 of the suites, they still need to hit 80%-85% of the $20M in capital funds to be raised for construction to get underway.

JUST IN: LaunchAbility And My Possibilities Merge Thanks To Assistance From The Better Together Fund

There’s been a lot of chatter about groups with similar goals and programs partnering up. As a result, the Better Together Fund was created on June 7, 2017, to assist in nonprofits coming together.

My Possibilities (File photo)

On Monday, January 15, such a merger officially took place between My Possibilities and LaunchAbility. Made perfect sense. My Possibilities has been “a pioneer in vocational learning for adults with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (IDD).” Founded in 1963 LaunchAbility “supported employment and job placement for adults with IDD.”

LaunchAbility (File photo)

While it didn’t take place overnight, the two organization’s boards reviewed the prospects of merging for “a greater impact on this under-served community by combining the resources of both organizations.”

Moving ahead, the combined effort will “retain the name My Possibilities, and the programs of both organizations focused on the vocational training, placement and supported employment will combine and function as the LaunchAbility Career Center at My Possibilities Campus for Higher Learning.”

According to LaunchAbility Board President Bill Murray, “Throughout our discussions with My Possibilities, we were gratified to learn that the services of both organizations were highly complementary. We clearly believe that the combined organization offers more resources to our clients and leads to greater independence.”

The new My Possibilities University Campus in Plano is currently under construction with plans to open in April including the LaunchAbility Career Center.

According to My Possibilities Board Chair Charmaine Solomon, “My Possibilities is extremely excited to have LaunchAbility join our team. LaunchAbility’s reputation, along with their highly-regarded staff, will create more possibilities for our Hugely Important People (HIPsters) and the IDD community in North Texas. The alignment of our missions and desire to serve this extraordinary population made this decision incredibly easy.”