Housing Crisis Center’s Colors Of Courage 2017 Patriot Party Assists Homeless Vets Affected By The ‘Hidden Wounds Of War’

It’s a disturbing fact, but Dallas is home to more than 1,000 homeless military veterans—and the number keeps rising. Every night, the Housing Crisis Center provides housing and support services to more than 100 vets and their families. 

So supporting these vets, and helping save them from a life of poverty and homelessness, was the purpose of the center’s Colors of Courage 2017 Patriot Party event Friday, November 3, at Dallas’ George W. Bush Institute.

Laura Moon

Denny and Connie Carreker

Leslie Ann Crozier

Dennis Moon, Katherine Wynne and Ken Hersh

Co-chaired by Laura and Dennis Moon, with Connie and Denny Carreker serving as honorary chairs, the fundraiser got started with a reception and silent auction in the institute’s Cross Hall.  There, guests including Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Katherine Wynne, Sunie and Steve Solomon, Leslie Ann Crozier, Lisa and Clay Cooley, and Mary Martha and John Pickens were serenaded by a guitar-strumming musician singing Beatles and Eagles songs.

Sunie and Steve Solomon

John and Mary Martha Pickens

Then everyone repaired to the institute’s auditorium, where they were formally welcomed to the evening’s festivities by Edward Berbarie, board chairman of the Housing Crisis Center. Soon enough Edward gave way to Bush Center President and CEO Ken Hersh, who proceeded to conduct an onstage Q&A with the evening’s star attraction, retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli.

Chiarelli, the Army’s 32nd Vice Chief of Staff, was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Army and its 1.1 million active and reserve soldiers, and at one time commanded all forces in Iraq. The retired four-star general told Hersh it was then that he first observed the “hidden wounds of war” in soldiers, including the “interconnected problems” of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress.

Peter Chiarelli

“We’ve had these problems since war began,” Chiarelli said, “but we’re just now recognizing them.”

Chiarelli is now chief executive officer of an independent nonprofit called ONE MIND, he told Hersh. The group advocates on behalf of those affected by brain disease and injury via public-private partnerships between healthcare providers, researchers, academics, and the healthcare industry.

For example, Chiarelli said, ONE MIND is working with Abbott Laboratories, which is “developing a chip and a hand-held blood analyzer that can help tell if a person has been concussed.” He added, “We want to get drug companies involved in creating targeted drugs for these diseases … and really do something to help these veterans.”

What keeps you up at night? Hersh asked Chiarelli at one point. He replied: “Those young Americans who have suffered.”

Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Sherri Ansley and Lisa Cooley

Once the talk concluded, Sherri Ansley, executive director of the Housing Crisis Center, took to the podium and announced, “Now it’s time to have a party!” With that she invited everyone into the institute’s Hall of State, where there would be dinner, dancing, and a live auction featuring artwork, out-of-state trips, and a dinner for eight prepared by Kent Rathbun.

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

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

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

Fred and Jan Hegi

Bob White

Carolyn Miller

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

Diane Scovell

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

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

Alan White and John Scovell

Mary Montgomery and Kristi Hoyl

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

Pete Schenkel, Brad Cheves and Alan Walne

Betty Houser and Stephanie Russell

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

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

Lori Daniels, Cortney Nicolato and Molly Bogen

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

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

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

Red Raider and Masked Rider

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

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

John and Diane Scovell

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

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

Preston Hollow Elementary School third graders

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

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

Reunion Tower

Texas Tech cheerleaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis And Sheriff Lupe Valdez To Receive The Well Community’s First Founder’s Award At Recovery Live Benefit Concert

The Well Community is adding a new element to its annual Recovery Live Benefit Concert on Thursday, November 30, at The Kessler. In the past, the fundraiser to help adults dealing with severe mental illnesses has just a great time with great music.

Lupe Valdez (File photo)

But after four years, they decided to put some bells and whistles to the festivities. In addition to having WFAA’s Brett Shipp as emcee and Floramay Holliday and Over the River and The Rosemont Kings performing, they’ve added a silent auction and the Founder’s Award.

This first-time award will be presented to Body Oak Cliff Founder Joel Pulis and Sheriff Lupe Valdez.

According to The Well Community Executive Director Alice Zaccarello, “This award has been created to acknowledge those whose action have opened up new avenues of recovery and hope to individuals suffering from mental illnesses.”

Event sponsors include Good Space, Ged Dipprey Realtor, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Bret and Karen Schuch, Steven and Dawn Camp, Roland Warnock, Hanes and Boone LLP, K and L Gates LLP, Beth and Wes Keyes, Jim Lake Advisors LLC, Republic Title Turtle Creek, Amy Carenza and Nathan Offerdahl, Potpourri of Silk, Soap Hope, Shirlee and Charles Bealke, Suzanne and Wayne Braddick, Diana and David Ezzell, Scott Griggs, Colleen and Ken Kelley, Cornerstone Home Lending, Masterman, La Calle Doce and El Ranchito, Methodist Medical System, Norma’s Café, RPGA Design Group, Ryan Frahm – Origins Bank Home, Lending, Square Foot and Vickie Turner.

Tickets start at $50. And if you’re already got plans that night, consider taking a tour of The Well Community and discover the various programs that are offered to help deal with an very real challenge within lives.

Ability Connection Texas’ 10th Annual Vine And Dine At Neiman Marcus Downtown To Honor Meredith And Jack Woodworth

Meredith and Jack Woodworth (File photo)

Neiman Marcus Downtown’s Zodiac Room doesn’t usually offer dinners, but the Ability Connection Texas’ annual Vine and Dine is the exception to the rule. On Thursday, the 10th annual fundraiser will honor Meredith and Jack Woodworth, who have been so supportive of the organization that serves children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive and acquired and developmental disabilities.

According to Ability Connection President/CEO Troy Greisen, “This segment of our population has been neglected, forgotten, and turned away, even abused and with great discrimination and prejudice, throughout world history. Still today, they are often unnoticed, uncared for, and many of them remain our society’s most vulnerable and with the greatest needs.”

In addition to a marvelous dinner prepared by the Neiman’s culinary team with Coquerel wines, there will be both silent and live auctions for everything from “decadent vacation getaways to fine handbags, shoes and jewelry sponsored by Neiman Marcus.”

Tickets are available here.

Animal-Loving Karen And Jeff Banister Step Up To The Plate As Honorary Co-Chairs For Operation Kindness’ 25th Annual Canines, Cats And Cabernet

Alexandra Banister, Jacob Banister and Jeff and Karen Banister*

Texas Rangers General Manager Jeff Banister is a familiar name in the sports pages and on the evening news. But what some might not know is that he and his wife Karen Banister have two kids, Alexandra and Jacob, two Labradors (Bella and Scout) and two Maltese (Gracie and Cooper).  

Since the baseball season ended last month, the folks at Operation Kindness took advantage of the pooch-loving Banisters’ down time and arranged to have them serve as the honorary co-chairs for its 25th Annual Canines, Cats and Cabernet at the Omni Dallas on Saturday.

Nelda Cain Pickens (File photo)

According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Canines, Cats and Cabernet gets bigger and better every year, and we are honored to celebrate our 25th anniversary of this event with Jeff and Karen Banister. We know that with their support we will be able to knock this year’s event out of the park.”

But the Banisters aren’t the only ones cheerleading for the organization. Operation Kindness supporter Nelda Cain got involved with the no-kill shelter through her friend/OK Board Chair Kathy Kinser. As Nelda explained, “I have loved getting to know the powers that be at Operation Kindness and feel my efforts are entirely worth it. It is the oldest no-kill shelter in Dallas and serves the entire county including Fort Worth. It is also amazing what a following the organization has attracted, as the work is needed and successful.”

One of the highlights will be the furry guests of honor that have loved staying at Operation Kindness, but would love to find permanent homes.

Hoss*

Abby*

Cupcake*

Marlon*

In addition to a dinner and a live and a silent auction, there will be a raffle for a seven-night stay at an RCI Resort in the city of the winner’s choice plus a $500 Visa gift card for airfare. Chances are just $50, but are in limited supply.  

Tickets are the gala are available here.

* Photo courtesy of Operation Kindness

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

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

Laura and Jack Roach*

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

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

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

Daniel Podolsky (File photo)

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

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

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

* Photo provided by UT Southwestern

Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson Stars At Dallas Habitat For Humanity’s Inaugural Dream Builders Dinner

When 400 people turned up for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity‘s inaugural Dream Builders Dinner at Belo Mansion on Thursday, October 19, Mary Martha Pickens and her husband, John Pickens, were among them. Longtime active Habitat supporters, the Pickenses brought a whole table-full of their Bible-study pals from Highland Park United Methodist Church with them.

Philip Wise*

Which made sense, because the church’s Carpenters for Christ group was one of the evening’s award recipients. The other was Philip Wise, one of the co-founders of Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and also one of the HPUMC members who helped establish Carpenters for Christ. But hey, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.

The fundraising dinner, put on with the help of co-chairs Diane and Mike Gruber, Jennifer and Tom Karol, and Lynn and Allan McBee, was intended to be “an evening of inspiration for the future, and gratitude for those who have helped us reach this stage over the past 30 years.”

Tom and Jennifer Karol, Allan and Lynn McBee, Deshaun Watson and Diane and Mike Gruber*

It also turned out to be something of a farewell party for Bill Hall, Habitat’s local CEO. Hall announced surprisingly that he would be “closing out my time at Habitat” after 13 years. During his brief remarks, Hall sketched out an ambitious goal for the Dallas chapter: building 1,600 new homes by 2021—almost as many as the nonprofit has put up in total over the last three decades.

The evening’s hands-down star attraction, though, was Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. The NFL’s leading touchdown passer this season posed happily for photos during the meet-and-greet, then was interviewed onstage by broadcaster Brad Sham, who’s known as “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys.”

Brad Sham and Deshaun Watson*

Raised in a Habitat home by a single mother who worked two jobs, Deshaun said home ownership had changed his life. It was the lifeline that pulled his family out of poverty, giving him the chance to thrive. He also described the impact his mother had on him, even as a football quarterback: “It starts with my mom. I’m observant. I can see how different people move in [different situations]. I’m a conservative guy. … Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to shake it off and go on the next thing.”

Another thing his mother taught him, Deshaun told Brad, was that “it takes a long time to build a legacy. But it takes just one false step, one move, to bring it down.” By the end of the evening, few believed Deshaun would be having that problem anytime soon.

Editor’s note: Roughly two weeks after his appearance in Dallas, Deshaun reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury during a Texans practice.

* Photo provided by Habitat for Humanity

 

Treasure Street’s “Color Me Texan” Co-Chairs Niven Morgan And Shelby Wagner Were Bullish On Breaking Records

Before the longhorn steer set hoof on the grounds of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for the annual Treasure Street fundraiser, the numbers were already boding “record breaker”on Thursday, October 19, with way more than 1,000 in attendance. Think 1,300 coming together to “Color Me Texan.”

Shelby Wagner and Niven Morgan

The bovine was the photo opp of the night with all types lining up for a selfie. However, the snap of Co-Chairs Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner got stalled. Niven was searching the grounds for his presentations notes. In the meantime, Shelby looked picture perfect despite Niven’s claims that earlier in the day Shelby had been hauling hay for the event set up.

BTW, this wasn’t Niven and Shelby’s first involvement with Treasure Street. As Shelby put it, “Niven’s been supporting Texas Scottish Rite for years.”

Niven added, “We were just flattered that they asked us to chair Treasure Street.”

Greiner Arts Academy Middle School Mariachi band

The organizers were also smart. This year’s outdoor fundraiser took over the parking lot at the corner of Oak Lawn and Maple. Almost immediately upon leaving their cars, guests were greeted by the 18-piece Greiner Arts Academy Middle School Mariachi band.

Treasure Street hay bar

Following the path to the check-in, they discovered the steer and a micro-version of Cattle Baron’s Ball with food stations (Campisi’s, Haystack Burgers and Barley, Matt’s Rancho Martinez, Parigi and Paul Martin’s American Grill), a stage for Emerald City, towering bars made of bales of hay and tall tables and chairs. And on this night, there was no need for a tent. The sky was perfect.

Janice Provost

Pretty-in-pink Janice Provost womaned her Parigi station and reported that the previous weekend’s Dining On The Prairie Dinner Series for Trinity Audubon had been a grand success despite the challenges of limited facilities.

At 7:30 America’s Got Talent electric violinist Svet surprised the audience by performing.

As for the live auction, it lived up to the record-breaking feel of the night with the tennis package with John Isner going  for $12,500 and the John Lannom terrain-hunting buggies going for $45,000. The results? Thanks to the silent and live auction, the total haul of the night was more than $1.2M.

Gerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons and Kathy and Rodney Woods

Others in the crowd were Honorary Co-Chairs Ginny and Randy Bailey, Annette Simmons and Gerry Fronterhouse, Mark Edgar, Ann Davidson with Mark Porter, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, Carol Seay, Sue and Jimmy Gragg, and Kathy and Rodney Woods.

VNA Of Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center And Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Partner Up To Help Post-Acute Patients

North Texas’ incredible growth is due to a lot of things. But time and time again, it’s teamwork that is the common denominator. That is why it’s not surprising that three groups have partnered up to help post-acute patient care.

The trio — the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas — has created a year-long pilot program to “provide good nutrition and daily safety checks to reduce hospital readmission rates, improve health outcomes and help patients age in their homes.”

Katherine Krause (File photo)

It’s not for everyone. Rather it’s been created for “high health care utilization patients and recently discharged patients without proper access to nutritious food due to poverty, lack of a support system, and frailness contributing to their inability to maintain their independence at home.”

According to VNA CEO/President Katherine Krause, “Providing daily nourishment, social contact and safety checks for vulnerable high-risk patients is critical to strengthening our community and reducing medical costs.”

This effort is being funded by the Kozmetsky Family Foundation along with funding from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

The Statler’s Justo Blanco Reveals The Menu For ReuNight

ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl flew back to Dallas from business meetings to go over the menu for The Family Place fundraiser with The Statler Director of Events and In-Room Dining Justo Blanco. Good thing! Because the event is nearing sold-out status and this crowd is expecting a fine meal on Wednesday, November 8, at the newly reopened Statler.

Jennifer Dix, Justo Blanco and Kristi Hoyl

The edibles for the evening’s activities will start around the pool with smoked brisket cones with cheddar grits and scallions, seared lentil cake with tomato jam and shrimp cocktail fork with Texas citrus and mint. For beverages, Justo has arranged for a cocktail cart with Manhattans as well as trays of glasses of wine and champagne passed out.

Then guests will move upstairs to the Grand Ballroom for a three-course feast starting off with golden beet salad with roasted baby turnips, pickled carrots and pecan crumble. That will be followed by the entree of pork belly and sea scallop duet with parsnip puree, charred Brussels sprouts and citrus confit. To complete the dinner will be Parisian opera cake with coffee buttercream and gold leaf.  Of course, wines will be served throughout, as well as bar service.

Get your places for the evening of dining, wining and bidding at The Statler now.

A list of the auction items is just being finalized. Stay tuned.

Just In: CEO Bill Hall Leaving Dallas Area Habitat For Humanity

Bill Hall (File photo)

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity‘s inaugural Dream Builders Dinner last Thursday was almost as much about Bill Hall, the nonprofit’s longtime CEO, as it was about the featured guest, Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.

That’s because, as Hall revealed to the 400 guests at Belo Mansion, he’s leaving the organization. “I’m closing out my time at Habitat,” said Hall, who joined the Dallas area group in 2004.

Later, speakers Daryl Kirkham of presenting sponsor IBERIABANK and Mark Shank, a former board chairman for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, spoke of their “gratitude” and admiration for Hall.

Under his leadership, the group has served more than 1,600 families. It’s also become the largest nonprofit homebuilder in Dallas and the largest Habitat chapter in the country.

Hall was a Habitat volunteer before hiring on as a staff member. He holds a bachelor’s degree in building construction from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

As the Dream Builders Dinner drew to a close, flutes of champagne were passed around to all the guests. Then Shank led everyone in a “champagne toast” to the group’s departing leader.  

Plans Were Revealed At Times Ten Cellars For 10th Anniversary Celebration Of The Stewpot Alliance And Soup’s On In January

It was the kick off of a double doozy for The Stewpot Alliance at Times Ten Cellars on Tuesday, October 10. In addition to The Alliance preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary, it will also be the 10th anniversary of The Alliance’s fundraiser “Soup’s On Luncheon And Art Sale.”

Allison Salas Fasy, Brian Luscher and Kelly Donohue Garlock*

While Chef Brian Luscher will return to serve as “Chief Chef” for the soup-athon on Monday, January 29, the event will have a new venue — The Statler.

According to Alliance President Megan Latham Martin, there will be six honorary co-chairs. Which six?Alliance founding members Janet Evans, Dian Moore, Bonnie Maston, Debbie Raynor, Bonnie Thompson and Rusty Duvall.

2018 Co-Chairs Allison Salas Fasy and Kelly Donahue Garlock told the crowd including The Stewpot Executive Director Rev. Bruce Buchanan, Carol Adams, Antonia Hubert, Heather Sauber, 2017 Soup’s On Honorary Co-Chairs Margie and Ray Francis, Hunter and Lauren Foreman and Bonnie Mastin that the luncheon speakers will be Full Circle Founder/Executive Director Kristina Wandzilak and her mother Constance Curry, who will “share their heartfelt story about the struggles, dangers and disappointments of drug and alcohol abuse and a beautiful reminder that you should never lose hope…it is never too late for a happy ending.” Back in 2006, they co-authored “The Lost Years: Surviving A Mother And Daughter’s Worst Nightmare.”

Margie and Ray Francis and Hunter and Lauren Foreman*

Proceeds from the January event will benefit The Stewpot which provides services and day shelter for the homeless and provides casework services, dental, job service assistance and many other services to aid the homeless in the Dallas area. The Stewpot now serves approximately 1,700 meals a day at the “Second Chance Cafe” located at the city run homeless shelter, The Bridge, and serves 7 days a week. The Stewpot is a community outreach program of First Presbyterian Church.

* Photo credit: Rob Wythe

Texas Trailblazer Keynote Speaker Gretchen Carlson Connects The Dots Between Domestic Violence And Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Since being a little girl in Minnesota with a love of playing the violin, Gretchen Carlson has made the rounds. From being embarrassed … no, make that humiliated … when a sales clerk announced, “We need the biggest little girl bra for the chubby girl,” to taking on one of the country’s mega-media powerhouses, she’s not only rounded the track, she’s landed in the winner’s circle.

That was the feel for the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon crowd on Friday, October 6, at the Anatole.

But first, the backstory. Gretchen, who had landed in Dallas back in the late 1990s as a reporter and anchor at KXAS, was the keynote speaker for The Family Place‘s annual fundraising luncheon that celebrated Elizabeth Grandell and Lamisa Mustafa as the 2017 Verizon Scholarship Recipients, TexProtects as Advocacy Awardee, and Lynn McBee as Trailblazer of the Year, who received a standing ovation.

Initially the day was sort low-key with the VIP meet-and-greet in the Peacock Terrace. Unlike last year’s line around the room for the grip-and-grin with Ronan Farrow, this year started off a bit slow. One guest, who arrived 10 minutes into the by-invitation event, had a touch of a shock in his/her voice, “Where are all the people?” This answer was, they were chatting it up in the opposite side of the room.

Cindy Stager, Lynn McBee, Gretchen Carlson and KJ Sanger

But Co-Chairs Kristen “KJ” Sanger and Cindy Stager and Lynn McBee as well as Nancy Gopez were on hand as well as Jan Miller in a new haircut and a touch of tear in her eye. It seems that the legendary Miller-Rich household beagle Schumacher had suffered a stroke a couple of weeks before and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Jan Miller and Gretchen Carlson

In the meantime, the Chantilly Ballroom was being set up with an open feeling. As one person pointed out, there were generous aisles between the tables. Still, the count of 680 was down from the jam-packed TFP luncheon of 2016 with Ronan. On the screen were names of sponsors including Trammel (sic) S. Crow. That second “l” in Trammell is a tricky one.

At 11:46 a.m., a big voice announced that the program was going to start. He was a man of his word. The lights dimmed and a video was shown followed by Co-Chairs KJ and Cindy welcoming the group and Rev. Susan Robb providing the invocation.

Before Gretchen talked to the crowd including Connie O’Neill, Claire Emanuelson, Joanna Clarke, Paige Flink, Jill Tananbaum, Travis Hollman, Carol Seay, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink told of “Naomi,” who just the day before had met with her for a one-on-one. It seems that Naomi’s abusive situation had driven her to the breaking point. Her suicide note was written; she was going to take her five kids to the fire station and then she was going to a bridge from which to jump. After talking with Paige and understanding that the newly opened Ann Moody Place would provide shelter for her family, Naomi and Paige finished their chat, tearing up the suicide note.   

Paige added that had it not been for Ann Moody Place, Naomi might have become part of the statistics like the 194,000 violent acts and 158 murdered last year. That latter number was an increase over the year before. On a light noted she announced that the facility had received its first dog, Buddy, with his family. She finished her report on a positive note, saying that thanks to The Family Place, more than one-half million people had been saved thanks to the community’s support.

In addition to Paige’s celebrating her 26th anniversary with The Family Place, she had another 26-year Family Place vet, Betty Regard, join her on stage. Betty issued a $25,000 match challenge at 11:58 a.m. By 12:20 p.m., the challenge had already hauled in $15,948.

At 12:38 p.m., Gretchen arrived at the podium and showed her Stanford education smarts by telling the group of her days at KXAS back in 1998 when she did a 30-part series on domestic violence. While she admitted that a lot has changed, it hasn’t been enough.

Seamlessly, she transitioned into the eye-opening connection between domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace that she knew all too well from her 20s, when a man accosted her, to her headline-making split with the Fox News network. Both domestic violence and sexual harassment continue due to fear, embarrassment, and a lack of support, she said.

Highlights of her talk included:

  • Her mother suggested that she enter the Miss America pageant. Gretchen told her mother there was no way she would win because she was short, played a violin and “Minnesota is not a pageant state.” She entered anyway and won, despite pageant judge William Goldman’s describing her as Miss Piggy and admitting that he hated the violin.
  • After winning Miss America, she was interviewed by a reporter [Editor’s note: New York reporter Penny Crone], who quizzed her with such questions as which presidents were on the $5 and $20 bills. Ten years later, Gretchen spotted the reporter and asked if she recalled her when she was Miss America. Then Gretchen gave it to her, saying, “When I was Miss American, you tried to take me down. I just want you to know I’m a correspondent for CBS and you’re not.”
  • She was stalked for four years.
  • Her first encounter with sexual harassment was when she was in her 20s, when a TV cameraman asked her if she liked it when he put her mic on her breast.
  • 70% of women never report sexual harassment.
  • Misconceptions about sexual harassment include: women can just leave; women bring it on themselves; women make it up; women who do report it are after money or fame.
  • She has become an advocate about sexual harassment because of her children — “It’s all about the next generation.”
  • All proceeds from her book — “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back,” which was coming out the following week, will go her “Gift of Courage” effort.
  • She pointed out three things that were needed to end such treatment:
    • Bystander support
    • Education
    • Government legislation

In closing, Gretchen made a surprise announcement: she was giving $10,000 to The Family Place.

But Gretchen isn’t gone. Come November, she’ll return to the area as part of the across-the-nation launch of workshops to empower women.

BTW, Gretchen didn’t talk about her headline-making situation with the late Roger Ailes. But just a few days later, women in the entertainment industry started following Gretchen’s lead, according to an article by Ronan about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual harassment. They, like Gretchen, were not going to be silenced.

Community Partners Of Dallas’ Change Is Good Was A Multi-Generational Funfest With Sugary Treats, Bungee Cording And Loads Of Coins

As usual, the Community Partners of Dallas were prepared for young and old to feel right at home for its annual Change Is Good fundraiser at Brook Hollow Golf Club. Just in case the Dallas Cowboys game ran into a typical overtime situation, they had TV screens in place for fans. As for the kids, there was everything from sugary treats to sky-high bungee cord flying. But the youngsters were also vying for who could haul in the most ca-ching. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: (front row – Enzo Lange, Asher Lange and Jameson Lange; (back row) Ted and Becky Lange, Reese Lange; Paul and Sandra Keck, Larry and Mary Lange and Paige McDaniel*

Change is Good Chair Family Becky and Ted Lange with munchkins Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo, and Honorary Co-Grandparents Sandra and Paul Keck and Mary and Larry Lange were joined by more than 625 partygoers on Sunday, October 1, at the 11th Annual Change is Good, where kids collected change to change the lives of abused and neglected kids. 

Benefiting Community Partners of Dallas, participating children and teens began collecting change over the summer by emptying their own piggy banks, going door to door, setting up lemonade stands and other fundraisers or starting their own online campaign. Through their efforts 87,640 coins were collected equaling $18,574. 

From the left: (back row) Larry and Rathna Gray; (front row) Caroline Gray, Cate Gray and Brooke* Gray

Cameron Martin, Harper Martin and Kendall Martin”

Emmy Linebarger *

All collections were turned in at the Sunday, October 1st event in exchange for chances to win exciting prizes. This year’s grand prize, a GoPro HERO4 Black 4K Waterproof Action Camera Kit, was awarded to first place winners Brooke, Cate and Caroline Gray, who collected a total of $2,788.22.  Triplets Cameron, Harper and Kendall Martin were in second place with $1,062.16, of which $680 was raised online, the most of all collections. Solo entry Emmy Linebarger came in third place with a remarkable $778.57 collected. The Gray group also received an award for most quarters collected with 9,768 quarters.

Bungee cording*

Held at Brook Hollow Golf Club, the event featured activities for all ages, including bungee jumping, inflatable obstacle courses and slide, prince/princess station, paper airplane zone, GameTruck, Rad Hatter, balloon artist, face painting, bounce houses, and a DJ dance party with CPD’s favorite DJ Bill Cody.

Hula hoops*

President and CEO Paige McDaniel took a few minutes to thank the many sponsors, who had supported the event, as well as all the kids who collected change throughout the summer. She then announced the many prize-drawing winners, and recognized the change collection winners as well as the artists who had the winning designs for this year’s commemorative t-shirt: Jaxon McKinney (front artwork) and Leila Davis (back artwork).  All child attendees received a t-shirt as their parting gift.

Jaxon McKinney and Leila Davis*

Proceeds from Change is Good benefit the abused and neglected children served by Community Partners of Dallas.  This year’s event would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:

  • Change Champion ($5,000) – Shawn Cleveland and Winston and Strawn; Mary and Larry Lange; Becky and Ted Lange and Reese, Jameson, Asher and Enzo and Greg Nieberding/Digital 3 Printing;
  • Change for the Better ($2,500) – Lena and Derek Alley; Marybeth and Kevin Conlon and Luke Conlon and Quinn Conlon; Grant Thornton LLP; Nicola Hobeiche and Todd Hewes; Barry, Sandy, Ryan and Kennedy Moore; Al G. Hill Jr; Sandra Reese-Keck; Katherine and Eric Reeves and The Tafel Family;
  • Changing Lives ($1,250) – The Barber Family; The Kennington Families; The Clay Smith Family; Adam, Taryn, Walker, Ayla and Rilyn Spence;
  • Jar Sponsor – Park Place Porsche;
  • Media sponsors – Dallas Child and MySweetCharity.

For more information about Change is Good, visit communitypartnersdallas.org.

About Community Partners of Dallas

Since 1989, Community Partners of Dallas has ensured safety and restored dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing crucial resources and support to the caseworkers of Dallas County Child Protective Services.  Community Partners of Dallas provides items such as winter coats, diapers and formula, holiday gifts, school uniforms, personal hygiene products, food and more, to send the abused children in our community the message that someone does care.  Please visit www.communitypartnersdallas.org for more information.

* Photo credit: Tara Cosgrove

Thanks to Ted Dealey’s Grandson Rusty Dealey’s Surprise Announcement At The Fur Ball, The Family Support Of The SPCA Of Texas Continued

With loads of animals hitting the SPCA of Texas facilities thanks to hurricanes and abusive situations, a black-tie crowd of more than 800 guests rallied in the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, September 30.

But before that happened, the crowd at the “Reigning Cats and Dogs” was shoulder-to-shoulder with tiaras topping coiffured heads in the lobby. As Barbara and Jim Moroney headed to the registration table, other members of The Dallas Morning News family like longtime DMN photographer David Woo were already partying. Only seemed appropriate, as the DMN was to receive 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award.

Russell “Rusty” Dealey and Debra Burns*

But there was still more news to come during the meal. SPCA Development Director Debra Burns recalled how before moving to the state-of-the-art Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on I-30, the SPCA had occupied much smaller facilities just off of then-Irving Blvd., now known as Riverfront Blvd. It was named the G.B. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. Debra told how on her first day with the SPCA, she had discovered a photo of Joe Dealey and George Jalonick at the opening of the facilities back in the 1970s. That set her sights on continuing the family’s involvement in the 21st century SPCA. Sure, the late Betty Moroney Norsworthy’s estate had contributed a $1M gift to kick off the fundraising in 2003 for the future Rees-Jones facility. But that was more than a decade ago, and the SPCA’s programs and services had grown dramatically. She got together with Ted’s grandson Russell “Rusty” Dealey and the two of them pulled off a major surprise that was only revealed at the gala — Rusty’s gifting $1M for the 41,000 square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. According to Debra, not even the family nor Rusty’s accountant knew about his generous gift.

Amy Bailey and little fella

Lynn McBee, Joe B Clark and Paige McDaniel

But before the announcement of the gift was made at the dinner, the cocktail reception continued with Amy Bailey cuddling up with a “boy toy” looking for a permanent hug… Lynn McBee may have been solo because husband Allan McBee was out of town, but she soon ran into Paige McDaniel and Joe B ClarkKaty and Lawrence Bock reported that they were still getting rave reviews from the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction preview at their home base in Preston Center. Katy, who will be co-chairing the 2018 CBB, said things were moving along, but she sorta hated the thought of just one more year with the organization. Seems CBB bylaws require old CBB chairs to retire from hands-on involvement. Lawrence comforted Katy by saying there would probably be other organizations in her future…. Checking out the acres of silent auction items were Mary Frances Burleson and Lori Ferguson ….Alas, longtime animal-loving Diane Brierley was a no-show. But, she had a valid excuse. Earlier in the day she had hurt her paw foot and was homebound. 

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Mary Frances Burleson, James Bias and Lori Ferguson

Once the ballroom doors opened, the fundraising ramped up. Here’s a report from the field:

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous floral centerpieces complete with golden crowns thanks to Dr Delphinium. The delightful dinner included a salad of butter lettuce and seasonal greens salad with spiced pecans, goat cheese, and pancetta served with a Sherry Vinaigrette along with entrees, either Beef ‘Wellington’ petite filet and slow roasted salmon with mushroom duxelle, puff pastry, Pomme Dauphinois, green bean bundle, baby carrot, roasted radish and acorn squash bordelaise or Herb Creamed Spinach Stuffed portabella mushroom with steamed rice, green bean bundle, roasted vegetables baby carrot, acorn squash and radish in red pepper sauce. The delicious dessert was a Black Forest cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla sauce with a gold-flecked cherry garnish.

Subbing in for WFAA’s Ron Corning, who had to bail out due to a previous commitment was “Good Morning Texas’” Alanna Sarabia wearing her glittering Fiesta Queen crown. As past reigning Miss San Antonio and Fiesta Queen, her platform was the importance of responsible pet ownership as well as spaying and neutering pets to curb overpopulation for the health and safety of the community. Ms. Sarabia spoke about the importance of pets in all our lives, remembering that pets were furry siblings as she grew up and an important part of her life ever since. She thanked guests for their support and partnership to help the SPCA of Texas rescue, heal, and find homes for abandoned and abused animals.

SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias, welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas is able to perform thanks to the community’s support, such as saving animals on a cruelty case like the 100 dogs seized from a puppy mill the previous Monday, providing spay or neuter services to tens of thousands of pets in Southern Dallas and all of North Texas, and, most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. James also thanked the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets. 

Jocelyn White and Katy Murray

James and SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray presented the 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award to The Dallas Morning News for their comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas. Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Publisher/A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney accepted the award, and was joined by several members of the editorial staff. The Spencer Humanitarian Award, named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, recognizes an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. The Dallas Morning News has and continues to shine a light on the heartbreaking issue of suffering on the part of people and pets taking place in the most underserved area in Dallas. Their coverage in no small part contributed to the subsequent funding of the largest-scale spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping effort in the nation to date by many of the most prominent charities in North Texas. Their voice, calling attention to animal issues, is loud, clear and unwavering, and the pets and people of North Texas are fortunate indeed for this.

SPCA Senior VP for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, and announcing a surprise $1 million gift from Russell E. Dealey. The SPCA of Texas is grateful for Mr. Dealey’s tremendous gift, and has re-named its Animal Rescue Center in Dallas the “Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.”

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways to Telluride and New York City, a decadent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” spa and shopping package and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more. Others were a getaway to Mountain Lodge in Telluride, Colorado and a fabulous Thanksgiving Day in New York, New York.  

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied until after Midnight. 

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to Event Chair Cindy Lindsley; Event Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including 

  • Diamond sponsor: Russell E. Dealey;
  • Sapphire sponsors: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Lydia and Bill Addy, Colin and Sandra Fite, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, H/3 Foundation, Northern Trust, Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones and Sewell Automotive;
  • Ruby sponsors: Dr Delphinium and Rebecca Farris;
  • Emerald sponsors: Carla J. Brandt, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Jill Bee and Loren Glasser, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Holly and Philip Huffines, Nancy and Ty Merelli, Milagro Tequila, Thompson and Knight Foundation, Come from Away – A New Musical and Webb Family Foundation;
  • Corporate Royal Gem sponsors: AG&E Structural Engenuity, Alliance Insurance, Cityvet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hollywood Feed, Merck Animal Health, Heineken, OrangeTheory Fitness, Origin Bank, PBK, RKD Group, Swiss Avenue Women’s Guild, Tejas Ranch & Game Fence, VCA Animal Hospitals, Vinson and Elkins LLP and Whole Foods Market;
  • Media Sponsors: Modern Luxury Magazine and Slingshot.

Guests included the Rees-Jones clan (Jan and Trevor, Jenny and Trevor, Margaret and David), Sally Anne Hudnall, Stacey and Don KivowitzGwen and Leldon Echols, Gigi Potter Salley, Phillip and Holly Huffines, Beth and Steve Jarvie, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Meredith Perot, Peter Addie, Kirsten Burns, Jill Bee and Dr. Loren Glasser, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Betsy Orton and Sharon FancherJudy Davis, Gus HinojosaTeresa and Chic Henderson, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, Kelly Thompson, Dr. Rocky McKelvey, Carolyn and David KubesPam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Bill Driscoll.

* Photo credit: Brett Redman

Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour Of Decor Benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter Was A Fundraising Treat

Anyone who has been trapped eastward on Lovers Lane has had a brief respite at the corner of Turtle Creek Lane. Regardless of the time of year, the itty-bitty corner has celebrated the holiday of the season. In December, there’s even a daily countdown to December 25.

The source of the corner celebration is not the University Park City Council. Rather, it’s the property’s owners, Jennifer and Steve Houghton.

Earlier this year designer Jennifer’s streaming of their swans (Johnny Cash and June) had gone viral with the laying and hatching of cygnets.

But on Friday, September 29, the VIPs for the two-day Turtle Creek Lane Tour of Decor benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter was a treat. In addition to the two days of checking out Jennifer’s handiwork, there was a raffle for her “Halloween tree.”

Front door

Stairway

Breakfast table

Dinner table

Jennifer had decked every inch of the house, both inside and out, with Halloween waves of witches, black cats and Jack O’Lanterns. Whether it was a teeny weeny witch hat on the dining room chairs or the living room abounding in orange with a goblin playing away at a player grand piano, it was an overwhelming showcase of a non-holiday holiday.

Kitchen

Outdoor terrace

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

But this wasn’t any different from past Jennifer undertakings. Her gal pal Amanda Richards recalled how she’d met Jennifer. After admiring her handiwork years before, she knocked on Jennifer’s door to compliment her corner décor. Without hesitation, Jennifer invited Amanda in and it was the beginning of a great friendship.

For more photos of Jennifer’s spooks and sights, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Turtle Creek Lane Tour

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

With Halloween less than two weeks away, Park Cities designer Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour raised the hair on the back of heads, as well as raising money for Genesis Women’s Shelter on Friday, September 29, and Saturday, September 30.

Dinner table

Halloween kitty

The Houghton homestead is a favorite sight on Lovers Lane for all the seasonal holiday. But Halloween is a real thrill, both indoors and out. 

Front door

Stairway

While the post is being prepared, check out the insides and outs of Jennifer’s handiwork at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon Celebrated The Lives Saved Thanks To A Deathbed Promise

In 1977 33-year-old Suzy Goodman Komen learned she had breast cancer. At that time those two words were verboten in polite company. Too often patients diagnosed with the disease shared the news, their fears and their struggle with the immediate family and perhaps extremely close friends. It was almost treated like a scandal. Susie undertook the treatments with her kid sister Nancy Goodman Leitstein (Brinker) at her side. But due to lack of funding, research and treatments, Susie died at the age of 36 in 1980.

As she lay dying, 34-year-old Nancy, who was divorced and the mother of a son, made a promise that changed her life and those of millions of others. She told Suzy that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. War was declared.

From that promise sprang the annual Race for the Cure and a Komen luncheon that for years required boxes of tissues as breast cancer patients shared their journeys. Eventually, the effort to grow funds and awareness spread throughout the world. What didn’t survive was the luncheon. For whatever reason, it ended.  

Mary Lessmann, Gigi Hill Lancaster and Meredith Land

However, on Wednesday, September 27, the Komen Foundation of Dallas celebrated its 35th anniversary with a luncheon fundraiser at Belo Mansion. Chairing Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary Luncheon was Gigi Hill Lancaster, who had lost her mother, the vibrant Gigi Griffiths Hill, to breast cancer at the age of 39 in 1984 when Lancaster was just 14.

Elizabeth Robertson, Jim and Alinda Wikert and Sharon McCutchin

Jill Smith, Lindalyn Adams and Randi Halsell

At 11:30 the VIP reception was already in full gear with Honorary Co-Chairs Linda Custard and Ruth Altshuler (Co-Chair Gene Jones had to be out of town), luncheon emcee Meredith Land, Diane Brierley, Nancy Halbreich, Janie McGarr and keynote speaker/breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic. In the ballroom were Komen past luncheon chair Randi Halsell, Lindalyn Adams and original chair Sharon McCutchins, Jill Smith, Elizabeth Robertson, Alinda and Jim Wikert and Brill Garrett. Komen Dallas Board President Connie O’Neill with two of her three daughters (Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill) was thrilled that so many young women were attending.

Connie O’Neill, Giuliana Rancic, Amanda Cacheris and Isabel O’Neill

Promptly at noon the luncheon crowd including Sara Martineau, Carol Huckin, Katy Bock, Cara French, Daffan Nettle and Vicki Howland took their places and from the podium Gigi thanked the honorary chairs, Alinda Wikert and her underwriting chair Rebecca Fletcher for having brought in $555,000. Gigi told how she was wearing waterproof mascara. Her mother had wished that she had worn waterproof mascara when she addressed the Komen luncheon just weeks before her death.

Gigi turned the podium over to St. Michael’s and All Angel’s/breast cancer survivor Rev. Mary Lessmann for the invocation.

Carlos Arteaga

Following a video, Connie was at the podium reporting that one billion dollars had been provided by Komen for research and two billion dollars dedicated for treatment for women in 30 countries. Their goal was to reduce breast cancer 50% by 2060.

She then introduced newly arrived in Dallas Dr. Carlos Arteaga, who had only recently relocated from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to head up the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern.

It was then time for Giuliana to tell her story in 25 minutes, but she immediately admitted that it was going to be tough to do it. Born in Italy at the age of six, she only spoke Italian. So, how did she learn English? She would watch TV, especially the evening news. Her initial plans to be a TV journalist changed to concentrating on fashion and entertainment, which led to her moving to LA.

Giuliana Rancic

There she ended up with her dream job of being a reporter for E News. While there she heard the assignments editor mentioning the name “Bill Rancic,” who had just won the first “The Apprentice.” She asked for the interview and got it only to google Bill Rancic romance, where it said that he was dating someone. When she got to the interview, she impressed Bill by looking “bored and distant.” Needless to say, she had lost interest in him but carried on with the interview. Her final question was, “Are you going to settle down?” He responded, “Actually we broke up three weeks ago.”

According to Bill, an “immaculate transformation took place.” Eight months later they were engaged with a wedding taking place six months after that.”

The couple was approached about their doing a reality show. They agreed only if it could be positive. During this time they tried to conceive, and eventually sought help from fertility experts. But they miscarried and tried again with no luck. Giuliana was sad, angry and depressed — “Why did this happen?”

They sought help from another fertility specialist. In filling out the questionnaire, the last quest on the check list was “Have you had a mammogram?” Giuliana hadn’t and wanted to skip it. After all, she’d had no family history; she was in her 30s; she was in great health. But the nurse insisted, so she agreed.

Then she got a call to come to the clinic. As she waited to learn the results, she got an eerie feeling and ran to the elevator. The nurse came after her and brought her back. The doctor said that she did have breast cancer. Her reaction? “Your life just changes. I felt like I was falling.”

She shared her story on the show to help other young women to get a mammogram. Initially she thought the lumpectomy would be the answer. It didn’t work. She and Bill talked about it. Her concern was that a mastectomy would make her unattractive. Bill’s response: “I don’t care what you look like. I just want you around for the next 50 years.”

Those words made her mind up to go through with the mastectomy. In the meantime, the couple decided to check into having a gestational carrier. She admitted that after the months of disappointment and cancer, she needed some good news. That came two weeks after her surgery in December when they found out that the carrier was pregnant. On August 29, Edward Duke Rancic was born.

Within one year, Giuliana had had the worst day of her life and the most amazing.  She also realized that had she gotten pregnant, she probably wouldn’t be here.

Since then she has made fertility and breast cancer her rallying points.

Then Giuliana recalled a year ago meeting Klarissa, who in her 20s was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Giuliana had just gotten an update that Klarissa was fighting for her life. Giuliana started to read a post from Klarissa’s Instagram the day before, but couldn’t go on. She asked Gigi to come to the podium and read: “…. I can’t help but wonder what memories I will leave behind.”

Giuliana summed up her talk saying, “You don’t have to travel 2,000 miles to climb a mountain to find your purpose. Your purpose is right here in this room.”

Just past 1 p.m., the luncheon was over. The next day Julia Louis-Dreyfuss announced, “One in eight women get breast cancer; today I’m the one.” But thanks to a sister’s promise made in 1980, Giuliana, Julia and millions of others will have their lives saved.  

Jubilee Park And Community Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala Patron Party Were Honored At Monica and Joe Eastin’s Preston Hollow Home

After providing education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for Jubilee Park and Community Center families in southeast Dallas for 20 years, Jubilee key supporters gathered for a cocktail party on Tuesday, September 26. The occasion was to hear about the 20th Anniversary Gala at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, November 4. Here’s a report from the field: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center with 20th Anniversary gala Co-Chairs Lydia and Bill Addy welcomed more than 100 sponsors, host committee members and supporters at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, September 26. 

Joe and Monica Eastin*

Diane Metcalf-Leggette and Taylor Miller*

Jubilee Park Commemorative 20th Anniversary bracelets**

Held at the Preston Hollow home of Monica and Joe Eastin, partygoers arrived and mingled while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. On view was a trio of Jubilee’s 20th anniversary commemorative bracelets, designed by Dallas jewelry designer Taylor Miller. The handmade bracelets feature natural materials, including wood and chyrsoprase beads, and a custom brass “Jubilee” charm, and are available on the Jubilee Park website.

Mid-way through the evening, Jubilee Park CEO Ben Leal welcomed attendees and thanked all for their support of the upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala.  Co-chairs Lydia and Bill added their gratitude to the evening’s hosts as well as the many sponsors and host committee members in attendance.   

Lydia then announced this year’s honorary chairs would be Peggy and Mark Anschutz, who were in attendance, and recognized them as two of the founding catalysts for Jubilee Park 20 years ago. She also revealed the gala’s presenting sponsor, ISN Software Corporation, along with generous support from The Moody Foundation.  

Bill and Lydia Addy and Ben Leal*

Peggy and Mark Anschutz*

David and Maria Martin*

Bill announced the gala’s additional lead sponsors including Crow Holdings, Park Place Dealerships, Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey and Maria and David Martin.  The support of all of the gala’s generous sponsors will enable Jubilee to launch a new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program. 

Ben Leal returned to give additional details regarding the new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program for children with special learning needs. The S3 program will combine teacher training, adaptive technology, specialized curriculum and parent empowerment to make high quality education accessible for more families.  He shared that they know of at least 150 children in Jubliee’s area who are in need of these services, and that they want to use their best practices in education, plus new specialized components, to meet that need.  He also said that the 20th Anniversary gala’s net revenue goal of $1 million will make these critical interventions accessible over the next eight years as the S3 Program becomes part of Jubilee’s ongoing Out of School Time Programs. 

Bill and Anne Johnson*

Doris Bonvino and Mary Neely*

Jim and Nancy Skochdopole*

Daniel Gerber and Elizabeth Hoffman*

Betsy Mosquera and Aline Bass*

Jeff and Darrel Rice*

In closing the Addy’s encouraged everyone including Nancy and Jim Skochdopole, Doris Bonvino, Mary Neely, Anne and Bill Johnson, Betsy Mosquera, Aline Bass, Daniel Gerber, Elizabeth Hoffman, Diane Metcalf-Leggette, Jeff and Darrel Rice, Ellen Muth, Pat and Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis to promote the gala on Saturday, November 4, to their friends and colleagues, including an After Party hosted by the Young Friends Host Committee beginning at 8:30 p.m. 

Ellen Muth, Pat Prestidge, Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis*

The 20th Anniversary Gala will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel, starting at 6 p.m. The black-tie optional evening will include cocktails, a seated dinner, party games, dancing to live music by Dallas’ renowned Emerald City Band, party games, raffle prizes, and an oversized surprise unveiled by Jubilee’s Young Friends Host Committee members. 

Individual tickets are $250 each and now on sale; sponsorships begin at $2,500. After Party tickets are $125 and include drinks, dancing, party games and late-night bites. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit www.jubileecenter.org/gala or contact Lindsay Abernethy at 469.718.5702 or [email protected]

 About Jubilee Park: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center is a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment to the Jubilee Park Neighborhood, a 62- block area in southeast Dallas. Founded in 1997, Jubilee Park and Community Center helps families and other members of the community identify and access resources that help to provide stability and enhance their quality of life through five pillars: education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development.   For more information, visit www.jubileecenter.org. 

* Photo credit: Michael Bruno 
** Photo provided by Jubilee Park and Community Center

Tootsies’ Fashions Were Front-And-Center On Stage For KidneyTexas Inc.’s Behind-The Scenes “Transforming Lives”

The KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report affair at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, September 26, may have appeared to be a typical fashion show and luncheon ready for a crowd of 350. The runway was laid out in the ballroom and the luncheon tables in the Promenade. The reception was already underway even before the 10:30 start as guests with flutes of champagne strolled in spotting friends across the room. Emcee Ron Corning with left leg firmly held in place thanks to a brace following a nasty fall in Santa Fe posed for photos with guests like Donna Arp Weitzman.

Soon the room was filled with the likes of Event Co-Chair Susan Russell, Jocelyn White, Angela Nash, Ramona Jones, Di Johnston, Susan McSherry, Angela Randall, Cheryl Hall, Vicki Howland, Lynn Dealey, Jolie Humphrey, Patty Jo Turner, Lauryn Gayle White, Lisa Cooley, Patti Flowers, Delilah Boyd, Tracy Lange, Marj Waters, Mr. Mesero’s Mico Rodriguez and Tracy Williams, who was watching her 15-year-old daughter walk the runway.

Andrea Alcorn

Ron Corning

KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn had lost more weight that she remembered. It wasn’t because she’d signed up for Weight Watchers. It was the “Stealth Juggler’s” diet that many baby boomers are unknowingly part of. She was juggling her day-job as a PR person, her responsibilities as KidneyTexas Inc. president and taking care of her mother Mae Alcorn (the longest kidney transplant survivor) who had fallen and broken a couple of major bones.

Altuzarra fashion

A.L.C jacket

Cinq A Sept gown with LaMarque jacket

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Highlighting the Tootsies fashions on the runway was a model in a Rob Bradford figure-hugging gown wrapped in vines ladened with faux butterflies that reflected the day’s theme “Transforming Lives.” 

But it was the behind-the-scenes story that was the real reason for the gathering.

Then there was McKamy Tiner, who just the year before had co-chaired the luncheon. She was also the nation’s youngest kidney donor. Today she was all smiles. Not just because of her kidney sharing, but she was getting married the following Saturday to Joel Looney. Because one donates a kidney doesn’t mean they lost their sense of humor, too. She told how when Joel met with her father months before, the bridegroom-to-be was nervous. Her dad offered him a Scotch to sooth his nerves. As an added calm down, papa Tiner told Joel, “I was always worried that Tiner would marry an a-s-o-e. You are the nicest guy around, so I’m not worried.”

McKamy Tiner

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

John Castorr

Co-Chair Christine Martin was as bright and sparkling as Tinkerbell. But that wouldn’t have been so, if it hadn’t been for two kidney transplants.

Christine’s brother John Castorr told how one of the beneficiaries Camp Reynal was a true getaway for for children with diabetes. In addition to having outdoors activities and being like any other summer camp, Camp Reynal had dialysis machines and healthcare specialist on site. 

But with all these knock ‘em out of the park stories, there was someone missing. His name was Vinny Trezza and he was a hunk. Not only did he play golf and was a Boy Scout, he “had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function property.”

While folks sat near Vinny’s mom, Melissa Trezza, they initially didn’t realize the struggle that she and her family had gone through. But thanks to Melissa being a perfect match and Dr. Dev Desai at Children’s, Melissa “donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis.”  

So, how does a kidney transplant take place?  For Vinny and Melissa it was Dr. Desai working for hours cutting away tissue around Melissa’s kidney with the help of long surgical tools and a TV screen that enhanced the picture of the kidney. Once Melissa’s kidney was removed, time was of the essence. It had to be flushed out and prepared for transplant. The kidney’s turning gray was a good sign as it was placed in an ice chest and transferred to the operating room where Vinny was prepped. Once Vinny’s “bad” kidney was removed, the clock kept ticking. Within minutes, Melissa’s kidney was transplanted into her son.

But this recent transplant and May’s transplant that took place years ago only resulted from research and development funded by fundraising by events like Runway Report.

Sue Goodnight

Steve and Linda Ivy

Natalie Taylor

Dee Lincoln

Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb

Jody Dean

As auctioneer Jody Dean worked the room to bring bids just a wee bit higher, Melissa sat knowing that her Boy Scout son had been the recipient of the power of fundraising with the fashions from Tootsies, the efforts of heroes like Lifetime Achievement Awardee Sue Goodnight, Honorary Co-Chairs Linda and Steve Ivy, Sue Goodnight Services Award recipient Natalie Taylor and Over-The-Top Awardees Dee Lincoln and Tootsies’ Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb.

As for Vinny, he was in class just being a normal buy thanks to his mom, Dr. D and the folks who had provided funding to let him get on with life.

And while Vinny let it be known that he wouldn’t be on the scene, there were nearly 50, who no-showed without notifying organizers. The results? Prepared and paid-for meals had to be thrown out. Had the MIA notified the leadership, the Runway Report could have prevented the meals from being prepared and saved some bucks. 

For more photos from the runway and the audience, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: KidneyTexas Inc.’s Runway Report

While the Tootsies fashions took centerstage at the KidneyTexas Inc.Runway Report on Tuesday, September 26, at Brook Hollow, the scene stealers were stories of people like KidneyTexas Inc. President Andrea Alcorn‘s mother, McKamy Tiner, Luncheon Co-Chair Christine Martin and a young fella named Vinny Trezza and his mother Melissa Trezza, whose lives have changed thanks to research and treatments for the disease.

Andrea Alcorn

McKamy Tiner

However, it must be admitted that the closing fashion on the catwalk that reflected the event’s theme of “Transforming Lives” definitely got reactions from those in the audience.

Enhanced Rob Bradford gown

Susan Russell and Christine Martin

While the post is being finished, check out the fashions and faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Retired General/One Mind CEO Peter Chiarelli To Bring His Mission Addressing PST To Support Housing Crisis Center’s Programs For Vets

There was a time in the late 1960s and early 1970s when being a member of the ROTC wasn’t exactly cool compared to being on the football team. And then there was the country’s attitude about Vietnam that only heightened the non-cool factor.

Peter Chiarelli*

But there were those who recognized the need of the military and appreciated the structure and commitment by those serving the country. One of those was the son of a meat cutter in Magnolia, Washington. The boy’s name was Peter Chiarelli and not only did he sign up for the Seattle University Army ROTC, he was recognized as the school’s Distinguished Military Graduate.

And while others went on to office jobs, Peter was commissioned a second lieutenant at the age of 22. Over the years, he served in the United States, Germany, Belgium and the Middle East. As commanding general of 1st Calvary Division, he led it in the Iraq War and during Operation Iraqi Freedom II, as well as serving as commanding general of Multi-National Corps – Iraq.

For his years of services, he was named Vice-Chief of Staff for the Army and received numerous awards. But during his 40 years of service, he admitted that while he was prepared for injuries like the “loss of limbs and nasty injuries,” he became all too aware of the invisible injuries — “traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.”

Unlike a heart attack or a stroke that can be detected through bloodwork and physical examination, the injuries to the mind are stealth.

According to Peter, “By 2012, the rate of post-traumatic stress was 65%.” The 2014 Defense Department Suicide Event Report revealed that “the U.S. Army [was] having the highest suicide rate among the services at 23.8% per 100,000 soldiers.”

This concern for those suffering from these “invisible wounds” led Peter to take on a new mission following his retirement from the Army in 2012. He became CEO of One Mind, “a nonprofit dedicated to speeding up research and finding better diagnosis and treatment for brain-injured soldiers and civilians.”

According to One Mind, PTS occurs in 11-20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In addition to the challenge and stigma of PTS, the returning vets often become victims of homelessness due to their mental conditions. Like Peter and One Mind, North Texas’ Housing Crisis Center recognizes that vets suffering from post-traumatic stress need support. For this reason, HCC has developed the Programs Serving Primarily Veterans that include:

  • Veterans Housing Partnership — providing permanent supportive housing with intensive case management for homeless, disabled veterans and their families.
  • Permanent Housing Services — providing permanent supportive housing with intensive case management for chronically homeless disabled adults, primarily veterans.
  • All Citizens Empowered — a permanent supportive housing program for families and individuals in which heads-of-the-household has a disabling mental condition. Half of the clients in the program are veterans.

Housing Crisis Center 2017 Patriot Party*

On the evening of Friday, November 3, Peter will join forces with Housing Crisis Center for the 2017 Patriot Party – Colors Of Courage at the George W. Bush Institute to benefit the Housing Crisis Center.

Dennis and Laura Moon (File photo)

Joining Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon will be Honorary Co-Chairs Connie and Denny Carreker and a host committee made up of Stacy and Jeff Blakeley, Holly Bock, Jennifer and Scott Chandler, Alesia Coffman Turner, Ashley and Danny Ellis, Megan Flanagan, Nancy Gopez, Cathy Hodges, Catherine Howell, Laura and Brent Jorgenson, April and Russ Lambert, Kelly and John Ledford, Lynn and Allan McBee, Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Mary Martha and John Pickens, Sandy Schwan, Heidi and Cole Snadon, Sunie and Steve Solomon, Cindy Stager, Leisa Street, Jimmy Westcott and Katherine Wynne.

Tickets start at $250 and are available here for the evening of cocktails, buffet dinner, live entertainment and Peter, of course.

* Graphic and photo provided by Housing Crisis Center

Veteran Celebs And Babes In Arm Took The Runway At Tootsies For The 8th Annual Esteem Fashion Show

As the swallows return to Capistrano in March, so the season’s fashions were hitting the North Texas catwalks in September. On the heels of the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show with its dozens and dozens of professional models, The Elisa Project‘s 8th Annual Esteem Fashion Show also had fashions on the Tootsies runway on Saturday, September 16. But these models were volunteers ranging in age from infant to AARP. Here’s a report from the field:

Rhonda Marcus, Emmy Marcus and Whitney Kutch*

Event Chair Whitney Kutch, with Honorary C0-Chairs Rhonda Marcus and daughter Emmy, were joined by nearly 160 attendees for the 8th annual Esteem Fashion Show presented by Lisa Cooley, on Saturday, September 16, which benefited The Elisa Project (TEP).

Partygoers arrived at Tootsies and mingled while enjoying mimosas while perusing Tootsies collections. With 10% of all purchases benefiting TEP, patrons shopped the latest fall fashions, as DJ Blake Ward provided the vibe. Raffle tickets were available for sale featuring fabulous prizes including, a $100 gift card to Tootsies; an Elizabeth Showers Soleil station 18 karat gold chain in hand-carved white quartz over Kingman Mine turquoise; an Amanda Sterrett jewelry suite; hair and makeup services from The Makeup Zone; an original watercolor painting by Sherri Jones; and Chili’s restaurant gift cards.

Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Kim Stephens-Olusanya, Holly Davis and Landry Davis*

At 11:00 a.m., patrons gathered upstairs for the much-anticipated fashion show. Whitney took the podium and thanked everyone in attendance for their support of The Elisa Project and this year’s event. TEP’s board President Dr. Stephanie Setliff followed by adding her thanks and recognized Whitney for her hard work as event chair, as well as those in the room who had made the day possible including Executive Director Kimberly Martinez, TEP staff and board of directors, and Esteem founder, event coordinator, and board member, Rhonda Sargent Chambers. She then shared details about some of the work The Elisa Project is doing in the community through advocacy, education and support, which touches the lives of more than 31,000 individuals suffering from eating disorders each year.

2017 Esteem models

Emcee Courtney Kerr, founder and editor-in-chief of KERRently.com, took the podium and got right to the fashion show, which featured notable community members wearing the latest looks from Tootsies with children’s fashions provided by KidBiz/The Biz.

Jenny Anchondo and Brighton Valentina*

Courtney Kerr and Kellie Rasberry*

2017 models were: FOX4-TV’s Emmy-award winning news anchor Jenny Anchondo with 15-week old daughter Brighton Valentina; Carlotta Lennox, Kim Dawson model and entrepreneur; Landry Davis with friends Aubrey and Gracie O’Banion; community volunteer Yvonne Crum with granddaughter Samantha; designer and creator of BAHZ jewelry Britt Harless; host of nationally syndicated morning show, Eye Opener, blogger and fashion expert Hilary Kennedy; Jane McGarry, host of WFAA-TV’s “Good Morning Texas;” Sabrina Harrison, co-owner and interior designer Mint Dentistry and founder of Equipped by Faith Ministries, with children Christian and Camila; Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Scott Murray; Melissa Rountree, owner of activewear brand Level 3 Active and board member of The Elisa Project; licensed professional counselor and CEO of Park Cities Counseling, Elizabeth Scrivner with daughter Katherine; Catherine Lowe, owner of local luxury stationary company LoweCo, with son Samuel; host of “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning,” Kellie Rasberry; honorary co-chairs Rhonda Marcus, and daughter Emmy; and event chair and TEP board member Whitney Kutch.

Carlotta Lenox and Courtney Kerr*

Melissa Rountree*

As the show came to a close, Kimberly Martinez announced the lucky winners of the raffle prizes before encouraging all in attendance to continue shopping in support of The Elisa Project. Before departing, patrons grabbed their swag bags which included goodies from Tootsies and stationary from LoweCo.

Esteem is a celebration of body image and self-Esteem. In its 8th year, Esteem helps increase awareness about eating disorders and the importance of positive body image, Esteem encourages people to love themselves while striving to be healthy. Proceeds support The Elisa Project (TEP) and the important programs dedicated to fighting eating disorder illnesses through awareness, education, support and advocacy.

* Photo credits: Bob Manzano and Thomas Garza

 

SPCA of Texas Is Purring With Delight Over A Howling $1M Gift From Rusty Dealey For The Animal Rescue Center

At Saturday night’s SPCA of Texas black-tie “Fur Ball” in the Omni Dallas Hotel’s Dallas Ballroom, there was good reason for tiaras to be the accessory du jour. Sure, the theme was “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” but a surprise announcement added a special sparkle to the night.

2017 SPCA Of Texas Fur Ball “Reigning Cats And Dogs”*

It was the revealing of a million-dollar gift from Russell “Rusty” Dealey to support the 41,000-square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. In addition to serving as headquarters for the SPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit, the facility is able to house up to 500 animals in cases where large or small seizures of animals are required and provides for full medical facilities for triage and behavior training on site.

Debra Burns and Russell Dealey*

In honor of the donation, the center will be named the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center. 

When the announcement was made, the surprise was real even for those close to Rusty. Even his cousin Dallas Morning News CEO Jim Moroney III and Rusty’s accountant didn’t know of the gift.

Jim probably thought the news of the night involving the family was the paper’s receiving the 2017 Mary Spencer Humanitarian Award for its “comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas.” According to insiders, he didn’t know what his cousin was up to.

According to SPCA of Texas Senior VP of Development Debra Burns, “We are so delighted to have the Dealey name continue their legacy of giving to the SPCA of Texas. Russell is a caring and generous man to animals.”

The Dealey legacy with the SPCA started back when the organization’s facilities were located on Riverfront Blvd. (formerly known as Industrial Blvd.) for 40 years and was known at the E.M. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. It was named after The Dallas Morning News patriarch G.B. Dealey’s son Ted, who was publisher of The Dallas Morning News and an animal lover. The capital campaign for the center was spearheaded by Ted’s son/G.B.’s grandson, Joe Dealey Sr. and George Jalonick.

When the SPCA learned that the Dealey facility was going to be demolished due to highway construction, a campaign for the current Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center got underway. To help things along, a gift of $1M was provided by the estate of Betty Moroney Norsworthy, who was G.B. Dealey’s granddaughter, Ted’s niece, Joe Sr.’s cousin and Jim’s aunt.

To continue the tradition, Rusty is the great grandson of G.B, the grandson of Ted and the son of Joe Sr.

Confused? Don’t worry. Just be happy that the SPCA of Texas has $1M for a much needed facility, thanks to Rusty.

* Photo courtesy of SPCA of Texas