Some Very Good People Left Us in 2011

Today is the last of 2011. It was a year in which tyrants (Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jung-il) ended their reigns of terror over humanity. It was a year in which countries with histories older than paper went through the initial birthing of democracy. It was a year in which we lost too many people within our community who provided support through funding and hands-on involvement. Let their example serve as an inspiration as we enter 2012.

A very few of those whose deaths took place in 2011 include:

  • Louis Beecherl Jr.
  • Charles Freeman
  • George Engman
  • Joe Fojtasek
  • Nancy Hamon
  • Bill Hodges
  • Tanner Hunt
  • H. Ward Lay Jr.
  • Don Meredith
  • Shelly Musselman
  • Charles Simmons
  • Julia Sweeney
  • Janie Tilford
  • Charles Wyly

May they all rest in the peace of prayers and may we replace our tears of loss with good deeds in the years.

Despite A Couple of Big Regrets, KERA Celebrated Its 50th Anniversary With Stellar Crowd And Raised $1M

Bob Ray Sanders and David McCullough

Leave it to the KERA folks. They arranged a 50th anniversary at the Wyly last Tuesday with a stellar collection of personalities from PBS’s past and present, no commercials and just a couple of nudges about the need for support. Honorees were to be the late Ralph Rogers, who had pioneered the frontier days of PBS and KERA, and Bob Wilson, who had been KERA’s first president. For out-of-towner names KERA’s Newsroom first anchor/executive producer Jim Lehrer, NPR Senior News Analyst Cokie Roberts, Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough and Weekend Edition‘s Scott Simon were on the roll call to join locals Bob Ray Sanders, Lee Cullum and Krys Boyd.

Then just a couple of days before (like early Sunday) word came that an “undisclosed illness” would prevent honoree Bob from being front-and-center.

No sooner had that news sunk in than Scott had to pull out due to a personal emergency.

Melissa Fetter

Not to worry. Event Chair Melissa Fetter and KERA President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff made a few adjustments and proceeded as planned for a celebration incorporating entertainment, video clips, tributes, memories, fabulous food and plans for the future including a soon-to-be-announced significant expansion of KERA’s news coverage after the first of the year.

The reception in the Wyly lobby was bulging with KERA fans, both old and new, like Margot and Ross Perot, Alice and Erle Nye, Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Lisa and Chris Ryan, Diane and Hal Brierley, Roger Horchow,

Roger Horchow

Nancy Halbreich, Barbara and Steve Durham, Toni Brinker, Holly and Doug Brooks, Caren Prothro, Lizzie and Dan Routman, Clay Mulford and Ruth and Ken Altshuler.

Just as the lobby was approaching the overload state, word was passed to go upstairs for the seated dinner and program.

Owen Wilson

But once up there, the talk continued. Main attractions were the Wilson boys (Owen and Luke) who caught up with old friends like Angus Wynne and made a bunch of new buddies. Two women at separate times in the evening approached photographers saying they’d give a million dollars to have their photos snapped with Owen. An oldtimer upon hearing those offers laughed, “Things haven’t changed. I remember when he waited tables at S&D Oyster and was the hit with all the customers, especially the ladies.”

Meg Simpson

On the sidelines Meg Simpson patiently played second fiddle. Besides being a lawyer and former basketball player, she’s Luke Wilson’s girlfriend, and was used to the celebrity attention that surrounded Luke.

But once the dinner was a done deal, the program started. After a video narrated by Bill Moyers on the legacy of Ralph Rogers, Bob Ray had the members of Mary Nell and Ralph Rogers‘ family stand. At least three tables of Rogers rose.

David McCullough

Then David McCullough told the group spoke about Ralph’s courage, brave programming and unorthodox choices and his friendship with Bob. Then he recalled asking the late Stanley Marcus what he would change, if he could. The retailing guru said, “I’d do something about television. . . because if you can change that, think what can be accomplished in other fields. . . It’s as if we’ve invented fire, and all we’re doing with it is burning things down.”

To acknowledge the evening’s recognition in place of Bob, his sons Owen and Luke Wilson subbed in. However, even the boys with more charm than a Miss America finalist could not quell the question of the night, “What wrong with Bob?” Owen would only say, “He’s doing much better, and we’re hopeful he’s going to make a full recovery.”

Luke Wilson

Luke did let it out that Bob was hospitalized one block away from Sonny Bryan’s BBQ, where he used to love to go on Sunday afternoons, and added that his father was a Heineken drinker in a Coors, Bud, and Pabst world. Luke also admitted that had his father known that he had borrowed his father’s shirt, tie and shoes for the evening, Bob would have had one of his famous 1970s-era temper tantrums!

But don’t for a minute think that Luke had the corner on the humor market. Owen told the more than 350 guests that his father removed the family televisions set for two years after he caught Owen watching Gilligan’s Island one too many times.

Laura Wilson

Despite Bob’s not being present, Wilson matriarch/photographer Laura Wilson watched her sons fulfill their understudy responsibilities with pride and a chuckle.

Jim Lehrer

And while the Wilson boys were a very hard act to follow up, Lee, Bob Ray, Krys, Jim and Cokie proved their chat chops. Highlights of their discussions included:

  • When approached by Bob to join KERA, Jim admitted he didn’t really watch television. Bob said he didn’t, either. Jim said he didn’t know anything about [doing a KERA program]. Bob said, “I don’t either, but we can do this thing together.”
  • Bob “touched me and literally changed my life,” Jim said.
  • He added that calling Ralph Rogers, Ralph “would have been like calling the Pope, Sam.”
  • KERA guests

    During the early days of KERA’s Newsroom, the staff prepared to run a story regarding a big name Dallasite and some downtown property. Mr. Big Name wanted KERA to “hold” the story for three weeks pending a formal announcement. “We ran the story,” Lehrer said, and Rogers told him the next day, “That was a mistake; you shouldn’t have done that,” but he didn’t interfere with Lehrer’s decision. Jim admitted, “If he had said no, that would have been the end of Newsroom.”

  • Cokie Roberts

    Regarding today’s opinion-filled news, Cokie and Jim applauded themselves and PBS for never giving their opinions on the news. Jim said blurring the lines between straight news and opinions and analysis has “damaged the end result,” especially on cable news. Cokie said NPR is un-opinionated and thorough, and it is growing.

  • On the upcoming presidential election, Jim predicted that it’s going to be nastier than ever, requiring resources to sort through the shouting and cut through the noise and, “That’s what PBS does better than anyone.”

Ray Benson (left) and Asleep at the Wheel

Following the onstage conversations and tribute, and just before the curtains surrounding the Wyly Theatre rose with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel kicking into gear, Mary Anne announced that in addition to the evening being a sell-out, it had also raised $1M for KERA. Nice way to end the evening. Bob and Scott, wish you could have been there.

The Senior Source Celebrates 50 Years With Laughter and 2011″Spirit Of Generation” Recipients

The Senior Source‘s “Spirit of Generations” luncheon on Monday, November 21, wasn’t just a celebration of TSS’s 50th anniversary. It turned out to be one of the funniest events of the year. Everyone including the serving staff at the Hilton Anatole was laughing. Well, everyone but one person who made Buster Keaton look like Smiley Face.

Lydia Novakov

But more about that later. First the reception in the Wedgwood Room was a stellar turnout of who’s who with no regard of age. Of course, college football was a favored source of topics. Baylor types like Joel Allison were still reeling from Baylor’s win over Oklahoma State, while Ramona Jones and Carol Seay were commiserating over the last Texas A&M game slated for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. . . Isabell Haggar, who along with husband Joe, had been a previous recipient, was watching for Joe to make sure that he was on hand for daughter Lydia Novakov to receive the Spirit of Generation Award with her husband Dan. Alas, Joe didn’t make it until the luncheon started. While he and Isabell stood in the wings for a break in the program, daughter Marian Bryan and granddaughter Isabell Novakov rearranged the front-row table to provide the elder Haggers with the best seats. . . Caroline Rose Hunt gave a thumbs-up for the new George Clooney movie, “The Descendants,” set in Hawaii. And who should know better about Hawaii than the former owner of the Hotel Hana Maui. . . Chuck Gummer was attending his last event as a member of Comerica. Since his official retirement from Comerica was on October 31, he’s grown a goatee and promised to stay out of wife Cindy’s way.

Molly Bogen

When the doors opened to the Chantilly Ballroom, it filled quickly and the program commenced with Luncheon Chair Debbie Oates and The Senior Source’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Robert Best supervising the program without a hiccup. After a delicious meal (chilled spinach soup with chive accent; sliced beef tenderloin salad with golden beets, purple potatoes, baby green beans, Texas field greens, red and yellow peppers and champagne vinaigrette; pecorino rolls and mini-jalapeῆo corn muffins; and a chocolate caramel tart with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and sauce anglaise), The Senior Source Executive Director Molly Bergen introduced a video on the organization.

Mary Maxwell

Then Debbie introduced the keynote speaker, Mary Maxwell, warning the group that Mary was from Nebraska and had quite a reputation as a speaker. All right, the assembled guests settled into their chairs like a congregation preparing for a lengthy sermon. Their expectations were to be inspired and to be lectured to on the aging population.

Standing up from her place at the head table, walking to the podium and pulling out sheets of paper, Mary looked more like that about-to-retire-elementary-school-principal

Mary Maxwell

from the ’50s. Slightly hunched over, she didn’t smile and peered through her glasses at the hundreds of guests as if she were taking attendance. Uh,  oh. It appeared that this was going to be a lecture talk. Seat belts were fastened in preparation for a talk that would probably involve the guilt or pity that the younger generation should have for senior citizens.

With her first comment, the grandmotherly looking Mary let it be known they were oh-so wrong. With a deadpan expression, she said, “Thank you, Debbie. . . . Slender isn’t she? . . . and so youthful. Someday I hope to be introduced by someone who is older than I am. My doctor says the chances of that happening are decreasing exponentially.”

For the next 15 minutes, the laughter never stopped and Mary never stopped mixing a curmudgeon tone in her voice with a stern look and very G-rated humor.  Here are a few highlights:

Caren Prothro

  • “My name is Mary Maxwell unless God forbid by some horrible twist of fate any of you happen to know  any of my children. In that case, they have asked me to say that my name is Kim Kardashian.”
  • “Over the years I have found that the two things most people want to know about are the two things they are too polite to ask. So let’s get that out of the way. I’m 75 years old and I weigh 142 pounds. One of the goals of my life is to weigh what my driver’s license says. The last time I renewed it when the clerk saw what I had put down for the weight, I heard her say to the other clerk, ‘She must be hollow.'”

    Ruth Altshuler

  • “We (she and her husband of 50 years) don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. We found it much cheaper to drag the Joneses down.”
  • “Our grandchildren we regard as our reward for not having left our children behind at rest areas. . . when they were sophomores in high school.”
  • One of her grandchildren, who is five years old, said, “Granny, somebody let all the air out of your arms.”
  • “I haven’t had a creative idea since the summer of 1983. . . and it wasn’t a success. Did you know that placing pre-school children in the overhead luggage compartment in an airplane is illegal . . . especially if they’re not your children? “

And that was just a smidgen of her talk and it didn’t do her justice. You have to see her and hear her delivery to truly appreciate what the guests experienced. Here is a link to a previous appearance by MM.

Mary Maxwell and Robert Best

Only when she took her seat back at the head table, did a smile appear on a very sweet face.

To keep the upbeat momentum going, rock n’ rollers Curbside Service performed classic rock.

Quite frankly, they could have stopped there, but the occasion was to honor outstanding individuals — Becky Bright, Carolyn and David Miller and Lydia and Dan,  whose leadership “guided us through milestone events such as the inaugural

Becky Bright and Margo Godwin

Spirit of Generation Awards luncheon, the creation of our associate group, The Charles C. Sprague Sage Society, a name change, a capital campaign and the introduction of several key programs, including our first fee-for-service venture.” They were gracious and opted not to make thank-you speeches.

It was indeed a grand way to launch the week of Thanksgiving with laughter and lauds. Nicely done, Senior  Source.

Dallas Historical Society’s 2011 Awards of Excellence Toasts Leaders With Plaudits And Champagne

Tuesday the Dallas Historical Society presented its annual Award for Excellence at the Fairmont.  Established in 1981 by then-president of the Society Lindalyn Adams, it was founded on the basis of —

An editorial statement on behalf of the Dallas Historical Society that the designated recipients are deserving of recognition for their generosity of spirit, civic leadership and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city.

Recipients  of the 2011 awards were:

  • Arts Leadership (sponsored by Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation and Linda and Bill Custard) — Mark A. Roglán, Ph.D.
  • Business (sponsored by Haynes and Boone, LLP and Ernst & Young) — Gail Warrior
  • Creative Arts (sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Peter O’Donnell) — Frank D. Welch
  • Education (sponsored by The Seay Foundation) — Gloria Hoffman Snyder
  • Health/Science Medicine (sponsored by Baylor Health Care Systems) — William M. Lee, M.D.
  • Health/Science Research (sponsored by Lyda Hill) — Dr. Sandi Bond Chapman
  • Humanities (sponsored by Stephanie and Hunter Hunt) — Brent A. Brown
  • Philanthropy (sponsored by The Al Hill Jr. Family) — Bobby Lyle
  • Volunteer Community Leadership (sponsored by Diane and Hal Brierley) — Sara Martineau

In 1991 when Dallas celebrated its 150th anniversary, the DHS partnered with Thanksgiving Square Foundation to create the Jubilee History Maker Award for “those whose gifts of self have enhanced the quality of life in Dallas in more than one category of civic leadership.”

The 2011 Jubilee History Maker sponsored by A. H. Belo Corporation and Belo Corporation was presented to Allie Beth and Pierce Allman.

As the final award was being accepted by the ever-eloquent Pierce, flutes of champagne were distributed to the guests. A luncheon veteran stopped the newcomer from lifting the glass prematurely. She explained that it was the part of the annual A.C. Greene farewell toast in which Dallas- and Texas-born guests congratulate the rest of the guests on getting to Texas as soon as possible.

BTW, if you haven’t made it by the Hall of State to see “TEXAS!“, you’ve got until Sunday, December 4.

SOLD OUT: Pat Smith’s Girlfriend’s Retreat

Pat Smith

Sorry, but you’re too late if you were planning on joining Treasure You‘s Pat Smith on her Girlfriend’s Retreat at the Westin Stonebriar in Frisco on Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17. At this point, even groveling won’t work. Dang it!

Sorry to rub it in, but you’ll be missing out on lots of food, fun and female energizing including workshops and a motivational talk by Pat herself during a Burgers ‘n Banana Splits luncheon.

The good news is there will be other Girlfriend’s Retreats in the future, so just remember to sign up as soon as they’re announced.

JUST IN: Tutu Chic Announces 2011 Chairs

Just received the names of the chairs for the 2011 Tutu Chic Luncheon and Ballet Fashion Show from Jeanne Cassidy. Total change of leadership for the Texas Ballet fund raiser! It will be Paige Slates, Alicia Wood, Daffan Nettle and Kristi Hoyl. Wow! If anyone can do a follow up act to Elaine Agather, Olivia Kearney, Gina Betts and Tanya Foster, this foursome can.

The champagne is chilling and the ballerinas are warming up. Block out Thursday, December 1, to party and to recover for Crystal Charity Ball the following Saturday.

Dallas Film Society’s New Board Members Announced

More announcements are pouring in as June closes down. The latest is the Dallas Film Society‘s new board of directors. According to DFS board chair Lynn McBee, “The talent, knowledge and experience that each of these six individuals has to offer the Dallas Film Society is far-reaching. Combining their skill sets with those of the incumbent members of the Board gives us such a strong foundation for the future. As we enter into year six, this group of people can strategically take the national and international reputation of the Film Society to the next level.”

You’ve waited long enough. The new members are:

  • John Hersker has spent a lifetime in the film business, with backgrounds in both theatrical exhibition and motion picture distribution. A 26-year career with Paramount Pictures culminated in the position of Executive Vice President for Theatrical Distribution in Hollywood. He 2006, he returned to Dallas as COO of Copper Beech Capital, LLC and went on to become the President and CEO of Movie Tavern, Inc.
  • Jennifer Houser is a Dallas leading philanthropist, arts advocate and volunteer having dedicated her time extensively to the Leukemia and Lymphona Society as well as serving on the Board of Directors of numerous organizations such as TACA, The Dallas Theater Center and Second Thought Theatre. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Opera and The President’s Advisory Council at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
  • Jim Nugent began his career in public accounting and now serves as the Director of Administration for the law firm Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP. A devoted advocate of the arts, Nugent sits on the Board of Directors of the Video Association of Dallas and formerly served on the Board of the USA Film Festival, Undermain Theatre and TACA.
  • Tristan Simon left sports management in 1997 to join Steve Hartnett and Gene Street in the development of the upscale steakhouse and bar, Cool River Café. As Managing General Partner, Simon led Cool River Café to become the highest grossing restaurant in Texas. In 1999, Simon founded Consilient Restaurants in Dallas and it has since become one of the leading consortiums of upscale restaurants in America. Most recently, he has joined with entrepreneurs Tom Stephenson and Brian Mason in founding Look Entertainment, developing and operating luxury theater-restaurant complexes in multiple markets throughout the U.S and Canada.
  • Mersina Stubbs is the principal of Mersina Stubbs Interiors and is highly respected for her work on the Board of Directors of the St. Paul Medical Foundation, Crystal Charity Ball and the Child & Family Guidance Centers. Previously she was involved on the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs and Ronald McDonald House.
  • Ellen Needham Winspear

    Ellen Needham Winspear started her career in the fashion industry before obtaining her graduate degree in Academic Language Therapy from SMU.  She taught at her own private practice, the Oak Hill Academy and The Shelton School with her experience leading her to become involved in the Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT). Winspear is renowned for her community involvement. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Zoo, is a Trustee of the Dallas Opera and serves on the Advisory Council of the Dallas Theater Center.

Trinity Trust Hosts Meet The Mayor “Big Mike” Rawlings and Dallas’ First Lady Micki

Vonciel Hill

Thursday the Trinity Trust hosted 70 real heavyweights from all segments of the community — nonprofit fundraisers (Mary McDermott Cook, Lynn McBee, Bobby Lyle, Lottye Brodsky, Bess and Ted Enloe, Sharon and Mike McCollough), city officials (Vonciel Hill, Tennell Atkins, Scott Griggs, Angela Hunt and Mary Suhm), community leaders (Craig Holcomb, Lois Finkelman and John Crawford) and corporate types like Holly Reed.

Micki Rawlings

The occasion was “Meet the Mayor” with the man of the hour being newly-elected, soon-to-be-sworn-in Mike Rawlings. While Mike very briefly made time for reporters in a backroom, the first lady of the Rawlings household, Micki, was handling the howdy duties for her husband.

Holly Reed and Craig Holcomb

But while the folks were waiting for Mike to emerge from media one-on-ones, there was plenty to talk about. Craig “Mr. Friends of Fair Park” Holcomb was being asked about the past weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival that was associated with two deaths. He was relieved that out of the 23,000 attendees, only 30 people got “sick” this year. Last year’s event drew 11,000 with two arrests. Like a weary father, Craig admitted that you can’t control a kid who takes a pill in a parking lot before entering a venue. When asked if the rave group would be asked back, he said probably not. The reason? “There’s a lawsuit brewing, and you tend not to rent to people that are suing you.”

Across the room, Mary McDermott Cook was looking like a proud mother about the installation of the cables on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Speaking of motherhood, Mary laughed at the confusion about the age of her mother, Margaret McDermott. Seems various dates are listed on Margaret’s driver’s license and other documents. The reality is that Margaret is 99-years young. Let’s face it. People live longer in Dallas.

Lynn McBee and Mary Suhm

Another guest who was thrilled about the progress of the bridge was Lynn McBee. She’ll be chairing the official launch of the bridge starting March 2 (aka Texas Independence Day). This date is of special meaning to Lynn. She’s the great-great-great-great-niece of Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas. (Editor’s note: MySweetCharity mistakenly reported that Sam Houston was a founding father/Father of Texas. MSC had to stay after school and write an apology to her Texas history teacher.)

But the group was there to hear Mike. Promptly at 6:45 p.m. Trinity Trust #1-er Dr. Gail Thomas called the group to order and prepared to introduce Mike, aka the tallest man in the room. But first she did a shout out to Micki: “You are going to work so hard!” To this comment, Micki bounced back, “For as long as the energy lasts!”

Mike Rawlings

Then it was Mike at the podium. Like any public speaker, he started off with a little humor. It dealt with a chicken and a pig and how the pig is committed to a breakfast of ham and eggs. Mike made a transition from the joke to the fact that he is now committed to being Dallas mayor. After all he had signed the official documents earlier in the day. “It was like getting married. It really was.”

He went on to say that one of his main goals as mayor, “Is to let the people know that the Trinity will get done.”

Many happy faces could be seen in the room. He didn’t need to say anything more to this crowd, but shoot — he did. . . “Someday people will say, ‘Dallas is the center of the Western Hemisphere!'”

Whoa, Big Mike thinks really big.

Welcome Mark Weinstein To Dallas

Starting June 1 the AT&T Performing Arts Center will have a new CEO — Mark Weinstein. Dallas Morning News Scott Cantrell reports that after a nationwide search, Mark was selected to fill the void left by former CEO Mark Nerenhausen, who left last July.

Most recently Mark W was executive director for the Washington National Opera.

2010-2011 Associate Leadership Council Cuts Ribbon At Promise House

Promise House expansion ribbon cutting

Thursday the 2010-2011 Associate Leadership Council of The Real Estate Council celebrated. As part of their leadership training program, the 29 young men and women selected Promise House as their leadership, philanthropy and fundraising project. Using 2,000 volunteer hours, they renovated and expanded the second floor  storage area into a multi-purpose room by project planning, moving, painting, carpeting, construction, site clean-up and landscaping. Valued at more than $100,000 including financial and in-kind donations of materials and services, it was a massive undertaking. Yet when they had gotten that completed, they tackled other an exterior R&R area.

Just to prove that they kept their eyes on the ledgers, the ALC leaders announced that they came under budget and were returning $10,000 to Promise House that had been committed by the PH. Elation filled the room.

Delia Jasso

In setting up the room for the press conference, Promise House facilities manager Randy Lewis admitted that he should have set up more chairs as he

Meredith Small

viewed the crowded room including City Councilperson Delia Jasso, ALC Class Chair Michael Krywucki, TREC Government Affairs Chair Manny Ybarra, Promise House VP Judy Wright and ALC members Brack Bryant, Meredith Small and Chris McNeer.

If you are new to Promise House, just ask any of the TREC ALC team. They’ll tell you how not only did they physically get involved with the facility’s improvement, they also emotionally learned of how needed the efforts of Promise House are.

15th Annual Spirit Of CONTACT To Honor Junior League Of Dallas’ President Leigh Anne Haugh

Leigh Anne Haugh

So often good people don’t get their just due. Well, tomorrow won’t be that situation. Junior League of Dallas’ President Leigh Anne Haugh will be honored at the 15th Annual Spirit of CONTACT luncheon. This year’s theme is “From Breaking Point to Turning Point: Faces of Strength and Courage in the Family.”

In addition to the pat on the back for Leigh Anne, Luncheon Chair Anita Oberwetter has also arranged to have roving journalist Lisa Ling as the featured special guest, KDFW-FOX’s Heather Hays as emcee and former First Lady of Dallas Laura Leppert as honorary chair.

It’s taking place at the Hilton Anatole. If you’re very good, you might still be able to get a ticket.

BTW, CONTACT is a free 24-hour service providing confidential listening, comfort, and a connection to resources, education and emergency assistance for people who are trying to take back control of their lives.

Photo credit: Dana Driensky

TACA’s Silver Cup Award Celebrates 33 Years With Smiles And Tears

When the late Annette Strauss introduced the idea of the TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon,  the purpose was to “recognize one man and one woman annually for outstanding volunteer leadership and contributions to the performing arts in our community.” Perhaps that was the mission, but it wasn’t the outcome. For the past 33 years the luncheon has done far more that honor two people. Not only has it been a celebration bringing together all parts of the North Texas community for the sake of the arts, it has also helped to provide vital fund raising for TACA’s support of the arts.

Last Friday’s event organizers dedicated the remarkable luncheon to Annette “in celebration of her vision and numerous contributions to the arts in Dallas.” For those in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Anatole who knew Annette, it was so appropriately done. Not a lot of hoopla–just a page in the program and a few words from the podium.

No, Annette would have insisted that the spotlight be focused on the recipients, Sarah Perot and John Eagle. Interesting to note that when the first Silver Cup in 1979 was given to Margaret McDermott and the late Henry S. Miller Jr., Sarah was just 18 and John was 26.

But back to the 2011 celebration that kicked off with a pre-lunch reception in the Wedgewood Room. Like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in ages, hugs, smiles and slaps on the back were everywhere.

John Eagle

Recipient John arrived looking like homecoming king with wife Jennifer on his arm. When one guest approached him and called him, “Mr. Eagle,” he quickly told the guest with a smile, “I’m just John.” Shaking his head and looking just a little embarrassed, he went on to say that he was humbled by the whole day realizing the people who had preceded him.

Hill Perot, Jerry and Leah Fullinwider, Ross Perot Jr., Sarah Perot, Margot and Ross Perot, Sarah Catherine Perot

And talk about homecoming royalty, Sarah entered the room glowing like any top-notch homecoming queen would. Looking around the room, it appeared to be a Perot family reunion with three generations of Perots in attendance. Usually Mr. Proper, Sarah’s husband Ross Jr. was rather endearing as he took photos of Sarah and John surrounded by past Silver Cup recipients. Proud as punch he was. . . like a proud pop taking photos of his kid at graduation. And, no, he was not using a multi-gillion-dollar, 3-D camera. It was a compact point-and-shoot type.

John Eagle and Sarah Perot

In the adjacent room WRR was live broadcasting interviews with luncheon VIP’s, while Sarah and John opened the gift boxes containing their silver cups.

TACA Silver Cup Award recipients

Then all too soon it was time to head to the Chantilly for the luncheon and a delicious meal of grilled asparagus salad, chicken breast filled with boursin and spinach and chocolate caramel tart.

Flutists

While the guests ate, they were entertained by members of the James Gilyard Ensemble, Orchestra of New Spain, Voices of Change, Dallas Bach Society, Lone Star Wind Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Lee Cullum

Mistress of ceremonies Lee Cullum once again scored with her “state-of-the-arts” review. Leading off with Bill Lively‘s return to the arts community as head of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Lee might not have noticed a couple of the guests exchanging nervous looks of, “Oh, dear, we’re going up against Bill again in fund raising.”

Heather Esping

Another highlight of Lee’s talk was her encouraging the application of part of the hotel tax to the arts. That got a nice endorsement of applause. Unlike many emcees, Lee knows how to keep her audience’s attention by making her remarks interesting and not too long. She then introduced Luncheon Chair Heather Esping and TACA Board of Directors Chair Andy Teller who welcomed the group and reported on TACA. Then Neiman Marcus Senior VP/Chief Marketing Officer Wanda Gierhart introduced the NM Performing Arts Scholarship at SMU — violinist Jaewon Ahn, who performed “Adagio and Rondo” accompanied by Elena Zyl.

Jaewon Ahn

Once again, the performance, like all the preceding talks, was just long enough and performed perfectly.

Following Jaewon, 2010 Silver Cup recipient John Cody introduced Sarah. Admitting that he “didn’t know her very well,” he had done some research on her by talking to people who did. “So I’m going to summarize them under two categories — one, leadership, and, second, Sarah the person.” He reported that he had learned that she’s a strategic thinker, a committed civic leader and a “stickler for details.” Then he paused and continued, “She not only works hard, she works smart. Once she signs on to a job, she is committed.”

John Cody

Regarding Sarah the person: “She’s extraordinarily honest. She is gracious and lovely to be with. People seek her opinion and she’s hard to say ‘no’ to.”

That last one got a ripple of chuckling through the room.

“A reccurring theme in my visits was, ‘Sarah gets it when you discuss the importance of arts in our city,'” John continued.

John concluded by saying, “Each time I mentioned her name, they would light up. Everyone wanted to tell the special qualities of this lady that is so highly respected and deeply cherished.”

Sarah Perot

Taking the podium Sarah proved John accurate saying right off the top, “I thought I was fine until that introduction.”

She went on to thank all involved in the day’s luncheon, recognized TACA’s impact on the city and congratulated her fellow recipient John Eagle.

Focusing the rest of her talk on the importance of the AT&T Performing Arts Center for the future of Dallas, Sarah again proved John right.  In addition to her family, the fifth-generation Texan then recognized the people who have impacted her efforts to support the arts — Bess Enloe, Howard Halam, Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose, all Silver Cup winners. “It is because of you and your years of work that we now have the complete Arts District. This is your legacy to the successive generations of Dallas.”

Cindy Rachofsky

Next up was 2010 Silver Cup recipient Cindy Rachofsky to introduce John Eagle. Unlike John Cody, Cindy admitted that she and John Eagle were longtime friends. “I cannot think of a more deserving person in the world than my dear friend John Eagle to receive the TACA Silver Cup award today.  I’ve known John for a very long time. Our daughters are great friends, so we had the distinct pleasure of going through the teenage years together. But we do other things together, too.  . .We travel together looking at weird and crazy art. And I even drive one of his cars. And since I’m married to Howard, we support John through the John Eagle Collision Center.”

That last one got a great round of laughter especially from Howard.

Cindy then went on to list just a smidgen of John’s many accomplishments. Ending her talk she said, “Now it is my distinct honor to introduce you to a man who I’ve always said could sell socks to a rooster.”

John Eagle and Cindy Rachofsky

John Eagle and Cindy Rachofsky

With the audiences laughing and applauding at Cindy’s introduction, John and Cindy hugged.

Eloquently John thanked Cindy, congratulated Sarah and thanked everyone from past recipients to the day’s organizers. As he launched into his remarks, one couldn’t help but wonder if he and Cindy had the same speechwriter.

“So I guess you all are asking yourself this question, ‘Why is a used car dealer interested in the arts?'”

He went on to tell how his dad, who collected western art, “would drag” John and his brother to museums all around the country looking at art. “I can remember one time asking him about a contemporary painting that was on view in the museum we were touring. And he said something very profound that I carry with me today. He said, ‘Son, I don’t know what that art is about, but don’t discount it. That artist is trying to tell you something in a very different way.’

John Eagle

“He was right. Art makes us think in new ways. It is more than entertainment. Art is fuel for the human spirit and the language of humanity. Art is about our past; it is about our present; and it is a look into our future. It is so important in the development of our children. This is why I am so proud of what the Dallas Museum of Art is doing with the education program by engaging people with the power of art.”

John, like Sarah, emphasized the importance that art will play in the future development of Dallas and the need to use the art facilities to their fullest extent.

He closed by recognizing his partners, his father (‘he’s always been my hero”), his daughters (“who inspire me every day and are living art”) and “last but not least my lovely wife Jennifer, who is the most important person in my life and without whom I would not be standing here today. I love you. Thank you.” John just barely made that last recognition as tears started forming in his eyes and his voice slightly choked.

Annette would have loved it.

Ebby’s 100th Birthday — It’s No Big Deal Or Anything

Ebby 100

Happy birthday eve, Ebby! Party on!

It’s Countdown Time For Ebby 100

Ebby Halliday

The big week is finally here. After nearly 100 years of waiting, Dallas is officially going to celebrate Ebby Halliday‘s 100th birthday with the big, extravaganza on Wednesday at the Meyerson. It’ll have all the splash, twinkle and good that Ebby has brought to North Texas.

Now, there’s been a rumor floating around that this reception, concert, dinner and all are priced at a toasty $1,500 per person.

Sticker shock!

True, some of the hifalutin types are buying four-figure tickets. But reality must tame down that pricey rumor. For a measly $150, you can attend the concert with world-famous tenor Mario Frangoulis and guest soprano Andriana Chuchman plus the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Albert George Schram. And to leave you with an even sweeter taste, you can able to attend the dessert celebration.

For you mathematicians and accountants, that translates into a you getting to hang with the swells, celebrate Ebby’s 100th, attend a once-in-a-lifetime concert and have dessert for a mere fraction of what some of your fellow guests will be paying. All you’ll be missing is a reception and dinner. Why shoot! You can do the drive-thru at McDonald’s and we won’t tell.

Oh, and if you’re thinking this is going to be a very prim and proper black-tie event, you got the black-tie part right. UPDATE: Just heard from the powers-that-be we got this black-tie situation all wrong. Seems it’s gonna be business attire, so, gents, you can relax those cummerbunds. But forget the yawn propriety. You just know you can expect a slightly incredible evening with event chairs Barbara and Steve Durham, co-chairs Margot and Ross Perot, Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens and Marianne and Roger Staubach. Add to that Laura and President George W. Bush will be honorary chairs. Decorations chair Barbara Daseke and Todd Fiscus have been happily busy playing Barnum Bailey in overdrive. You’ll understand better Wednesday night what these two have dreamed up.

BTW, all funds raised will go to the Horatio Alger scholarships for Texas students. You did know our little Ebby is a Alger recipient in addition to selling the best of Dallas, didn’t you?

Joel Allison’s Mother-In-Law Should Have Attended the Virginia Chandler Dykes Luncheon

Thursday Baylor Health Care System’s headman Joel Allison found himself surrounded by a ballroom full of healthy, happy people. While normally that wouldn’t be a big deal. Joel is often in big rooms with lots of smiling folks. But this time they were all there at Belo Mansion to see him receive the 9th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award.

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Presented by Bank of Texas and Texas Woman’s University, the luncheon was slated to have an additional perk — Ebby Halliday was to be the honorary event chair. But, alas, Ebby was unable to make it to receive a white TWU hat. However, Virginia Chandler Dykes handled the situation seamlessly explaining that the white hat would be sent to Ebby (ages ago, Ebby sold hats) immediately. Everyone knows that Ebby is a hat expert from her early days as a chapeau sales gal.

Why white?  “White – because Ebby is one of the good guys,” Virginia said.

Joel Allison

Then it was on to Joel’s time in the spotlight. Last year’s award recipient Kathleen Mason introduced Joel saying, “Well, if I couldn’t win the award two years in a row, I’m happy that Joel is receiving it!”

Joel wasn’t about to let Kathleen have the last laugh. He started his acceptance saying that if his mother had been there, “she would be proud, but his mother-in-law would be in shock.”

Then he got on to serious stuff saying, that he was humbled and honored to receive the award, but he was accepting it on behalf of all the men and women of Baylor Health Care System.

Norm Bagwell and Dr. Ann Stuart

Joel then discussed Texas Woman’s University and Baylor’s sharing “a common interest…excellence in the medical field. TWU has a long history of providing excellence and is a valuable resource to the area, the region and the state, providing well-trained men and women who make a huge impact in health care.”

Turning tables on the organizers, Joel recognized and honored his friend/Bank of Texas Chairman of the Board/CEO  Norm Bagwell, TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart and Virginia.

“Virginia, a great friend with truly exemplary attributes…innovator, advocate, philanthropist and a true servant leader who has left a legacy at Baylor,” Joel said.

Just in case you aren’t up to date on Virginia, she is a TWU alumna, and was the director of the Occupational and Recreational Therapy Department at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years.

Joel’s mother-in-law might have been surprised at the day’s recognition, but no one else in the room was.

Photos by Kristina Bowman

Plans Announced Schlegel Style For Ebby’s 100th Birthday Gala For Horatio Alger Program

Myrna (pictured) and Bob Schlegel should go into the press conference business. Tuesday they held a one-of-a-kind media event at their Preston Hollow estate like most of the journalistic crowd hasn’t experienced before. But then it had to be a remarkable affair. After all, it was to announce plans for Ebby Halliday‘s 100th birthday gala benefiting the Horatio Alger scholarship program on Ebby’s birthday (March 9) at the Meyerson.

To start off with, valet parking for a press conference is pretty classy. But most of the media had never participated in a media event taking place on the third floor of the Schlegel mansion. Even old timers at Chateau Schlegel were amazed at what they found on the tip-top level. No, it’s not an attic with Christmas trees stashed in a corner and boxes of memorabilia in another.Not the Schlegels! Their top floor is as much fun as the entire Schlegel clan. It can be used as mini-basketball court with three basketball hoops around the room or as a theater complete with elevated stage. In fact, Schlegel daughter Kim Whitman (pictured) used to stage plays and charge $5 when she was a little one. Ah, a true business/creative type at heart!

But Tuesday afternoon the room was staged with rows of white chairs facing a head table with place settings for The Ebby, Steve Durham, Ross Perot Sr. and Jody Grant (pictured right with, from the left, Bob Schlegel, Ross Perot Sr. and Ebby Halliday). Three out of the four were Horatio Alger recipients and Steve’s dad was a HA recipient.

While waiting for the VIP’s to arrive, TV cameras were put into positions, reporters and columnists compared notes and everyone eyed the spread of goodies laid out by the Schlegels. Usually, the press is refreshed with coffee, cokes and day-old cookies. Nope, not here. It was champagne in delicate flutes and sky-high cupcakes (pictured) from Gigi’s. Not many were eaten, though. It was probably because most of the media thought they were just too darn gorgeous to chomp down onto. And they were way too big to put into your briefcase or purse. Drat!

Then The Ebby arrived escorted by Bob (pictured left with Ebby Halliday). She took her place at the table with applause from all assembled including gala co-chair Barbara Durham (pictured) and Sheila Grant.  Highlights of the press conference included:

  • Gala co-chair Steve called Ebby “the grande dame of Texas…and maybe the United States.”
  • Horatio Alger Board Member Jody announced that money raised through the gala will send scholars to universities in the state of Texas.
  • Horatio Alger spokeswoman Carrie Blewitt (pictured) reported that Mario Frangoulis will be there at the big gala, along with a guest of honor to be named in a week or two.
  • Ross said the night will be about “caring for other people.” He mentioned Ebby’s selling the Cloverine Salve, getting 2 cents’ commission on every 10 cent can. (By today’s standards, it would cost $7/can, and her commission would be $1.40). He pointed to the size of Ebby’s company and said it’s “a long way from selling skin cream.” Then he recited some song lyrics that described Ebby: “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Climb Every Mountain.”
  • Ross continued: “What a role model, particularly for young people.” He mentioned that last year, she received a basketball from the Mavericks and walked off the floor dribbling the basketball. “I understand she’s been approached several times about joining the team,” Ross joked.
  • Master of ceremonies Scott Murray said Ebby told him, “I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. And I’ll never retire.”

Then it was Ebby’s turn and she showed wisdom and grace in her remarks on a variety of subjects.

  • Ebby on basketball: Seeing the Schlegels’ basketball court here reminded her of “7-foot-11 Dirk Lewinsky. Towering over me, to dribble without a faux pas reminded me of another day, when my hope was to be a bareback rider in the circus. I had a little pony I rode to sell the Cloverine Salve. …
  • Ebby on her accomplishments: “Anything I’ve accomplished has been because of (my) great teams, a great city, a great country. What first attracted me to Ross Perot–he was a wonderful, patriotic American. … If there ever was a needy kid, I was it. Reminds me when wheat got down to 10 cents a bushel; we had to dump wheat on the side of the road because it didn’t pay to take it to market.”
  • Ebby on the press: “You have given us press through the years that we probably deserved, but we couldn’t have gotten it without you.” … Recalled early years with National Association of Realtors, researching for them a new-fangled thing called computers, to see if they would ever be of service to the industry.
  • Ebby on corporate transfers resulting in Texas becoming a two-party state: When she first came here, “Texas Republicans could have met in a telephone booth.”
  • Ebby on the tribute gala: When Steve Durham (pictured) told her, “Meet me at the Corner Bakery” [to talk about H.A. tribute], “I thought he was crazy, she said. “But I certainly owe a lot to him.” Then she said: “I’m the luckiest 100-year-old gal in the world.”

Then Ross led the crowd in a hip-hip-hooray tradition; three times saying it, each time louder. Ebby laughed heartily at that.

From the back of the room, Bob Schlegel asked Ebby: “Could you sell this house to Dirk?” Ebby: “I’ll give it a try.”

Ross then called for a basketball, which Schlegel produced. In trying to dribble the ball, Ebby (pictured) was nearly bowled over due to the ball’s lack of bounce. Luckily the petite realtor had Steve, Ross, Jody and Bob ready to catch her.

Then the group adjourned to the first floor for a party to celebrate the plans where even more VIP bold facers were assembled.

Melissa Stewart explained her new look was the result of a “bangs change” and not surgery. She also talked about the Stewarts’ recent trip to the Middle East including Dubai and how safe it was.

Don Daseke had just announced his candidacy the day before for mayor of Addison. He’s being advised by politico guru Carol Reed and her daughter Laura. Election is May 4.

Jim Keyes (pictured center with, from the left Myrna Schlegel and Melissa Stewart) was doing a solo act because wife Margot was in London.

Horatio Alger recipient T. Boone Pickens (pictured right with Sheila Grant) was talking about the upcoming Super Bowl XLV. Seems that he’s having 100 folks in for the event. He got the tickets thanks to his being a million dollar founding sponsor. His idea of the perfect matchup would be Chicago and the Jets. Why? Seems Bears head coach Lovie Smith coached for a Tulsa prep school and the University of Tulsa. As for the Jets? Boone’s just “not a Pittsburgh fan.”

Engaging couples in the room included Schlegel daughter Kari and fiancé Troy Kloewer (pictured left with Kari Schlegel) and Jocelyn White and her Kim Seal (pictured left with Jocelyn White) who are talking a spring wedding.

And just think. . . if this is just the announcement party, what the gala will be like? Better get your tickets now. A hundred-year birthday doesn’t happen often.

Park It Tonight At Saint Ann’s With Mike Rawlings And Friends

Mike Rawlings is a pretty fascinating person. Besides having a mega-successful corporate reputation, he earned the title, “Homeless Czar” and got The Bridge up and running. After that accomplishment, most folks would have retired to a nice beach in the Carribbean, but not Mike.

He took on the challenge of heading up Dallas’ Park and Recreation Board. One of the hot items on his “Must Do List” is the “The Park.” Yes, there are many parks in Dallas, but The park is the over-the-top of Woodall Rodgers park that is under construction.

Those very cool and active Friends of The Park are having a happy hour for current and potential members this evening at Saint Ann Restaurant. Co-chairs Missy Wyszynski and Glenn Singleton have arranged for guess who to be the featured keynote speaker. You guessed it. Why do you think we mentioned Mike in the first two graphs?

Mike will “share stories from his experience of private citizens making a real difference in Dallas. He will also discuss the specific goals he has set to run the Dallas park system.” Hey, Mike, is this going to be an all-nighter?

BTW, if you want to attend, you’ve got to RSVP to [email protected]

It’s Official: Bill Lively Is DSO’s New President/CEO

As reported on MySweetCharity hours ago, Bill Lively (pictured) has just been introduced to the media at the Meyerson as the new president/CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The 67-year old Lively will  take over the reins on a part-time basis from interim president Paul Stewart in April and will officially assume full-time responsibilities in June.

Stewart will return to his role as COO of the DSO.

Mystery Man Surprises And Honors Pat And Emmitt Smith At The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Awards Dinner

Not only are they one of Dallas’ most dazzling couples, they’re also one of the most proactive teams in community services. They are none other than Pat and Emmitt Smith (pictured). For their “demonstrated commitment to community leadership,” the Methodist Health System Foundation presented the twosome with the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award last Thursday at the Hilton Anatole to a packed house that raised $915,000.

Event chairs were Emmitt’s old Cowboy buddies Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston, but there was a problem. Troy was out of town and “at the last minute” Daryl had to duck out. Yipes! What was Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain (pictured) going to do? There she was with the Smiths seated at the table in front of her and no “official emcee.”

April put out a plea for someone to volunteer. Search lights surveyed the room for a volunteer. As guests looked at each other in confusion, a voice from the back of the room said he might help. He seemed a little out of place wearing a Cowboys baseball cap, weather vest and the sunglasses (pictured).

April: “Do you know about Pat and Emmitt?”

Mystery Man: “A little bit. She was Miss Virginia.”

April: “How about Emmitt?”

Mystery Man: “Who?”

By this time the ever-classy Smiths were looking just a little bewildered, as was the rest of the audience.

Mystery Man admitted that he knew Emmitt had been a Cowboy.

April: “So Emmitt’s on your fantasy team”

Mystery Man: “You’re kidding. No chance! Can he shoot? Dribble? I know he can’t rebound! I like guys who can play basketball.”

By this time the man was marching up to the stage stripping off the sunglasses, baseball cap and vest revealing himself to be Dallas Mavericks owner/former Dancing With The Stars competitor Mark Cuban (pictured). The crowd plus the honorees loved the surprise emcee and his “last minute preparations.” High fives and hugs were exchanged as Mark proceeded through the crowd.

Putting on a jacket and standing at the podium, Mark acknowledging Emmitt’s success at DWTS: “I’m the one who should have won Dancing With The Stars!”

Then one-of-a-kind Mark got serious about the couple telling the crowd: “I’ve known them for a long time. They’ll have a long impact on the city of Dallas. That’s what this award is all about! . . When this couple sets their mind to something, it happens.”

Then looking at Pat, Mark got downright school boyish: “Pat won Miss Virginia. She should have been Miss America!”

So, what is it about the Smiths that motivates them to personally and professionally support people and causes? Earlier in the evening Pat and Emmitt talked about their efforts, both individually and through the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities. With Pat watching attentively, Emmitt (pictured) said, “We’re just trying to improve on the things we’ve started. For kids, especially at-risk kids. Biggest thing for them is exposure to me. Exposure to the possibilities that they might not otherwise see. If that makes me a role model, I guess I’m a role model.”

Pat (pictured), who just gave birth to the newest Smith less than two months ago, looked pageant ready. Adding to her husband’s comments, she told how they had had a parent-teacher conference earlier in the day about their eight-year old son, E.J. The youngster had been assigned to do a project on a person, place or thing that he admired. “It was Emmitt,” Pat said with a smile of pride. “He really looks up to you. It’s all about family.”

Once again the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award selection was right on target.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo credits: Scott Hagar and Ronnie Dunlap)

Dallas First Lady Laura Leppert To Launch Daughters Of World War II On Veteran’s Day

From Pearl Harbor in 1941 until V-J Day in 1945, the United States was involved in warfare in both Europe and Pacific. Those were days when communications between soldiers and families were sparse,troop conditions were tough and new technology introduced weapons including the atomic bomb. Tom Brokaw described the men and women of this time as members of the “greatest generation.” They in turn gave birth to a tsunami known as the “baby boomers.”

As the number of the greatest generation’s veterans diminishes due to age, Veteran’s Day takes on a greater significance for their children. With this in mind, a new national non-profit organization, Daughters of World War II, will be launched on Thursday, November 11, at the Hall of State at Fair Park.

Photo provided by Daughters of World War II

Founded by Dallas’ First Lady Laura Leppert and Deborah B. Guerriero (pictured right with Laura Leppert), Daughters of World War II is “a volunteer women’s service and education organization dedicated to promoting patriotism and preseving this crucial cornerstone of America’s and the world’s history.”

Honoring 100 WW II veterans at a luncheon, the organization will present the first “Allies for Freedom” Award to James “Maggie” Megellas, the most-decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and paratrooper who was known for bravery in European battles including the Battle of the Bulge.

The Daughters of WWII ‘Allies for Freedom’ Award is bestowed upon an outstanding Allied veteran, a shining representative of the bravery and contribution of Allied comrades worldwide,” said Laura. “Before we lose the personal memory and strength to follow our hearts to honor our beloved, we must begin now to archive for posterity the personal stories, precious letters, photographs and memorabilia of America’s WWII military heroes.”

The lunch’s starting at 2 p.m. is due to the Veteran’s Day parade that is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in front of City Hall.

If you are the daughter, granddaughter or niece of one who served in the Allied Forces, you can join this very special group.

Phillip R. Jones Named Board Chair For The Salesmaship Club Youth and Family Centers

Phillip R. Jones (pictured) has just been named board chairman for the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers.  Having recently retired from Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell, Phillip replaces Jeffrey J. Porter.

In addition to holding various positions within the Salesmanship Club, he has also been involved with Richardson Youth Services Council,  Turtle Creek Manor and the Boy Scouts.

“I look forward to leading our efforts in making a transforming change in the lives of troubled children and their families in Dallas,” said Jones of his new role.  “The Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers has been an anchor in the non-profit community, and will continue to bring brighter tomorrows for Dallas kids and their families.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star Chapter Add Big Names To The Biggest BBBS In The World

Don Carty, Joe DePinto and Hunter Hunt have just been elected to four-year terms on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star Executive Board. Don will assume the role of board chairman on January 1, 2011.

The Lone Star group is the largest BBBS in the world since various chapters in Texas came together earlier this fall under the Lone Star brand. It’s headed by Charles Pierson, who previously was in charge of the North Texas group. Under this united effort, more than 10,000 youngsters will be served.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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