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.

Blue Star Memorial Unveiling Took Place at T. Boone Pickens Hospice And Palliative Care Center Under Blue Skies

Despite no mention about Harriet Gibbs chairing the dedication of the Third Blue Star Memorial Marker on Friday, October 13, at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center in the recap, she deserves a tip-of-the-hat for the perfect skies that served as a backdrop for the day’s activities. According to a submitted photo, even City Councilperson Jennifer Gates was on hand to unveil the plaque. Here is a report from the field:

Tim Mallad, Dana Harkey, John Gremmels and Harriet Gibbs*

On Friday, October 13, the Air Force did a flyover in honor of Texas’ newest Blue Star Memorial marker located at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center. This is of significance, as this is the third Blue Star Memorial in Dallas. The marker was unveiled during a dedication ceremony, preceded with remarks from Presbyterian Communities and Services CEO Tim Mallad and Designers and Diggers Garden Study Club President Dana Harkey. The dedication ceremony included an invocation and benediction, patriotic music, flag presentation by the color guard, and the playing of taps.

Dana Harkey and Jennifer Staubach Gates*

The marker serves as a living tribute that honors all of the men and women who served, are serving or will serve in the United States Armed Forces. The markers are always paired with plants so that the memorial is a living one. The hope is that it will evoke inspiration and gratitude in those who see it and stop to reflect on the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Designers and Diggers Garden Study Club voted that the T. Boone Pickens Center is a perfect location to remember with gratitude and honor those men and women who have protected our country and will continue to do so in the future. Patients, families, staff and those who enjoy walking the lake path will view this marker and be reminded to honor all those who defend our freedom. The T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center is part of Presbyterian Communities and Services, a nonprofit organization. Funds for the Blue Star Memorial Marker were raised by the Diggers and Designers Garden Study Club.

* Photo provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services

 

Grovel Alert: Patriot Party’s Colors Of Courage

Patriots Party’s Colors of Courage Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon have just sent word that tickets for the dinner, dancing and auction benefiting the Housing Crisis Center on Friday, November 3, are getting scarce.

Housing Crisis Center 2017 Patriot Party*

Perhaps it’s because along with Honorary Co-Chairs Connie and Denny Carreker, Laura and Dennis have moved the fundraiser to the Bush Institute with retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli as the speaker.

And, of course, the Carrekers’ Jet Linx support has provided a real lift in spirits and funds.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect to set the mood for the upcoming Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11.

Before it’s too late, check out the tickets and sponsorship opportunities here!

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Ponied Up With Fashions, Awards And Laughs Thanks To Chair Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

There are those rare people in fundraising who literally break the ice much to the delight of others with their oops and refreshing spontaneity. On Tuesday, October 3, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele rose to the pinnacle of those ranks of endearment.

Initially, it was a challenge with the weather. One guests swore, “Houston shipped their humidity up here.”

Equest team

Still, the ladies marshaled on as they checked in at the club’s porte-cochere just past the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare, and the dapper riders on their steeds. While the equine set was quite content on the club’s lawn, the guests like Equest Board of Directors Chair Andy Steingasser, Sarah LosingerCara French, Melinda Rathke, Nuz Morshed, Allison Presser, Stacey Walker, Emilynn Wilson and Joanna Clarke discovered rows of beverages awaiting them. One gal announced, “There’s a mimosa with my name on it.”

Inside the club, the ballroom was filling to the max with the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, Sarah Losinger, Lisa Cooley, Linda SecrestJennifer Dix, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Amy Hegi, Libby Hegi, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Swift and Vicki Howland.

Nuz Morshed, Melinda Rathke and Allison Presser

Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

But according to schedule, the infamous voice over the PA system stressed the need to get guests in chairs, which this crew did.

Considered the little sister of the Crystal Charity Ball (perhaps that’s because so many past chairs, presidents and attendees are CCB-ers), there was a certain panache in the air.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Unlike the week-ago KidneyTexas Runway Report with celeb emcee Ron Corning with a glittery crutch and KLUV’s Jody Dean raising funds with a live auction, this one is traditionally as proper at your grandmother’s thank-you notes. Instead of a live auction or the fearful shout-out for funds, there is just a certain simplicity that keeps things a-going.

Reins of Hope scarf

 After Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky introduced Tova Sido for the invocation, Beth arrived at the podium to present Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon with her husband Don Conlon at her side and daughters-in-law Marybeth Conlon and slowly-becoming-blonde Megan Conlon.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Beth then announced that a one-of-a-kind scarf had been created by Katherine Coker celebrating Equest and would be on sale at the lunch for $150. She then introduced Mother of Equest Women’ Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, who reported that despite last year’s anonymous matching offer, they were gearing up to top that number for the Equest Hooves for Heroes and other programs supported by Equest. The 2017 Equest Awards for Community Service Co-Honorees/sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne were presented Tiffany boxes by a couple of hunky dressage-attired fellas.

But this year there was an unplanned twist. It was Beth. Sure, she had a script, but it didn’t always go as planned. For instance, in announcing that she was handing over the “reins” to 2018 Luncheon chair Heather Randall, she said, “Good luck.” But there was a slight tone in Beth’s voice that resulted in the crowd busting out in laughter. Beth quickly recovered saying that she meant really, sincerely good luck. The laughter only continued.

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Then it was on with the show with fashions from HP Village merchants Veronica Beard, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Escada, Etro, Market and Carolina Herrera. Naturally, the willowy, poreless models were upstaged by the adorable munchkins in Hadleigh’s fashions.

The show was well edited with HP Village merchants videotaping their merchandise on the catwalk.

So as the guest adjourned to their tables, what was the talk of the day? St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chair Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on moving the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser to NorthPark Center… Table talk was about what TV shows were being watched — “Game of Thrones,” “Rain,”  etc. ….Tanya Foster was snapping shots of The Garden Gate centerpieces with a spanking new iPhone 8 Plus. Seems husband Pete Foster was using Tanya as sort of a guinea pig and was holding out for the iPhone 10… Lisa Ogle was writing a check for a scarf or one of the centerpieces…Mary Meier-Evans had to duck out early and get back to work at Sons of the Flag.

Despite all the festivities and laughter, no one knew that in the days preceding, red-haired Beth had been masterfully juggling another life issue… her mother-in-law had been in hospice and died the weekend before. But that is Beth. She champions on with compassion and without a glimmer of self-pity.   

For more photos of the fashions and faces, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

During the fundraising luncheon circuit, some guests get jaded by the very scripted and rehearsed speakers at the podium. On Tuesday, October 3, at Brook Hollow Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele received great vibrations as her refreshing and off-the-cuff remarks broke the guests into smiles, chuckles and one really big laugh.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Robyn and Don Conlon

Following Beth, the awards presentation of the Community Service Award to sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne and recognizing Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon, the runway was filled with an array of Highland Park Village fashion curated by fashion producer Jan Strimple.  

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashions

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

While the post is being prepared, check out the peeps and fashion 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

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Fashion Show

According to 2017 Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion Show Chairman Beth Thoele,

Beth Thoele (File photo)

Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship was founded in 1981 and was the first riding center in Texas for children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive, emotional and learning disabilities. One of the organization’s most important sources for funding is the annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Fashion presented by Highland Park Village.

We have selected “Reins of Hope” as this year’s theme for the luncheon that will be at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, October 3. The event will include presentation of the Equest Award for Community Service to Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne whose family has been longtime supporters of the organization. In addition, Equest stalwart and philanthropist Robyn Conlon is serving as honorary chairman and will be recognized for her contributions to the community.

Elisa Summers (File photo)

Heather Washburne (File photo)

Robyn Conlon (File photo)

Jan Strimple (File photo)

The day’s activities will include a runway fashion show produced by the renowned Jan Strimple, featuring clothes from Highland Park Village retailers, seated luncheon and raffle.  We will reveal the participating fashion partners in early September.

Help us empower, enrich and educate through horses by visiting www.equest.org.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Patriot Party

According to 2017 Patriot Party Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon,

Dennis and Laura Moon (File photo)

There are many reasons why people become homeless. Sometimes it’s because of bad decisions that spiral out of control. Others end up on the streets because of factors beyond their control. Mental illness and domestic violence are two major culprits.

Housing Crisis Center works to put those who can take care of themselves back on the road to self-sufficiency. For those who are permanently disabled, we’re here to make sure they have a safe place to call home and access to the services they need. Help us make it happen.

Housing Crisis Center has been preventing homelessness for almost 40 years. Many of our clients are veterans with crippling mental disorders such as PTSD. They typically are unable to live on their own, but with supportive services can remain safely housed.

We make sure they live with dignity. Others are families with children who have recently becomes homeless due to domestic violence, an unforeseen expense, or bad decisions resulting from lack of financial education. Through financial assistance and intensive coaching, we get them back on their feet with the skills they need to avoid becoming homeless ever again. 

Housing Crisis Center 2017 Patriot Party*

You can be a part of the solution by supporting the Patriot Party on Friday, November 3, at the George W. Bush Institute. This year’s theme, Colors of Courage, reflects our respect for the brave women and men who have so ably served our country.

The evening’s festivities include cocktails, silent and live auctions, buffet dinner and entertainment. Please make plans to join us by visiting www.hccdallas.org.


* Graphic provided by Housing Crisis Center

Patriot Party Co-Chairs Laura And Dennis Moon And Honorary Co-Chairs Connie And Denny Carreker Are Taking Fundraiser To The Bush Institute

There are so many worthy causes, both local and national, trying to help veterans. While some focus on the mental and physical needs of those who have served in the U.S. military, the Housing Crisis Center has been working with the issue of homelessness among veterans through its Programs Serving Primarily Veterans. According to HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley, “Texas has the fourth highest number of homeless veterans.”

Dennis and Laura Moon (File photo)

Denny and Connie Carreker (File photo)

To take advantage of November’s Veterans’ Day activities, HCC is holding its 2017 Patriot Party — Colors of Courage — on Friday, November 3. Event Co-Chairs Laura and Dennis Moon have arranged to have Connie and Denny Carreker as their honorary co-chairs.

Housing Crisis Center 2017 Patriot Party*

They’ve also moved the dancing, dining and fundraising to the George W. Bush Institute.

After you get your tickets and/or sponsorship package, go shopping for something reddish, white-ish or blue. This event is just made for patriotic colors from diamonds to neckties.

* Graphic provided by Housing Crisis Center

JUST IN: Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris To Receive Attitudes And Attire’s Kim Dawson Attitude Award

Attitudes and Attire Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman has just revealed that Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris will be the recipient of the 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award on Friday, February 23, in the Dallas Trade Mart’s Grand Pavilion.

Cindy Morris*

According to Lyn, “Cindy is a successful role model for all women, and we are thrilled to introduce her as our 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award recipient. I am grateful to Cindy and Dallas Market Center for their continued support of Attitudes and Attire over the past 21 years.”

Established in 1998 to “honor individuals whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the potential of all women. Named after the iconic Kim Dawson, the award recognizes individuals who are confident and committed with a high degree of integrity.”

Past award recipients have included Karen Farris, Caroline Rose Hunt, Sarah Losinger and the late Ebby Halliday.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the 22nd Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show will be Susannah Denney and Jeff Hensley of Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Veterans Program.  

Since its founding in 1996, Attitudes and Attire has helped more than 21,000 women have their confidence restored through three programs

  • Core Program (Job Readiness and Self-Esteem Workshops),
  • Hopeful Smiles Restorative Dental Program and
  • Boots to Heels Women Veterans Program.
* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire

Celebrate Old Glory At Flag Pole Hill Park Wednesday Evening

Wednesday is Flag Day. It’s not a holiday. The banks will be open. Courts will be in session. The mail will be delivered. It’s really not a big deal. That is, unless you’ve ever suffered traumatic loss representing the flag. Then it’s a really big personal deal.

Old Glories

So, if you’re already in the stage of summer doldrums or would just like to be part of a patriotic gathering of red, white and blue, head over to Flag Pole Hill Park from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for Flag Day Ceremony 2017.

In addition to firetrucks, police squad cars, a Carry The Load Tent, a lemonade stand and cookies, there will be a program including speakers, the national anthem, a flag ceremony and other festivities.

Sponsored by White Rock Lake Foundation, Safer Dallas, Dallas Fire-Rescue, Carry The Load, Northeast Police Division, Council Member Adam McGough, White Rock Partnership, Boy Scouts of America and City of Dallas Parks and Recreation, the event is free and all are invited.

However, by making a minimal donation of $5, you’ll honor your police, fire/rescue or military hero by having a small American flag placed along the road at Flag Pole Hill.

MySweet2017Goals: Beth Thoele

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele,

Angie Kadesky (File photo)

Beth Thoele (File photo)

“I share common goal with Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky.  In addition to chairing a sold-out luncheon and fashion show at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, October 3, we would like to honor the children, adults and veterans, who are served by this incredible organization.  We have seen how lives are transformed through the wonder of a horse and incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers.

“Our secondary goal is to bring awareness and support to Equest’s mission to enhance the quality of life for individuals with diverse needs using horses to bring hope and healing through Equine assisted activities and therapies.”

A Passing: Fred Wiedemann

Dallas is filled with outstanding people. Some are above-the-fold making news frequently. Others are like delicious secrets, whose amazing life stories only come to light after their deaths. Fred Wiedemann was such a man. For those who had the opportunity to know him before his death on Friday, January 20, his 93 years of life were the stuff many just dream of.

Fred Wiedemann (File photo)

Born in New York City in 1923, he was raised on the West Coast in Hollywood. Just six months after Pearl Harbor he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, where he became a Japanese interpreter and excelled academically and in sports. Just months before his graduation in 1945, he met a fourth-generation Texan who would be the love of his life — Florence “Flo” Leachman. Following an assignment in Japan in 1947 he resigned his commission, moved to Dallas, married Flo at Highland Park United Methodist Church and undertook a 50-year career in the life insurance business.

In addition to helping establish the highly successful The Wiedemann and Johnson Companies, he was involved with the up-and-coming arts (the boards of Theater Three and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and chairman of the Dallas Civic Opera Guild) and education (chairman of the St. Marks School executive committee, trustee and chairman of the Southwest Outward Bound School and on the boards of the Colorado Outward Bound School and National Outward Bound) programs.

Fred’s passports were filled with stamps from Canada, Patagonia, Tasmania, Nepal, Chile, New Guinea, Costa Rica and Japan, to name just a few. His wanderlust knew no bounds and he was eager to share the experiences. And, those trips weren’t just bus tours of the local landmarks. No, with family and friends Fred would trek, kayak, camp and take adventures.

According to his family, “the greatest, most wonderful adventure was when Fred planned a 15-month sabbatical in Europe, living in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate his and Flo’s 20th wedding anniversary. Their three sons [Frederic, Harden and Jon] went to schools there, and Flo began her Jungian studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Together there, Fred and Flo continued pursuit of their life-long love of opera, especially Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Fred spent his time in Switzerland on the couch being analyzed, skiing, learning flamenco guitar, and writing, with the latter two endeavors being singularly unsuccessful (according to Fred). Nonetheless the Jungian analytical process provided him with a seismic shift of consciousness and a grounding that he valued very much for the rest of his life.”

And the Wiedemann boys followed their father’s love for living a far-from-the-mundane routine. For instance, after graduating from St. Marks, Jon went to Harvard, became a Calvin Klein model, married actress Isabella Rossellini, producing daughter/model/actress Elletra Wiedemann, and went on to become an executive with Microsoft.

For those lucky enough to have attended a get-together at the Wiedemanns’ Preston Hollow ranch-style home filled with Japanese art, one just never knew what to expect. It might include a visiting best-selling author, a world-renowned educator or an artist, whose fame was just in the incubation stage. Why, D Magazine considered Flo and Fred to be one of Dallas’ “Heavenly Hosts and Best Guests.”

In reviewing his nine decades, Fred “acknowledged that he had made his share of mistakes and had tried to learn from them, but that his life had vastly exceeded any expectations he might have had. He felt it had been one ‘helluva’ ride, and he was so very grateful to have been aboard.”

Fred’s life will be celebrated at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, at Serenity House at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Just imagine what wonderful stories will be shared.

JUST IN: Sons Of The Flag Endowment For Burn Care Supplies Is Established At Parkland Health And Hospital System

Over the years Parkland Health and Hospital has become renowned for being the only adult and pediatric center in North Texas verified by the American Burn Association. In addition to its reputation for its specialized treatments, it has provided it for those who are uninsured.

Yesterday afternoon, the Sons of the Flag established the Sons of the Flag Endowment for Burn Care Supplies with a $12,500 contribution that was matched by anonymous donation via Parkland Foundation.

Mary Meier-Evans, Herb Phelan, Ryan Parrott, Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell, Kathy Doherty and Beth Dexter*

The results? The $25,000 total will “support and enhance burn care at Parkland Health and Hospital System by providing wound kits and supplies for uninsured burn patients.”

According to Sons of the Flag President/CEO Ryan Parrott, “This is an exciting opportunity for Sons of the Flag to live out its mission and expand access to critical supplies and treatment for many in our community who cannot afford them. To partner with Parkland Foundation in supporting the Parkland Burn Center through this endowment is an important step in ensuring we are doing everything we can to improve burn care throughout North Texas.”

On hand for the announcement in addition to the media were Sons of the Flag Director of Development Mary Meier-Evans, Parkland Foundation Development Officer Beth Dexter and Parkland Burn Center’s Dr. Herb Phelan, Dr. Steven Wolf, Stephanie Campbell and Kathy Doherty.

The Sons of the Flags has also provided more than $10,000 in in-kind donations of Go Bags, clothing, toys, snacks and holiday decorations thanks to its supporters and volunteers.

Parkland Foundation President/CEO David Krause said, “We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of Sons of the Flag and their commitment to helping the patients in Parkland’s burn center. Their most recent gift to establish an endowment to support the burn center will help Parkland provide life-saving care to burn patients for generations to come.”

Sons of the Flag “is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting military, first responder, and civilian burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research, technology and education. We bring together passionate community leaders, pioneering physicians, experienced military service members, dedicated first responders and purposeful civilians to complete our mission.”

* Photo provided by Sons of the Flag

JUST IN: Equest To Sell Wylie Property, Add Al Hill Jr. Family Arena At Texas Horse Park Facility With Completion Slated For Fall 2017

Equest just revealed a big reduction and expansion of its physical operation. The reduction is the putting up for sale its Wylie property. Despite the “For Sale” sign, it will continue operating from Friday, January 27, thru Saturday, May 13. Handling the sale will be Dave Perry-Miller and Associates’ Andy Steingasser, who is also Equest’s chairman of the board. Just to keep this above board, Andy is donating 100% of his commission to Equest.

Heather Washburne, Al Hill Jr. and Elisa Summers (File photo)

On the other hand, Equest’s expansion will be the addition of a new state-of-the-art arena at its Texas Horse Park facility. Named Al Hill Jr. Family Arena, the new arena will allow the organization to be “a closer step to Equest’s vision to be a model of excellence for worldwide therapeutic riding center. The beautiful energy-efficient clearspan steel covered arena will feature wooden kick boards, a blended equestrian-specific footage, large industrial fans, high-tech audio capabilities, and a platform for announcers and judges. It will increase opportunities for Equest to serve more clients and amplify outreach programming with the Dallas Independent School District, as well as additional audiences and organizations.”

According to Andy, “Al Hill Jr. is a Dallas businessman whom [sic] has had an interest in horses all of his life. Having an involvement using equestrian programs which benefits military veterans and especially handicapped children is a perfect combination of his personal interest. Having a distinguished arena that has multi-use functionality and accessibility will not only impact Equest but also the City of Dallas. We look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks.”

Plans presently call for a March groundbreaking with completion slated for this fall.

MySweet2017Goals: Ryan “Birdman” Parrott

Ryan Parrott*

According to Sons of the Flag Founder Ryan “Birdman” Parrott,

My personal goal is plain and simple. Be the best new dad I can be in 2017. Son is 4 months old currently.

“Two business goals are Complete Operation Miracle Jump for the Birds Eye View Project and grow Sons of the Flag to a national charity covering down on more burn survivors than previous years.”

* Photo provided by 
Sons of the Flag

Housing Crisis Center’s Patriot Party Brought Out The Red, White And Blues At The Mansion On Veteran’s Day

Thanks to the stars and calendar lining up in sync on Friday, November 11, the day of celebrating the nation’s veterans flourished. While the day’s parades and festivities went on under sunshine, the Housing Crisis Center’s Patriot Party at the Mansion proved to be a nighttime crowd pleaser.

Katherine Wynne and John Baer

Cindy Stager and Oscar Durham

Roz Colombo, Amy Turner, Sunie Solomon and Laura Moon

Paul and Tiffany Divis and Kim Hext

Jamie Williams

In keeping with the Patriot Party spirit, the red, white and blues were the colors of choice for the night thanks to Katherine Wynne, Sandy Schwan, Tiffany Divis, Amy Turner, Sunie Solomon, Cindy Stager, Roz Colombo and mama Gigi St. Pe, Jamie Williams, Anita Braun, Shannon Brame, Holly Mayer, Eliza Cochron, Darlene Elison, Tasha Harden, Katy Bock and Lisa Cooley, who accessorized her outfit with a sparkly clutch. According to their choices of ties, it appeared the gents like Paul Divis, Lawrence Bock, Clay Cooley, Thomas Harden and Event Chair John Baer evidently got the color memo, too.

Lawrence and Katy Bock and Lisa and Clay Cooley

Anita Braun and Shannon Brame

Heath Oakes and Jenny Anchondo

KDFW anchor/evening emcee Jenny Anchondo was sporting more than a fresh glamorama makeup do. Little did she and husband Heath Oakes let on that they were on the verge of announcing that they’d be expecting a baby girl in May.

As if the reception didn’t prove heady enough with its countless silent-auction items, the main disco act in the Mansion ballroom created a bit of a stir when one over-exuberant blonde slipped and fell on the dance floor.

Ken Cooper

Jonathan Jaffin

Then there were the chat-about types who insisted on chit-chatting nonstop when Dr. Ken Cooper and Jonathan Jaffin talked about the importance of military service and our brave veterans and how, despite their selfless service, there are 40,000 homeless vets in the U.S. On the other hand, there were others who listened intently and afterward recalled stories that their parents and grandparents had told them about past military service.

The newly renovated ballroom’s A/C was working nicely. So much so that some staved off the chill with fur wraps, while other naked-shouldered lasses just harvested goose bumps.

Helene Cronin

Speaking of which, one poor gal’s bare-shouldered cocktail dress required some occasional hitching up as the décolletage went southward. Luckily, a gal pal came to the rescue helping her bud redirect the errant gown northward.

After Americana artist Helene Cronin sang a touching, original tribute to the military called “Lucky Me”—it was based on a true story, she said—it was time for the live auction. The auction proved to be a patriotic success, with the Napa Valley wine experience going for $3,000, the New York Broadway package luring $3,250, and a dinner with Fox4’s Mike Doocy bringing in $2,250.

MySweetWishList: Equest

According to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg,

Lili Kellogg (File photo)

“Our wish at Equest this holiday season is to help more people like Katelin Beyer make the impossible, possible.

“Katelin is a bright and bubbly 20-year-old, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and stroke from a car accident. After being in a coma for 2 weeks, ICU for 21 days, enduring over 21 surgeries on her head alone, followed by two years of stays in multiple rehabilitation centers, her therapists and doctors told her that she would never walk again.

“Katelin’s family discovered Equest, and after a year of hippotherapy and hard work with her Equest therapist and favorite horse, Bounce, Katelin is walking.

“This is just one of many success stories Equest has seen over the 35 years as an organization. This holiday season please consider participating in our ‘Gift of the Horse’ campaign to help continue to change lives like Katelin’s. Equest’s equine facilitated therapy and horsemanship programs are provided to over 1,200 children and adults with disabilities and Veterans who have served our country.

Equest*

“Give the ‘Gift of a Horse’ in honor of or as a gift to someone you love this holiday season, and help make the impossible possible!

  • “$5,000 gives the Gift of Strength and provides for a therapy horse for a year.
  • “$2,500 gives the Gift of Independence and covers one semester of program expenses for a client.
  • “$1,000 gives the Gift of Wellness and provides a semester of counseling for a veteran or their family member
  • “$500 gives the Gift of Confidence and provides safety equipment for our clients.
  • “$250 gives the Gift of Education to local school children through the Equine Facilitated Learning program.
  • “$100 gives the Gift of Improved Health and provides a therapist for an occupational therapy session.
  • “$50 gives the Gift of Nourishment and feeds four therapy horses for a week. 

“To learn more about Equest and give a ‘Gift of the Horse’ please visit, www.equest.org.”

-By Lili Kellogg, Equest CEO

* Graphic provided by Equest

Helping Our Heroes Commemorates 9/11 By Celebrating And Raising Funds For Those In The Military And First Responders

While some folks took time to recall 15 years ago on September 11 when two planes destroyed the Twin Towers, one plane flew into the Pentagon and still another plane missed its target thanks to strangers on board, the Helping Our Heroes organization used the occasion to raise funds for those in the military and first responders who have made incredible sacrifices. Here’s a report from the field:

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Helping Our Heroes gathered at Frontiers of Flight Museum to honor heroes in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard, as well as local police, firemen and first responders. The dinner and auction benefited Folds of Honor, which provides annual educational scholarships to the families of those killed or disabled while in active duty, and the Semper Fi Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

John Christensen and Gail Leonard*

John Christensen and Gail Leonard*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Justin Cleveland and Jerald Cleveland*

Justin Cleveland and Jerald Cleveland*

Mike and Lisa Engle*

Mike and Lisa Engle*

Approximately 200 people including Barbara and Trip Bomar, Justin Cleveland, Jerald Cleveland, John Christensen, Gail Leonard and Lisa and Mike Engles arrived to W. T. White’s Junior ROTC standing at attention. During the cocktail reception, guests perused the silent auction tables with items such as an autographed football from Emmitt Smith, Coco’s Bangles and dozens of restaurant and spa packages to name a few.

Brian Aft*

Brian Aft*

Promptly at 7:00 p.m., Event Co-Chair Mike Marasco introduced the Color Guard who presented the colors, and 15-year-old Lindsey Fish sang the National Anthem prior to guests sitting down for dinner. Event Co-Chair Travis Wilson introduced the 2016 Guest of Honor Gen. James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, who spoke about how his office at the Pentagon was destroyed after a plane hit the Pentagon and how America was changed following the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Local hero and this year’s Honorary Chair Cpl. Brian Aft also took the stage to tell his story as a Marine. On April 8, 2011, Aft struck an improvised explosive device while patrolling on duty in Afghanistan. Taking the brunt of the explosion, Aft suffered numerous injuries including the loss his lower extremities.

“The days after 9/11 were the worst of times, but they were also the best of times because people came together and were more appreciative and thankful for their country,” Gen. Amos said. “It is organizations like Helping Our Heroes that are truly making a difference in the lives of veterans and anyone who serves. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be here tonight.”

Following the remarks, Wes Pool of Murad Auctions led an energetic game of Heads and Tails before the live auction began. Guests bid on a variety of packages including a trip for four to Washington D.C., a Sunday night wine and food tasting at Chamberlain’s Steak and Chophouse, and a handmade quilt and signed KA-Bar.

Travis Wilson, James F. Amos and Vanessa Keane**

Travis Wilson, James F. Amos and Vanessa Keane**

On Monday, September 12, 2016, Gen. Amos joined golfers at Brookhaven Country Club for the second day of Helping Our Heroes fundraising efforts. More than 90 people grabbed breakfast tacos courtesy of Torchy’s Tacos before watching the presentation of the colors and singing the National Anthem. Following their morning on the course, the teams gathered for an awards ceremony and cookout lunch with hot dogs and chips provided by Frito Lay. Proceeds from both events benefited Semper Fi Fund and Folds of Honor.

* Photo credit: 
Tamytha Cameron 
** Photo credit: 
Rhi Lee

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Veterans Center Of North Texas

“The Veterans Center of North Texas is a nonprofit organization operated and managed 100% by community volunteers. The majority of the staff consists of Veterans with the goal to assist other North Texas Veterans and their families to find the benefits and services they need to establish and maintain productive lifestyles with our communities. Our goal is to serve our Veteran community in a manner that will reduce or eliminate the confusion on available services and will greatly assist our Veterans and their families to locate the aid and assistance they need and deserve to rapidly integrate into our North Texas communities.

Veterans Center of North Texas*

Veterans Center of North Texas*

“Funds are required to lease and operate a small office facility to support Veterans and their families in a secure, private and friendly environment. Funds will be used to maintain the lease of our 600 square foot facility, and provide operating funds for our telephones and internet, insurance and general office supplies. Volunteers provide 100% of the staff needed to operate and manage the Veterans Center of North Texas without additional cost. Our dedicated volunteers receive exceptional satisfaction by assisting our Veterans to find the resources needed to become productive members of our communities.

“We serve over 60 Veterans per month from all areas of North Texas. Our Veterans contact us with a multitude of questions and issues. The top three areas that our Veterans need support with are homelessness, including rental assistance, employment or under-employment and basic subsistence.  We have developed solid relationships with the Veterans Affairs, housing authorities and local outreach agencies to assist our Veterans to obtain both emergency shelter and long-term housing. Frequently our Veterans require emergency funds to help them through rough times often driven by unemployment or under employment.  We have achieved excellent results assisting with near-term housing. Additionally, there is a growing and compelling need for emergency shelters and affordable housing in North Texas. We are integral members of the Collin County Homeless Coalition and a member of the MyVA Board seeking options for housing for our needy Veterans.

Veterans Center of North Texas volunteers*

Veterans Center of North Texas volunteers*

“Unemployment and under employment are still commanding issues with our Veterans and their families. We have found there is a direct relationship between employment and housing. We have formed strong alliances with job training programs and employment centers to assist our Veterans to secure living wage jobs. Long term initiatives have benefited our Veterans to achieve degree and certificate programs, access health and medical programs and secure legal and financial assistance.

Veterans Center of North Texas monument*

Veterans Center of North Texas monument*

“North Texas Giving Day has increased the general public awareness of the support and assistance required by our Veterans. North Texas Giving Day has afforded the Veterans Center of North Texas to receive increased recognition across North Texas that has resulted in an expanded Veteran population to locate the benefits and services that are available within our communities. Funding to operate and maintain our facility while we are serving our North Texas Veterans and their families has been derived primarily through resources from the North Texas Giving Day program. The funds provided by the Giving Day program have allowed us to focus our attention and energy on serving our Veterans.  We have been able to build an extensive service network that has enabled us to serve over 60 Veterans per month with exceptional and long-term results. Our target goal is to grow our organization through networking and volunteers to serve over 200 Veterans per month. North Texas Giving Day has provided our foundation and continues to ensure our future success for our Veterans and their families.”

-By Paul Hendricks, Veterans Center of North Texas Director

* Graphic and photos provided by Veterans Center of North Texas
______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Veterans Center of North Texas by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

Addison Kaboom Town!, Albertsons And Tom Thumb Partnered Up To Provide $100,000 For Folds Of Honor

While all the hoop-la about the upcoming Folds of Honor Gala on Saturday, November 5 at the Hilton Anatole seems to be taking the spotlight, a very special occasion took place on Tuesday, August 9, at Addison’s Cavanaugh Flight Museum. Here’s a report from the field:

Addison Kaboom Town! partnered with Albertsons and Tom Thumb this summer to raise $100,000 for Folds of Honor, whose mission is to empower military families by providing educational scholarships to children and spouses of military men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation.

Todd Meier, Sarah White, Dennis Bassler and Carol Roberts*

Todd Meier, Sarah White, Dennis Bassler and Carol Roberts*

Donations were taken at 106 DFW-area Albertsons and Tom Thumb store locations from Sunday, July 3, until Saturday, July 16. This is the town’s biggest donation with Albertsons and Tom Thumb to date.

Representatives from the Town of Addison, Albertsons and Tom Thumb, Folds of Honor and the media gathered together on Tuesday, August 9, for a check presentation to Sarah White, Folds of Honor brand ambassador and former scholarship recipient.

Sarah lost her dad, Captain Dennis Michael White of the United States Air Force, in 1995. Every day, Sarah and her family remember the sacrifice her dad, among many others, made for our country.

With the help of Folds of Honor, Sarah was able to attend college (Auburn University) and get a degree in marketing. She now lives and works in Dallas. To Sarah, Folds of Honor is more than just a scholarship for education. It had taken a financial burden off her mother, but it also means so much to Sarah to have a support group along her side…people who will not forget about the sacrifice her father made for the country.

Speakers at the check presentation, which took place at Cavanaugh Flight Museum, included Addison Mayor Todd Meier, Community Relations and Partnership Manager for Albertsons Carol Roberts, Albertsons and Tom Thumb Regional President Dennis Bassler and Sarah White. The money raised this year will be donated as scholarships to children of 20 families.

* Photo provided by Folds of Honor

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Housing Crisis Center’s 2016 Patriot Party

According to Housing Crisis Center’s 2016 Patriot Party Chair John Baer,

Get ready for A Veteran’s Day To Remember.  That is the theme of this year’s Housing Crisis Center’s annual Patriot Party on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Proceeds from the event assist with our mission to prevent homelessness and to stabilize those at risk in decent, affordable and permanent housing.

2016 Patriot Party*

2016 Patriot Party*

Joining us in this exciting a project are community leaders Lynn and Allan McBee who are serving as Honorary Chairmen. This duo, along with our board of directors and host committee are working diligently to recruit sponsors, underwriters and individual ticket purchasers to make this year’s event a huge success. The evening’s festivities include cocktails, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing in the Mansion’s recently renovated Ballroom and adjoining Pavilion.

As we embark on this important fund-raising effort, it is worth noting that HCC’s three permanent housing programs serve mainly veterans and their families. The Patriot Party is one of the ways we honor and support those who have served. Veterans in our program suffer disabilities, but with our help, they are able to live independently.

We don’t stop with making sure they have a safe place to live, we also give them the tools they need to find jobs, manage their finances and to tackle the issues that cause them to become homeless. We invite you to join our efforts to ensure that our veterans have a brighter future.

Housing Crisis Center has been preventing homelessness for almost 40 years. More than 10,000 households rely on our assistance each year. Originally founded as the Dallas Tenants Association in 1978 under the leadership of Dorothy Masterson, the organization was established to provide free legal support to low income tenants. Our mission and reach have expanded and the demand for our services in Dallas is greater than ever.

For sponsorship or ticket information, visit www.hccdallas.org.

* Graphic provided by Housing Crisis Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Meal For The Minds

According to Metrocare Services Chief Executive Officer Dr. John W. Burruss,

John W. Burruss*

John W. Burruss*

“Metrocare strives to erase the stigma of mental health challenges, provide services to those in need, and educate our community on how to help themselves or a loved one. This year, Metrocare will provide services to over 52,000 adults and children throughout Dallas County. 

“One of the ways that Metrocare educates the community on mental health challenges, is through our fundraising efforts and annual luncheon – ‘Meal for the Minds.’ Metrocare is excited to share that the ‘2016 Meal for the Minds’ luncheon event is being presented by Cohen Veterans Network.  In 2015, Cohen Veterans Network selected Metrocare to be part of its national network of high-quality mental health clinics, working to ensure that every veteran and their family members are able to obtain free and effective mental health care.

“Transitioning from military to civilian life is challenging for many veterans and their families. ‘Going from a war zone in service time to civilian life – these are very different things. Metrocare is committed to helping adults and children who are transitioning to life in North Texas after life in the military.’

“Through the generosity of Steven A. Cohen and the Cohen Veterans Network, we are able to serve veterans and their families at no cost. The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Metrocare opened in May 2016.

“As part of Metrocare’s partnership with Cohen Veterans Network, this year’s keynote speaker at Meal for the Minds is Medal of Honor Recipient and Former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts. In 2014, Ryan Pitts was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan in 2008. Pitts’ courage, steadfast commitment to his defense unit, and ability to fight while seriously wounded prevented the enemy from capturing fallen American soldiers.

“The ‘2016 Meal for the Minds’ luncheon will be held Thursday, September 29, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The silent auction begins at 11:00 a.m. and the lunch program begins at 11:45 a.m.  Individual tickets for the luncheon are $150 each and sponsorship opportunities begin at $1,500. For tickets or sponsor information, please visit our website at www.metrocareservies.org/events. For questions, contact Tameka Y. Cass at 214.743.1220 or email [email protected].

“We hope you can join us!”

* Photo provided by Metrocare

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Kara Axley and Auxiliary President Di Johnston,

Kara Axley and Di Johnston (File photo)

Kara Axley and Di Johnston (File photo)

“Equest has enhanced the lives of children and adults using horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted therapies for thirty five years. The annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon, Riding High, will be Tuesday, October 4, at Brook Hollow Golf Club and will continue the 35th anniversary celebration by raising much-needed funds for Equest’s unique therapy programs.

“Today, Equest is the leader in equine assisted therapy and serves hundreds of riders annually. These riders include those with cerebral palsy and autism as well as orthopedic ailments. Additionally, Equest serves our country’s brave veterans through our ‘Horses for Heroes’ program.

“When Equest Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth started the organization thirty years ago, Equest was known as Freedom Ride and many people were unfamiliar with the cause and how to become supporters. A lot has changed in the past three decades as Equest has received national recognition for its work and the Women’s Auxiliary is a thriving organization comprised of hundreds of dedicated women who work tirelessly to provide invaluable funding.

Lindalyn Adams and Louise Griffeth (File photo)

Lindalyn Adams and Louise Griffeth (File photo)

“Riding High will be a fun-filled day of fashion, great food and a glimpse into the workings of Equest programming. Fashion icon Jan Strimple will produce the fashion show with some of Highland Park Village’s most noted international retailers showing their collections.  Highland Park Village is the presenting sponsor of the luncheon and we are most grateful to the Al Hill Jr. family for their generosity.

“In addition to the fashion show, we will honor beloved community leader Lindalyn Adams with the 2016 Equest Community Service Award for many contributions and advocacy for Equest over three decades. We are also pleased to have longtime Equest supporters Lezlie and Bill Noble serve as Honorary Luncheon Chairs.

“We hope you will join us for this worthy and life changing cause. Please visit www.equest.org for more information.”