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 have help more than 21,000 women to 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.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Helping Our Heroes

According to Helping Our Heroes Event Co-Chairs Michael Marasco and Travis Wilson,

Travis Wilson and Michael Marasco*

Travis Wilson and Michael Marasco*

“Helping Our Heroes is a local organization with a vision to help those who serve so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms of living in the greatest country on Earth. We honor heroes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard, as well as local police, firemen and first responders.

“We invite you to join us for our Sixth Annual Dinner and Golf Tournament. Coinciding with the 15th anniversary of 9/11, we will gather on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at the Frontiers of Flight Museum for dinner and a wonderful silent auction. General James F. Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, will also be in attendance as the 2016 Guest of Honor. The following day, golfers will enjoy the day at Brookhaven Country Club where our annual golf tournament will take place, complete with lunch and an award celebration.

“Proceeds from the events will benefit Semper Fi Fund, which offers immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and Folds of Honor, which provides annual educational scholarships to the families of those killed or disabled while in active duty.

Helping Our Heroes**

Helping Our Heroes**

“In 2016, we aim to raise $200,000 for Semper Fi Fund and Folds of Honor. To view ticket packages or to purchase tickets, please visit the Helping Our Heroes website.

“We hope you will join us for dinner and a fun day of golf as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and their families!”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee 
** Graphic provided by Helping Our Heroes

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic And Veteran Tribute Dinner

According to Maribeth Schultz, Ph. D., United States Air Force (Ret.) and Equest Hooves for Heroes participant about the Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic and Veteran Tribute Dinner,

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I was an active duty Air Force psychologist and captain for seven years and came to Equest through their veterans program. I had reached the point where I couldn’t move. I couldn’t walk. Sometimes I would freeze up. I couldn’t get out of bed, and I couldn’t leave my house. And I came here [Equest], and I began to move and feel like I was a person again. It’s more than fun. It’s a lifeline. This has made a tremendous difference in my life. I had no life before Equest, and I say that sincerely. I appreciate the veterans program and everything it has brought to us.

“Adds Equest Director of Clinical and Veteran Services Jeff Hensley, ‘The Equest Hooves for Heroes program improves the lives of American warriors: our veterans. There are a host of challenges that veterans face when they leave active duty, and these can contribute to the heart-breaking reality that 22 veterans take their lives every day. At Equest, we are creating a safe environment for them to connect with one another, the community, and supporters, and overcome these challenges, and in doing so, we are quite literally saving lives. To date, Equest Hooves for Heroes has served approximately 370 individuals from Vietnam-era to present day conflicts at no cost.’

“Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic Co-Chair Kelly Bennett explains how you can help: ‘The Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic and Veterans Tribute Dinner, hosted by Honorary Chair Patrick M. Walsh, Admiral USN (Ret.) and my Co-Chair Andy Walsh, is one of Equest’s largest fundraisers and honors Equest’s veterans program. Not only is it raising necessary funds to provide complimentary services, but the dinner also pays tribute to those who have served America.

“‘It is a wonderful two-day event at Gleneagles Country Club located at 5401 West Park Boulevard Plano. The Veterans Tribute Dinner, including cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner, will be held on Sunday, November 13, at 6:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker William D. French, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) who serves as President and CEO of the Armed Services YMCA based in Springfield, VA and as member of the National Advisory Committee for the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). Tables are available for $1,000 (ten people) or individual tickets may be purchased for $100.

“‘The following day, the fun-filled Golf Classic will feature a helicopter drop, raffle items, gift bags, boxed lunch, long drive expert, and awards reception. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 per individual or $600 for a group of four.’”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon And Film Festival

According to 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon And Film Festival Chairman Mary Humphreys Parker,

Mary Humphreys Parker (File photo)

Mary Humphreys Parker (File photo)

“I am honored to be asked to chair the 2016 Stars And Stripes Luncheon and Film Festival and have the upmost respect for former Navy SEAL and founder Ryan “Birdman” Parrott. His dedication to our country and veterans is remarkable. And to see what he has done in a few short years establishing Sons of the Flag gives us all hope that our servicemen can get the help they need. This organization is one of the few that helps Veterans, First-Responders and Civilian Burn Survivors and I am proud to be a part of it.

“We want to thank Stripe-A-Zone and Clay Cooley Auto Group for signing on early as presenting sponsors again this year. Their support of Sons of the Flag truly help propel the organization forward.

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

“This is our third annual event and will again feature a seated luncheon event followed by a weekend full of films. The festival will be held Friday, November 11 to Sunday, 13, with the luncheon event on Friday, November 11, which happens to be Veterans Day this year. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate and honor our heroes. The keynote speaker will be United States Congressman Sam Johnson. Congressman Johnson is a decorated war hero and native Texan and ranks among the few Members of Congress to fight in combat. Congressman Johnson is a decorated war hero and native Texan and ranks among the few Members of Congress to fight in combat. During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Rep. Johnson flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He endured nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, including 42 months in solitary confinement. A decorated combat veteran and war hero, Sam was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Outstanding Unit Awards.

Sam Johnson (File photo)

Sam Johnson (File photo)

“Additionally, Sons of the Flag will present the first Legacy Award to Dr. Stephen Burgher, a lead physician at the Baylor Scott And White Health Center, and a Marine Corps trauma team leader at a military medical unit in Afghanistan. We are thrilled that Nancy and David Burgher have agreed to serve as our honorary co-chairs, as they are loved and admired by so many, and embody the American Spirit of Faith and Love of Country in everything they do.

“The Stars And Stripes Film Festival will continue to celebrate our nation’s finest as represented in film, and announcements about our line-up will be made in early fall. This year’s film festival portion will move to Highland Park Village Theater. Sponsorships and passes are now on sale and can be purchased with the sponsorship contract.  Luncheon tickets and tables as well as individual film tickets can be purchased later this fall.

The Stars And Stripes Film Festival is programmed by James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society. The Dallas Film Society is a proud partner of Sons of the Flag and is instrumental in the success of the Stars And Stripes Film Festival. This is the third year that DFS has supported Sons of the Flag and has programmed the film festival.

All funds raised directly benefit Veteran, First-Responder and Civilian Burn Survivors supported by Sons of the Flag.

“For more information, please contact Mary Meier

A Morning Coffee Underscores The Patriot Party’s Saluting And Aiding America’s Veterans

This past Monday morning, there were three folks having coffee at NorthPark’s La Madeleine. They were a cute and spry group of 80+ year olds, two women and a man. Unbeknownst to people sitting nearby, they were a treasure trove of history.

The man was 95…”No, I’m 96,” he said with a smile. The woman across the table added, “He was a World War II POW. There aren’t many of them left.” She spoke from the heart, having lost her husband/another vet just the year before.

Over the next few minutes, it was learned that the 96-year-old had been a pilot in a mission where more than 30 planes took off and only four returned. He had been one of those who had been captured by the Germans. After being held captive for a year, he was liberated by the Allied forces and weighed just 86 pounds.

It turned out that the widow’s husband had also been in the same squadron, but he hadn’t been slated to fly that day. Knowing the dangers faced by the crew the previous day, he flew out the next day but returned safely.

Like the widow said, “There aren’t many of them left.”

Veterans*

Veterans*

No, there aren’t many World War II vets left, but they have been joined by countless others who have served this country in the following decades. That is why events benefiting vets are especially poignant when they’re held on Veteran’s Day.

One of those activities is the 5th Annual Patriot Party that will be held on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, benefiting the Housing Crisis Center’s (HCC) disabled and homeless veterans program  (Veterans Housing Partnership, Permanent Housing Services and All Citizens Empowerment).

Patriot Party 2016*

Patriot Party 2016*

According HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley, “Veterans are some of the most vulnerable clients we serve and this event raises critically needed funds to support these sometimes neglected member of the community.”

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

Chairing the event will be John Baer and Co-Chair Katherine Wynne with Lynn and Allan McBee serving as honorary co-chairs.

Sherri added, “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of HCC’s Patriot Party with such a dedicated group of capable leaders. Lynn and Allan McBee’s commitment to the community is widespread and we are honored to have their endorsement and participation in this important fundraising event.”

In addition to providing the funds, the evening will include a cocktail buffet, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment. There will be more deets revealed in the weeks ahead, but tickets and sponsorships are available now.

* Graphics provided by Housing Crisis Center

Helping Our Heroes Foundation Presents $25,000 Checks To Folds Of Honor And Semper Fi Plus Announces Future Plans

With Mother’s Day in the rear view mirror and graduations and weddings up ahead, there was a check presentation on Monday, May 9, for folks who have gone the extra mile in safeguarding the nation’s well-being. In addition, it was also an occasion to announced upcoming plans for more fundraising for the Helping Our Heroes Foundation. Here’s a report from the field:

On Monday, May 9, dozens of board members, donors and friends of Helping Our Heroes Foundation gathered on the patio at Ocean Prime Dallas to celebrate the 2015 beneficiaries and kick off the 2016 Dinner and Golf Tournament set for Sunday, September 11, and Monday, September 12.

Michael Marasco, Travis Wilson and Laura Castellvi*

Michael Marasco, Travis Wilson and Laura Castellvi*

The evening began with light bites and cocktails while Pippa, a bulldog and mascot of the United States Marine Corps, posed for pictures with attendees. The organization presented two checks for $25,000 to each of its 2015 beneficiaries: Folds of Honor, which provides annual educational scholarships to the families of those killed or disabled while in active duty, and 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.

Steve Christensen, Gail Leonard, John Christensen, Mason Fill and Lauren Christensen*

Steve Christensen, Gail Leonard, John Christensen, Mason Fill and Lauren Christensen*

Following the presentation, the celebration continued as Captain Mason Dill presented a framed flag to John Christensen and his family. Lauren and Steve Christensen and John Christensen were honored for their generous donations and support of Helping Our Heroes over the years.

Christopher Griffo, Mason Dill and Carl Fite*

Christopher Griffo, Mason Dill and Carl Fite*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Barbara and Trip Bomar*

Co-Founder and Event Co-Chair Travis Wilson and Event Co-chair Michael Marasco announced that Folds of Honor and Semper Fi Fund would return as beneficiaries for 2016 event. This year’s fundraiser includes a dinner on September 11, at Frontiers of Flight Museum, which will mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11, followed by a golf tournament at Brookhaven Country Club on September 12. In the past five years, Helping Our Heroes has donated more than $735,000 to selected beneficiaries. In 2016, the hope is to raise more than $200,000 to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and their families through Folds of Honor and Semper Fi Fund.

Guests included: Barbara and Helping Our Heroes Co-founder Trip Bomar, Master Sergeant Christopher Griffo, Captain Mason Dill, Gail Leonard, Auction Chair Matt Lowe, Carl Fite, Underwriting Chair Art Seals, Semper Fi Fund Senior Manager for Community Outreach and Events Laura Castellvi, Mary McAdams, Val Bergman, Mike Engles, Steve Pilipchuk, Veronica Owens and Folds of Honor Regional Development Officer Sarah White.

Helping Our Heroes Foundation is a local organization founded in 2011 with a vision to help those who serve so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms of living in the greatest country on earth. To purchase tickets for the dinner or to participate in the golf tournament, visit http://www.helpingourheroes.us.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

Memorial Day Is A Day Of Thanks For The Ultimate Gift

Memorial Day flags

Memorial Day flags

Today is Memorial Day, a holiday where presents are not exchanged. However, it is a day when thanks are shown for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Before heading to the movie theaters for first-runs, hitting sunny patios with misters for icy drinks or taking off for summer vacations, consider that these luxuries were made possible by thousands of men and women over the decades.

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day Concert Moved To The Meyerson

Due to Mother Nature being literally a wet blanket, Monday’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day concert has been moved from Flag Pole Hill to the Meyerson Symphony Center. Start time for the free concert is still 8 p.m.

Another change: The firework display has been canceled.

A Passing: George M. Underwood Jr.

There was a time when locals considered the Meadows building on Central Expressway to be the last landmark before the Red River. It was a time when a young man by the name of Ray Nasher from Boston was envisioning plans to build something called “an enclosed shopping center” with Sparkman Hillcrest cemetery on one side and the Caruth farm on another.

But before Ray had even arrived in Dallas, there was a local fella who’d returned to his hometown after serving in World War II and gone about building “a number of brick homes in the Park Cities and North Dallas.” When he learned about plans to develop Central Expressway, he saw it as an opportunity. Sure, he was married and raising a young family, but still he saw a great future that lay north of Dallas, where cow pastures and cotton fields were in place. But he wasn’t the only one to see the post-WW II growth heading north. A group of young “brainaics” were eyeballing some property in the area for a company.

So, the young man partnered up with fellow SMU alumnus Lindsay Embrey and bought a chunk of land west of the proposed expressway for development in the mid-1950s. There were those who claimed that his father told his son that he was crazy. After all, by 1952, Central Expressway only ran from downtown Dallas to Mockingbird. The expressway wouldn’t extend to present-day Campbell Center until 1956.

Despite the doubts of others, he stayed true to his vision that would become “Richardson Heights, which is a large part of the City of Richardson.”

The young man with the vision was George M. Underwood Jr.

Over the decades, George continued his commitment to grow North Texas, both professionally and personally. His numerous contributions ranged from supporting his alma mater SMU, after whom the SMU Law Library is named, to serving on the Dallas City Council during the turning point days of Dallas.

But his life was not without pain. Over his nine decades of life, he would suffer the losses of his wife Nancy Underwood and daughters Twinkle Underwood and Nancy Underwood.

This past Monday, the “young man with the vision” passed away at the age of 96. He is survived by his son, George Underwood III; his daughter Helena Sparling; 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday, May 13, at 2 p.m. at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

Once again a member of the greatest generation has left us, but he has bequeathed a rich legacy for those who follow.

JUST IN: Monuments Men Foundation’s Robert Edsel Presents Precious Artifacts To The Dallas Holocaust Museum This Morning

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

This morning Monuments Men Foundation Chairman of the Board Robert Edsel was all mic-ed up alongside Holocaust Museum Board Chair-Elect Florence Shapiro at the Museum behind a table. On the other side of the table was a line-up of TV cameras and photographers and spectators. On the table were a very worn book and an aged menorah that were the center of attention because they were treasures of World War II and, thanks to the Monuments Men Foundation, were being presented to the Museum.

Made famous thanks to Robert’s Monuments Men book and the movie, the Foundation has taken up the cause to return such art, cultural objects, and documents to their rightful owners and/or provide for their preservation.

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

The seven-branch menorah was “a souvenir” brought to the States by a World War II vet. Considered truly unique because of its “having only seven branches, it resembles the one lit by Kohanim (priests)at the Holy Temple during Biblical times in Jerusalem. It is a symbol of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The commonly seen nine-branch menorah, called in Hebrew ‘Chanukiyyah,’ is used during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.”

According to Robert, “The Monuments Men Foundation is pleased that after some 70 years, this menorah will now have a permanent and appropriate home at one of our city’s most important cultural institutes, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Now, after a very long journey, it will serve future generations as an ever-present reminder of the horrors inflicted on humanity by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.”

As for the book, it was actually an album “containing 46 tipped-in photographs showing daily work activities of the Monuments Men at the Offenbach Archival Deport, one of three principal collecting points for cultural treasures and works of arts looted by the Nazis during World War II.”

Monuments Officer Captain Isaac Bencowitz, who had been the director of the Offenbach Archival Depot, presented the album to Monuments Man Corporal Rouben Sami for his efforts. Despite its condition, five Monuments Men have been identified in the photos including Monuments Officer Lt. Col. Richard Howard, who was the third director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

As Robert carefully opened the book, he explained, “The Foundation is also excited that the album of photographs documenting the work of the Monuments Men in identifying and returning some of the millions of objects stolen during the war will reside at the Museum.”

As the press conference concluded and the microphones were removed, Robert shared news of another sort with Florence. Not only had he gotten married, but the newlyweds were expecting a baby in August.