Free Simulcast Of The Dallas Opera’s “Madame Butterfly” At The Star Saturday Night Thanks To The Dallas Foundation

How about a freebie Saturday night that’s a bit off the beaten track? The Dallas Opera’s Saturday evening performance of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at the Winspear will be simulcast free at The Star in Frisco. You know you’ve been curious about the Cowboys new digs and the temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 70s.

Hui He*

While the performance starring soprano Hui He and tenor Gianluca Terranova will start at 7:30 p.m., the evening’s program at The Star will begin at 6 p.m. with KLUV’s Jody Dean and The Dallas Opera’s Education program Senior Manager Kristian Roberts.

And the timing is perfect! Just when you’ve totally run out of things to do with the kids during spring break, there will be such pre-performance activities as the Family Fun Zone from 5 to 7 p.m., trivia, behind-the-scenes interviews and a WB Classics presentation of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in “What’s Opera, Doc?

While online registration are already at capacity-load status, walk-ups will be welcomed.

Thank-you notes should be sent to The Dallas Foundation. Why? Because the Foundation is sponsoring the simulcast.

According to The Dallas Foundation President/CEO Mary Jalonick, “The Dallas Foundation has been proud to serve as the Founding Sponsor of The Dallas Opera’s simulcasts at AT&T Stadium since 2012, helping to provide families throughout our community the chance to experience world-class opera in this unique and relaxed setting. This year’s simulcast performance at The Star in Frisco, will offer audiences an opportunity to enjoy one of the most well-known operas in one of our area’s newest event venues.”

BTW, you might want to bring along some hankies for Un Bel Di Vedremo.”

* Photo credit: Karen Almond

Children’s Donor Reception Was Prepared For A Cowboys-Packers Showdown With A Flatscreen In The Dallas Country Club Ballroom

Sundays are usually sorta ho-hum. There are church services and brunches, but otherwise it’s rather calm. And on Sunday, January 15, it should have been especially so, since it was the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend.

That’s why “the Christophers” (Children’s Health President/CEO Chris Durovich and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher) figured it would be ideal for the 2nd Annual Thank You Donors reception at the Dallas Country Club.

What wasn’t predicted was Cowboys wunderkind rookies Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott. Thanks to the Cowboys making it to the NFL playoff and the game being played at AT&T Stadium starting at 4 p.m., the snoozy Sunday was no longer so sleepy.

Then there was the Liener Temerlin’s memorial service at Temple Emanu-El’s Stern Chapel at 3 p.m.

Chris and Christina Durovich

This Sunday was truly going into uber drive.

But then, of course, Mother Nature had to add her two cents with rain.

Luckily, Chris and Brent were prepared for the situation. As Brent chatted in the lobby area, Chris and Christina Durovich officially welcomed guests and let them know that a TV was broadcasting the Cowboys-Packers game at the back of the ballroom just past all the tables filled with goodies.

Randy Muck, Carol Bieler and Brent Christopher

When one guest asked Brent, Carol Bieler and Randy Muck about the Cowboys game, Randy quickly corrected the guest saying it was a “Packers game.” Bow-tied Brent smiled, “Randy’s a Packer’s fan.”

Among the early arrivals were new Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO David Scullin with his wife Susan Scullin, Fran and Bill Carter and Caroline Rose Hunt with Bob Brackbill. Katy and Ken Menges arrived reporting the latest score as they checked in. Katy will be having hip surgery and is glad to have it over with. Annette Leslie sans 25 pounds reported that the Carson Leslie Foundation had ramped up with greater structure.

David and Susan Scullin and Fran and Bill Carter

Katy and Ken Menges

Bob Brackhill and Caroline Rose Hunt

Magda and Dr. Halim Hennes told former Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal that the Children’s ER was on its way to being open. 

Kern Wildenthal and Magda and Halim Hennes

Kern had been an honorary pallbearer at Liener’s services, which were simply flawless with three generations of Temerlins recalling “Papa.” Despite the eloquence of daughter Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and grandson Blake Gottesman, it was great-granddaughter Avery Johl’s telling the story of “The Invisible String” with Rabbi David Stern that was the true memory maker.

In attendance at the service were Gail and Gerald Turner, Marnie Wildenthal, Martha Tiller (sans husband David Tiller, who was preparing for back surgery), Nancy Dedman, Nancy Halbreich, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Melina McKinnon and Michael Cain and Wick Allison.

But back to the Children’s reception. As the party closed down with a hair-pulling end to the Cowboys-Packers game, Ma Nature took over the spotlight with tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms. While disappointed Cowboy fans found themselves holed up at AT&T stadium, the Children’s guests were safe at home.

Dr. Dan DeMarco Got Pretty Gutsy At The Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Luncheon

The word “gut” is usually not one that comes up at lunch. But on Tuesday, December 13, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board literally gutted up to learn about gastrointestinal research and developments.

Paula Walker

Ashley Jones

But before it kicked off, the Board members were entertained by musicians and artists like Ashley Jones from Baylor’s Arts in Medicine program at Sammons Cancer Center. Developed by Bonnie Pittman, the program is provided free-of-charge for cancer patients at Baylor as a creative therapy thanks to a donation by Paula Walker. Another part of the program is for musicians to play at bedside. When the program began in 2015, there were 300 requests for musical practitioners. This past year the monthly rate had risen to more than 2,000.

Margo Goodwin, Leonard Riggs and Annette Simmons

Amy Turner

Jerry Fullinwider and Martha Hackbarth

As guests like Nancy Dedman, Kelly Green, Richard Holt, Kathy Crow, Michal Powell, Amy Turner, Julie Turner, Su-Su Meyer, Leonard Riggs, Annette Simmons, Jerry Fullinwider, Martha Hackbarth, Trisha Wilson, Randi Halsell, Jill Smith, Paul Stoffel, Sharon McCullough, ­­­Lana and Barry Andrews and Tavia Hunt settled in their chairs at the Sammons Cancer Center, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin reported that Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Aileen Pratt and Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale had raised $1.8M for breast cancer research. Taking over the leadership for the 2017 Celebrating Women will be Tucker Enthoven as luncheon chair and Ola Fojasek as underwriting chair. 

Aileen Pratt

Tavia Hunt

With tongue firmly in cheek, Margo explained that due to the day’s subject matter the presentation would be held after the meal was consumed.

No need. For the presentation, Margo and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson had gotten retired Dr. Dan DeMarco to explain the various components of the digestive system. In introducing Dan, Robin admitted that he had done research by reading “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” by Giulia Enders. He described it as “a really cheeky, easy-to-read guide about both the secrets and the science of our digestive system. I recommend it. It’s a neat read.”

Dan DeMarco

And, yes, the topic did have a “yuck factor” about it, but with the charm of a leprechaun and the knowledge and skill of a recognized health care provider, Dan took the SRO crowd through the various steps of the gastrointestinal system, or as Robin put it, “from stem to stern.”

 Dan started off by recalling years ago, an Australian doctor — Dr. Barry Marshall — claimed that bacteria, not acid, caused ulcers. Experts poo-pooed the idea, despite the doctor’s even swallowing bacteria to prove his point. Years later, he was proved right and won the 2005 Noble Prize.  

In addition to “Gut,” Dan suggested another book that was easy-to-read-and-digest: “Gulp” by Mary Roach.

Then he rolled out some facts that impressed one and all.

  • 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut
  • The gut sends emotional signal to the brain — suggesting we “feel” with our gut first.
  • Gastro-intestinal conditions can be seen as the “mental illness” of your gut.
  • Food affects your mood, and not just “comfort food.”
  • You have 10 times as many microbes as cells in your body. The health of these communities determines your overall health. Collectively, these communities are called the microbiome.
  • Digestive insufficiencies contribute to a wide range of health issues, including migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more.
  • Lactose intolerance increases with age.
  • Gluten sensitivity is “relatively rare. It has to be confirmed with blood testing and intestinal biopsy. Certainly people do feel different on a gluten-free diet. People swear by it, but it’s probably not just the gluten. It’s due to other factors.”
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria. With the wide-spread use of antibiotics, the few bacteria that the antibiotics don’t kill get stronger, become resistant and become super bugs. Not everything should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria that help the digestive system.
  • Microbiome is the entire community of germs. By analyzing the microbiome, it is possible to create an individual’s “fingerprint” regarding their makeup. For instance, if antibiotics are given the first two or three years of life, they influence the microbiome.
  • Microbiome may have more of an effect on our makeup and well-being than genetics.
  • Diseases like Parkinsons, Lupus and others may be the result of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome is affected by whether you were born via C-section or natural delivery and if you were breast fed.
  • The gut affects the immune system, moods, personality and attitude. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. The gut is sometimes referred to as “The Second Brain.”
  • The small intestine is 21 feet long, which results in food taking about six hours to reach the colon.

The small intestine’s length was one of the challenges that had faced the medical community in detecting health problems. It was only accessible via the operating room. The traditional colonoscopy could only go so far, Dan said, but he had been involved in the creation of a new treatment combining the Double Balloon Scope and Spiral Component being “dropped from the top down.” The result was the shortening of the intestine “like rolling up your sleeve.” This procedure made it possible for the small intestine to be examined without trauma and reduced the six-hour traditional examination to a mere 30 minutes. It is currently going through national clinical trials for approval.

Another developments that is being tested at Baylor is the TransPyloric Shuttle for moderately overweight people and fecal transplants for colon diseases.

In conclusion, Dan discussed the gastroenterologist fellows program at Baylor in which, each year, two are selected to be part of the three-year program after finishing their training as internal medicine doctors. Emphasizing the need for gastroenterologists, he added that those participating in the fellowship program tended to stay locally.

To summarize his presentation, he suggested three take-home points:

  1. Think outside of the box
  2. Embrace new technology
  3. Keep learning, keep teaching and “support our fellowship program.”

Upon his retirement, Dan and his wife, Dr. Cara East, created an endowment to support a fellowship and, thanks to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, more than a million dollars was raised resulting in the DeMarco Fellow each year that is fully funded.

Jim Turner and Joel Allison

Following Dan’s presentation, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner told the foundation board members about the new Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton and extolled the accomplishments of retiring Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison. Among them: during Joel’s 23-year tenure, he grew Baylor from a $1-billion asset healthcare system to $10 billion today; the merger with Scott & White; heading up 45,000 employees, 48 hospitals and countless other undertakings resulting in Baylor being one of the top ten not-for-profit healthcare companies in the country and the leading not-for-profit in Texas.

While Joel will officially retire on his birthday (Wednesday, February 1), he will remain as an advisor to Jim Turner. This relationship dates back to their days at Baylor University, when Jim was on the basketball team and Joel played football.

Much To Everyone’s Delight, Philanthropy Day Luncheon’s Spotlight Was Once Again Hijacked By The Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy

There are those who worry about the importance that the next generation will place on philanthropy and fundraising. But all they need to do is attend the annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon put on by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Each year, it seems like the recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy knocks it out of the park. This year’s presentation at The Hyatt Regency Dallas on Friday, November 18, once again had youth showstopping despite the eloquence of the elders. Here is a report from the field:

The Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 31st Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, held Friday, November 18, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, honored six of Dallas’ finest philanthropists and volunteers for the differences that they have made in our community. This year’s awards honored Mike Myers as Outstanding Philanthropist; Holly Mayer as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Jim Lewis, CFRE, as Outstanding Fundraising Executive; The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation as Outstanding Foundation; Bank of America as Outstanding Corporation; and the Garage Sale Girls as Outstanding Youth(s) in Philanthropy.

Jeanie Wyatt, Holly Mayer, Jim Lewis, Kristen Lee, Scott Murray, Mike Myers, Victoria Beasley Vanderslice and Bob Beasley*

Judy Wright*

Event chair Tara Judd Longley, CFRE, CPECP, shared a message of gratitude with the crowd of 500, thanking them for their philanthropy, service, dedication, and investment in the future. 2016 AFP Greater Dallas Chapter Board President Judy Wright recognized additional major sponsors South Texas Money Management, Dini Spheris, The Dallas County Community College District Foundation, Texas Health, M. Gale and Associates, Parkland Foundation, Texas Capital Bank, and Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern.

Judy also thank longtime event emcee Scott Murray, along with son Doug Murray, who came on board with Murray Media as the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, producing the videos of the award recipients speaking prior to receiving their awards. 

The Most Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy video was one of the most memorable of the day showcasing the creativity, sense of humor, and hard work of the Garage Sale Girls – a group of childhood friends from Lewisville, who each had one parent diagnosed with cancer within a short time frame. The girls, stunned that cancer had entered each of their families’ lives so close together, decided to make a difference by organizing a garage sale. From 2011-2015, Kristen Lee, Cailee Dennis, Stefanie Doyle and Anna Elkin, raised a combined total of $90,000 to benefit cancer research at the American Cancer Society. 

As Kristen spoke on stage she said they could not believe they were able to make so much money. “I thought the first year we might make $1,000, and we made $5,000! We couldn’t have done it without the help of the community – it was amazing!” The audience roared with laughter at the video which not only showed the girls and their moms organizing the garage sales, but also included comical scenes of group driving around “dumpster diving” to find items to sell. The final scene in the video showed the group – cue the theme song from “Sanford and Son” – driving off in a red truck loaded with lots of “stuff.” Kristen Lee accepted the award on behalf of the other girls who were competing in the NCAA soccer tournament that day and could not attend the luncheon. All of the girls are freshmen at the University of Arkansas. As Scott Murray visited with Kristen on stage, he suggested they might take a selfie showing the audience behind them to text to the girls who couldn’t be there. 

Kristen Lee and Scott Murray*

He asked her for advice to the audience. She concluded, “If you have a dream, go for it! She referenced her conversation (at the age of 12) with her mom about her garage sale idea. She said her mom said, “Sure, honey, whatever…you’ll raise $10.” But she went for it anyway, and her mom and dad are her biggest cheerleaders.  

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Jim Lewis shared the most rewarding thing about fundraising is that it’s a team game, humbly acknowledging that “any significant gift in which I have been involved has had many fingerprints in it.” He went on to say his role is merely one of a facilitator working on behalf of a cause and assisting those who are the difference makers through their philanthropy.  He also gave a moving tribute to his late wife Cheryl, whom he lost last January, and gratefully accepted the award on her behalf and in recognition of countless other spouses who have made great but significant contributions “ to support folks like me who endeavor to serve the greater good through our work.”

Sammye and Mike Myers*

Outstanding Philanthropist Mike Myers shared that his personal inspiration for giving was his mother. “As a school teacher and Sunday School teacher, she taught me the importance of giving. She not only talked the talk, she walked the walk.  It was through her example and guidance that I developed a compassion for and a commitment to those who need a helping hand.”

Attendees included Mary Brinegar, Brent Christopher, Ruben Esquivel, Ed Fjordbak, Sarah Losinger, Michael Meadows, Jay McAuley, Lynn McBee, Helen and Frank Risch, Bob Thornton, Lynn Vogt and Jeanie Wyatt.

Scott Murray concluded the luncheon, thanking all for coming to celebrate the impact philanthropy has in our communities and encouraging everyone to note the date for next year – Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

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.

EducationalFirstSteps Pays It Forward To Momentous Institute Thanks To An Anonymous Santa

While a heck of a lot of folks have already headed out for the holidays or have taken extended lunch breaks to shop, the Momentous Institute team has been hard at work at their office. Imagine their surprise Monday when “two people wearing Santa Hats, only identifying themselves as ‘mystery guests,’ dropped by” with an envelope.

And it didn’t contain a Christmas card. Nope.

Note from anonymous Santa*

Inside was a note and a letter from the “Mystery Friend” that explained, “You should know this gift was made possible by your friends at EducationalFirstSteps. In the spirit of giving and paying it forward, I recently asked them to name another local agency whose work they admired — and they selected yours!”

Patty Pickard and Jessica Slie Trudeau*

Along with the note was a check for $10,000, much to the amazement of Momentous Institute Senior Director of Finance Patty Pickard and Senior Director of Development Strategic Partnership Jessica Slie Trudeau.

In other words, an anonymous Santa allowed one nonprofit play Santa by helping another nonprofit.

* Photos provided by 
Momentous Institute

The Trinity Trust Friends And Fans Gather To Toast Annette Simmons’ $50M Gift For Trinity River Park Launch

It’s not every day that a city gets a $50M gift. But then every city doesn’t have Annette Simmons! To celebrate the announcement of Annette’s gift to commemorate her late husband Harold Simmons and to get things hustling for the creation of the Trinity River Park, city officials and longtime Trinity Trust staffers and friends gathered on Wednesday, November 9, to toast the news at Saint Rocco’s New York Italian. Here’s a report from the field:

On November 9, The Trinity Trust gathered its supporters to celebrate Annette Simmons’ $50 million historic gift to the Trinity River Park with a “Toast to the Trinity.” Taking place on the rooftop of Saint Rocco’s New York Italian restaurant overlooking the Dallas skyline and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, this location was also where Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the gift in honor of Annette’s late husband, Harold Simmons, just the previous week.

Trinity River Park illustrations*

The gift will launch development and construction of the first phase of Trinity River Park that encompasses more than 285 acres of land near downtown Dallas. With approval from the City Council, the park will be named the Harold Simmons Park, which will stretch from the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge to the Margaret McDermott Bridge or about 200 of the 285 acres.

The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rats and guests sipped wine and beer and noshed on Italian appetizers and watched the sun set. As the sun went down, the remarks began. The Trinity Trust President Gail Thomas said, “This is such as moment. As we crossed the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, I remember Jane Jacobs saying that as the sun is setting and shines on the glass buildings, the reflection puts her in her high heart. This gift has been a dream come true. Thank you to the Simmons family for believing in this project.”

Craig Holcomb and Monica Alonzo*

Joe Crafton and Amy Simmons Crafton*

Deputy Mayor Monica Alonzo, whose district includes the park area, welcomed everyone to her district and shared in the excitement of the news.

Representing the family, Amy Simmons Crafton said, “This park is something my dad would have been proud to do. Someday, this will be an incredible park. We’re proud to be associated with the park. We’re ready to hike and bike in it.”

Nancy Cain Marcus and Nelda Cain Pickens*

Garrett Boone and Lucy Hale*

Electra Harelson, Tori Mannes, Stewart Thomas and Gail Thomas*

Those in attendance included Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas Assistant City Manager Mark McDaniel and his wife Cindy; The Trinity Trust Board Members Garrett Boone and Nancy Cain Marcus; Nelda Cain Pickens, Lynlee and Dave Forehand; new Trinity River Audubon Center Director Lucy Hale; Trinity Commons Foundation’s Craig Holcomb; Gail Thomas’ three children: Stewart Thomas, Tori Mannes and Electra Harelson, their spouses and some of their children.

* Photo credit: Jerry McClure

According To Lisa Singleton, “The Nonprofit Life Is No Party”

Nonprofits deserve respect. Some out-of-touch types still consider the fundraising sector as goody-two-shoe people who use guilt and pity to get a donation. Those unknowing ones probably still think the buggy whip will make a comeback.

A remarkable article was recently written by Dallas volunteer fundraiser/ Brunswick Group Director Lisa Singleton for the Brunswick Review about the professionalism of nonprofits especially in North Texas. It’s an easy read and reveals how area nonprofits, like any for-profit corporation, applied practices and strategy to not just rebound but to tackle the growing needs of the 21st century.    

By Lisa Singleton*

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

As the economy tightened after 2008 and corporate boards came under intense pressure to deliver for shareholders, the nonprofit world was also struggling. Charitable giving dwindled, straining the ability of organizations to fulfill their missions, and more donors sought closer accountability for their contributions.

Nonprofit boards were forced to evolve. Once considered pastimes for the leisure class, today they operate much more as for-profits do, with strong business people at the helm and rigorous expectations for members. No longer can they afford to be seen as volunteer opportunities or social stepping stones – the purview of those who want to use the board to broaden their network or increase their standing in the community. Donors who want to have their name on the board but do little else are finding few open doors.

“It’s not just well-intentioned people running these organizations, as in the past,” says Paige Flink, Executive Director of The Family Place, the largest service provider for victims of family violence in the Dallas area. “What we are seeing now are nonprofit leaders with distinct skills suited to advancing the organization.”

Paige Flink (File photo)

Rowland “Robin” Robinson (File photo)

Rowland K. Robinson, President of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation in Dallas, says expectations are changing. “The nonprofit business is extremely competitive,” he says, “and the board needs to reflect the environment where dollars are under pressure.”

Robinson looks for directors who can offer an exact mix of resources and skills to best support fundraising efforts.

“I look for three characteristics: a connection with my organization; passion for what we do; and resources – either their own or from elsewhere, but they need access to the means to give. I need all three from my members.”

Mary Anne Alhadeff (File photo)

Mary Anne Alhadeff, CEO of North Texas Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit media organization, agrees: “If someone is searching for a board seat to raise their profile or for personal gain, we are not the right fit. I need business people who are passionate advocates for what we do. My donors are my shareholders, and I need to keep them happy. The right board can make that happen.”

The professionalization of the nonprofit board brings inherent challenges that would seem familiar to any publicly traded corporation, such as succession planning, term limits and director evaluation. Putting best practices into place can make all the difference.

“The term for a board chair can have a significant impact on an organization,” says Alhadeff. Term limits and other structural parameters need to be balanced to deliver the organization’s vision, she says. Board member responsibilities and measures of effectiveness need to be spelled out for the relationship with management to be successful.

“At The Family Place, in vetting potential board members, we communicate the expectations clearly, up front,” says Flink. “Then, a board ‘report card’ is compiled at the start of each year – did they do what was outlined? Did they deliver against expectations? There is very real accountability.”

Both Robinson and Alhadeff stress that effective executive or advisory committees are critically important. While the full board can be effective as ambassadors for an organization, these smaller panels function as advisers for the CEO and management staff and are often where the real work gets done.

In the end, getting board dynamics right is critical to the ability of any nonprofit to fulfill its mission.

“The board of directors can be the single biggest threat to a nonprofit,” says Alhadeff, “but also its single biggest opportunity to achieve its goals.”

– See more at: https://www.brunswickgroup.com/publications/brunswick-review/boardroom-issue-10/nonprofit-boards/#sthash.wyvDFNIi.dpuf

* Reprinted courtesy of Brunswick Group

JUST IN: The Trinity Trust’s Dr. Gail Thomas To Retire At The End Of The Year

When a mama bird has hatched her eggs and raised her chicks to venture out on their own, she gently kicks them out of the nest to grow and fly on their own.

Gail Thomas (File photo)

Well, for Dallas’ Trinity River Corridor Project, mother hen Dr. Gail Thomas has been leading the effort for 20 years to create the long-envisioned project. During her tenure at The Trinity Trust, more than $105M has been raised, helping create the Dallas CityDesign Studio, the two Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges — Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Margaret McDermott Bridge — as well as the Continental Bridge’s transformation into a pedestrian/bicycle bridge. To accomplish these feats required assembling a stellar group of community leaders to join the effort, hand-holding of philanthropists, negotiating the tight wire of government and politico types and working with a countless variety of organizations.

Back in October it was announced that Annette Simmons had gifted $50M for the Trinity River Park.

Gail’s “chick” is headed to fulfilling her “life-long vision — a central park for Dallas.”

But instead of kicking the chick out of the nest, The Trinity Trust CEO/President Gail is leaving the nest herself at the end of the year.

Deedie Rose (File photo)

It was just announced that she is retiring at the end of December “to focus on the next chapter of her life by completing and publishing her fifth book and spending long weekends at her East Texas home with her large family.”

According to The Trinity Trust Board of Directors Chair Deedie Rose, “When a park is finally realized within the Trinity River basin, it will be due in large measure because of the persistence and careful nurturing by Gail Thomas of a dream held by so many people for decades. Gail believes absolutely in the idea that people from all parts of the city can be connected through nature, through a park, with a river running through it.”

As for the future of The Trinity Trust, it will “move into its next stage, to be guided by a new director and to be renamed the Trinity Park Conservancy.”

For the official press release about the announcement, just follow the jump! [Read more…]

Radiothon Revealed A Story How Lacey Parker’s Half Heart Was Made Whole At Children’s Medical Center 12 Years Ago This Month

Jody Dean, Lacey Parker, Renee Parker and Jenny Q

Lacey Parker and her mom Renee Parker came from DeSoto to chat with KLUV’s Jody Dean and Jenny Q this afternoon at Children’s Medical Center for the fundraiser Radiothon, joining folks like Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates, Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s former President Dr. Kern Wildenthal and ADT’s Jessica Short and Dolly Lynch.

Lori Wagoner, Kern Wildenthal and Heidi Cannella

Jessica Short and Dolly Lynch

Connie Yates

That doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Only it wasn’t DeSoto, Texas. The pair came 200 miles from Stonewall, Louisiana, where Lacey attends North DeSoto Middle School.

But the trek wasn’t new for the two. They’ve made the trip twice a year for the past 12 years.

It was in 2004 that Renee discovered that she was six months pregnant and ended up giving birth to Lacey two months later. The moment she saw her daughter, she knew Lacey had Down’s Syndrome. No problem for the Parker family.

But there was a problem. The infant was blue. The doctors at the first hospital more or less told the parents to love Lacey as much as they could, because she probably wouldn’t last three weeks.

Upon hearing the news, Renee was so upset, she went to the bathroom and cried. So much so that the janitor had to remove the door to get Renee out.

Luckily, the Parkers sought a second opinion at Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center and learned that the bottom of Lacey’s heart was missing. So, at the age of six months, she had open heart surgery at the hands of Dr. Stephen Leonard.

But before the delicate, six- to eight-hour-long surgery took place in December 2004, Dr. Leonard and the Parkers made an agreement: if it appeared that they were losing Lacey, he would call them to the “back door” to say “good-bye.”  

After four hours, they got the call. Arriving at the doors and prepared for the worst, they saw Dr. Leonard with Lacey in his arms. For the first time ever, their little girl had a healthy pink color. She went home four days later.

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker

Since that time, Lacey has been picked for her middle school cheerleading team and was named Miss Amazing for Louisiana and then Miss National Princess for Miss Amazing.

Her reaction at becoming a cheerleader was taped and went viral and was viewed by millions. The result? Lacey was featured on “Good Morning America,” CNN and the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

That story had those in Children’s Medical Center’s Butterfly Atrium spellbound. But then Jody, Jenny Q and Lacey broke the moment with the question of, “What’s your favorite professional football team?” Louisiana Lacey replied, “The Saints.” Jenny Q pushed the envelope and asked what Lacey’s second favorite team was … “Perhaps a Texas team?” Lacey didn’t hesitate: “No.”

La Grande team

Those are the kind of stories that are being broadcast Friday over KLUV 98.7 and La Grande.

The hope is that donations will be made for little ones like Lacey to have a chance to cheer.

Karl Zinsmeister’s Talk Included Some Tabasco For Food For Thought At Communities Foundation Of Texas’ Annual Fundholders Dinner

Philanthropy is not all give, give, give. There are a lot of others perks besides sleeping very well at night. For instance, the fundholders at Communities Foundation of Texas are not only appreciated, they’re celebrated annually at an annual dinner. This year’s supper took place on Tuesday, November 1, at CFT (of course!) with keynote speaker/author Karl Zinsmeister, who wrote “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” You might be surprised how Tabasco sauce played a part in American philanthropy. Here’s a report from the field:   

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

It was a lovely evening, celebrating Communities Foundation of Texas’ fund holders and hearing from Karl Zinsmeister. Those attending included Jim and Judy Gibbs, Mary Anne Cree, Patrick Esquerre, Rila and Harvey Ladd, Cindy Simmons, Amelia Barber, Elizabeth Liser, Scott Sweet, Cathy Sweet, Sarah Higdon, Carolyn Tobin, Kristen Parrish and 150 more. CFT board Frank Risch welcomed fund holders to the annual dinner and gave a big congratulations to all staff and fund holders for the incredible $37 million success of North Texas Giving Day. Then he introduced Zinsmeister.

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Frank Risch*

Frank Risch*

Zinsmeister showed photos and told stories from his almanac “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” Stories centered around three things: great donors, great accomplishments and great ideas. He opened with a neat story about Ned McIlhenny, the maker of Tabasco and how he saved the egret as well as 150 Negro spirituals…both of which would have been lost to time without his efforts. He also talked about Alfred Loomis, who funded the development of radar which helped win World War II, and George Eastman, a chemist who built MIT as well as the Eastman School of Music, among many other important efforts.

Karl Zinsmeister*

Karl Zinsmeister*

Zinsmeister also talked about 80% of giving being from regular individuals citing the founding of almost all Ohio colleges being from farmers pooling their money, all presidents’ homes being saved and run by volunteer groups, etc. He talked about the rise of the internet and the hacker’s code and how giving is like that already. (yep! Like #NTxGivingDay!)

Susan Swan Smith ended with a reminder to register for GiveWisely, and for fund holders to join us for CFT’s annual volunteer event at North Texas Food Bank.

It was a very inspirational evening. Perhaps several locals in the crowd will be the ones for the history books and next edition of this philanthropic hall of fame.

* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

“Serial Entrepreneur”/Philanthropist Extraordinaire Lyda Hill To Receive 2017 Linz Award

Lyda Hill (File photo)

Lyda Hill (File photo)

Orange-loving philanthropist Lyda Hill has been selected to receive the 88th Annual Linz Award*.

Even before taking Warren Buffett‘s My Philanthropy Pledge, Lyda was hands-on in philanthropy as well as entrepreneurship. She doesn’t just write a check; she gets out there and gets involved.

According to Junior League of Dallas sages, when their Inwood Road headquarters was just in the hope-it-happens stage, Lyda went door-to-door visiting with neighbors to explain how the new facility would fit in with their lives.

Lyda will accept the award at the annual Linz Award Luncheon on Wednesday, March 8, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Benefiting the Junior League of Dallas, the event is presented by The Dallas Morning News and Zales.

* Please note that in the original Dallas Morning News write-up

  • the date of the luncheon was mistakenly reported as Monday, March 6. It is actually Wednesday, March 8. However, if you would like to show up a couple of days early at the Omni, the staff will be glad to accommodate you.
  • Lyda’s “legendary oilman grandfather” was described as “H.L. Hill.” It is believed they meant “H.L Hunt.” 

Hopefully, the misinformation has been corrected.

With Pumpkins And Lessons From Mom, Ashlee Kleinert Provided Theta’s Heart To Heart Luncheon Guests With Food For Thought

In the world of North Texas fundraising, experts worried their brows about the days between Wednesday, October 26 and Saturday, October 29. It was going to be a slam-bang period and it started with those kite flying Dallas Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae at Brook Hollow.

Becky Bright

Becky Bright

Mary Mencke and Kristi Hoyl

Mary Mencke and Kristi Hoyl

Robin Bagwell and Sarah Rathjen

Robin Bagwell and Sarah Rathjen

Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele

The ladies including Becky Bright, Mary Mencke, Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon, Sarah Rathjen, Beth Thoele, Robin Bagwell and Kristi Hoyl discovered that in addition to lunching on Brook Hollow’s fav pecan crusted chicken, they were also going to have an art class courtesy of keynote speaker/Theta Ashlee Kleinert.

Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon and Ashlee Kleinert

Kathy Vassallo, Susan Gordon and Ashlee Kleinert

Muffin Lemak and DeeDee Lee

Muffin Lemak and DeeDee Lee

Carol Goglia and Jane Pierce

Carol Goglia and Jane Pierce

Arriving with a tote filled with canvases, Ashlee was one of the late arrivals. Earlier DeeDee Lee explained why her recent skin cancer surgery on her wrist had prevented her from wearing her signature charm bracelet. She also revealed that she was celebrating her 31st wedding anniversary that day with husband Jim LeeMuffin Lemak’s eyes looked bright and clear after a “stint” with shines in the eye. But the luncheon wasn’t for fashion notes and catching up… And the fundraiser wasn’t limited to Thetas. Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna Carol Goglia tagged along with her Theta mom Jane Pierce.

Luncheon Chair Anne Besser and Theta Alumnae President Maury Cunningham had crafted their program perfectly blending KAT’s beneficiary Dallas CASA with the day’s program.

Anne Besser and Maury Cunningham

Anne Besser and Maury Cunningham

Kathleen LaValle

Kathleen LaValle

After Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle told of the need for funds and volunteers and thanked the sorority for its support, Ashlee displayed a couple of her canvases featuring paintings of pumpkins on easels on stage. She then instructed guests that thanks to sheets of paper and markers, they were to draw pumpkins. She also added that the markers would find after life at Dallas CASA.

As the guests created pumpkins, Ashlee told a story from years ago when she was a young mother living in Tulsa with husband Chris Kleinert. Being a first-time mom, she was in need of sleep, pampering and having her mother take over the infant for a break.

Nancy Ann Hunt

Nancy Ann Hunt

Barbara Starz Nathan

Barbara Starz Nathan

Upon returning to Dallas for R&R, she woke up to find her mom (Nancy Ann Hunt) gone for a meeting. But while Ashlee missed out on the pampering, she soon learned about “The Art of Giving.” It seems that Nancy Ann had left her tired daughter and granddaughter for a meeting at the Austin Street Shelter, where she learned a tidbit.

Upon returning home, Nancy Ann told Ashlee to get in the car, so they could buy headsets. Hmm. This development raised some eyebrows in the Brook Hollow ballroom. Strange POA.

But Ashlee explained that Nancy Ann had learning in the meeting that many of the Austin Street clients suffered from schizophrenia and heard voices. Experts had found that “hearing voices” could be overshadowed by other noise…like those coming via a headset.

This experience provided Ashlee with an epiphany that introduced Ashlee to giving. Over the years, Ashlee and Chris created Ruthie’s Food Trucks, Executives in Action and spearheaded countless fundraising efforts within North Texas.

She then told how one act of giving can spread and gave an example of the Akola Project that she’s heading up. It started with Brittany Underwood’s small step years ago when she was a SMU student and went to Uganda. There she saw the poor conditions and organized women to make jewelry. It was so successful that she arranged to have 100 women in need to also join the Akola effort creating jewelry. This grassroots efforts came to the attention of Neiman Marcus, who included the line in the specialty store’s merchandise. Because of Brittany’s “small step,” women have been employed, schools have been improve and healthier conditions have been provided for those in Uganda.

After Ashlee concluded her talk, guests displayed their masterpieces and Luncheon Chair Anne took on the role of live auctioneer.

Seems Ashlee had offered the Ruthie’s food truck to be put up for bid for fundraising. The package included the truck providing meals for 50 people. The value was $1,000. Goodness! Maybe Anne should go into the auction business. Within a matter of a couple of minutes, she had the bidding up to $1,500. With a nod from the Ashlee and her team, Anne was able to offer the package twice for $1,600 each.

Thanks To Spirit Halloween, Children’s Ghouls And Goblins Had Their Pick For Halloween Garb

Racks of costumes

Racks of costumes

Despite trailing mobile IVs or being chauffeured in red wagons, the Children’s patients were just typical kids warming up for Halloween in the Children’s Medical Center Dallas’ Butterfly Atrium on Thursday, October 13.

There were racks of brand new costumes just ripe for the pickings. The children were able to shop for the ultimate perfecto costume just in time for trick and treating. They also had a chance to pick up backpacks, play games, have their faces painted and, of course, test out treats.

Andrea

Andrea

Payslea

Payslea

While some like Andrew hit the tables to apply crayons to paper, others like Payslea got a new look thanks to the face painters.

Even the Children’s therapy dogs got into the spirit of the day giving licks instead of tricks to fellows like Jesus.

Jesus

Jesus

It was all made possible by Spirit Halloween’s fundraising arm Spirit of Children. In addition to providing and hosting the party for the kids, the company has provided a total of $670,816 for Children’s Medical Center Foundation. The Spirit of Children was established in 2006 to help “make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween and funding all year long.” Joining the Spirit Halloween volunteers and staffers were members of Child Life, too.

Spirit of Children representatives

Spirit of Children representatives

To be very honest, it was hard to tell who was having more fun — the youngsters or oldsters.

BTW, the voting on the Children’s Medical Center Dallas’ cutest Howl-oween pooch is still going on. Just check out the Children’s ad on the right side of this page before it’s too late.

JUST IN: Wilkinson Center’s 2017 Can Do! Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele Reveals Plans Including Awardees

Can Do! Luncheon (File photo)

Can Do! Luncheon (File photo)

One of those luncheons that always makes people feel good about their neighbors and their community is the Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon. While only five years old, it has already gained a reputation for highlighting the accomplishments of the well-known and should-be-known types.

Beth Thoele, who will also be chairing the Equest Women’s Auxiliary’s fall luncheon, is heading up the Can Do! Luncheon on Tuesday, May 9, at the Dallas Country Club.

Beth Thoele (File photo)

Beth Thoele (File photo)

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert (File photo)

As for the awardees, who represent the entrepreneurship in philanthropy, they will include the Texas Real Estate Council, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert and “a Wilkinson Center client.”

JUST IN: Annette Simmons Donates $50M For The Creation Of The 155-Acre Harold Simmons Park

Harold and Annette Simmons (File photo)

Harold and Annette Simmons (File photo)

The late Harold Simmons was a philanthropist who loved Dallas and the outdoors. It is with this in mind that his widow, Annette Simmons, made a $50M donation to create the Harold Simmons Park along the Trinity River.

The 155-acre park will extend from the Margaret McDermott Bridge to the Ronald Kirk Bridge.

According to the POA, the initial $10M will be expended by the (Trinity) Trust “for the purposes of planning, designing, promoting and construction the Park.” If all things go as planned, the remaining $40M will be used for governance, management and operations of the park.

The Dallas Foundation Bus Tour Provided Donors With A Firsthand Look At Bonton Farms And Encore Park

One of the advantages of being part of an organization like The Dallas Foundation is the ability to come together for site visits of one of the nonprofits that aren’t on the radar. On Wednesday, October 5, the Foundation donors had the opportunity to check out Bonton Farms and Encore Park. While both are rich in history, they have also had their share of rough times. Thanks to philanthropic efforts by The Dallas Foundation and others, those situations are changing for the better. Here is a report from the field:

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes, Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

From the left: Judy Townley, Anne Holmes, Laura J. Brown, Lesley Martinelli, Steve Holmes,
Sarah Burns, Sara Ahr, Helen Holman, Jenny Mullen, Steven Engwall, Claudia DeMoss, Lydia
Addy, Carol Noble and Lori Giesler*

Intrepid Dallas Foundation donors spent an unseasonably warm October day exploring two unique urban experiments: Bonton Farms  in South Dallas and downtown’s Encore Park . Led by Director of Donor Services Lesley Martinelli and Chief Philanthropy Officer Helen Holman, the donors boarded a shuttle bus to the Bonton neighborhood.

Daron Babcock*

Daron Babcock*

The shuttle stopped at Bonton Farms, a two-acre spread snuggled up against the levee at the end of Bexar Street. The farm’s executive director Daron Babcock came on board to give a brief guided tour of the area.

Babcock explained that the historic African-American neighborhood was built in a floodplain, had two large public housing projects and devastated by floods and crime in the 1980s and 90s.

Today, the neighborhood is improving. The housing projects were torn down and replaced with new subsidized apartments. Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity built 133 houses on vacant lots. And Bonton Farm is growing fresh food which providing employment and business opportunities. The farm won The Dallas Foundation’s $50,000 Pegasus Prize for creative solutions to community challenges last year.

Bonton Farms' goat*

Bonton Farms’ goat*

Donors walked past rows of peppers, collard greens, lettuce and cabbage. The oversize garden grows 20,000 – 30,000 pounds of produce annually, Babcock said. The visitors were impressed. Their expressions turned to amusement as they stepped inside the goat pen. The farm’s small flock of brown and white Nubian goats gently swarmed the visitors and were rewarded with head-rubbing and back-petting. The donors stopped by the chicken coop, smiled at the Berkshire sow and finished their tour at a shed where visitors can purchase farm-produced honey and eggs.

The next stop was Encore Park in downtown Dallas. An outreach project of First Presbyterian Church and The Stewpot, Encore Park is in the process of reclaiming a historic building to highlight the city’s role in blues and western music, and create a new, safe space for homeless and housed Dallasites to get to know one another.

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

Jenny Mullen and Christy Coltrin*

After enjoying boxed lunches at the church, donors headed across Young Street to The Stewpot and its Open Art studio. Colorful paintings and drawings created by the studio’s homeless artists covered every wall. Visitors learned about the program’s art classes and shows, then went back out into the heat to see Encore Park, its mural and 508 Park.

The group entered the long-abandoned Art Deco building at 508 Park, which was built in 1929 as a film warehouse and became a field recording studio in the 1930s. Blues legend Robert Johnson recorded there, as did Bob Wills and even Eric Clapton. The visitors marveled at the (nonfunctioning) elevator with its manually operated glass doors and the marble floor in the foyer.

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

Donors atop 508 Park Building*

The group climbed the staircase to the second floor, with its large banks of windows, which will eventually be the Open Art studio’s new home. Then it was on to the third floor, which will become a recording studio for the community. Last, the visitors headed up to the roof, which provided a great view of Encore Park’s community garden and outdoor amphitheater.

The Dallas Foundation is so pleased to be able to provide educational opportunities such as the Donor Bus Tour, which allows our donors to experience firsthand the inspiration and creative work of organizations like Bonton Farms and Encore Park.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

JUST IN: Plans Revealed For Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance’s Capital Campaign

Frank Risch is a very busy fellow. He’s headed up the search for the Communities Foundation of Texas CEO. The buzz is that the decision on Brent Christopher’s successor should be announced soon.

Now, word just arrived from the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance that Frank is co-chairing the “Building a Foundation of Hope” capital campaign to raise the remainder of the $61M for building a 50,000-square-foot museum that will be “a new permanent home in the West End Historic District. The new museum will be named Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.”

Frank Risch (File photo)

Frank Risch (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

The museum “has already raised two thirds of the funds it needs to start construction, which will take about two years to complete. More than $43 million has been raised.”

According to Museum President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins, “At a time when Texas leads the nation in the number of active hate groups, and the Dallas community is still healing from the July 7th attack on local law enforcement officers, the most violent and hateful act against law enforcement officers since 9/11, we believe the mission of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is more important than ever.”

Mary Pat explains that due to running out of space in the current rented facility, the museum was “limited in the number of visitors we can see at one time, and many schools and thousands of students are not able to visit as their class sizes are too large for our current museum. We have been forced to move many of our events to other venues. These are all wonderful problems to have, but we urgently have to address our community’s need for education surrounding the history of the Holocaust and it’s all too relevant lessons. This need has led our board to unanimously approve the ‘Building a Foundation of Hope’ capital campaign to create the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.”

Built in the parking lot near Houston Street and the DART Rail corridor, the new museum will feature new exhibit galleries on human rights and American ideals, a 250-seat theater, new classrooms, an expanded library and archive, modern technology throughout, a special reflections and memorial area for visitors and much more.

So far capital campaign donors have included:

  • $10,000,000: Ann and Nate Levine
  • $3,000,000-$4,999,999: Carol and Steve Aaron
  • $1,000,000-$2,999,999: Edward and Wilhelmina Ackerman Family Foundation, Alon USA Energy Inc., Janet and Jeffrey Beck, The Brown Family, Cinemark, Cynthia and Robert Feldman, Funk Families, Estate of Lilian Furst, Glazer Family, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Sherry and Kenny Goldberg, Dot and Basil Haymann, The Hirsch Family Foundation, Helen and Frank Risch, Simmons Sisters Fund, Donna and Herbert Weitzman and Peggy and Mark Zilbermann

Communities Foundation Of Texas’ GiveWisely Has Been Adjusted To Meet Demanding Schedules Of Future Philanthropists

For newbies entering the universe of philanthropy, it can be a pretty overwhelming experience. After all there are so many choices and so many nonprofits seeking financial support. But why venture through the experience alone? That was the thinking of the Communities Foundation of Texas when they created the GiveWisely Series four years ago.

Communities Foundation of Texas logo*

Communities Foundation of Texas logo*

Unlike years past when they offered a schedule of classes, they’ve expanded the 2017 GiveWisely program to two course offerings — 2017 Core Series and 2017 Two-Day Course — at Communities Foundation of Texas to help folks learn the shortcuts, pitfalls and advantages of philanthropy.

  • 2017 Core Series will be a continuation of the original series that include five weekly classes on Wednesday nights (January 25, February 1, February 8, February 15 and February 22) from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • 2017 Two-Day Course will be a “condensed two-day course” on Saturday mornings (January 28 and February 11) from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

On the afternoon of Saturday, February 11, both groups will “participate in a facilitated site visit of a local non-profit.” The lesson learned here will be “How to Conduct a site Visit.”

The class topics will include

  • Identifying Your Values — What are your core values? How do they show up in your giving- or do they? Discussing values, personal giving statements and charitable budgets.
  • Pinpointing Your Passions — This session will guide you through further identifying your philanthropic values, goals and legacy- and effectively communicating your giving philosophy with family, friends and the nonprofit community.
  • Evaluating Effectiveness — Understanding community needs and assessing nonprofits to bring your personal perspective to bear on solving community problems.
  • Philanthropist Panel — Hear from a panel of philanthropists and discuss the challenges, successes and impact of giving.
  • Beyond the Class: Keeping Focus and Impact in Your Giving — Finalize your personal giving statements and your charitable budget for the year ahead in this workshop session.

According to CFT’s Director of Donor Services Elizabeth Liser, “Every donor has their own unique approach to philanthropy, but whether starting or re-evaluating their journey, many have asked us for guidance in developing a clear plan, evaluating community needs and assessing which investments will have the most impact. GiveWisely helps them fine-tune the process of determining where their charitable dollars can go.”

Each member will make a tax deductible $500 gift to Communities Foundation of Texas, to be directed to the nonprofit of their choosing at the end of the class. Unlike years past there will be a fee for those who are not current CFT fund holders. It will be $250 for 2017 Core Series and $125 per individual for 2017 Two-Day Course. The deadline for applications is Thursday, December 1.

* Graphic provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

Zoo To Do Patrons Celebrated The Zoo Brothers High Atop Dump Top

The Zoo Brothers are not a new all-boy rap group. Nor are they Pokémon critters. They made their official debut at at the Zoo To Do patron party on Thursday, September 22 at Mary McDermott Cook’s Dump Top home. With the Margaret Hunt Hill and Margaret McDermott bridges in the background, the Brothers (Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy) reported on their co-chairing efforts for the Dallas Zoo fundraiser on Saturday, October 1.

Don Winspear

Don Winspear

Being  gents, they  first tipped their chapeaus to the previous chairs of the Dallas Zoo fundraiser. Then they fessed up that despite their manning up for the event, there were ladies behind the scenes attributing to their already earning more than $1.1M. Gals like the wives (Diane Brierley, Carol Glendenning and Carol Levy), Honorary Chair Mary McD (Don claimed that he considers the zoo to be Mary’s Zoo), Decoration Chair Ellen Winspear and Committee Co-Chairs Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Christy Berry.

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

Don Glendenning, John Levy and Hal Brierley

But when the rubber hit the road, Hal admitted that, in the past, the boys had always taken the role of showing up, sipping drinks and behaving. They now had greater respect for what their better halves and female pals had pulled off for so many fundraising events. Cracked Hal: “It’s a lot easier to be a spouse.”

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

The top lady of admiration was Mary, who in addition to hosting the patron party (“the hostest with the mostest”) was serving as the Silver Safari honorary chair and heading up the Eugene McDermott Foundation that is the presenting sponsor.

Barbara Daseke

Barbara Daseke

Joan Walne

Joan Walne

Other gals being recognized by the Zoo Brothers were Dallas Zoo Board of Directors Chair Joan Walne and Live Auction Chair Barbara Daseke, who has produced one of the most incredible collection of live auction items. Like what? How about a behind-the-scenes, meet-and-adore for six people to see the Dallas Zoo’s Swaziland elephants, including the new baby elephant and mama? Then the six will board a private jet to Kansas for a catered lunch and another behind-the-scenes tour of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo to check out their Swaziland elephants. Once again the six will board the jet and fly to Wichita, to see the last group of Swaziland transplants and enjoy cocktails at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Then they’ll head on home to Dallas. And they won’t have to pack a single trunk.

Winspear

Winspear

Another junket is on board American Airlines (first-class, of course) to Washington, D.C. “for an up-close viewing of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s newest panda, Bei Bei. You will be hosted by Executive Director Dennis Kelly and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo. Later in the day, visit a second Smithsonian museum for another VIP behind-the-scenes tour.”

And that’s just a couple of the packages!

As soon as the presentation on the third level was done, guests were directed to the ground level to check out Winspear the cheetah. Gee, that guy doesn’t need an agent. He’s a vet at posing for photos without a bribe.

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Tiffany Divis, Ellen Winspear, Diane Gruber and Kathy Holt

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

Carol Levy and Alan Walne

In the crowd were Kathy and Richard Holt, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Ellen and Don Winspear, Diane and Mike Gruber, Jan and Fred Hegi, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Kim and Greg Hext, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Lois Finkelman, Dan Branch with daughter Sarah, Gregg Hudson, Sean Green and Holly Bock Deason.

The Dallas Zoo’s Laurie Holloway was like a proud parent showing video of 7-year-old Amahle taking a dip in the Giants of the Savanna pond. It seems that some folks are mistakenly thinking Amahle is the Swaziland baby who was born at the Dallas Zoo just after his mom arrived.

Regarding the new five-month-old calf and his mom, they’re doing wonderfully. Word has it that if baby boy is separated from mom, he is known to raise his trunk and let the world know that he’s a mama’s boy.

As for his public debut, it’s due to take place soon. BTW, he’s weighing in at around 300 pounds.

And speaking of being well fed, Zoo To Do Chief Chef Chris McDord of Abacus has arrange for the following chefs to prepare feasts throughout the Zoo including Chef Brad Phillips of Asador, Chef Matt Balke of Bolsa, Chef Omar Flores of Casa Rubia, Chef Lan Nickews of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Dallas Affaires Cake Company,  Chef Brandon McCann of Dallas Zoo Catering, Chef Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Chef Meaders Ozarow of Empire Baking Company, Chef Jacob Williamson of Five- Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Chrysta Ordonez of Hypnotic Doughnuts, Chef Nico Sanchez of Meso Maya, Chef Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Chef Anita Hirsch of Neiman Marcus, Kathy Rogers of Nothing Bundt Cakes, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Blythe Beck of Pink Magnolia, Chef Michael Scott of Rosewood Ranches, Chef Abraham Salum of Salum, Chef John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Chef Kevin Spencer of SER Steak + Spirits, Chef Jim “Sevy” Severson of Sevy’s Grill, Chef Carlos Capistran of Shinsei Restaurant, Chef Lisa Garza of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Chef Gilbert Garza of Suze, Chef Michael Morabito of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Jesus Olivares of Via Real and Kelly Buckley of 7-Eleven Inc.

Here is a list of the folks and companies on board for the festivities:

Anniversary Presenting Underwriter ($100,000) — The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Platinum Underwriters ($50,000) — American Airlines (Official Airline of Zoo To Do), Diane and Hal Brierley, Carol and Don Glendenning /Locke Lord LLP, Carol and John Levy, Ruth O’Donnell Mutch and Gayla and Jim Von Ehr.

Silver Underwriters ($25,000)Serena and Tom Connelly, Durham Family Foundation, Jennifer and John Eagle, Melissa and Trevor Fetter/Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Kara and Randall Goss, The M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation and Overhead Door Corporation.

White Gold Underwriters ($15,000) — 7-Eleven, Inc. (Party Favor Sponsor), Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Bank of America (Photo Booth Sponsor), Kate and Lane Britain, Barbara and Don Daseke, Diane and Mike Gruber/Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP, Cindy and Chuck Gummer, The Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation, Highland Capital Management LP , Al G. Hill Jr., Lyda Hill, Oncor , Edgar A. Robinson Family, Lori and Chuck Whitten, Ellen and Don Winspear and Wendy and Gary Wojtaszek/CyrusOne.

Sterling Underwriters ($7,5000)Lee Bailey, Connie and Denny Carreker, Debbie and Gerald Barnes/Gilian and Steve Baron/Susie and Joel Carp/Mary and Neil Dorflinger/Lisa and Neil Goldberg, ESCADA, The Hegi Family, Highland Park Village (Valet Sponsor), Jennifer and Doug Houser, Jackson Walker LLP, Dana and David Kleiman/Beth and Larry Konig/Elaine and Trevor Pearlman/Jackie Sherman/David Weinreb, Friends of Carol and John Levy, Vicki and Brian Miller, Dawn E. Moore/ Allegiance Title Company, Stephen Penrose, Caren Prothro, PwC, Nancy and Doug Rabe, Dr. R. Lynn and Cynthia A. Rea and Friends, The Rosewood Corporation, Service Systems Associates, Lisa K. Simmons, Texas Capital Bank, Texas Instruments, Tolleson Wealth Management, Turner Construction Company, UT Southwestern Medical Center/ Southwestern Medical Foundation, Walne Family/Herb’s Paint and Body Shops, Westwood Trust and Jane Williams and Ron Williams.

VIP Underwriters ($3,000) Michael D. Anderek, RosenBerry Real Estate Group, Carol Braden and Vera Locurto, The Burnett Family, Ana and Don Carty, CLR Design Inc., Julia and Louis Dorfman, Cheryl and James Drayer, Karen and Phil Drayer, Betsy and Richard Eiseman/Eiseman Jewels NorthPark, Alina and Ruben E. Esquivel, Leland Burk and Thomas Feulmer, Lois and Ross Finkelman, Denise and Steven Glazer, Steve Hargrove/ Hargrove Electric Co., Kim and Greg Hext, Holmes Murphy and Associates, Tavia and Clark Hunt, Margo and Jim Keyes, Matrice Ellis- Kirk and The Honorable Ron Kirk, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Deborah and David Michel, Winstead PC, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, PlainsCapital Bank , Jeff and Darrel Rice and Mary and Mike Terry.

Media SponsorsPaperCity, Park Cities News/ The Waters Family, MySweetCharity.com and Downtown Business News.

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Razzle-Dazzled With The Finest In Formal Fashions And Fundraising For Beautiful Music

As the near most perfect harvest moon rose like a magnificent balloon over North Texas with nary a cloud in sight, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Denise McGovern’s tootsies were worn out from doing non-rain dance on Friday, September 16. Despite predictions of pop-up and cluster showers sprinkled rain in the territory, none were spilling over the Meyerson.

Here was the scene for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala co-chaired by Marena and Roger Gault. Unlike years past, when AT&T was the presenting sponsor and the honorary chair was a politico, the Gaults decided to shift directions and have a hands-on, fun type be honorary chair. The pick was a hands-down Midland transplant Sherwood Wagner, who had set the mood with a kick-off extravaganza that had been the talk of the spring season.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Marena in a Patti Flowers creation was topped by a bigger-than-usual blond hairstyle. Fessing up, Marena said, “Sherwood did it. She said that the higher and bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

Midland transplant Sherwood on the other hand had her mama Lissa Wagner, who had flown in from Midland and was wearing a Fe Zandi gown. Admitting that she couldn’t have pulled off this black-tie extravaganza without her mom — “I called her five times a day!” — Sherwood proudly wore a magnificent diamond necklace with three diamond broaches that Lissa had given her over the weekend.

Marena, Roger and Sherwood joined the VIPs in the Hart Atrium for official photos. Organizers advised that Mayor Mike Rawlings’ not being in formal attire was due to his having to attend another event with the attire being T-shirt. As usual, Mike opted for the safe business-suit look.

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Among those in the VIP reception were Capital One’s Sanjiv Yajnik plus Joan and Sanford Weill in from New York. Their presence was just another of the changes in the DSO Gala format. A “member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy,” Sanford was being recognized at the Gala for “his unparalleled contributions to arts and education in the United States.”

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Greg and Kim Hext

Greg and Kim Hext

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Kara and Randall Goss

Kara and Randall Goss

Upstairs, the Renaissance Foyer was turning into a showcase of couture designs, jewelry and men in tailored tuxedos. Snapshots of the scene: Nancy Nasher, with hubby David Haemisegger, was in “everything Neiman Marcus from NorthPark,” natch, including a Prada dress and Brian Atwood shoes. (Quipped David: “I make my own clothes.”) … Kim Hext‘s gown was by Burberry, while husband Greg‘s tux was from J. Mendel. … Nelda Cain Pickens opted for Melinda Eng, while date Fr. Don Fischer was in Hugo Boss. … Kara and Randall Goss were a striking duo, as always, she in Rosie Assoulin and he in a tux by Brioni. The latter was a popular choice for the gents, with Blaine Nelson and Jim Keyes also opting for the Italian designer.

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Sheila and Jody Grant

Sheila and Jody Grant

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Rhonda Marcus was in an Amanda Wakeley, with Louboutin shoes; Sheila Grant chose a classy, pale-blue Oscar de la Renta number; and Jolie Humphrey selected a gown by a “new designer,” Osman, paired with Jimmy Choo shoes (her Bart was in Armani, also the choice of Jeff Byron). … Lynn McBee said she was in a gown by Minika “Ko — that’s an L.A. designer,” and solo, since husband Allan McBee was away for a seminar. … Meanwhile, a pair of foursomes swept in: the first included Lisa and Clay Cooley (she was in Michael Faircloth, with Oscar shoes) with Tracy and Ben Lange (she opted for Michael Faircloth as well, plus Jimmy Choos). The second foursome included Faith and Garrett Smith and Fay and Ken Moraif (she in a Carmen Marc Valvo).

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Nick and Karen Adamson

Nick and Karen Adamson

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock

Ross and Margot Perot

Ross and Margot Perot

Margo and Jim Keyes

Margo and Jim Keyes

Also spotted: Tanya and Pete Foster, Karen and Nick Adamson, D’Andra Simmons Lock (in Oscar) and Jeremy Lock (in a Zegna tux), Doris and Jack Jacobs, Margot and Ross Perot Sr., Erin Von Villas with her sister, Moody’s communications guru Salli Schwartz, and Gina and Tom Landry Jr. Asked for the names of their designers, Tom replied with a smile, “We’re not designer types.”

Over in the dining area, Margaret McDermott decided to bypass the VIP reception and headed her wheelchair straight to her table.

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

While the reception was indeed dressed to the hilt, one guest noticed a Dallas Fire and Rescue Team including Mark Breidenbach set up near the check-in. Their presence was just a fortunate precaution. Seems one guest was feeling under the weather and decided to take advantage of the team’s services and their stretcher.

Pretty soon the guests took their places for a meal and adjourned to the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, where Sanford thanked the organizers for the recognition. He was followed by a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jaap van Zweden and highlighted by pianist Lang Lang.

Following the last note, Gala guests headed to the After-Party chaired by de Boulle first son/race car enthusiast Nick Boulle and Honorary Chair/DSO First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden. MIA was DJ Lucy Wrubel, who traditionally has been in charge of the music at the late night festivities. The reason had to do with a class reunion.

An added touch for the feet that felt the punishment of stilettos dancing the night away on the Meyerson’s marble floors were foot massages provided by the Ritz-Carlton spa. Hopefully, Denise took advantage of the services following her successful non-rain dances of the day.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Friday nights in the fall usually have North Texans in bleachers watching high school football games. Ah, but not on Friday, September 16. After an afternoon nappy-poo following the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show at Neiman Marcus Downtown, the beautiful people donned their finery for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala at the Meyerson.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Scott Cantrell’s review of the concert in The Dallas Morning News only described the fundraising gala patrons of the DSO as “well-dressed Dallas swells.” Ah, shoot! It was a heck of lot more “swell” than the classical music critic wrote.

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

But let’s leave Scotty to reviewing the audio features of the night. Instead, let’s just focus on the visuals and interaction of the local DSO supporters like Margaret McDermott and out-of-towners like Joan and Sanford Weill. After all, without those “swells,” there might not be any concerts to review.

For a look at some of Scott’s “swells,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being prepared.

What Do A Buffalo And A Maverick Have In Common? Jubilee Park!

One wouldn’t necessarily think that a buffalo and a basketball player would have much in common. But on Thursday, September 15, these two got together at Jubilee Park and Community Center. The occasion was the reopening of Jubilee Park with new playground equipment, walking paths and the dedication of a new basketball court for kids and families from the surrounding area.

Ben Leal, George McCleskey, Jeff Rice, Floyd Jahner and Mavs Man*

Ben Leal, George McCleskey, Jeff Rice, Floyd Jahner and Mavs Man*

The court was the result of a partnership between PlainsCapital Bank and the Mavs Foundation. And while such heavy-hitting execs like PlainsCapital Bank Dallas Region Chair George McCleskey, Dallas Mavericks COO and Mavs Foundation Floyd Jahner and Jubilee Park Executive Director Ben Leal and Board Chair Jeff Rice were in shirt sleeves and sundresses, the scene stealers for the kids were PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo and Mavs’ wing 22-year-old Justin Anderson.

Mo the Buffalo*

Mo the Buffalo*

While Mo leisurely just grazed on hay and was gazed upon, the Mavericks Dancers, Drumline and ManiAAcs and Mavs Man were in high gear. But towering above the rest, Justin recalled the crowd, “When it comes to outdoor court, I remember being young, and it’s almost like everything else that’s been going on that day, that week. It’s all erased, and you’re just out there and you’re just soaking up each moment. I’m so excited to be able to see the smiles on their faces once again and be able to shoot hoops with them, because I know how much as a child it meant to me of the older kids to let me shoot around and player with them.”

Justin Anderson demonstrating a free throw*

Justin Anderson demonstrating a free throw*

Following the speeches and dedication complete with plaque, Justin shot the inaugural free throws with the children from Jubilee Park followed by a mini-basketball clinic.

* Photo credit: Danny Bollinger