32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Carried On Despite Coinciding With Veterans Day Parade And A Couple Of Hiccups

When the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Dallas scheduled its  32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon for Friday, November 10, at the Hyatt Regency, it was all systems-go without a hitch in sight.

However, just weeks before the big award presentation the Veterans Day Parade leadership announced that instead of holding the parade on Veterans Day (Saturday, November 11), it would be held the day before (aka Friday, November 10). Still that shouldn’t have been a problem. But then the route was presented with the starting point across the Reunion Boulevard from the Hyatt in Reunion Park. To add pepper to the mix, the parade’s start time coincided with the arrival of the philanthropists for lunch.

But wait! It got more tangled up. Like the date and place being on the calendar for months for the awards luncheon, so was Scott Murray. It was a no brainer, since Scott and his company Murray Media have been heavily involved with the program for years. But for Scott it was going to be a busy weekend because he had promised to be part of the parade that he thought would be on Saturday. Then when the parade was literally moved to Friday, Scott had a bit of a predicament — How to be in two places at the same time? But the parade organizers promised him that his part in the parade would be over by the time he was needed at the luncheon and they would get him there.

Whew!

Micah Pinson

While Scott was with the vets parading, the pre-luncheon reception carried on with a cute red-haired chap charming one and all. It was 13-year-old Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy Micah Pinson. He was right at home with people like Gae Whitener, Karen Waller, Jay McCauley, Deborah Montonen, Doug Hawthorne, Brent Christopher, Katherine Krausse, Chris Culak, Kathleen Gibson, fellow awardees like Outstanding Philanthropists Sandra and Henry Estess, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Lynn McBee, Outstanding Foundation representatives Julie and Ken Hersh, Outstanding Fundraising Executive Pagett Gosslee and the Terry Simmons family (Karen, Jordan, Adam and Shannon Simmons) on hand to receive the Special Recognition Award for the late attorney.

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Mica Pinson, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Becky Sykes

Doug Hawthorne

Katherine Wagner

Following a group photo, the VIP types joined the rest of the guests like Jamie Williams, Katherine Wagner, Frank Risch, Becky Bright, Kit Sawers, Mimi Sterling, Jody Grant and Michael George, in the Landmark Ballroom. However, a couple of the folks were doing the swivel head searching the room. Kevin Hurst was looking for Neiman’s President/CEO Karen Katz. He was hoping that her busy schedule would allow her to accept the award for the Outstanding Corporation. No problem. Karen was there along with NM Downtown GM Tim Adair.

Tim Adair, Karen Katz and Kevin Hurst

Doug Murray and Carole and Scott Murray

On the other hand, Carole Murray, as well as National

Philanthropy Day Chair Meagan Burton, was trying to find out what Scott’s status was. Just minutes before the noon start, Scott arrived looking like a kid who had the time of his life. He explained that despite the Veterans Day program had run longer than planned, the organizers assured him that they would get him to the Hyatt on time. And they did complete with Scott being driven through the crowds with a police escort complete with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

Following the presentation of the flags, Donte Ford’s providing the invocation, luncheon and remarks by Greater Dallas Chapter AFP President Mary Freeman and South Texas Money Management CEO/Chief Investment Officer Jeanie Wyatt, AFP International Interim President/CEO Jason Lee admitted that due to the recent hurricanes there was a concern about donor fatigue?” His answer was positive — Despite the division within the country, philanthropy is something that can bring all together.

Then it was time for the presentation of awards in which the recipient tape their acceptance speeches ahead of time, so there are no “I’m going to go off script” hiccups.

However, there were hiccups. When Scott introduced the video for Sandra and Henry Estess, all eyes turned to the mammoth screens. Nothing happened. And nothing continued to happen, except Scott’s looking back at the production table. Finally, the video appeared.

The rest of the videos went up perfectly until 1:11 p.m. when foster mother and past Philanthropy Day Chair Pagett Gosslee’s video was to be shown for the Outstanding Fundraising Executive. Instead of the attractive brunette, it was red-haired Micah on the screen. Scott could be heard telling the production table that they had the wrong one showing. The screen went dark and immediately Pagett was accepting her award.

Next up was Micah, who had been born without three finders and had become a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital at the age of six. The next year he decided he launched “Helping Hands One Step At A Time” to give back.

After he received his award, Scott asked him what he wanted to be when he was older. Micah didn’t hesitate. He wanted to be a sport agent because he “likes people and want to make money.” When asked who was his hero, Micah said, “My Dad. He’s always been there for me.” With a little nudging from Scott, Micah added that he liked his mom, too.

Scott then told Micah that he was going to have him on “The Scott Murray Show” the following Sunday on KLIF.

For a look at more of the people at the luncheon, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Passing: Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler (File photo)

Perhaps it was just selfish, but no one ever thought Dallas would be without Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler. She exemplified the city with her energy, determination, humor and ability to rise above loss. That’s why her death Friday night will cause many to recall their favorite stories about “their Ruth.”

There won’t be many who will remember the little girl who started life in 1924 on Swiss Avenue. Five years later when the Great Depression threw the country into a financial nightmare, her family’s resources protected her and her two brothers (Carr Collins II and Jim Collins) from the poverty that ravaged others.

At the age of 21, she was widowed when her first husband’s plane was shot down during World War II. A couple of years later she met and married her second husband Charles Sharp. Together they made a striking couple and their marriage of 40 years would produce three children (Sally, Stanton and Susan). It would also test the part in the wedding vows — “in sickness and health” — when Charles was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Ruth Altshuler and Susan Sharp (File photo)

It was during their marriage that she joined the Junior League and took on a lifelong mission to support the nonprofit sector including the Crystal Charity Ball, SMU, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Dallas County Medical Society, The Salvation Army DFW, Susan G. Komen, Dallas Summer Musicals, North Texas Giving Day, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Family Gateway, I Stand For Parkland, Laura Bush’s Foundation for America’s Libraries and countless others. 

In 1963 both the 39-year-old Ruth and the city of Dallas faced a turning point that would determine the city’s fate when President John F. Kennedy was killed in downtown Dallas. Overnight the city became internationally synonymous with hatred. But eventually the city rebounded, thanks to the leadership of the late Mayor Erik Jonsson and others including Ruth, who was on the grand jury that indicted Jack Ruby the day after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

The following years were indeed challenging on a personal level as well for Ruth with Charles’ disease progressing until his death in 1984. Still she carried on, juggling her family’s needs and her community involvement.

Ruth and Ken Altshuler (File photo)

With the children grown and, widowed once again, Ruth threw herself into helping others. Eventually, she found the perfect partner in Dr. Ken Altshuler, who shared her sense of humor and her commitment to others. Just this past Tuesday, they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

True to form, Ruth was always a magnet for attracting people. Whether it was U.S. Presidents (four of them to be exact — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George Bush and Barack Obama), movie stars like Ginger Rogers and Sophia Loren, noted intellectuals like David McCullough or just a child in need, Ruth treated all the same with appreciation and that legendary quick wit.

For instance, at the 2014 Callier Center for Communications Disorders luncheon when she presented the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Cares Award to her longtime friend Sara Martineau, she “admitted that her own grandchildren had held ‘an intervention,’ because no matter what they said, their grandmother would say, ‘What?’ She then reported that in her own household, she and husband Ken constantly exchange, ‘What?’ As Ken choked hearing Ruth tell the group of their personal experience, Ruth admitted that Ken had already gotten a hearing aid and she had ordered one.”

In the days, weeks and years ahead, it’s going to be difficult to imagine a world without Ruth. But on the other hand, if one just looks around, they’ll see her in the programs, buildings and people that have benefited from a life well lived.

According to The Dallas Morning News, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane. A reception will follow at the Umphrey Lee Center at SMU in the Margaret Mack Ballroom. Both will be open to the public.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Association Of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon

Meagan Burton, Ken and Julie Hersh, Karen Simmons, Pagett Gosslee, Micha, Lynn McBee, Kevin Hurst, Sandra and Henry Estess and Mary Freeman

Once again the Association of Fundraising Philanthropy Greater Dallas Luncheon’s was totally upstaged by the cutest recipient. But this year there was a wrench thrown into the plans. It had to do with the announcement of the Veterans Day Parade schedule.

Doug Murray, Kit Sawers and Carole and Scott Murray

The results were traditional Emcee Scott Murray arriving via a police escort.

Micah Pinson

While the post is trying to reorganize, check out the cute red-haired Micah Pinson and other recipients of the National Philanthropy Day of Greater Dallas Awardees at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: While Barbara Daseke Splashes As Addison Magazine Cover Girl, Husband Don Daseke Is Named 2018 Horatio Alger Awardee

The name “Daseke” is familiar to locals for Barbara and Don Daseke‘s support of all types of nonprofit. From WaterTower Theater in Addison to the Dallas Zoo just south of Dallas’ CBD, they’ve made their paw/foot print on fundraising. Why Addison The Magazine of the North Dallas Corridor just featured platinum, spiky Barbara as their cover girl this month.

Don and Barbara Daseke (File photo)

Ah, but word has just arrived that Don has been busy building his empire to gargantuan levels as well as his philanthropic levels.

Word just arrived that Don will receive the prestigious Horatio Alger Award on Thursday, April 5, thru Saturday, April 7, during the Association’s 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies. Gee, hope Barbara and Don can schedule it into their “Must Attend” agenda. The twosome will be joining fellow awardee Reba McEntire and others in Washington D.C. for the ceremony.

According to the Horatio Alger Award committee, “This annual award recognizes exceptional leaders – all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. Horatio Alger Award recipients solely fund the Association’s scholarship programs, which provide education opportunities to promising students who, like the Award recipients, have faced adversity in their young lives.”

Don will join such locals as the late Ebby Halliday Acers, Jody Grant, T. Boone Pickens, Jeff Rich and Bob Schlegel.

Follow the jump for all of Don’s accomplishments including his marriage to Barbara. [Read more…]

MySweetWishList: SPCA OF Texas

According to SPCA Of Texas Volunteer Janice Anderson,

Janice Anderson*

“My wish is that all animal lovers include the SPCA of Texas in their will and estate plans. Leave a legacy and give to one of the best non-profits in our community.”

“When my husband Bill and I moved to McKinney from Tennessee 17 years ago, it wasn’t long before we discovered the SPCA of Texas McKinney facility just around the corner from our home on Stacy Road.

“We loved to stop by and see the pups and we quickly learned about all the great work the SPCA of Texas does throughout North Texas.

 “We have been donors since 2005 and have adopted six dogs from the McKinney shelter over the years. About a year ago we decided to make a future commitment by including the SPCA of Texas in our estate plans.

SPCA of Texas*

“We wanted this to be our legacy to help the SPCA of Texas continue their important work, and (as Legacy Society members) knowing that our pups will be taken care of if something happens to us, is very comforting.

“It was also my dream to become an SPCA of Texas volunteer after retiring. I began my labor of love as a McKinney volunteer last fall.

“For Bill and me, the SPCA of Texas is where our love is.

“The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare organization in North Texas. Founded in 1938, the non-profit operates two shelters, three spay/neuter clinics and an animal rescue center, all located in Dallas and Collin Counties, and maintains a team of animal cruelty investigators who respond to thousands of calls in seven North Texas counties. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other national humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. 

“To learn more about how you can leave a legacy to the SPCA of Texas, please contact Eunice Nicholson at [email protected] or 214.461.5166.”

-By Janice Anderson, SPCA of Texas volunteer

* Photo and graphic provided by SPCA of Texas

Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence In Community Services Recipients Displayed Insight And Graciousness In Accepting Their Honors

While the Dallas Historical Society‘s 2017 Awards for Excellence in Community Services crowds gathered outside the Fairmont’s International Ballroom, the VIPs and 2017 Awardees attended a private reception in the Venetian Room on Thursday, November 9. For some it was a great opportunity for people whose paths had never crossed to meet up.

Lindalyn Adams, Mary McDermott Cook and David Brown

Diane Bumpas and Bill Helmbrecht

Caro Stalcup

Joan Walne, Mary Suhm and Laurie Evans

For instance, historical preservationist Lindalyn Adams was almost giddy meeting former Police Chief David Brown. Speaking of David, he reported that due to his ABC contract, he was splitting his time between Dallas and New York City… Across the way, Laurie Evans was doing the swivel head looking for her husband Dr. Phil Evans to arrive. She knew he would be there, but when? … Already on the scene were past Award recipients Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who were there to celebrate Kern’s brother Hobson Wildenthal’s being recognized for his work in education…. Patricia Meadows reported that the family home in the State Thomas neighborhood was on the market… and others like Joan and Alan Walne, Mary McDermott Cook, Louise Caldwell, Diane Bumpas, Caro Stalcup, Mary Suhm, Creative Arts Awardee Carolyn Brown, Arts Leadership Awardees Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller and Sports Leadership Awardee Tony Dorsett with his wife Janet Dorsett.

Louise Caldwell

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal and Mary McDermott Cook

Janet and Tony Dorsett

Phil Evans

 

Just moments before the chimes called the group to the luncheon, Laurie was relieved to see her husband arrive with a big smile. Seems he had gotten an early Christmas gift — a million-dollar grant —from an “anonymous” donor. That’s a pretty darn good excuse for a delayed arrival.

The ballroom was filled to the max, as people like Jill Bernstein, Sandi Chapman, Kimber Hartmann, Gail Thomas and Lee Cullum took their seats. At 11:50 a.m., Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas called the group to order. Following an invocation by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Rev. Chris Girata, Stewart introduced Luncheon Co-Chairs Carol Montgomery and Kaysie Montgomery, who welcomed the group. They were followed by Dallas Historical Society Chair Bill Helmbrecht, who officially thanked all for attending and supporting the society.

Kaysie Montgomery and Carol Montgomery

All of this was done within six minutes! Promptly at high noon, Stewart reported that the program would continue in a few minutes and guests should settle back for lunch. Missing in action was table host Bobby Lyle, who was under the weather, but his table was filled with Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean… Arriving just after luncheon was underway was Shirley Miller.

Adam McGill, Stan Levenson and Robert Prejean

At 12:25 p.m. Stewart was back at the podium and invited the award recipients to take their places in chairs on the stage.

Some of the highlights from the acceptance speeches were:

Carolyn Brown and Hobson Wildenthal

  • Hobson Wildenthal for Education — The University of Texas at Dallas Executive VP recalled how 50 years ago TI was created and the UTD resulted. 157 National Merit Scholars were in this year’s freshman class and it was designated as the Best U.S. College less than 50 years old. He finished saying, “Margaret McDermott is the queen of Dallas.”
  • Steve Pounders for Health/Science — The internist told how in 1981 he was just starting his care and discovered a disease that was affecting young men that would late become known as AIDs. It would become his life’s calling resulting in his serving as the primary physician for men in the Dallas Buyers Club. He thanked Veletta Lill, Resource Center’s Cece Cox and his spouse James O’Reilly.
  • Willis Winters for History — The Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director gave thanks for the recent passage of the bond: “One of the first projects will be the restoration of the Hall of State.”
  • Jorge Baldor for Philanthropy — The Cuban-born businessman acknowledged that 800,000 have been the recipients of DACA and encouraged audience members to support the Dream Act. He went on to thank the event and kitchen staffs and finished by reporting that several hundred students are living under bridges and still going to school.

Then the most poignant moment came unexpectedly. It was when former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett accepted his award for sports. He admitted that he was a little taken aback by the people, and went on to recognize the late Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, who made Tony understand that things were going to be tougher in the NFL. Landry held Tony back and it taught the young football player patience.  Tony went on, saying, “I was always told that I was too small, time and time again.” Through effort and determination, he was able to play in the NFL for 13 years.  

Looking at the other recipients seated on stage, he went on to saying “These are fantastic and incredible people up here.”

He thanked his wife Janet saying, “What I’m going through is tough, and she puts up with me. It can be really difficult and she understands that that’s not the real me. This is tough.”

Having gone beyond his two-minute limit, Janet was seen quietly approaching the side of the stage. Tony heard her say, “Tony,” and he took note and sat down.

Moments later David Brown took his place at the podium to accept the Jubilee History Maker Award. He could have easily sucked the air out of the room for his leadership for the July 7 tragedy. Instead, David rallied the audience to give Tony another round of appreciation. The applause was deafening for both Tony and David’s act of graciousness.

David went to tell how his father hadn’t wanted him to be “a cop.” But on the day when he was made a lieutenant at the Hall of State, he had what would be the last conversation with his father, who said “You were right in your choice.”

Then David went further back in his history, telling how in fourth grade, he had played Captain George Ludwig von Trapp in the “Sound of Music.” The students had to do more than learn their roles. They had to research the backstory of the musical. Today he had become nostalgic when seeing the white flowers on the tables and hearing the musician play “Edelweiss” — the last song Richard Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein.

Tying it all together, he said, “Remember who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat each other.” Then he voiced disappointment at the lack of participation in the recent election.

At 1:14 p.m., Bill Helmbrecht returned to the stage and invited all to take part in the annual A.C. Greene Toast.

For more pictures of the day, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Passing: Al Hill Jr.

The tapestry of Al Hill Jr.’s life was one of many threads, colors and textures.  

Al Hill Jr. (File photo)

For many young people, Al was the behind-the-scenes patriarch of Highland Park Village and a very generous and supportive philanthropist. As one person told a new nonprofit development director on how to raise funds, “Go visit Al. He’ll take the meeting and listen. If he likes what he hears, he’ll answer your prayers.”

He was easy to spot at any event. It was his wheelchair that had become a double-edged sword since his fall in 2003 that resulted in his being paralyzed from the waist down. But even that couldn’t dampen his spirits. There was always the smile, especially when he was at events with his daughters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne.

Old-timers remember Al of the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he was just in his 20s. He and his uncle Lamar Hunt spearheaded the growth of tennis, thanks to the World Championship of Tennis. It made sense, since Al had been an ace tennis player at St. Mark’s School of Texas and Trinity University. Tennis was on the launch pad to become a major sports contender like football and baseball. And the timing couldn’t have been better for Al, Lamar and Dallas.

Those were heady days, with Dallas’ new airport making it an international player in the world of travel and such membership nightclubs as Oz on LBJ and elan at Greenville and Lovers Lane for partying it up. To do it up big, Al and Lamar brought in such names as Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Bjorg, who could barely speak English.

But the venture into building the world of tennis wasn’t Al’s only undertaking. Being the grandson of the late H.L. and Lyda Hunt and son of the late Margaret and Al Hill Sr., he was involved in the oil business. Being the nephew of the late race-horse-loving Bunker Hunt, he developed a hands-on interest in horse racing. Being the nephew of Pumpkin Air owner Caroline Rose Hunt, he took on the charter-jet business as well.

And on the home front, he and his beautiful blonde wife, Vicki, were new parents of son Al Hill III and daughters Heather and Elisa.

But it hadn’t all been wonderful for Al. There was the divorce from Vicki, the life-changing fall from his porch in 2003, and legal issues following the death of his mother in 2007. Yet, those developments didn’t slow him down. He ended up adjusting his interests to focus on the building and restoring of Park Cities homes, as well as being a part of the purchase and redevelopment of Highland Park Village starting in 2009.

But it was in philanthropy where he shone, by putting even more of his family’s money and influence into the world of such nonprofits as Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Equest, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas, Center for BrainHealth, Salvation Army of DFW Metroplex Command, Big Thought, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Family Place, Communities in Schools of Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, The Senior Source, Dallas Historical Society, and many others.

Saturday night, Al’s confinement to the wheelchair ended with his death at the age of 72. One can’t but suspect that he was the first one on the tennis courts the next morning in his after-life.

Our condolences to his family, friends and the countless others who have benefited from his generosity and friendship.

The Scripps Society Celebrated The Moody Foundation’s Announcement Of A $12M Gift To CRI With Dinner And A Very Special Singer

While Kathy and Harlan Crow were in Washington, D.C., they left “the key under the mat” for The Scripps Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday, October 24.

For newcomers, The Scripps Society was named after Debbie and Ric Scripps, who “have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission.” It’s made up of people who have provided one million dollars or more for the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, better known as CRI.

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

But on this occasion, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and Children’s Health CEO Christopher Durovich had a breathtaking surprise for the group whose funds had generously supported pediatric healthcare.

Following dinner in the Crow Library, it was announced that The Moody Foundation had gifted a whopping $12M for CRI.

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

Despite having coordinated the arrangement of the gift, Foundation Human Resources Director/Regional Grant Director for North Texas Jamie Williams admitted that it had been quite an undertaking, but well worth it. Thanks to the gift, CRI will be able to “attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas to work alongside other researchers at CRI and will fuel their research for the next decade.”

As for Moody Foundation Chair/Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg, they were amazed at the magnificence of the library. It was their first time to visit.

In the crowd were CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Dr. Hao Zhu,Christina Durovich, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sherry Vittrup and CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, and Dr. Hao Zhu.

Hao Zhu, Russell Vittrup and Sherry Vittrup

Another highlight of  the evening was Children’s patient Russell Vittrup‘s singing some “Old Blue Eyes” favorites. Having been diagnosed with leukemia his first  year in college, Russell’s story, like his singing, is mesmerizing.

Thanks to The Moody Foundation and the members of The Scripps Society, medical research is creating life-saving treatments and diagnoses for others like Russell.

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

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

Laura and Jack Roach*

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

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

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

Daniel Podolsky (File photo)

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

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

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

* Photo provided by UT Southwestern

JUST IN: The Moody Foundation Awards Children’s Health With $12M To Attract The World’s Top Scientists And Researchers To CRI

At their annual dinner, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation million-dollar donors/members of The Scripps Society had a delicious surprise that had jaws literally dropping at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s home Tuesday night. And while this crowd is renowned for their generosity, they were more than delighted with the news about an uber gift of generosity. The reason was courtesy of The Moody Foundation.

With Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg smiling, it was announced that the Foundation had presented a $12 million gift to Children’s Health. The monies will “establish a prestigious faculty scholar program designed to attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas work alongside other researchers at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI).”

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

According to CRI Director Dr. Sean Morrison, “We are deeply honored by this generous gift from the Moody Foundation that will accelerate our ability to make discoveries that improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease in children.”

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

The immediate plan calls for $5M to “create a new Robert L. Moody Sr. Faculty Scholar endowment to support the research of a leading scientist at CRI.” The first Scholar will be Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, who is director of CRI’s Genetic and Metabolic Program and professor in CRI. Thanks to his laboratory, new strategies have been provided for treating cancer by exploiting metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells.”

The Foundation will continue its support of CRI’s world-class medical research “for at least 10 years with a distribution of $700,000 or more every year.”

As Francie put it, “With this gift, we hope to increase the impact of the Children’s Research Institute and attract the most brilliant scientists and researchers from around the globe to North Texas.”

This latest gift brings the total of The Moody Foundation’s support of CRI to $17.35M, “placing it among the top 10 largest cumulative donors for Children’s Health in the system’s 104-year history.”

Children’s Health President/CEO Christopher Durovich summed it up: “Given the established track records of these scientists for finding the pathways to medical breakthroughs, the Moody investment will benefit countless generations yet to come, especially in our relentless pursuit of the discovery of tomorrow’s treatments.”

Once again philanthropy is the reason that North Texas is recognized as a world leader in healthcare research and treatments.  

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation Brent Christopher, “This is an extraordinary gift. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Moody Foundation, and we’re inspired by this powerful collaboration with one of Texas’ most revered philanthropic families.

 “Permanent, private philanthropic support like this is an invaluable tool for these researchers. It is a unique, reliable resource for proven scientists who are at the top of their game and will launch them into their next phase of life-changing discoveries.”

Ironically, on the first night of the World Series, Brent summed it up, “CRI scientists knock it out each month.” 

Nicely played for the team of  The Moody Foundation, Children’s Health and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) for generations to come.      

Dirk Receives Some Ribbing—And The H. Neil Mallon Award—At World Affairs Council Dinner

The H. Neil Mallon Award, the signature annual honor bestowed by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, has had some pretty impressive recipients over the years, from Vice President Richard Cheney and President George H.W. Bush to Ray Hunt, Randall Stephenson and Rex Tillerson. But it’s safe to say it’s never had a taller—or a more gracious—recipient than it did Friday, September 22, when Dirk Nowitzki was presented with the WAC’s 34th annual award during a dinner event at the Hilton Anatole.

Dirk Nowitzki*

Guests including Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, Brent Christopher, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Keven Ann Willey and Georges Badoux, Christopher Durovich, Tanya Roberts, Carolina Beltran, Consul General Francisco De La Torre, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich, James Waters, Maurizio La Noce, Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Kay and Rob Harrell and Mary and Bob Potter turned out to honor Dirk, the legendary, 7-feet-tall power forward for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Besides holding many league and team records, the German-born hoopster is a much-honored philanthropist, serving as a guidepost with his wife, Jessica, for The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation.

Marjorie Adams*

After being welcomed by Dinner Chair Marjorie A. Adams, who also chairs the WAC board, as well as WAC President and CEO Jim Falk, the guests enjoyed a dinner of baby spinach and frisee salad, peppercorn crusted beef filet and jumbo shrimp, and an apple streudel dessert. Then they  heard from His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States.

Bret Baier and Yousef Al Otaiba*

Otaiba had flown in from Abu Dhabi and New York to introduce the evening’s guest speaker, FOX News Channel anchor Bret Baier, but he couldn’t resist some gentle ribbing of Dirk. “Please keep working on that jump shot,” he advised the Mallon honoree, “because you only shot 38 percent last year. It’s not like anyone’s going to block your shot …”

Baier picked up the joke from there, branding Otaiba’s 38 percent statistic “fake news.” Corrected Bret, deadpan: “I think it’s at least 42 percent.” Baier recounted a little about his show, “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and said that in the D.C. news business this year, “every day is like drinking from a firehose.” The FOX star, who’s an accomplished golfer, recalled playing golf with President Trump—”he is all about winning, and he doesn’t really care how he does it”—before lauding Dirk for his under-the-radar visits to young patients at Children’s Health in Dallas.

Following a video tribute to Nowitzki featuring the likes of Mavs owner Mark Cuban, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings took the stage, clad in a tuxedo, and said of Dirk, “He represents Dallas like no other, because he represents excellence.” The man of the hour then accepted the Mallon Award from Rawlings and Adams and, with characteristic good humor, leaned down into the mic to rebut Otaiba’s allegation about his poor jump shot: “Mr. Ambassador, I’m not sure where you’re lookin’ at your stats … but I’ll try to do better next year!”

With that, the 39-year-old star sat down for a casual, on-stage chat with Mark Followill, the Mavs’ TV play-by-play announcer. Here are a couple of Dirk’s observations from the talk on:

  • Coming from Germany to Dallas: “My parents watched the TV show ‘Dallas’ once in a while, but it was not my thing. I was into MTV and sports. [Once I got to] Dallas, it was almost like they wanted me to succeed here from Day One.”
  • What he’s been doing recently: “I’ve just been traveling for about six-and-a-half weeks with [the Nowitzkis’] three little kids. It was … what’s the word? … great! [Lots of laughter.] Challenging!”
  • His future plans: “When I retire from basketball, I’m sure Cubes will give me a job, hopefully. But hopefully I’ll do it another year or two, then let the young guys take over.”
* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

 

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

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

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

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

Debra Burns and Russell Dealey*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Photo courtesy of SPCA of Texas

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory Ribbon Cuts Academic Center And Undertakes Campaign For 37,000-Square-Foot Innovation Center

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory is on the march to build and grow its campus in southeast Dallas. On Friday, September 15, more than 300 area notables gathered bright and early for the ribbon cutting of the brand new 32,000-square-foot Academic Center that was brought in under budget. Before the scissors snipped the ribbon, it was revealed that the campaign for the 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center was already underway with plans for a 2018 ground breaking. Here’s a report from the field:

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory “welcomed home” students, families and donors, at a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of its new Academic Center on Friday, September 15. 

With more than 350 in attendance, the ceremony began with a welcome by Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard. In his remarks, Woodard recognized the generosity of Cristo Rey’s many donors for making the 32,000-square-foot Academic Center a reality, especially the Winn Family Foundation, The Constantin Foundation and the Hamon Charitable Foundation. He also extended his heartfelt thanks to the Center’s Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; as well as Frost Bank; the construction companies, Hill and Wilkinson, Marcer Construction and Perkins and Will; the School Sisters of Notre Dame; and the Cristo Rey board of trustees and staff.    

Following, Cristo Rey Dallas Board of Trustees President Richard Joyner added his gratitude and shared that because of the community’s overwhelming support the $9.4 million Academic Center was fully funded and came in under budget.   

For the 375 freshmen, sophomore and juniors attending Cristo Rey Dallas, the new Academic Center means 12 new classrooms, four science labs, teacher planning space, a TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) room, a Student Life commons and a Corporate Work Study Program suite.    

Student Body President Gerard Cardenas perhaps summed up the excitement about the Center best in his remarks with, “Wow, look at this building!” And then added, “This building will enable us to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. This building will help us graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. Thank you.”  

Woodard returned and directed the crowd’s attention to the open land behind them, which will be the site of the school’s next expansion project, a 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center with gym, cafeteria, fine arts and counseling. The new building, expected to break ground in 2018 will also be the permanent home of the expanded Corporate Work Study Program suite, which will include conference and training rooms.  

He was then joined by Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Joyner and many donors for the official ribbon cutting.  Afterwards, the doors to the Academic Center were opened for a reception and tours.  

Chuck and Mary Blake Meadows, Kelly Roach, Cheryl Joyner and Laura Einspanier*

Ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees included Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; Melinda Winn, Chris Winn and Alicia Winn of the Winn Family Foundation; Hilda Galvan of Jones Day; Scott Moore of PwC; Katie Robbins of Hoblitzelle Foundation; Laura and Jim Einspanier; Barbara and Jack Fraker; Mary and Mike TerryCheryl and Richard Joyner; Barbara and Jim Moroney; Kelly Roach of The Hamon Foundation and others.  

Mike and Mary Terry*

Cristo Rey Dallas’ new Academic Center was designed by architects Perkins + Will with general contractor Hill and Wilkinson in the model of a cutting-edge corporate campus.  The Academic Center offers students collaborative workspaces throughout—with movable desks, conference tables, and garage-door style walls that allow spaces to be instantly configured to meet the needs of students, faculty and families. Video monitors throughout the campus broadcast updates and information and can be connected to individual laptops to allow students to collaborate on group projects.  

Alicia Winn, Melinda Winn and Chris Winn*

The LEED-certified building is home to the Winn Science Center, made possible through a lead gift by the Winn Family Foundation. The wing features state-of-the-art chemistry, biology and engineering classrooms and prep rooms.   

Academic Center donors include:  Anonymous, The Constantin Foundation, Hamon Charitable Foundation, Winn Family Foundation, Mary and Mike Terry, Anthony Family Foundation, The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Simmons Sisters Fund of The Dallas Foundation, The Catholic Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, Lydia and Bill Addy, Jack Fraker, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Beverly Goulet, Cheryl and Richard Joyner, The Kernodle and Madden Families, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, The Patricia L. and William F. Miller Family Foundation, Barbara and James Moroney, Margaret and Casey Olson and PwC.  

The 32-member Cristo Rey Network of schools is an innovative educational model that gives students a Catholic, college prep education while earning work experience in a corporate setting.  Cristo Rey Dallas students earn more than 62 percent of their college prep high school tuition by fulfilling clerical and administrative roles in a wide range of departments such as accounting, human resources, finance, marketing, information technology, legal, records, mail, and office services. 

For more information about Cristo Rey Dallas, visit cristoreydallas.org

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

JUST IN: Anne Davidson To Be Presenting Sponsor For The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Of Metro Dallas’ Fashion Show And Luncheon

Word just arrived from 2018 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Metro Dallas‘ Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Lisa Singleton about the fundraiser’s presenting sponsor. Nope, it isn’t going to be a corporation. It’s going to be blonde philanthropist/business woman/Bunny Love founder Anne Davidson.

Anne Davidson (File photo)

According to Lisa, “We are so grateful to Anne for her early support of the 2018 Fashion Show and Luncheon. Anne is highly regarded for her long-standing generosity to many organizations in our community, including The Salvation Army, and we are thrilled to have her onboard.  It is our hope that her early and most generous support of this event will serve as a catalyst for others to come onboard.”

Anne explained the reason for her taking on the sponsorship was, ““Helping others, especially in their time of despair and need, is something that’s close to my heart. The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary does so much good for so many in North Texas it was an easy decision to support the Fashion Show and Luncheon. I hope that by giving generously I can inspire others to dig deep and support this terrific organization and the work they do.”

The annual fundraiser will be returning to the Myerson Symphony Center on Wednesday, May 9 with Jan Strimple producing the runway show of donated “experienced” and new clothes. And, yes, the Chic Boutique and luncheon will also be a part of the festivities.

Sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting Tina Trejo at 214.637.8121.

Also, it might be a good time to start editing your closet and donating clothes for the presentation.

Veggie’s And Fruits’ 3.5-Acre New Digs Are Nearing Completion At The Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place

Vegans must be ecstatic, but they’ve got to be patient for a couple of months. On Thursday, August 10, the Dallas Arboretum was previewing its 3.5-acre A Tasteful Place and providing a progress report. But there was nary a fruit nor vegetable in sight. Instead there were land-moving machines, a crane hovering over the pavilion and loads of hard-hat types preparing the $12M garden.

A Tasteful Place under construction

Plans call for the work to be finished and the produce to be nestled in their new home in time as part of the 2017 Autumn at the Arboretum with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, October 3, and the fundraising A Garden Gala Party on Sunday, October 15.

But don’t go thinking that the place is just going to be rows of herb and fruits. It was designed in the manner of a European potager to be lovely as well as productive. The Place’s centerpiece, Potager Display Gardens, is made up of four quadrants, surrounded by The Barbara and Bob Bigham Scenic Overlook with a flawless view of downtown Dallas and White Rock Lake, The Margaret and Jay Simmons Lagoon that is more than an acre, the 3,600-square-foot Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion with 180-degree views of the garden designed for cooking classes, education program and special events, patios, promenades, stairways plazas, fruit trees and so much more.

Mary Brinegar and Dave Forehand

Looking at the construction, Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar in a floral jacket, Vice President of Gardens Dave Forehand and Pavilion architect Russell Buchanan in cowboy boots and hard hat explained the plans for the garden following its debut. The garden’s products will be used in the various restaurants at the Arboretum. If there is a surplus then they will provide it for offer it to food banks and other similar organizations.

Russell Buchanan

When asked which vegetable topped their list of favorites, Mary said carrots; Russell said tomatoes; and Dave declared peppers, because they colorful and fun. Each will be have their favs on the menu in the years to come thanks to the following planting schedule:

  • January and February — Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, collards, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustards, onion, Pak Choi and Swiss chard
  • March and April — Bush beans, cow peas, fava beans, pole beans, radish, soybeans and tomatoes
  • May — Bush beans, corn, cow peas, fava beans, pole beans, potatoes, radish, soybeans and tomatoes
  • June — Corn, eggplant, gourds, okra, peppers, sesame, squash, sunflower, tomatillo and zucchini
  • July and August — Eggplant, gourds, okra, peppers, pumpkins, sesame, squash, tomatillo and zucchini
  • September —Artichoke, beets, bush beans, cow peas, eggplant, fava beans, gourds, okra, peppers, pole beans, pumpkins, quinoa, sesame, soybeans, squash, Swiss chard, tomatillo, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini
  • October — Artichoke, beets, bush beans, cow peas, eggplant, fava beans, gourds, lettuce, mustards, okra, Pak Choi, peppers, pole beans, pumpkins, quinoa, sesame, soybeans, squash, Swiss chard, tomatillo, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini
  • November and December — Beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, collards, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustards, onion, Pak Choi and Swiss Chard

BTW, the gala is being co-chaired by Barbara Bigham and Robin Carreker with Diane and Hal Brierley serving as honorary co-chairs.

JUST IN: Jordan Spieth Gifts Children’s Pauline Allen Gill Center For Cancer And Blood Disorders Due To Friends Battling Cancer

After being war-torn by all the weather woes from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, local golf wunderkind Jordan Spieth has provided some very uplifting news… and it’s not a hole-in-one. It’s so much better.

His Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has just presented its largest single gift to Children’s Medical Center Foundation to benefit two specific programs at Children’s Health Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders:

  • Child Life Program that “will support services like music, art and pet therapy that are not covered by insurance but are essential for helping children cope with the social and emotional challenges of illness.”
  • Experimental Therapeutics Program in childhood cancer that “will help up to 10 children and their families each year travel to Dallas to take part in clinical trials not offered elsewhere.”

Originally, his foundation’s focus was based on three pillars — special-needs youth, junior golf and military families. But he recently added a fourth area of support — children battling cancer.

Eric Leyendecker, Jordan Spieth, Chris Durovich and Patty Leyendecker*

The reason for the addition was “watching a lifelong friend [Jordan’s childhood friend and former Children’s Health patient Eric Leydendecker] take on a recurring battle with cancer.”

According to Jordan, “Investing this gift in my hometown pediatric hospital, one of the best in the country, is a really special moment for me. There are thousands of children treated for cancer every year at Children’s Health. I have personally lost a friend to it. Recently watching my best friend as he went through treatments inspired us to make this an official pillar of the Foundation. We are eager to help wherever we can.”

Brent Christopher (File photo)

The area of pediatric cancer research has resulted in a survival rate of 58% in the mid-1970s, rising to more than 80% today, thanks to funded research and treatments.

Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher reported, “It is impossible to measure the impact that Jordan Spieth’s generosity will have on children now and into the future. We are so grateful for his commitment to help children battling cancer, as well as his trust in Children’s Health. Jordan’s support will help us deliver the very best care and continue our relentless pursuit of better treatments – and, hopefully, cures – so that one day no child will be faced with cancer.”

* Photo provided by Children's Medical Center Foundation

Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

Now Is The Time To Rise And Shine

For longer than anyone can remember, there’s seemed to be a competition between two of Texas’ siblings. The Gulf Coast boasted having one of the largest cities in the nation, the world’s most ginormous oil companies and a shoreline. North Texas laid claim to having more Super Bowl rings, a TV series called “Dallas” and the birthplace of Neiman Marcus. Both have proved to be the comeback kids. Houston rebounded from oil busts, and Dallas recovered from a presidential assassination and the Ebola virus.

In recent time when it came to weather, North Texas trumped the competition with the 2011 Super Bowl ice storm.

But be honest! Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the Gulf Coast has won the weather woes category. This epic situation has totally redefined the word “devastation.”

(Above video courtesy of WFAA-TV)

People who have prided themselves on paying their bills have suddenly found themselves without homes. Their children, who were to start school this week, are now without even uniforms, let alone classrooms. The elderly and disabled, who have depended on others, have found themselves alone through no fault of their caretakers. Family pets that were so dependent upon their human companions are being turned in or sadly lost.

This situation has provided North Texas with a time to rise and shine. Over the years, North Texas has been known for philanthropy and generosity thanks to its residents. But now it has the chance to open its arms and provide for the hundreds thousands of evacuees seeking help, comfort and hope. Some will call North Texas home only temporarily; others will become our neighbors.

This morning when you wake up in the comfort of your snugly bed, have a warm shower and enjoy that drive to Starbucks for coffee with a blue sky above, consider those who have had to take an ax to the roof of their house to survive, who haven’t been dry in days, who have no idea if they’ll have anything to return to, and who have children asking unanswerable questions.

Luckily, this is Texas and its resilience is legendary with good reason. Thanks to Harvey, it will once again prove true.

If you’re stepping up and making a donation in any form, please make sure that the money will be used for North Texas efforts by a reputable group. Unfortunately, during these situations, there are some who just might take advantage of the kindness of others.

The Family Place’s Dream Of 50,000-Square-Foot Ann Moody Place Became A Reality For Those Escaping A Nightmare Of Abuse

Paige Flink

While gobs of women gathered in the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom to learn about leadership and opportunities at the D CEO Women’s Leadership Symposium on Friday, June 2, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink was standing on a couch in the Ann Moody Place lobby. She had wanted to attend the Anatole event, but on this day her priority was leading the army of workers and staffers in preparing for the Sunday reception for the new Ann Moody Place, with an expected attendance of 300. At this moment she was personally placing the artwork so it was just right.

Major donors for Ann Moody Place

But the artwork on two other walls in the reception area were Paige’s pride and joy. They were masterpieces — simple signs with the names of the major donors who had made this remarkable place come into being.

When TFP opened in the 1970s, domestic abuse was still in the closet and remained there for a couple of decades. According to Paige, who first volunteered at TFP and then was named executive director in 1997, that all changed dramatically in the mid-1990s. When asked what the turning point was, Paige explained, “Thanks to OJ Simpson, the world changed.” It was a wake-up call that if “a celebrity, who had made a phone call and tried to get her husband arrested and couldn’t,” how could a regular human being get help? As a result, domestic violence “became a household word,” laws started to change and “then our visibility grew starting in 1996.”

The need for shelter spurred TFP to create its Safe Campus with 110 beds in the early 2000s, but more was needed as the number of clients and their needs grew. It was in the early 2010s that Paige and TFP board undertook a daunting project to build another campus — a $13M, 40,000-square-foot facility in the medical district that would provide shelter, office and programming areas and child-care facilities. In May 2015, TFP acquired the site for their 2.42-acre dream child. Then on Thursday, October 1, 2015, it was announced at the annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon that the The Moody Foundation had donated $5M for the project’s “The Legacy Campaign” chaired by Lynn McBee.

But as they delved into the effort, they realized more square footage and funding were needed. The size was increased to 50,000 square feet, and the goal was a whopping $16.5M.  And then there were construction surprises, like having to drill down 70 feet to hit bedrock. Still, TFP team and board directors not only managed to meet that goal, they raised $16.898M.

The facility is projected to handle 2,000 clients a year. Paige said that while the average age of their clients is 29, they do get seniors — “The oldest person we have ever served was 78 years old.”

But back to the tour of the three-story buildings that now make up the compound of safety and education.  On a wall there was a healthy smudge, evidently resulting from the non-stop moving of equipment and furniture. Paige was not a happy camper spying the imperfection. TFP VP of Development Melissa Sherrill understood, saying, “It’s like a new car. You don’t want to see the first imperfection.” But then she assured Paige that it would be gone with the final sweep of the touch-up crew.

Children’s pantry shelves

As busy as the move-in scene may have sounded, the years of planning, designing, discussing and fundraising were coming together, with the results being bigger and better than even Paige had first imagined. Nothing had been left out. There were various dining, food preparation, counseling, training, meeting, quiet and groups rooms, as well as a computer lab, a one-chair hair salon (“JoAnn’s Room”) and a wing for children’s needs provided by Crystal Charity Ball. Proudly, Paige pointed to a large storeroom with shelved walls for canned goods and toys. Why would canned goods be needed? Paige explained that for clients making the transition out of an abusive home life, they might have to explain their whereabouts to their abuser upon returning home and could simply say they went to the food bank.

Food pantry shelves

Thanks to a relationship with UT Southwestern Medical School, second-year residents will be brought to the Place by a doctor to see the clients at the in-house mini-clinic that includes examination and dental rooms. But, always searching for more, Paige adds, “The other volunteer opportunities here are for medical doctors to come to give me some night-time clinic. I have a pediatrician, but I could use more pediatricians and general medicine and gynecology.”

Dental facility

Examination room

Throughout the multiple levels were signs re-enforcing the purpose of TFP — “Take a breath. You are safe,” “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other” and “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” Even the pillows from the Pillow Bar are embroidered with “Dream BIG.”  

Ann Moody Place signage

Ann Moody Place bed

Bedroom suite bathroom

The residential area of apartments were painted in a blue that Paige had discovered in Charleston, South Carolina, because it was both soothing and timeless.  There are family suites and individual rooms with bathrooms and closets.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

In the center of the campus was a two-level courtyard. The upper level was the Make It Count Children’s Playground. The lower was the Paige Flink Healing Garden. When asked if the children’s area could use a misting system to combat the summer heat, Paige didn’t hesitate, “If someone would give me one, I wouldn’t hesitate!”

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

Judy Walgren’s photos

There were interior designers  like Jan Showers, Mecox, Shay Geyer, Wisteria, Christy Drew and Mary Cates, who had provided directions and resources to create a safe and nurturing environment. Utilizing art as therapy for both adults and children, Moody Place showcases local talent. In addition to encouraging artists to contribute, art-loving Joyce Goss curated “Retail is Art” for high school students to provide the collection of art showcasing food in one of the dining rooms. It turned out that all the artists were women. Rebecca Aguilar helped get Latina artists to contribute. A former client had given two sculptures. One was a woman holding an open cage in one hand and a freed bird in the other. On the wall of Paige’s corner officer overlooking the campus were photographer Judy Walgren‘s Pulitzer Prize winning photos of past TFP clients.

Lockers

Travis Hollman and his company had created walls of lockers for the clients to safe keep documents and paperwork. Paige admitted that the need was the result of client focus groups.

Melissa Sherrill in Barkingham Palace

The SPCA had been a fabulous resource on how to run the Barkingham Palace, a kennel that included a washing machine, dryer and even a quiet room for families to spend time with their pets. While that had been underwritten, Paige admitted that the food was still in need of financial support.

Looking out on the grounds from a third-level terrace, Paige limited photography of the exterior of the building or the surrounding area. No photo could be taken that might hint of Moody Place’s location. Security had been a priority in every aspect of its creation because that was the first step for her clients’ recovery from lives of fear and abuse. As Paige said, “Once you’re behind the walls, you’re totally secure.”

Ann Moody Place is breathtaking and unfortunately so needed. That’s why Paige admitted that her future will be filled with fundraising for its operation. Her hope is you will support Moody Place, but never need it.

For more photos of Ann Moody Place, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas Women’s Foundation Celebrates The Launch Of Unlocking Leadership Campaign’s Leadership Key Club On Kleinert’s Terrace

As the driest May in 90 years closed down on Wednesday, May 31, Unlocking Leadership Campaign Co-Chairs Ashlee and Chris Kleinert’s terrace overlooking Bent Tree Country Club seemed downright charming. There was just enough breeze and cool drinks to keep guests outside in the 92-degree temperature to dine and celebrate the launch of the Dallas Women’s Foundation Leadership Key Club.

Floating flamingo

The jumbo flamingo floating in the pool was so inviting that it was surprising that none of the guests didn’t hop in for a dip.

Haven’t heard of Key Club since high school? Well, the DWF one is a bit different. It doesn’t involve high school students. But both organizations share in the common denominator of leadership. While the high school group is made up of young people who encourage leadership through servicing, the DWF version is “a new recognition level for those who have contributed $100,000 of more” to the DWF’s Unlocking Leadership Campaign that will target to specific areas for women:

  • Economic Security Initiative that will strengthen the economic security of 16,000 women and girls by 2021, and to date, has already reached more than 8,750 women and girls.
  • Leadership Initiative that will provide 60,000 women and girls with leadership training and opportunities, and thus far has reached nearly 28,000 women and girls through grant-making and programs.

According to Ashlee, “The future of North Texas is directly tied to the economic security and potential of leadership of women and girls in our community. It’s impossible to create a brighter future for North Texas communities without focusing specifically on the current condition, immediate needs and potential of women of all ages and backgrounds.”

Ashlee and Chris, Ros Dawson Thompson and Paula Parker

 

Michael and Janice Sharry

Toni Munoz-Hunt

The Kleinerts, their fellow co-chairs Paula and Ron Parker and DWF President/CEO Ros Dawson Thompson were celebrating the launch of  the club that included initial members Ellenore and Kirk Baker, Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Cecilia and Garrett Boone, Kalita and Ed Blessing, Erin and Bob Botsford, Jill and Jim Cochran, Serena and Tom Connelly, Ka and L.L. Cotter, Peggy Simmons Dear, Kaleta A. Doolin and Alan Govenar, Lauren Embrey, Julie and Bob England, Beverly Goulet, Trish Houck and Lyssa Jenkens, Heather L. Hunt, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Anne Knight, Sarah Losinger, Ann E. and Fred Margolin, Maribess and Jerry Miller, Retta Miller, Toni Muñoz-Hunt and Dan Hunt, Diane S. Paddison, Paula and Ron Parker, Betty S. Regard, Lisa and Matt Rose, Janice and Michael Sharry, Lisa K. Simmons, Sue and Paul Spellman, Betty and Stephen Suellentrop, Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rex W. Thompson, Patricia A. Vaughan and Barbara S. Turner, Martha and Max Wells, Donna M. Wilhelm, Shawna D. Wilson and Trea and Richard Yip.

Ann Margolin and Retta Miller

Ka Cotter

 

Ellenore Baker

Kirk Baker

Thanks to the Key Club, DWF’s Unlocking Leadership Campaign is standing at $36.5 and inching closer to its $50M goal. If you want to “key” into the march to success, contact Shawn Wills at 214.525.5318.

JUST IN: 2017 National Philanthropy Day Luncheon Plans And Awardees Announced

The news and announcements aren’t taking any time off this summer.  32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon Chair Meagan Burton just revealed plans and the 2017 National Philanthropy Day Awardees for the fundraiser “recognizing those who have made exceptional contributions to our community.”

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Julie Hersh (File photo)

Drum roll, please. This year’s awardees include the following folks and organizations:

  • Outstanding Philanthropist – Sandra and Henry Estess
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Lynn McBee
  • Outstanding Foundation – The Hersh Foundation
  • Outstanding Corporation – Neiman Marcus
  • Outstanding Youth In Philanthropy – Micah Pinson
  • Outstanding Fundraising Executive – Pagett Gosslee, CFRE
  • Special Recognition Award – Terry Simmons (posthumous)

Benefiting the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Dallas Chapter, the luncheon will take place on Friday, November 10, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.  

JUST IN: Dallas Women’s Foundation’s “Unlocking Leadership Campaign” Adds A New Recognition Level — Leadership Key Club

The Dallas Women’s Foundation team announced “a new recognition level” — Leadership Key Club — in its Unlocking Leadership Campaign to reach its $50M goal. The Club is made up of people “who have contributed $100,000 or more.”

At the 2016 luncheon it was reported that the Campaign had hit the $32M mark.

According to Campaign Co-Chair Ashlee Kleinert, “Since the luncheon, we’ve raised an additional $3 million, which is absolutely wonderful. More than 4,000 generous donors have stepped up during what we consider to be the initial ‘quiet phase’ of the campaign, which is both humbling and exciting. Now that we’re past the campaign’s halfway mark, we want to motivate and inspire other community members to follow their example and help us cross the finish line in the near future.”

Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Paula Parker

Unlocking Leadership Campaign funds will go to the “Foundation’s primary focus areas — women’s economic security and women’s leadership.”

DWF President/CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson explained, “An investment in this campaign is an investment to ensure that girls and women are on equal footing, which is especially important since Texas women live in poverty at a higher rate than men: only 30 percent of North Texas households are led by women, but 53 percent of all poor households are women-led. Our mission is as important today as it has ever been: Dallas Women’s Foundation invests in women and girls and empowers women’s philanthropy to build a better world. When their lives are transformed, our region and economy are transformed, and that is the ripple effect we seek to achieve.”

So far, Leadership Key Club members include Ellenore and Kirk Baker, Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Cecilia and Garrett Boone, Kalita and Ed Blessing, Erin and Bob Botsford, Jill and Jim Cochran, Serena and Tom Connelly, Ka and L.L. Cotter, Peggy Simmons Dear, Kaleta A. Doolin and Alan Govenar, Lauren Embrey, Julie and Bob England, Beverly Goulet, Trish Houck and Lyssa Jenkens, Heather L. Hunt, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Anne Knight, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Ann E. and Fred Margolin, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Maribess and Jerry Miller, Retta Miller,Toni Muñoz-Hunt and Dan Hunt, Diane S. Paddison, Paula and Ron Parker, Betty S. Regard, Lisa and Matt Rose, Janice and Michael Sharry, Lisa K. Simmons, Sue and Paul Spellman, Betty and Stephen Suellentrop, Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rex W. Thompson, Patricia A. Vaughan and Barbara S. Turner, Martha and Max Wells, Donna M. Wilhelm, Shawna D. Wilson and Trea and Richard Yip.

If you want to join the Club and help in the development female leadership and well-being, contact DWF Senior VP Shawn Wills at 214.525.5318.

Joel Allison Addressed The Future Of Healthcare At The Senior Source’s 18th Annual Charles C. Sprague Sage Society Dinner

The Senior Source‘s Charles C. Sprague Sage Society was established in 1999 with the late Charles Sprague leading the charge to help raise funds and awareness about the growing needs of the elderly. To help achieve these goals, the annual Sprague dinner has been annually held for the past 17 years. This year’s dinner was highlighted by former Baylor Scott and White Health President/CEO Joel Allison as the keynote speaker. It was just back in 2015 that Joel was the recipient of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Award. Here is a report from the field about the dinner:

On Tuesday, April 25, a crowd of 130 philanthropists committed to improving the quality of life for older adults in North Texas gathered at the Dallas Country Club for The Charles C. Sprague Sage Society’s 18th Annual Dinner and Program, hosted by Dallas non-profit organization The Senior Source. Headlining this year’s event was Joel Allison, immediate past president and CEO of Baylor Scott and White Health, speaking on a topic that’s been dominating headlines: “Health Care in America: Where Do We Go from Here.” Among Mr. Allison’s many astute observations were that much of the debate lately is focused on insurance and billing rather than health care itself, and that the doctor/patient relationship should be considered above all other relationships.

Scott and Susan Wilson, Joel Allison, Cortney Nicolato and John Taylor III*

“Joel was the perfect expert to speak about the future of health care in America,” said Scott Wilson, who co-chaired the event with his wife, Susan. “Our Sage Society members really enjoyed his perspective, his industry-wide knowledge of such a layered and complex subject, and his uncanny ability to make it understandable for those not in the health care field.”

In addition to co-chairing the event together, the Wilsons also celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary at the event. “The centerpieces on your table are for sale after the presentation, one will be in my home on the sofa table behind my couch where I will be sleeping tonight,” remarked Scott about the timing.

Leonard Riggs and Alayne Sprague*

Diane Allison*

Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Dee Collins Torbert, Carol Huckin and Pam Busbee*

Cathy and Larry Helm*

Sara and Gary Ahr*

While the subject of health care was top of mind at the event, the crowd at the The Charles C. Sprague Sage Society’s 18th Annual Dinner and Program was also very committed to The Senior Source. Guests in attendance included The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney NicolatoSusie and Jim Riley, Cher and David Jacobs, Pam Busbee, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Carol Huckin, Dee Collins Torbert, Sara and Gary Ahr, Gail and Warren Randell, Sharon and Mike McCullough, Jane and Pat Jennevein, John Taylor III, Leonard Riggs and Alayne Sprague. Keynote speaker Joel Allison was joined by his wife, Diane Allison. Atmos Energy, the presenting underwriter, and KPMG LLP, as partner underwriter, made it possible for 100 percent of the members’ contributions to directly benefit the agency’s services.

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Gail and Warren Randell*

Jim and Susie Riley and Cher and David Jacobs*

The Sage Society is a special associates program that educates members on aging issues and supports the programs of The Senior Source. It was founded in 1999 under the leadership of the late Dr. Charles Sprague, then Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Medical Foundation. Membership to the Society entitles participants to attend entertaining and educational presentations at a dinner held each spring, while supporting the Society’s two major goals: building financial support for services that improve the quality of life for older adults and educating community leaders on the challenges of the aging population.

About The Senior Source
Since 1961, The Senior Source has served greater Dallas as the go-to nonprofit for aging services.  The agency offers personalized assistance, protection, and connection support to all older adults in greater Dallas for these individuals to THRIVE.  As a United Way service provider, The Senior Source offers 10 comprehensive programs for those 50 years of age and older. For more information, contact The Senior Source at (214) 823-5700 or visit www.theseniorsource.org. You can also find The Senior Source on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theseniorsource or Twitter using the handle @theseniorsource. 

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Itty-Bitty Gold Medalist Simone Biles Scored A Perfect Ten For Jonathan’s Place’s “A Chance To Soar” Luncheon Guests Of All Ages

Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki

If Episcopal School of Dallas or The Hockaday School staffers noticed that their lunchrooms were a bit scant of students on Tuesday, April 25, they were right. The lasses were at the Hilton Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom with their parents’ permission.

The occasion was Jonathan’s Place’s “A Chance To Soar Luncheon.” Now, normally it might be considered a grown-up event, but this one had two mega-athletes — Olympian God Medalist/former foster child Simone Biles on stage and Maverick main man Dirk Nowitzki as one of the day’s award recipients.

As mom Tracy Lange surmised, a couple of the moms hosted a table for their girls, and others quickly followed suit filling the ballroom with 700.

Tracy Lange, Livia Lange, Amelia Schoellkopf, Olivia Hohmann, Mary Ellen Schoellkopf, Kate Eastin and Monica Eastin

Sydney Hoyl and Kristi Hoyl

While some might question pulling the young ladies out of school, others reasoned that in addition to seeing world-class role models, the girls had the opportunity to be part of a grownup fundraising experience.

Some of the young luncheoners, like Livia Lange, Amelia Schoellkopf, Olivia Hohmann, Mary Ellen Schoellkopf, Kate Eastin and Caroline Bagley, were dressed to the nines. Too bad they’re too young for 10 best Dressed. Others like Sydney Hoyl opted to stay in their school uniforms.

Simone Biles and Ron Biles

The photo opp for guests and Simone was a bit of a ramble scramble due to Simone’s late arrival. She had been delayed due to an interview in another area of the hotel with KXAS/emcee Meredith Land.

Walking to the front of the room with her father, Ron Biles, Simone’s 4’9” size seemed even more so standing next to 7’0” Dirk. Still her smile was as big as ever despite having taken a flight from Los Angeles following her appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” the night before.

Even before folks like Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Jenny and Trevor Rees-Jones III, Stacey Walker, Jessica Nowitzki, Lydia Novakov, Tracy Rathbun, Monica Eastin and Pam Busbee took their seats, the raffle tickets were sold out.

Pam Busbee

Tracy Rathbun

Stacey Walker and Bryan Dunagan

Following the welcome by Luncheon Co-Chairs Julie Bagley and Rachel Stephens, the invocation by Highland Park Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Bryan Dunagan and a luncheon of pecan crusted chicken breast salad, the following awards were presented:

  • Award of Compassion to Dirk Nowitzki
  • Award of Excellence to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones
  • Award of Service to Gary Borofsky representing Dillard’s

Jonathon’s Place’s CEO Allicia Graham Frye told the group that last year, 277 children were handled by Jonathan’s Place. She finished her remarks saying, “My wish is that every child that comes across my path would feel loved.”

Allicia Graham Frye and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones

It should be noted that unlike the Chick Lit Luncheon, the audience was silent during the award presentation and Allicia’s remarks.

It was then time for Simone to chat with Meredith Land on stage. The undercurrent in the room seemed to race, as if Santa had just popped down the chimney. For those close to the stage, they got a pretty good look at the twosome. However, the quality of the lighting and video created shadows, making the on-screen presentation challenging.

Simone Biles

Still, Simone did not disappoint with such revelations:

  • “I was just a crazy kid.”
  • She started gymnastics at the age of six and loved it immediately.
  • Her routine was an hour and half of conditioning, going to school and returning to the gym for her real workout. Such a regimen required more than dedication, it demanded sacrifice like, “I’ve never been to a prom. I cried a lot. Sasha (Farber, her ‘DWTS’ partner) was the first guy that she had really danced with and “he was 20 years old.”
  • Regrets — “I shouldn’t say that I do because of all of the accomplishments that I have from it. It’s all worked very well.”
  • Bullying — “Rise above it and use it as a motivation to do anything that you want to do and to always prove them wrong.”
  • Confidence — “I have very down-to-earth parents. I have amazing friends. My brothers, as well, are supporting me. It’s kind of easy to do that. But at times it gets hard because I want to be a normal kid and do other things. At the end of the day it’s my goal that I want.”
  • Olympics — “I actually didn’t really want to go to the Olympics when I was younger. I said I did because every little girl wanted to, so I would say, ‘I want to go to the Olympics.’ At a time in my career I knew I could be the best and it scared me so much that I would sometime sabotage my gymnastics. I knew I had the potential, but I didn’t want all that attention on me. It scared me so much. So I would do things on purpose. But I got out of it…. In February 2016 I had a really big breakdown. I had been at the top for three years and I thought this is my really big year, but what if I get hurt. And I started thinking of all these things, so I was too scared to even tumble. I thought if I land wrong, there goes my Olympic game. I would go to the bar and start bawling. It happened for two weeks. I cried a lot. I would go to practice and my coach would be like, ‘Just go home.’ My Dad told me to call my sports psychologist and I said, ‘No, I just want to cry.’ And my dad called him. He came into my room and handed the phone to me and I usually don’t cry in front of him or really anybody, and I just started bawling my eyes out — ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m not going to make the team. Blah, blah, blah.’ He (the sports psychologist) said, ‘Simone, what was the first thing I said to you when you came into my office?’ We chatted about it.”
  • Sports Psychologist — “For three years your parents, your coaches, your mentors, it’s good to have someone that knows your sport, but it helps that it’s not the same person over and over again.”
  • Whom did she not want to disappoint — “I didn’t want to let down America because they had such big goals for me. They expected me to get five gold medals and I only walked out with four, so I felt like I let them down a little bit.” Afterwards she was asked in an interview about how badly she felt getting a bronze instead of a gold, her response was, “I’m sorry if that was your goal. I’m sorry if you guys had to backspace on your typewriter. I’m pretty happy. This was my first Olympics and I’m 19 years old and I’m walking out of here with five medals. My goal was to make the finals. Whatever happens happens. I came out with four golds and one bronze and pretty proud of myself. I’m sorry if I disappointed you because they already crowned me with five gold medals. I think they (the interviewer) was trying to put it on me, so that’s what hurt a little bit.”
  • On the podium — “You feel like you’re a princess up there. It never feels real. I would always look at my parents. They would be bawling and I would then start tearing up. I’m an ugly crier.”
  • Post Olympics — “I haven’t worked out since the Olympics. It is my year off, so that is why I chose ‘Dancing With The Stars.’ I’m going on a vacations with my family this summer.  One is Hawaii and the other is Belize… I eat ice cream every chance I get.”
  • 2020 — “I’m going to train for the 2020 Olympics.”
  • What makes Texas special — “It’s the people. I’m in L.A. right now and it’s very different. I think it’s the southern-ness.”
  • What she misses — “I miss my bed and my dogs. I cook for my dogs. They’re spoiled little things. They have monogrammed beds. They’re not little. They’re German Shepherds. We have three.”
  • First Date — “It was like low key. I had never been on a date before or had a boyfriend. So, it’s all new. We just went to get frozen yogurt. It was a little scary. I’ve trained all my life to go to the Olympics, not to go on a date.”
  • The future — “I think I want to do something with sports management.”
  • Foster care — “[Being a foster parent] really does change a child’s life. It does give them a home, love. A lot of them age out at the age of 18 and that makes me sad. I was very fortunate for my situation. It really does make difference in the kids’ eyes.”
  • She recalled that before being rescued from her birth mother, there were days when she ate her cereal with white.
  • She felt that she would not win “Dancing With The Stars.”

At the end of the conversation, Simone looked out into the audience with each member holding a card reading “10.”   

She was then off to Jonathan’s Place to visit with children waiting for a foster parent.