JUST IN: Crayton Webb Reveals His Last Day As Mary Kay Inc. VP, But Remains Tight-Lipped About Future Plans

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

In the North Texas nonprofit world, Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb has established quite a stellar reputation as a major champion in the war against domestic violence. Besides chairing HeROs, Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s men’s auxiliary, and co-chairing the recent Genesis Luncheon with wife Nikki Webb, he has served on the board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

An example of his blending his professional life with his personal advocacy has been his being front and center for the annual “Suits for Shelters” program, providing clothes for area domestic violence shelters.

What some folks don’t realize is that his involvement and leadership have not been limited to Mary Kay Inc. and domestic violence. Need proof? Since landing in North Texas in 1998, he has been part of a vast variety of organizations and programs, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board, the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Communications Studies at SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to name a few.

Prior to joining Mary Kay Inc., he was an award-winning reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller from 2002 to 2005.

In the past 19 years, he has received the 2015 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, was named to the Dallas Business Journal‘s class of “40 under Forty,” was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It was just learned that Crayton announced that he has given his notice to Mary Kay. Ironically, his final day with the Dallas-based mega-company will be on the 54th anniversary of the founding of Mary Kay Inc. — Wednesday, September 13.

What’s in his future? Crayton is tight-lipped on that question. However, the answer will be revealed in September. But never fear. He and Nikki are still staying true to North Texas and its nonprofit world.

Stay tuned.

Change Of Plans: MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Is Going Into Overdrive

MySweetCharity

Whoa! With all the MySweetCharity Opportunities being submitted for the annual series, the upcoming months are gonna be gangbusters. Already this year’s crop of opportunities has surpassed last year’s number, thanks to North Texas nonprofits taking full advantage of the series.

Since it will conclude on Thursday, August 31, the series is ramping up the posts to share with you the programs that provide some pretty amazing opportunities.

BTW, the MSC elves are putting in for overtime because the MSC Calendar emailbox is busting with new submissions. Keep ’em coming in. Here’s a link to the submission form.

Remember, busy elves are happy elves.

Anna And Raj Asava Kick Off The Newly Established North Texas Food Bank Indo-American Council With A $100,000 Donation

The North Texas community is a tapestry of amazing people representing a cornucopia of cultures. The main common denominator is that they all share the desire to make the lives of their neighbors and strangers better.

Anna Asava, Trisha Cunningham and Raj Asava*

How about an example? Aradhana “Anna” and Raj Asava. They are part of North Texas’ Indo-American community which “has grown exponentially over the years, with nearly 200,000 people in our region.” The Asavas recognized a great opportunity to have their fellow Indo-Americans partner up with the North Texas Food Bank.

According to Raj, “Anna and I are passionate about the work of the North Texas Food Bank and we wanted to raise awareness around the issue of hunger that exists right here in North Texas.

In addition to creating the North Texas Food Bank’s Indo-American Council (NTFB-IAC), they put their money where their hearts are by pledging a $100,000 donation to the NTFB “in conjunction with the launch of NTFB’s Indo-American Council, which the couple will co-chair.”  

With “prominent members of the community” already signing on board to support the initiative, “the NTFB-IAC has set its sights to fund one million meals per year.”

Anna added, “We are excited to launch the NTFB-IAC to raise hunger awareness, community involvement, as well as channel the resources and contributions of the Indo-American community towards the mission of NTFB.”

Commenting about the Asavas’ mission, NTFB President/CEO Trisha Cunningham said, “The Asavas are determined leaders. Having just one of them help would be transformational. I count us doubly lucky to have them both by our side. Anna and Raj, have a clear vision for the Indo-American Council and with their donation, they have already put 300,000 meals on the table for our hungry neighbors. I am certain that their share enthusiasm and drive will be a draw for their peers, helping raise awareness for the critical issue of hunger and ultimately will help the NTFB reach our goal of providing 92 million meals by 2025.”

JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Co-Chairs Reveal Location, Date And Llama Of Honor For The Family Place Fundraiser

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

After weeks of begging, demanding, cajoling and stalking 2107 ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl, they finally fessed up the plans for The Family Place fundraiser.

Llama (File photo)

Last year’s dinner and live auction were part of the opening festivities of  downtown’s Forty Five Ten. So what could top that?

Well, the Dixes and Hoyls have managed to do it. They’ve arranged to be “one of the first public events” at the 21st century reawakening of The Statler. The evening will start off with a cocktail reception on the ground-level garden followed by a three-course dinner upstairs in the grand ballroom. After the live auction, the celebration will continue around the pool with the Dallas skyline serving as a backdrop.

And what would an event like this be without a celebrity? Forty Five Ten had Donna Karan. The Statler will have a representative of the hotel’s original mascot, Llinda Llee Llama, at the cocktail party. It’s doubtful the llama will be able to stay for dinner.

The night of modern-day fundraising in a legendary landmark will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8.

BTW, individual tickets are gonna be extremely limited, so consider being a sponsor to guarantee your spot. Check with Mary Catherine Benavides at 214.443.7770 about the various levels of sponsorship. 

Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry And Royal Vaccination Fund To Assist Pets Of Financially Strapped Families

This past Saturday area animal shelters were busier than a bee at the Arboretum. The occasion was “Clear The Shelters,” that literally adopted out a lot of the pooches and felines. The Dallas Animal Shelter alone found new homes for 324 dogs and cats.

Of the thousands of animals at area shelters, some are strays, but many are family pets that have been turned in due to lack of funds. According to Operation Kindness CEO Jim Hanophy, “Economic reasons account for 25% of the pets surrendered per year.”

That’s right. Many man’s best friends and felines had to be turned in because the money just wasn’t there for food and health care.

Adopted cat (File photo)

In the past the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Paws and the North Texas Food Pantry have helped provide food for pets whose human companions are strapped for funds.

Recently, the North Texas Pet Food Pantry has relinquished its program to Operation Kindness. The new program will be called Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry.

North Texas Food Pantry President/Founder Cheryl Spencer reported, “I’m so honored that the hard work and effort that went into the North Texas Pet Food Pantry will be sustained by Operation Kindness. This pet food pantry is such a vital part of the community and I’m grateful that it will be continued on.”

In addition to providing free pet food, cat litter and flea and tick prevention for up to three months, Operation Kindness is “launching the Royal Vaccination Fund to help provide low-income families with access to rabies, parvo and distemper vaccinations. This program is inspired by an Operation Kindness foster family who experienced the devastation of distemper, when their foster dog Princess lost six puppies to distemper.”

Survivor of distemper (File photo)

To get things rolling Artist for Animals has “matched the first donation of $2,500.”

Anyone who has seen a dog suffer from this incredible painful and contagious disease knows that this undertaking is an excellent idea.

Of course, Operation Kindness is eager to have donations of money and dog and cat food from individuals and companies. But the Carrollton-based, no-kill adoption center is also looking for volunteers “to assist with donations and supply pick up and pet food distribution.”

Any pet owner in need of the services provided by Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry or the Royal Vaccination Fund can apply online. Once they qualify for the programs, they can pick up for the food at Operation Kindness on the third Saturday and Second Wednesday of every month between noon and 3 p.m.  Eventually, the plan calls for distribution locations throughout the community.

Jim’s vision is “a world where all cats and dogs have loving, responsible, forever homes and this pantry is going to help keep pets out of shelters and in their homes.”

JUST IN: Texas Fav Pat Green To “Shoot For The Stars” For Cattle Baron’s Ball On The Winston And Strawn Live Auction Stage At Gilley’s

There’s been a question floating in the Cattle Baron’s Ball universe — Who will be on the Winston and Strawn Live Auction Stage at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 21?

Pat Green (File photo)

CBB Co-Chairs Sunie Solomon and Anne Stodghill have finally provided the answer. It will be the troubadour of Texas, Pat Green. It seems like he’s been everywhere lately, but Sunie and Anne managed to lock him down to get the tempo in overdrive and the arms warmed up to raise the paddles for the live auction of luxury packages that will follow his concert.

After the bidding workout, the crowd will mosey on over to the Texas-sized tent for a concert by Brooks and Dunn.

All types of underwriting opportunities are available now, but they’re stampeding out of sight. As for the individual tickets, they go on sale on Friday, September 1.

BTW, don’t forget to buy your tickets for killer raffle items. After all, it’s time for a new set of wheels from Park Place, a $10,000 debit card from PlainsCapital Bank, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust 28 from Eiseman, a $10,000 shopping spree at Highland Park Village, or a dreamy three-night stay at Chileno Bay. Wouldn’t it be a little piece of heaven to win all the raffle items? Buy your outfit at HP Village, drive to the airport in your Park Place wheels, lease a private jet with your debit card and show off the time to all the other guests at Chileno Bay. Talk about “dreaming as big as Texas”! If you want to get a head start on the herd, you’ll need to call CBB offices (214.443.9222) or corral one of the Baronesses because you can’t buy raffle tickets online. Boo-hoo.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Midpoint Lunch

It’s perfectly normal for any fundraising group to take the financial temperature halfway through their campaign. Usually it takes place in the accountant’s office or at a boardroom with grim faces. But leave it to the Crystal Charity Ball gals to do it with a flare at a fav restaurant with smiles on all faces in raising money for Dallas-area children’s nonprofits. Instead of calculators spewing out numbers, there were awards for those who had been most successful in bringing in the checks, contracts and cash.

2017 Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries

That’s what happened on Tuesday, June 6, at Salum Restaurant at their annual Midpoint Luncheon with CCB Chair Pam Perella setting the tone with a 1970s TV theme.

Elizabeth Gambrell, Cheryl Joyner, Pam Perella, Abraham Salum, Leslie Diers, Kristina Whitcomb and Anne Besser

While the post is being prepared, check out the happy faces at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Celebrates National S’mores Day With News Of Last Year’s Winning Cookie Return And Online Purchasing

The Girl Scouts scored a new big hit last year, and they ain’t gonna let it be a one-time wonder. It was the debut of Girl Scout S’mores Cookie. Not only was it a hit, but it was “the most popular flavor to launch in the 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies.”  

And the Girl Scouts are smart cookies themselves, so  they’ve taken advantage of today being National S’mores Day with news — the S’mores Cookie will return to the cookie lineup in 2018.

Girl Scouts S’mores*

Jennifer Bartkowski (File photo)

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “We are excited for the return of Girl Scout S’mores, which our girls and hungry customers alike have loved! S’mores have strong ties to our organization’s history, and this cookie brings a new delicious way for consumers to support girls and the experiences that help them develop leadership skills through Girl Scouts.”

To celebrate the day and the return of the marshmallow, chocolate and cracker cookie, GSNT will host 100 Girl Scouts at its STEM Center of Excellence today from 10 a.m. to noon “to make traditional campfire s’mores, creates s’more GORP, invent a s’mores recipe and more” s’mores stuff.

There is just the slightest hiccup in the news. The S’mores are going to be a tad bit more expensive than some of the other Girl Scout cookies. The reason? In addition to being embossed with the Girl Scout’s Outdoor badge, it “contains no artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, making it the first cookie of its kind at Girl Scouts.” Oh, how much more? Relax. It will just be a dollar more, making the price $5 a box.

Old-fashion S’mores*

Girl Scouts S’mores and Somoas*

It will be interesting to see the Samoas fans ramp up their purchases to top S’mores.  Maybe the two cookies could get together for a “S’moroas”?

Funds netted from the GSNT 2018 cookie program that runs from Friday, January 12, thru Sunday, February 25, will stay put in North Texas.

Girl Scout at computer*

Another new development for the GSNT cookie program will be the availability of the cookies. In addition to personalized customer service from every Girl Scout in the neighborhood, all the cookies (Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Savannah Smiles, Toffee-tastics and Girl Scout S’mores) will be on sale at the online portal Digital Cookie that will be up during the cookie sale-athon. That means you can stay in your jammies while ordering a couple of crates of cookies. Stock up because as you have learned from years past, they seem to be gobbled up within weeks.

BTW, the GSNT have provided some “fun facts” about their cookie program:

  • In 2017, our girls donated over 90,000 packages of cookies to military troops
  • In the past five years… our girls have sold nearly 16 million packages of Girl Scout cookies
  • In 2017, the average troop profit in Northeast Texas was almost $1,200
  • In 2017, over 140,000 boxes of S’mores were sold throughout Northeast Texas

Girl Scouts around the campfire*

P.S. — The GSNT provided loads of photos for the announcement. However, most of the girls were bundled up in down vests, knitted scarves and sock caps. Evidently, they weren’t photographed in Texas recently.

* Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Families, Friends And Four-Legged Types “Step Up For Hope” Cottage’s Centennial Celebration Kick Off

Starting back in 1918, Emma Wylie Ballard launched what would be Dallas’ oldest non-profit, non-faith based adoption agency — Hope Cottage. And while it may be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Hope Cottage is still known for being for the young and the young-at-heart. That’s why it kicked off its 100-year celebration on Saturday, June 3, with a walk around it new digs in the Wilson Historic District with families, friends and the four-legged types. Here is a report from the field:

Carmyn Neely, John Dickey, Melissa Tamplin Harrison, Scott Sams and Brooks Quinlan*

The damp weather on Saturday, June 3, did not deter stalwart families, fans and supporters from turning out for the 1st Step Up for Hope charity walk kicking off Hope Cottage’s yearlong centennial celebration. Participants began their walk at the agency’s spiffy new home in the Wilson Historic District.  Moms, dads, kids, friends and pets ambled along a scenic path winding through the bucolic streets of the Wilson, past turn of the century homes, lovingly restored and maintained by the Meadows Foundation. KRLD anchors Melissa Tamplin Harrison and Scott Sams, Adoption Ambassadors for Hope Cottage’s centennial year celebration, served as celebrity MC’s.  Both Melissa and Scott are adoptees and Melissa was adopted from Hope Cottage at the age of 16 months. 

Ranger*

Nathan “stepping up for Hope”*

Team BKD was the team raising the most funds with Team Stevens raising the most funds as a family.  Ranger and his sassy bandana won the award for the Best Dressed Pooch at the Pooch Parade.  Sponsors for the event included BKD, LLP (Premier Sponsor), RGT Wealth Advisors (Water Sponsor), Gensler (Pooch Parade Sponsor), Bioworld (T-Shirt Sponsor), Carlotta Rhoades (Breakfast Sponsor) and Jenny L Womack, P.C. (Entertainment Sponsor).

Hope Cottage is Dallas’ oldest nonprofit, non-faith based adoption agency. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing families through education, counseling and adoption services. Those interested in learning more about upcoming centennial celebration events, should contact Hope Cottage Chief Development Officer Leslie Clay at [email protected] or 469.917.2535. 

* Photo provided by Hope Cottage

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.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Ann Moody Place

For years, the Ann Moody Place was just a dream for those living in a nightmare. It was the hoped-for place of safety, where women could escape lives of domestic abuse and learn how to make a new and better life for themselves and their families.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

But thanks to The Family Place’s CEO Paige Flink, her staff, Legacy Campaign Chair Lynn McBee, TFP board and the North Texas community, Ann Moody Place became a 50,000-square-foot facility in the Medical District. Just before the Sunday, June 4th reception for supporters and the full-blown opening in July, a tour was conducted of the three-story complex with everything from an mini-clinic, kennels, a center courtyard, pillows embroidered with “Dream BIG” to artwork throughout.

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

While the post on the tour is being prepared, check out pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Chances are you’ll never need Moody Place, but it needs your support to provide annually for the estimated 2,000 clients.

The Inspiration Of A Girl’s Grandparents Lives At The Cotton Bowl To Support The Battle Against Alzheimer’s

It was nearly 20 years ago that a teenager faced a daunting problem — her beloved grandmother, Mimi Schendle, was changing and not for the better. Over the next decade, the teenager watched her family helplessly assist Mimi’s journey into the web of Alzheimer’s. Like most diseases, this one doesn’t just impact the patient alone. It hits each member of the family. In this case, the girl’s grandfather, JosephJoe-Joe” Schendle, compassionately and tirelessly cared for his wife, as their children and grandchildren supported the elderly couple.

When Mimi died in 2008, the now 20-something decided she was going to find a way to provide funding for research to battle the disease that had touched all ages of her family. Being in the marketing business, she decided to undertake a project that would involve others her age. But to do that it had to be something that was fun while also fundraising. She had heard about a powder-puff football game that had raised some money in Washington, D.C., for Alzheimer’s. That seemed like a good idea, but fundraising vets were skeptical of her plan.

Perhaps it was the fact that she hadn’t faced such a major task like that before that she charged ahead with only the goal in her mind. The reality of the logistics hadn’t really set in that first year. Her 14-year-old sister ran the scoreboard and her close buddy Greer Fulton was quarterback for one side. And, of course, the soaring August heat made more than mascara melt. But she was driven by the memory of the previous ten years, and she had friends. Those two ingredients resulted in the first Blondes vs. Brunettes football game in 2008.

Blondes enter the field (File photo)

Brunettes enter the field (File photo)

Over the next ten years, there were changes. The name was changed to BvB Dallas. The location of the game moved all over (Griggs Field, Highland Park High School’s Highlander Stadium, SMU’s Wescott Field, Bishop Lynch’s Roffino Stadium) and finally in 2014 to its present scene at the Cotton Bowl. Some years the Blondes won. Some years the Brunettes did. Through personal experiences, it was also learned that Alzheimer’s was not limited to the elderly.

Ebby Halliday and Dan Branch (File photo)

As some players aged out, others came on board to practice all summer. And the nets changed, too, resulting in the following:

  • 2008 — $65,000
  • 2009 — $151,000
  • 2010 — $207,000
  • 2011 — $260,000
  • 2012 — $340,000
  • 2013 — $351,000
  • 2014 — $441,000
  • 2015 — $491,000
  • 2016 — $564,000

But there were also constants, like the late Ebby Halliday and her real estate empire, Bud Light and The Ticket coming and staying on board. 

And there was the girl, who was now a 33-year-old married lady, who had a full-time job at the Dallas Mavericks as Corporate Communications and Events Director. But she hadn’t ended her involvement in the event that had handed over more than $2.8M for Alzheimer’s programs.

Greer Fulton, Jay Finegold and Erin Finegold (File photo)

On Saturday, August 12, plans call for the game to pass the $3M mark and provide this year’s funds to the Baylor AT&T Memory Center, the Center for BrainHealth, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the Center for Vital Longevity. And once again, BvB Dallas Founder/Mimi’s and Joe-Joe’s granddaughter Erin Finegold White will be on the sidelines at the Cotton Bowl and on the frontline in the war against Alzheimer’s.

Weather Forecasters Predict Some Cooler-Than-Usual Days For The Dallas Arboretum’s August Dollar Days

It’s only the third day of August and the temperature is barely going to hit 90 degrees thanks to clouds. Really? Yup! And the next few days are going to be repeats with off-and-on rain. Why the weather forecasting? Because the timing couldn’t be better to take full advantage of the Dallas Arboretum’s August Dollar Days.

Crape Myrtle Allee (File photo)

Talk about an Arboretum Prime Month! Admission to the 66-acre grounds is a buck. And even the entry fee to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is a dollar. But wait! It only gets better. The usual $8-$15 for parking is dropped to $5. Sodas, juice and frozen pops will be a $1. Hotdogs and root beer floats will be $2. And for $4 you can get a sundae.

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden’s Pergola Shade Structure (File photo)

If you’ve been putting off a stroll through the grounds or schmoozing with the squirrels because you were on a killer budget, skip dessert or that latte and you’ll take in one of North Texas’ true treasure.

Who knows? You just find it to your liking that you’ll buy a membership that will allow you to free year-round general garden admission, free parking, express entry during major events and other perks.

August Dollar Days is being made possible thanks to Presenting Sponsor Reliant.

JUST IN: Park And Palate Plans Announced For Klyde Warren Park’s Mega Fundraiser With Loads Of “Pillars And Proteges” On The Menu

The Klyde Warren Park team has really been cooking up some plans for this year’s Park and Palate at Klyde Warren Park on Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14. Yes, yes, that’s Texas-OU weekend, but what a great place to eat, drink and party with locals and out-of-towners. Now settle back for the news.

Park and Palate*

This year’s theme is “Pillars and Protégés,” and for good reason. The “pillars” will be established vets in the culinary centers cooking up dishes with “a partner (aka protégé) who will collaborate with them at the event to create a truly diverse lineup.”  

According to Klyde Warren Park President Tara Green, “We are thankful to have the support of so many talented, culinary icons for this year’s event. The Pillars and Protégés theme certainly brings a unique twist, which is what Klyde Warren Park is all about. We supply the fun; all you have to bring is yourself!”

For the Friday night exclusive “Down To The Roots” from 6 to 10 p.m., it’s a Lone Star roundup of culinary greats including Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s Restaurant in Fort Worth,  Tyson Cole of Uchi in Austin, Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurant Group in San Antonio, Houston’s Becky Masson of Fluff Bake Bar and Monica Pope and our local fellas Dean Fearing and Kent Rathbun.

Dean Fearing (File photo)

Kent Rathbun (File photo)

Kent, who will also be serving as the Saturday Grand Taste chef host, commented, “I am so thrilled to participate in the third year of Park and Palate. Having the opportunity to select a partner chef at the event will be such a great way to have a one-of-a-kind lineup. We will be able to really showcase our passion through our collaborative dishes. It will truly be a rare and exclusive experience unlike any other Dallas event.”

Omar Flores (File photo)

Lisa Garza-Selcer (File photo)

Brian Luscher (File photo)

Jim Severson (File photo)

And speaking of the Grand Taste, it will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 .m. with the following “pillars” already signed on board: Alex Astranti of Top Knot, Jeff Balfour of Southerleigh, Ryan Barnett of Lark on the Park, Nilton “Junior” Borges of The Joule Hotel, Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate, John Coleman of Savor Gastropub, Jason Dady of The Jason Dady Restaurant Group, Kevin Fink and Page Pressley, of Emmer & Rye, Omar Flores, of Whistle Britches Chicken, Diego Galicia, of Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria, Lisa Garza-Selcer of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, Jared Harms of The Pyramid, Ethan Holmes of Snap Kitchen, Nick Hurry of Proof and Pantry, Brian Luscher of The Grape, Becky Masson of Fluff Bake Bar, Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie, Kent Rathbun, Amanda Rockman of Café No Sé, Richard Ruskell of Cake Wars and Food Network, Joe Scigliano of Savor Gastropub, Jim “Sevy” Severson of Sevy’s, Callie Speer of Holy Roller, Philip Speer of Bonhomie, Aaron Staudenmaier of Lovers Seafood, Shuji Sugawara of Shinsei, Josh Sutcliff of Mirador, Rico Torres of Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria, David Uygur of Lucia, Julie Vorce of Savor Gastropub, Nick Walker of The Front Room and Nicholas Yanes of Juniper with cocktails by Michael Martensen of Shoals.

Jody Grant and Tara Green*

Here’s a breakdown of how to eat your way through the Klyde Warren Park fundraiser:

  • The very, extra-special Down To The Roots on Friday night is limited to those signing on as underwriters and sponsors. Interested? Then just check with Tara and she can make your delicious dreams come true, while also helping support the park and its more than 1,300 free programs and events each year.”
  • Saturday’s Grand Taste is available by simply buying a ticket. Better lock yours down now before the Longhorns and Sooners get wind of this yummy shindig and decide to call Klyde Warren a post-game celebration. And while you’re at it, splurge and go for the VIP ticket that also includes valet parking, specialty cocktails, wines, food tastings, VIP Swag and early access to wine and spirit seminar. BTW, don’t hold off until the day of because there will be no tickets sold at the door.

Leading the two-day event will once again by Co-Chairs Lyn and John Muse and Carolyn and Rob Walters, presenting sponsor Republic National Distributing Company and media sponsor D Magazine.

A couple of suggestions:

  • This is definitely a date night because all ticket holders must be over 21 years of age. So, reserve that baby sitter ASAP.
  • Leave the car at home and Uber, Lyft, DART or walk. It’s gonna be a jam-packed event with a projected crowd of 2,600 wine and food lovers. You just know how you hate to hassle with navigating the streets. So, just sit back and let someone else do the driving.
* Photo provided by Klyde Warren Park

JUST IN: Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron Has Retired

Jeff Byron (File photo)

Gee, whiz! Talk about starting the week with more boo-hoo news. It seems that Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron’s last day was Thursday.

After being in the luxury retailing industry for nearly 40 years, the mustachioed baby boomer decided to retire. Despite reach-outs for confirmation that he’s burned his Brioni suits and Zegna ties and headed to some Caribbean island, he is staying put in  North Texas.

During his four years at the downtown store, he “enjoyed the privilege of working with so many great people both at Neiman’s and within the community,” and admitted that he “will miss interacting with all on a regular basis.”

Regarding his involvement with the area’s non-profits, Jeff revealed that his three-year term on the Equest board had ended, but he still plans to continue volunteering for various North Texas charities…that is, when he’s not enjoying the landscape at his lake house.

Hopefully, Jeff’s replacement will be on hand for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon hoop-la with cutie pie Zac Posen’s fashion brightening up the runway on Friday, September 15, at the flagship store.

Friends Of Wednesday’s Child Is Closing

Sorry to start the week off with some sad news, but The Friends of Wednesday’s Child is ceasing operation.

Whoa! Before you go thinking that WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre won’t be doing her “Wednesday’s Child” segments, stop thinking that. These are two separate organizations dedicated to supporting foster children in need of permanent homes.

Friends of Wednesday’s Child (File photo)

Founded by a couple in 1985, Friends of Wednesday’s Child “provided for all their unmet needs while they are in foster care. These unmet needs include many of the things that establish a healthy, productive childhood; from tutoring to medical/dental care to summer camp to birthday gifts.”

According to the Friends of Wednesday’s Child’s website,

“It is with heavy hearts we write that Friends of Wednesday’s Child is closing its doors. We do not have the financial support to continue. The good news is North Texas has some outstanding allies in the community of people who serve children living in foster care. We are in discussion with these great groups who are interested in absorbing Friends of Wednesday’s Child programs and services. We hope to announce something in the coming weeks and months. An education can transform the lives of these children and put them on a path to success in school and life. Thank you for your support in making it possible. It is an honor and a privilege. Please continue supporting them. You are the difference.”

It must have come as a surprise for the staff, since they had just recently submitted a MySweetCharity Opportunity about its Top Kids at TopGolf fundraiser in November.

On the other hand, WFAA’s Wednesday’s Child program is still in operation finding adoptive parents for foster children. As a matter of fact, WFAA will be holding a phone-bank drive today at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. to raise money for Community Partners of Dallas’ annual “Back to School Drive.”

Plans Announced For Luncheon Celebrating Susan G. Komen’s 35th Anniversary With Giuliana Rancic As Keynote Speaker

Breast cancer all too often was a death sentence or at least an excruciating journey, both physically and emotionally. In the early 1950’s The New York Times “refused to publish an ad for a breast cancer support group, stating that it would not print the words ‘breast’ or ‘cancer.’”

Despite the mammogram being developed in 1969, it still hid behind a cloak of limited knowledge and a patient’s embarrassment. The routine was for a patient to be anesthetized for a biopsy. If the results were positive, a radical mastectomy was immediately performed while the patient was still under anesthesia.

The situation changed slightly in the early 1970’s when such well-knowns as Shirley Temple Black, Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller revealed that they had indeed undergone breast cancer surgery.

Even so, treatments, developments, funding and awareness were limited. Breast cancer continued its charge. But in 1977 the disease picked the wrong person — a 33-year-old woman from Peoria, Illinois. After a three-year battle, the young woman died. But before Susan Goodman Komen succumbed to the disease, her feisty 30-year-old kid sister made a promise — she would “do everything possible to end the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by this disease.”

That sister was Nancy Goodman Brinker, who would establish a world-changing program to bring breast cancer out of the closet with the goal of putting an end to it. In 1982, with the help of Nancy’s husband, the late Norman Brinker, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established.

Since its inception, Komen has “funded more than $920 million in research, more than $2 billion in medical care, community and provider education, and psychosocial support, serving millions in over 60 countries worldwide.”

In addition, millions of people and countless fundraising efforts including Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon program  and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides of North Texas have risen to fuel the battle to rid the world of the disease.

Gigi Hill Lancaster*

Ruth Altshuler (File photo)

Linda Custard (File photo)

Gene Jones (File photo)

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the founding of Susan G. Komen, Gigi Hill Lancaster, who lost her mother to breast cancer, is chairing the Susan G. Komen Anniversary Luncheon at Belo Mansion on Wednesday, September 27. Serving as honorary co-chairs are Ruth Altshuler, Linda Custard and Gene Jones.

Giuliana Rancic*

Unlike those days when they used to hold the annual Komen luncheon, where boxes of Kleenex abounded, this one will be an anniversary celebration “honoring those who – for decades – have helped Dallas-based Komen fund breast cancer research and programs that have saved millions on lives.” Emmy-winning TV personality/ entrepreneur/ breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic, who was just seven years old when “the promise” was made, will be the featured speaker.  

Since the luncheon is being held at Belo Mansion, seating will be limited, so book your place pronto.

Thank-you notes should be sent to Co-Presenters Bank of America, Highland Park Village/Al G. Hill Jr. and family, Lyda Hill and Alinda H. Wikert. 

* Photo provided by Susan G. Komen

 

JUST IN: Thanks To Dollar Day! The Dallas Zoo Busted The Million-Human Mark Earlier Than Ever On Thursday

Gregg Hudson (File photo)

Despite the heat, more than 19,000 folks took advantage of Thursday’s Dollar Day! at the Dallas Zoo. In addition to an amazing show of humans, it resulted in the Zoo breaking the million-visitor mark for the third straight year. And this million-breaker was the earliest one yet!

According to Dallas Zoo President/CEO Gregg Hudson, “Once again, more than a million people have turned out to support our mission of engaging people and saving wildlife. Our community knows how hard we’ve worked to make the Dallas Zoo one of the nation’s best zoological parks, so it’s appropriate that we broke the million mark this year on a day when we look to give back to that community.”

The staff attributes the successful numbers to the following:

Dallas Zoo’s “hip” kids

  • The April opening of Simmons Hippo Outpost, the zoo’s new $14 million, 2.1-acre exhibit which is an immersive African waterhole habitat featuring two hippos and okapi. It includes a 24-foot by 8-foot viewing window that brings guests eye-to-nostril with the Nile hippos as they explore their 120,000-gallon waterhole.
  • The April opening of the National Geographic Photo Ark Here through Sunday, October 1, the outdoor exhibition showcases more than 80 stunning images from world-renowned photographer Joel Sartore, featuring some of the most endangered animals on earth.
  • The zoo’s much-celebrated baby boom, including the arrival of Bahati in March, the first lion cub born at the zoo in 43 years; beloved elephant Ajabu, who turned 1 in May; and the May birth of giraffe calf Tsavo, born to world-famous mother Katie.
  • Earning its sixth consecutive Certificate of Excellence award as one of the world’s best businesses by TripAdvisor, the largest travel reviewing and planning web site, and maintaining a four-star rating on Yelp.

Congratulations to the Zoo-sters, both human and critter.

Mary Kay Foundation’s Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party At Tootsies Proves That It Pays Off To Show Up

With the sizzling heat growing, there is a hesitation to venture out of one’s air-conditioned comfort zone, even it if means just moving from the office to the car to the destination.

But for some domestic abuse nonprofits, it paid off big time in the pink.

But first let’s back up. Tootsies hosted The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual Suits for Shelters kick-off party on Thursday, July 13. Despite June being tepid, July was making up for lost time in the temperature department. Still, the place filled with supporters of the program including some of the domestic abuse nonprofits that would benefit from the clothes collection.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

Despite the decision not to have a fashion show, the raffle commenced. It was an unusual raffle. One of the prizes would have the winner go home with just great feelings. Their win would be deciding which domestic abuse nonprofit would receive $5,000 thanks to Maleiah and Ryan Rogers (aka Mary Kay’s grandson).

But when Piers Hurley’s name was called, he couldn’t pick just one recipient.

Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the solution. They decided that each of the seven nonprofits in attendance would be awarded $5,000 each. So, those walking away in a daze with $5,000 were Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army and The Family Place.

See, it does pay to show up!

Speaking of which, it also pays to contribute to the clothes collection. In return for the donation, the donor will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tootsies. But better hurry, because the Suits for Shelter program ends on Friday, August 4.

JUST IN: Brunettes Roz Colombo And Nancy Gopez To Co-Chair 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon

Roz Colombo (File photo)

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

Summer fundraising ain’t taking a break. Word just arrived that brunettes Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez will be co-chairing the 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon.

When ask about details for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraisers, Nancy and Roz just smiled and said, “Be patient.” Ah, gee.

Don’t worry. MSC will keep digging for developments.

In the meantime, news has been buzzing about a new breakthrough therapy for advanced leukemia that has been approved by the FDA. Don’t just keep your fingers crossed. Get out those checkbooks!

JUST IN: Dean Foods Foundation Is Serving Up Some Delicious Treats For North Texas Food Bank And The Wilkinson Center Wednesday

With the annual DFW Restaurant Week benefiting the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home just a few weeks away, the NTFB is getting an early treat.  Dean Foods Foundation is presenting a check for $125,000 Wednesday morning to NTFB.

North Texas Food Bank*

The hand-off will take place at The Wilkinson Center, which is part of the Christmas in July celebration. In addition to the check, Oak Farms will “be donating 325 half-gallons of their DairyPure® brand milk and will be distributing it to the clients served at The Wilkinson Center during a morning volunteer shift.”

Don’t you just know that NTFB newbie CEO Trisha Cunningham, whose first day was Monday, is gonna think this happens every day. One only wishes!

* Graphic courtesy of  North Texas Food Bank

JUST IN: Jennifer And Richard Dix And Kristi And Ron Hoyl To Co-Chair The Family Place’s 2017 ReuNight

Just when you think no more news could develop in the rising summer temperatures, The Family Place team proved they were filled with news.

But they weren’t sharing all the developments for the annual ReuNight dinner and auction just yet.

What is known is who will be co-chairing the event. It will be a couple of gals who are old hands at bringing the dough — Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl.

The two ladies single-handedly made the 2010 and 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork spectacular.

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

To shore up their efforts, they’re bringing along two R’s — husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl.

As for when and where, the foursome won’t cough up the info yet. But stay tuned. Pressure is being applied to get the details.

MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Returns Monday With A Little Help From “Friends”

MySweetCharity

Monday the annual MySweetCharity Opportunity series gets started. For newcomers, this series is the perfect “opportunity” for non-profits to tell about upcoming fundraising activities.

Some “friends of the North Texas non-profits” decided they could support MySweetCharity’s efforts to draw attention to the series by sponsoring the seven-week run. Who are these “friends”? You’ll never know. They wanted to do it sorta anonymously. You’ll see what we mean Monday.

BTW, the “friends” also signed on board with the understanding that all they wanted to do was drive more people to reading the posts. They have absolutely no involvement in the selection of the posts nor what is written.

Like North Texas volunteers and non-profits, they are pitching in for the good of our community.

What’s that? You’re interested in submitting an “opportunity”? Great! But, of course, there are some suggestions in getting them published. Here are the ground rules:

  • The plan calls for byline articles by chair/co-chairs of upcoming fundraising activities.
  • The subject? Tell why the upcoming event should be at the top of everyone’s calendar and how to get involved.
  • Here are some suggestions on what to include:
    • The name of the organization and link to it
    • Name of author (Non-paid volunteers are preferred over staffers, don’t you know!)
    • The event
    • The date and location
    • Chairs, honorary chairs, etc.
    • Highlight(s) of the event
    • Sponsors
    • Length: Make it as long or as short as you want. Hint: MSC readers usually prefer posts with word counts ranging from 250 to 500 words.)
    • If you want to send photos/graphics/logos, you’ll need to submit them in a JPEG format.

Send them to [email protected] with “MSC Opportunity – <Name of Organization>” in the subject line (Example: “MSC Opportunity – Buggy Whip Revitalization Gala”) that way it won’t get trapped in the infamous MSC filter trap. It’s the black hole of the MSC world.

Arty Event At The Joule Raises Cattle Baron’s Funds

Anne Stodghill

Sunie and Steve Solomon

2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-Chairs Anne Stodghill and Sunie Solomon decided this year to have a special party to auction off art that had been donated to the cause. That’s why, on Wednesday, May 17, a big room at The Joule Hotel was given over to an amazing display of art for sale, the proceeds from which would be deployed in the fight against cancer.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction

The 2017 Cattle Baron’s Ball Art Auction was sponsored by The Joule and its owner, Tim Headington, who not only bankrolled the shindig, but ponied up a $50,000 donation to boot. The live and silent auction, the first of its kind ever for Cattle Baron’s, showcased something for everyone’s taste. Like Marilyn Monroe? There was a portrait of her on display, with a $13,500 price tag  on it. John Wayne more your style? A painting of The Duke was marked for sale at $10,000.

Steve Stodghill and Erin and Larry Waks

Francois Bellemare and Lauren Chapman

Kelly Perkins and Cindy Stager

While the 200 guests including CBB stalwarts Joanna Clarke, Dawn Spalding, Ashley Lyon, Laura Moon, Greg Nieberding, Cindy Stager, Kelly Perkins, Jacque Wynne, Mary Black, Vicki and Bob Chapman, Lauren Chapman, Francois Bellemare, Isabell Novakov, Nikki Webb, Erin and Larry Waks and Katy and Lawrence Bock munched hors d’oeuvres and checked out the pieces that were up for bid, Debra Nelson was remembering her dad, who passed away last year, and her Norwegian roots in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she grew up. Her nostalgia was especially strong, Debra added, because today (May 17) was also “Syttende Mai”—or Norwegian National Day.

Olivia Kearney

Jeff Kearney

Olivia and Jeff Kearney, meantime, were also marking an important day: their 18th wedding anniversary. (Quipped Olivia: “That’s the longest I’ve ever been married to anyone!”) To celebrate the occasion they’d just returned from New York, where they had rave reviews for a new play they saw called “Come From Away.” It tells the true story of what happened in 2001 after 38 planes (carrying 7,000 people) were ordered  to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following 9/11.

When the evening was over and all the receipts were added up, organizers said the pioneering Art Auction brought in a total of $128,000.