North Texas Giving Day Booster: Reel Recovery Inc.

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“’I just arrived at this fly fishing retreat that my wife signed me up for; I have no idea who these guys are that are milling around with smiles on their faces, I have nothing in common with anyone, shoot I don’t even know how to fly fish.

“’Oddly, I find myself striking up conversations with these men and I find out I have a lot in common; they don’t know anything about fly fishing either, they each have cancer or have had cancer and their wives signed them up, too!

“’After meeting my fishing buddy and a quick crash course in how to cast a fly rod it was time to fish.  I found myself with blinders on; the only thing I could see is my fly in the water and the fish underneath it. The focus of the day was when that fish was going to take the fly.  The cancer, pain, and worries were gone during the time on the water; it was me, my fishing buddy and those darn finicky fish.

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“’The last day of the retreat came too quick. I wasn’t ready to leave my new best friends, my fishing buddy that wants to meet me on the water again real soon, but most importantly I don’t want to leave those fish. There were hugs and tears.’

“This is a story of many men that come to a Texas Reel Recovery retreat and at the same time, why Reel Recovery is successful. Reel Recovery provides free 3-day Fly Fishing Retreats for Men with Cancer. Retreats are held across the country at premier facilities, with access to fishing; all meals, lodging, fishing equipment and one-one instruction are provided at no cost to the participants. Men with all forms of cancer in any stage are eligible, with a maximum of 14 invited to each retreat. The Retreats allow for the sharing of cancer experiences in professionally facilitated ‘Courageous Conversations.’

“‘I have to admit I did not want to leave. No, it wasn’t the facility that made me want to stay…it was the assembly of people…..Men….Men with Cancer. The longer we were there, together as one… the more I left my cancer thoughts behind.’ – Jerry R.

“‘I met about a dozen other cancer survivors and there are still several of us that remain in close contact and support of each other since the retreat.  One thing that made the retreat special was the time we met as a group and shared our experience and feelings about cancer.’ – JJ

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 in Colorado, currently serving approximately 30 states and is geographically growing each year. The Texas Chapter of Reel Recovery is the largest in the U.S. and is currently holding five retreats a year and is expanding in 2017.

“For more information about Reel Recovery, go to  and to read a great insightful first hand story check out Fishing Report by Shannon D., also a local fishing guide!

“Lastly, if you appreciate what we are doing, please make sure to stop by our page on North Texas Giving Day and make a donation so we can continue to serve these courageous men!”

-By Brent Walters, Reel Recovery Inc., Retreat Coordinator

* Photos provided by Reel Recovery Inc.

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

On Thursday, September 22, support Reel Recovery Inc. by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

Three One-Of-A-Kind Experiences Will Go On The Aging Mind Foundation Auction Bloc Saturday

Choices, choices, choices! Bid on one or all three. That’s the dilemma facing 2016 Aging Mind Foundation Gala guests this Saturday at The Joule. As if it weren’t enough that the event benefiting the Center for BrainHealth and honoring Shirley and Bob Miller wasn’t enough, Gala Chair Barbara Daseke has put together three OMG live auction packages to get hands waving.

Here’s a rundown of the three:

Sky-high Dining In The Sky Room

Have you eaten in the best restaurants in the world and now are looking for a new, one-of-a-kind cuisine experience? This package will delights your sensory system by tantalizing your tastebuds, amazing your eyes and provide the wittiest of conversations just for your ears.

High atop Museum Tower, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer with the help of architect Bill Booziotis and interior designer Barbara Daseke have created the Sky Room with floor-to-ceilings windows and balcony overlooking Dallas. Dedicated to personal entertaining by Hulshoff and Fischer, it will be made available to the winner of this package and seven of his/her friends.

The menu will be a five-course dinner curated by The Joule’s chef with “special vintage wines” provided by Pogo’s sommelier.

As for food for thought, WFAA’s Ron Corning will be the ringmaster of chat. And, oh, the tales he has to tell!

Gotta To Go To Togo Island*

Togo Island isn’t really an island. It’s actually a peninsula in the bend of the Mississippi River neatly tucked between Mississippi and Louisiana just down the road from Vicksburg

Because of its location and the abundance of vegetation on its 7,207.7 contiguous acres, it is ideal for wildlife to flourish. In addition to the turkey, waterfowl, small game and fish, Togo Island’s White-tailed Deer have become legendary with even the most demanding world-renowned hunters like Will Primos.

Limited to by-invitation-only membership, Lane Mitchell has made available a hunting package for two people to have a three-night stay in the lodge with meals included plus two days of guided duck and deer hunting. While the dates for this outing are to be mutually agreed upon, Lane suggested that the premium hunting time is January 1-15, 2017.

Run For The Roses Weekend*

While the actual Kentucky Derby run only last two minutes, true-blue Churchill Downs partying and celebration is a four-day affair. This Kentucky Derby package is far more than just attending the track the day of the race. It’s strictly VVIP, so if you win this package, you’d better buy some pretty new things to impress the Louisville locals.

If you can make time in your schedule to arrive early on Thursday, May 5, you’ll be able to take a tour of the Slugger Museum or the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Take the night off and rest. You’ll need it for what’s up ahead.

Friday, May 6, you’ll have to make another Solomon’s choice between

  • A private tour of “the most famous and successful thoroughbred horses and farms in the world.” Perhaps one of the equine runners will give you a tip on which Derby entrant to bet on. And while the ponies are munching on oats, you’ll dine at Chef Ouita Michel’s Holly Hill Inn.
  • Attend Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks, where you’ll have an afternoon of horse racing including the run of the two-year-old fillies.

Just think of the stories you’ll be able to share that evening at the barbecue hosted by Carolyn and Yum! CEO Greg Creed and other yummy folks.

When the big day comes on Saturday, May 7, you’ll start off with a brunch in the gardens of Whitehall, Louisville’s historic southern mansion. But don’t dawdle too long because even with your police escort you’ll need to get to Churchill Downs for the people watching and the horses breaking from the gate for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

After collecting your winnings, head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep because the next day it’s time to head home.

This incredible package including hotel, ground transfers to/from the airport, activities and Churchill Downs, food and beverage at all group events including Churchill Downs are provided by Yum! You’ll have to take care of the wagering and personal hotel incidentals.

But perhaps live auctions aren’t your favorite indoor sport. Thank heaven, Barbara has arranged to have a Sue Gragg ring as the galamorama raffle item with chances going for $25 per or five for $100.

* Travel to and from locations is not included in the package.

MySweet2016Goals: Anne Conner

According to award-winning community volunteer and philanthropist Anne Conner,

Anne Conner (File photo)

Anne Conner (File photo)

“To continue to learn something every day, to play tennis and to fly-fish as much as possible. To help Dallas Afterschool to achieve its goals of insuring that its member organizations (Trinity River Mission, Jubilee Center, Heart House along with others) educate Dallas’ children in safe and stimulating environments.”

Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Goes Hunting For Membership Among The Under 40 Crowd

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation launch of its young professionals group looked like a stellar fraternity rush party Thursday, June 20. Surrounded by the fine wood walls with portraits of past Texas leaders and shelves with marvelous historic collectibles including hats, the gents outnumbered the lovely ladies 20 to 1.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Young Professional guests

Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Young Professional guests

Hanging at one end of the massive room filled with dining-room tables was a mammoth screen showing a soccer game. Wink, wink. Ah, come on. Everybody who knew anything knew what was probably going to be on the screen — the final game of the NBA Title series. Not to worry. The dinner was to be over by 8:30 in plenty of time to head home or a fav watering hole to watch the last half.

Mammoth screen

Mammoth screen

That didn’t quite happen because the cocktail reception went on beyond the original time. Makes sense. Get a bunch of guys together with beverages and sharing a common interest. Well, shoot! You think gals are the only ones who like to gab? Heck, no. Advisory Committee Chair Mac Macfarlan was the perfect host chatting it up with old friends and new ones. Somehow one would suspect that after talking with Mac, folks signed up for the $75 membership just so they could get to know him better.

Carter Smith

Carter Smith

Eventually, the group settled down to a perfect dinner that was followed by a talk at 8 p.m. by Carter Smith, who at one point hollered out, “Where are my quail hunters?”

At 8:30 he was joined by Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Vice-Chair Ralph Duggins and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Chair Kelly Thompson, who discussed the organization’s mantra for the 40 and under organization to “raise awareness of the land and wildlife conservation issues facing their generation, preserve hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage, lead and serve in their communities; and establish meaningful relationship among likeminded individuals.”

Needless to say, the basketball game wasn’t being shown on the screen, but memberships were being gathered.