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.

Junior Leaguers Grand Slammed Milestones Luncheon With Awardees Caren Prothro, Linda McFarland And Venus Williams

The Junior Leaguers had pulled out all the guns for The Milestones Luncheon on Wednesday, November 16, at the Hilton Anatole. JLD President Bonner Allen and Luncheon Co-Chairs Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge had their over-the-top game plan in order, so they wisely booked the Chantilly Ballroom to accommodate the expected 1,500 guests.

Linda McFarland and Caren Prothro

And that game plan was built around some pretty heavy hitters — Linda McFarland would be presented as the Sustainer of the Year and Caren Prothro would receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, which has only been previously presented to Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams, Linda Pitts Custard and Lyda Hill. Needless to say, honoring these ladies alone could have sold out the luncheon ASAP.  

But then Bonner, Amanda and Pat wanted to complement the awardees with an equally prestigious speaker — tennis legend Venus Williams.

Still the event’s schedule was tight. Venus had to be out of there by 1 p.m. At first blush, it looked a little iffy. The VIP reception for the meet-and-greet started at 10:30 with organizers swearing Venus was “going to be here any minute” because she needed to leave by 11:15. By 10:41, the lineup for photos with the featured speaker was starting to extend beyond the cordoned-off area, but there was no Venus. A woman in white at a side entrance door was stationed to watch for her arrival. Just as the clock hit 10:54, Venus arrived. And it was so worth the wait.

While guests filled out forms, others handed off their purses and stood next to the towering 6’1″-tall tennis player, who was totally charming. She especially like Annika Cail’s necklace. But as every photo was taken, the lineup grew three-fold. Nevertheless, Venus’ posture and smile never wavered and she stayed past the 11:15 deadline.

Linda Secrest and Isabell Novakov

In the meantime, most of the men folk gathered at the other end of the room for coffee. Junior League Ball Chair Isabell Novakov reported that she was right on target for her March 4th fundraiser that will also take place in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. The 55th anniversary gala will “showcase past Balls and bring back elements of our history as we celebrate the JLD’s 95th Anniversary.” Her goal is a whopping $1M.

But back to the day’s fundraiser. Finally, the event could wait no longer and the Wedgwood Room doors to the ballroom opened at 11:18 with guests being encouraged to head to their tables. Still Venus stayed for the final photo that was taken at 11:25 and then headed to the ballroom.

Ten minutes later, Mr. Big Voice was heard advising guests to sit with the infamous “the program will start momentarily.” Only instead of a five-minute warning, it truly was momentarily with the house lights dimming seconds later.

Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt

Emcee Shelly Slater arrived at the podium, did a selfie and told guests to start eating. After Rev. Stephen Swan provided the invocation, Shelly was back with some “housekeeping tips.” No, not the Heloise type that involved grout cleaning, but how the purchase of the centerpieces would also help get through the valet line faster.

Bonner Allen and Kittye Peeler

At 11:39 Amanda and Pat thanked all for supporting the event and were followed by Bonner and JLD Sustainer President Kittye Peeler, who presented Linda and Caren with their awards.

Just past noon, guests got to their meals. Wise move. That way the clatter of utensils hitting plates would be done when Venus had a chat with WFAA sportscaster Joe Trahan starting at 12:36.

Taking their places in easy chairs on stage, the two talked as if they were in a living room. Sounding at times like a starry-eyed groupie, Joe asked Venus about her relationship with her sister, Serena Williams. While Joe wanted to get into discussing tennis, Venus took a timeout to say “Hi to everyone” and told how much she had enjoyed meeting guests earlier in the day. Looking out into the audience, she added, “You guys looked absolutely fantastic. I want to go shopping with all of you. We’ll do at a later date. Next time it will be Junior League-Neiman Marcus.” Grand slam!

Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

Highlights of the conversation included:

  • Her winning her very first Wimbledon, six to three — “I did?…Okay. My first championship was born out of tragedy a bit.” She explained that back in 1999 when she and Serena were playing the U.S. Open, they were in the semi-finals, so they had the chance to meet in the finals. “I didn’t actually win my match, but I learned so much from that. It made me so hungry.” Off for a number of months due to injuries, she played at Wimbledon, “When I went there, I thought ‘This is my time. I’m the one.’ So, I went to that tournament knowing I was going to win. I’ve got to say that I haven’t gone to another tournament with that same attitude, but it was just like you want to win your first one,  you want to cross over that line and it was just knowing that I was not going to walk away without that title that year.”  
  • What she does when she gets to that match point — “I just press the gas pedal. I love being at match point and at that point I just knew it was mine. It’s a privilege to be at match point. I try to live my whole life at that match point level.”
  • Venus Williams

    Winning the first title compared to subsequent ones — “It always changes. It’s never the same. I wish there was a special equation of ‘Now you do it this way. Here’s your formula. And there you go.’ But it’s not. Sometimes you’re torn; sometimes you’re off; sometimes you’re injured; you’re playing a different opponent; it might be windy; sometimes you’re confident; sometimes you’re not. But it’s never the same formula. I think the next year I played, I ended up playing someone who was an upstart and got to the final. And then, of course, you don’t want to go there saying one of the best players in the world loses to someone you never heard of. It’s a whole different kind of pressure.”

  • Venus’ op ed piece on equal pay for men and women — “I never thought that I was going to be a part of equal rights. It wasn’t something that I was aware of as a young person that women weren’t paid the same as men. I grew up dreaming of winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and didn’t realize that it wasn’t equal until I got there. So, once I got there and I had an opportunity to be part of it, it was like you have to take a stance for something. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation. There was no grand plan, but it’s been wonderful for me because I’ve been able to follow the footsteps of people like Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King and that’s meant so much to me to be able to contribute more.”
  • Lessons that apply both to sports and business — “In sports, there is no win-win. There’s just win. But you figure out how to win. And it applies to teamwork. Of course, within your own organization, it’s about teamwork. It’s about collaboration and it’s also about setting goals and working toward them…That’s why sports is so amazing for young women because it gives them confidence. It gives them goals; it gives them focus. You feel good about yourself and about your body especially in a day when body image is so challenging. Instead of thinking about what you look like, you think about what your body is doing for you. It’s switching the focus…. But you also learn about losing. As much as you want to, you can’t always win. And loss is the biggest single teacher every single time. Even if you don’t want it to be.”
  • Venus Williams

    Her sister Serena — “I would never pass up an opportunity to play with Serena Williams in doubles. You can’t make that work. We love each other’s company.  We always buoy each other up. It’s awesome to play with someone that you feel confident in. Then you can do your job and you don’t have to feel like you have to carry them. You can relax a little bit more. And if you’re playing bad, you know they can carry you and vice versa. It’s an awesome partnership. We wish we could play every tournament because we love that dynamic, but that’s not possible. She’s really fun. I’ll have to bring her next time.”

  • Sisterhood — “A lot of cultures have their own thing about community. In West Africa, they have like a symbol where everyone is pushing everyone up a tree.  So, we’re always pushing each other up. And that part of pushing is also competing, but it doesn’t mean we have to be rivals. We can respect each other as competitors. Just as women, we have to always be supportive of each other because not only are we facing not an equal playing field, we can’t also fight each other. We also have to have that ‘good girls club.’ We have to all be good girls and get on board and support each other. If someone phones asking if you can be here, you don’t need to know why, you just say, ‘I’m there.’ I love to win. It’s fun. I also love to see other people win, other people be successful. I love to see women be powerful. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a powerful woman. It’s intimidating actually to see someone so amazing, so beautiful, so gracious just kicking butt.”
  • Failure — “It’s an important, unfortunately but fortunately, motif in my career. Failure has always motivated me and taught me a lesson. When you fall back down, you’ve got to get right back up again. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of your success. If you’re not failing, that means you’re doing too safe or you’re such an expert and amazing that you’re just not human…. The biggest failure to me is not learning from a loss.”
  • Motivation — “The biggest motivation in my tennis career has been my sister outside of mom and dad. I wouldn’t have picked up a racket if it hadn’t been for them. But Serena taught me how to be tenacious and strong. She was just naturally so competitive and so courageous and fearless. And I was, ‘Okay, I’ve got a talent, but I hadn’t grown that heart yet.’ Remember how the Grinch had that little tiny heart? And at the end the heart got big and he became this amazing person. Well, that’s kind of what happened to me in sports. I didn’t push myself enough. You have to throw your whole body even if you’re faced with a firing squad. It doesn’t matter if you go down  on a stretcher, you won the match and die on the spot. But if that’s what it takes, that what it takes.  So, I kind of had to learn that and she showed me that. I’m eternally grateful to her because I would have been a great player who never crossed the line.”
  • Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

    Motivation in business — “My dad always encouraged us to be entrepreneurs. He encouraged us to work for ourselves. He encouraged us to get our education. He said, ‘I’m not raising some athletes here.’ Sometimes we took advantage of that by saying, ‘Dad, we have a lot of homework today.’ He’d say, ‘Okay, then we’ll cut the court short today.’ We didn’t do that too often, or he would have caught on.  He was a Renaissance man. Growing up, we’d be going to tennis tournaments and he’d be playing a tape about foreclosures. We didn’t understand it, but it was a mentality. When you’re eight years old, if you understand a foreclosure you’re probably not doing it again. It just set us up to be confident and to think for ourselves, which is super-important for a female athlete, especially a female tennis player because you’re going pro so young and there are all these outside forces that can stumble you and you can become a statistic really fast. There are also a lot of parents who stumble their own children by not allowing them to make their own decisions and grow up to be independent and strong. Our parents were a keen influence on all of that.”

  • Being in the National Museum of African American History and Culture — “I didn’t know I was in there…. That’s cool. I hope they don’t remove it.” She learned about it when friends sent her a picture of the exhibition.
  • Women in the future — She applauded what has been accomplished by women, and feels that in the future it’s important to have men come on board. “Unfortunately in this world, there is always something to conquer, but fortunately there are groups like the Junior League that are in it to win, and I appreciate your having me here today.”
  • Adversity in her life that she’s grateful for — “Wow! That’s deep. Any challenge, I don’t question it. For me it’s about being able to live with how I deal with it and being able to deal with it on my own terms. And coming out with what I can do to win and being able to regulate it and live with it that way. That’s enough for me.”
  • Her proudest accomplishment — “Two things I would say: Being able to look with no regrets, and also looking back and saying I enjoyed it.”
  • Volunteering in Compton — This past November she and her family kicked off the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, California, for families suffering from violence. Her older sister Yetunde Price was killed in 2003 in a drive-by shooting. The opening and support of the center allows Venus and her family to come full circle. “It was a super healing experience for my whole family to come back to Compton and to do that. We ended up going back to the court that we practiced on a lot. I got so emotional. It was so surreal. When we got there, all those things that happened. I loved that whole experience…Serena talked about the foolish things we did.”
  • Final words — “I love Dallas and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it [the luncheon]. I love the things that you’re doing on all levels. I look forward to the next chapter and coming back if you’ll have me.”

    Venus Williams and Joe Trahan

Finishing up just before 1 p.m., Joe proved to be a typical dad and Venus fan asking for a selfie with Venus for his daughters. Without hesitation Venus flashed that constant smile and accommodated Joe.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Junior League Of Dallas Milestones Luncheon

According to Junior League of Dallas Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt,

Amanda Shufeldt and Amy Prestidge (File photo)

Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge (File photo)

“The Junior League of Dallas would like to extend an invitation to join us for the annual Milestones Luncheon on Wednesday, November 16, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. As the annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund, the Milestones Luncheon serves as a platform to raise awareness for the programs supported by the JLD, as well as to celebrate and honor members who are making a difference in the Dallas community.

Venus Williams*

Venus Williams*

“This year, we are excited to have Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams as the keynote speaker. As the first African-American to reach world number one in the Open era, Venus has defied the odds to become a tennis champion with more than 20 career titles to her name.

“The JLD is proud to have many outstanding Sustaining members who continue to share their JLD leadership skills and training, while making a difference in the community. They represent the very best qualities of League members and show selfless dedication. This year, our Active members will honor Linda McFarland as Sustainer of the Year for her commitment and dedication to the Dallas community. As a League member, Mrs. McFarland has held numerous leadership positions including president of the Junior League Sustainers, and she has leveraged her JLD training to benefit organizations like The Dallas Woman’s Club, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Communities Foundation of Texas and Child Care Group.

Linda McFarland (File photo)

Linda McFarland (File photo)

Caren Prothro (File photo)

Caren Prothro (File photo)

“The JLD will also present Caren Prothro with the 95th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award for exemplifying our mission. In addition to being a supporter of the arts and higher education, Mrs. Prothro was instrumental in establishing the Letot Center and co-chairing the campaign to construct the Letot Girl’s Residential Treatment Center, a first-of-its-kind long-term counseling and residential center supporting victims of trafficking and abuse.

“The Milestones Luncheon will take place Wednesday, November 16, in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Check-in will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. Individual Luncheon tickets are $175, and Patron Luncheon tickets are $350. Sponsorships begin at $3,000. To purchase tables or individual tickets, please contact the JLD Development Office at 214.357.8822, ext. 118 or visit www.jld.net/luncheon for more information.

“Proceeds from the Luncheon, along with other annual fundraising and underwriting efforts, allow the JLD to grant $1 million to the Dallas community each year. We hope you will mark your calendar and make plans to join us during our 95th anniversary year!”

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas

Junior League Of Dallas Reveals Big Plans For Anniversary Year With Awards Luncheon Featuring Venus Williams And “Encore” Gala

The very idea of a coat, tie and suit on Tuesday, June 21, was like wearing mittens to thread a needle. But a handful of gentlemen like Dan Novakov, Brent Christopher and David Shuford mustered up their inner strength for the announcement of the Junior League of Dallas’ upcoming fundraising plans for its 95th anniversary.

But don’t be too teary-eyed for the men. After all, the event was taking place inside Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s mansion. And to keep things cool, the house general Roxann Vyazmensky scurried to the entry hall to close the front doors that were wide open. After all, the secret to summer party success is keeping things literally cool.

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

Roxann Vyazmensky, Lena Baca and Joyce Lacerte

The plan for the evening called for the party to start at 5:30 and the “remarks” at 6 p.m. By 5:40, the streets were already lined with vehicles. Sure, some of ‘em belonged to folks at the Highland Park pool, but more than 170 were there to hear the JLD reveal.

Bonner Allen

Bonner Allen

Promptly at 6 on the dot, like a lead cheerleader 2016-2017 JLD President Bonner Allen welcomed the group including Nancy Halbreich, Lynn McBee, Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths with her old Vanderbilt roomie Dr. Regina McFarland (aka JLD-er Linda McFarland‘s daughter-in-law), Sarah Losinger with her son John Losinger and his wife Laura Losinger, Linda GibbonsMarian Bryan, Connie O’Neill, Gerald Turner, Louise Griffeth, Christie Carter, Nancy Gopez, Linda Secrest and Dee Collins Torbert.

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Laura and John Losinger and Sarah Losinger

Dee Collins Torbert

Dee Collins Torbert

Susan Nowlin

Susan Nowlin

Aimee Bailllargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

Aimee Baillargeon Griffiths and Regina McFarland

But let’s not dawdle with the niceties. It’s the news of the night that had the Lacertes’ great room greatly filled with two cloaked easels positioned in front of the fireplace.

Amanda Shufeldt and Amy Prestidge

Amanda Shufeldt and Pat Prestidge

First on the agenda were 2016 Milestones Luncheon Co-Chairs Pat Prestidge and Amanda Shufeldt, who revealed the event will be held at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, November 16. Then they announced three biggy surprises. First was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s a highly prized acknowledgment among the JLD sisterhood, since it’s given only once every five years to a JLD Sustainer. Previous recipients had been Ruth Altshuler, Lindalyn Adams, Linda Custard and Lyda Hill. The 2016 honoree will be Caren Prothro. Next up was the announcement of which of the JLD Sustainers would be recognized for her work. It was no surprise that Linda McFarland will be the honoree.

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Nancy Halbreich

Linda McFarland

Linda McFarland

Then the final luncheon surprise was who the speaker would be. In the past, it had been folks like Jan Langbein, Vernice Armour, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager. Pulling the cloth off one of the easels, Pat and Amanda announced the keynote speaker would be tennis powerhouse Venus Williams. The news was greeted with cheers and applause.



Next up was Isabell Novakov, who is chairing the 55th Annual Junior League of Dallas Ball on Saturday, March 4, in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. First out of Isabell’s bag of surprises was that Karen Shuford, who has chaired practically everything (JLD Ball, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Crystal Charity Ball, The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon and Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball when it was known as the Beaux Art Ball) except the Byron Nelson, will serve as honorary chair.

As for the theme, Isabell removed the drop cloth from the second easel and there was the theme —“Encore.”

Isabell is using the event to “celebrate and pay tribute to our dedicated ball chairs who are now serving as Sustaining Advisors. We plan to showcase past balls and bring back elements of our history once more for the ‘Encore’ presentation.”

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Isabell Novakov, Lydia Novakov, Linda Secrest and Connie ONeill

Watching proudly from the sidelines was Isabell’s mom, Lydia Novakov. It was a bit like old home week for Lydia as she was joined by members of the executive committee (Janet Quisenberry, Sandy Ammons, Paula Davis, Linda Secrest and Connie O’Neill) who served with her when she was JLD president.

Tickets for the black-tie ball are available, as are tickets to the Milestones luncheon.

For more photos of the reception, check out MySwetCharity Photo Gallery.

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.”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?

KIPPster students

KIPPster students

It’s always nice when a first-time event is a hit. Even oldtimers, who admitted that they didn’t have a clue about the organization or the evening’s program, walked away with big smiles.

Sandi Chapman, Ruben Esquivel and Krys Boyd

Sandi Chapman, Ruben Esquivel and Krys Boyd

That was the case with “Are You Smarter Than A KIPPster?” on Wednesday, April 30. While the post is being prepped, you might want to check out some of the KIPPsters who matched brain power with some of Dallas well-knowns on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Who won? Stay tuned.

Pink Day At The Challenger Of Dallas Included Tennis Star Tracy Austin On The Sidelines As Honorary Host

Despite the icy conditions The Challenger of Dallas proceeded last Wednesday and Thursday. Was the icy weather that hit on Thursday a problem? Heck, no! The event took place at T Bar M Racquet Club, which enjoys the luxury of indoor courts. Besides benefiting Susan G. Komen Dallas County, North Texas’s “largest indoor pro-men’s tennis event” included professional tennis champ Tracy Austin as an honorary host. Here’s a report from T Bar M:

Wednesday, February 5

From 6-8 p.m., players — Ryan Harrison, Mark Knowles, Rhyne WilliamsMalek Jaziri and Steve Johnsonand sponsors joined together at the T Bar M Racquet Club for the 2014 Challenger of Dallas Sponsor Player Party. With the support from these sponsors, Challenger of Dallas, which is the largest indoor pro-­men’s tennis event in North Texas, is made possible.

While guests like Molly Hamilton, Nichole and Kurt Thomas and Katy and Lawrence Bock looked on, T Bar M owner Glen Agritelley thanked the crowd for their support. Former World No.  1 professional tennis player and internationally acclaimed tennis commentator, Tracy Austin, also spoke and took pictures with guests. Guests enjoyed Latin music by Marcelo Berestovoy Trio and food provided by T Bar M.

Lori Plum, Jan Osborn, Tracy Austin and Mary Evelyn Raedisch*

Lori Plum, Jan Osborn, Tracy Austin and Mary Evelyn Raedisch*

Other guests in attendance included: Carol and Alan Bernon, Brittain Watson, Rajeev Ram, Jan Osborn, Mary Evelyn Raedisch, Lori Plum, Justin Lee and J.D. Miles.

Some of the top sponsors included: Brinkmann, USMD, LoveTennis, Estada Hinojosa, Molly Hamilton, Aaron Family, Surgery Center Network, USTA and Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Challenger of Dallas benefits DTA’s “Invest in a Child”, Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation and Dallas County Affiliate of Susan G.  Komen for the Cure.

Thursday, February 6

The 16th Annual Challenger of Dallas Tennis Tournament went pink to support Susan G. Komen Dallas County for Pink Day. Guests braved the snow and arrived at the T Bar M Racquet Club decked out in pink to watch some of the top tennis players from around the world compete and raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Pink Day at Challenger of Dallas was created six years ago by Mary Evelyn Raedisch, who is the Pink Day Honorary Chair and a two‐time breast cancer survivor. Her husband Bob is Challenger of Dallas Director.

The morning began with a VIP coffee featuring honorary host Tracy Austin, a two‐time US Open Champion, former World No. 1 on the WTA tour and internationally acclaimed tennis commentator. Guests enjoyed a meet‐and‐greet and photo opp with Austin, while enjoying breakfast and coffee.

Pink Day at T Bar M court

Pink Day at T Bar M court*

Following the coffee, Austin joined Pink Day attendees on the tennis court and was introduced by emcees, Jane Slater and J.D. Miles from CBS 11. Austin then gave an inspiring speech about her tennis career and answered questions from the crowd.

Glen Agritelley and Wendy Krispin**

Glen Agritelley and Wendy Krispin**

Wendy Krispin Catering provided a delicious and healthy lunch, and guests spent the rest of the afternoon watching tennis matches and shopping in the Challenger booths.

A silent auction also took place with prizes including: an autographed picture of Tracy Austin and an antique Bill Talbert Stadium Courtside chair signed by Jim Courier and Mats Wilander.

Guests also received a gift bag that included a towel from LoveTennis, two nail polish and foot scrubber from Sam Moon and lip gloss, eye shadow, mascara and lotion from Mary Kay.

Guests in attendance included: Honorary Chair Mary Evelyn Raedisch, Co‐Chairs Jan Osborn and Lori Plum, Hall of Fame Inductee Molly Hamilton, Brittain Watson, Robin Bagwell and Lois Finkelman.

Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised from Pink Day will stay in Dallas County to support breast cancer education, screening, treatment and support services for uninsured and under-insured Dallas County residents, while the remaining 25 percent will benefit national scientific research to help find a cure.

* Photo credit: Tessa Kolodny
** Photo credit: Pink Day

Second Annual The Elisa Project Open Takes The Battle Against Eating Disorders To The Courts

While some were lunching at fundraising events on Friday, November 15, others were taking full advantage of the beautiful weather to raise money for The Elisa Project. This report from the field tells the story:

“The Elisa Project held its second annual tennis tournament – TEP Open — at the Dallas Country Club.  Charlotte Alston Legg and Terri McCullough served as co-chairs for the event with The Elisa Project Co-Founders Leslie and Rick McCall as honorary co-chairs.

Charlotte Alstron Legg, Leslie and Rick McCall and Terry McCullough*

Charlotte Alstron Legg, Leslie and Rick McCall and Terry McCullough*

“Twenty-six teams of two played in the round robin and 105 tournament and raised over $10,000 for the charity.  Thanks to sponsors (Audi Dallas, Dallas Country Club, Elizabeth Showers, Cabanalife, JM Albert Photography, Skin Technology, The Scout Guide, Innergy, Spoon bar & kitchen, T Bar M Racquet Club, Royal Oaks Country Club, McCullough Mediation, Sunkissed Girl, Woodhill Dental Specialties, Vickie Brown Tenniswear and several local families), the entire event was underwritten.

“Local tennis phenom Peggy Porter also joined in by playing with the pros. The day included a ProAm and lunch on the terrace.

Kim Martinez

Kim Martinez*

“Executive Director, Kim Martinez said that success of the tournament was due to the hard work of Charlotte and Terri in addition to the support of all sponsors, the Dallas Country Club and their pro staff.

“The purpose of the event was to raise mission-critical funds for The Elisa Project that will be used to provide school-age and community education and prevention programs throughout North Texas, as well as resource and referral services to help patients and families struggling with eating disorders find treatment and support.”

Photos provided by The Elisa Project

Texas Trailblazer Awards Nomination Deadline Time Approaches

You’ve got until Friday. . . this Friday … to submit your nominees for The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Awards.

The public. . . that’s most of us. . . can nominate in the following categories:

  • The Texas Trailblazer Award: Recognizes a local individual who has achieved significant success despite the obstacles faced along the way. The Trailblazer is someone who has accomplished a “first,” opened the doors of opportunity for others, and who is an exceptional role model for Texas women and healthy families. Through their accomplishments, the Trailblazer has blazed a trail for others to follow.
  •  The Real-Life Hero Award: Honors an individual who works behind the scenes to create positive change for women and healthy families within our community.

To nominate, just go here!

The honorees will be featured at the September 26 luncheon at the Omni Hotel Dallas. Barbara and Steve Durham and Julie and Steve Rado are the event chairs and the honorary co-chairs are Sheila and Jody Grant. Guest speaker will be Cynthia Lowen, who wrote and produced “Bully.”

Going For The Goal(s): Jan Osborn

Jan Osborn (File photo)

Nexus Women’s Auxiliary Spring Luncheon Co-chair Jan Osborn reports:

“My primary goal is the completion of Zachary’s House in Ghana, West Africa, which is a memorial for our son, and will be occupied by young victims of child trafficking.

 “And, secondly, I would like to improve my tennis game.  :)”

-Jan Osborn

Going For The Goal(s): Janie Condon

Janie Condon (File photo)

Fundraiser Janie Condon‘s 2013 goal is:

“My goal for 2013 is to start playing tennis again after 15 years! And I’m hoping I can compete with the 35-year-olds!!

-Janie Condon