A Beacon of Hope Luncheon Introduced Faces Of Hope And Had Glennon Doyle Melton Mix Humor And Honesty About Mental Health

As final preparations were underway on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel for “A Beacon Of Hope” silent auction and luncheon benefiting the Grant Halliburton Foundation, a VIP reception was taking place on the fourth floor’s City View room on Thursday, February 23.

Foundation President/Founder Vanita Halliburton was surrounded by people whose had been touched by teenagers dealing with mental health issues. She herself had created the foundation due to the suicide of her son Grant Halliburton at the age of 19 in 2005 after years of suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

Dealing with teen mental health is very difficult issue for a fundraising event. It’s a delicate weaving of the emotional turmoil and hope for helping others overcome such challenges. On this occasion, Vanita was celebrating the launch of a new program — Faces of Hope. As Faces of Hope Chair Barb Farmer explained, the collaboration between the foundation and Gittings was to honor people within the community who “work in diverse ways to promote mental health every day.”

This year’s group of Faces included Suzie and Mike Ayoob, Senior Corporal Herb Cotner, Julie Hersh, Terry Bentley Hill, Patrick LeBlanc, Sylvia Orozco-Joseph, Sierra Sanchez and Priya Singvi.

Sierra Sanchez, Priya Singhvi, Sylvia Orozco-Joseph, Mike and Suzie Ayoob, Terry Bentley Hill, Julie Hersh, Herb Cotner and Patrick LeBlanc

In addition to pieces of crystal being presented to each of the Faces, their portraits were displayed in the lobby on the second floor.

Gittings Faces of Hope portraits

Following the presentation, Vanita had the day’s speaker author/blogger/newly engaged Glennon Doyle Melton briefly talk. Her message was that you can let tragedy drive you forward for the better or let it drive you further down.

Then, right on cue at 10:55, Vanita directed the patrons to the second floor to check the silent auction and buy raffle tickets. On the way down, Barb showed a bracelet that she got from last year’s raffle. It seems her husband bought ten tickets and claimed it was his. Luckily, he gave it to Barb.

Tom Krampitz and Terry Bentley Hill

Hailey Nicholson and Shannon Hollandsworth

The patrons discovered the lobby and ballroom jammed with guests like Tom Krampitz, Shannon Hollandsworth with daughter Hailey Nicholson. Dixey Arterburn was walking through the crowd with a Starbucks cup and a very hoarse throat. Seems she lost her voice at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Ball the Saturday before.

Dixey Arteburn and Ginger Sager

Taylor Mohr and Amanda Johnson

Taylor Mohr was with her buddy Amanda Johnson, who lost her sister to suicide resulting in Amanda’s working with others involved in such emotional crisis. Unfortunately, there were many in the audience with similar reason for being there. Luckily, they were there to not just support Grant Halliburton Foundation but each other.

Steve Noviello and Vanita Halliburton

Just past noon, KDFW reporter/emcee Steve Noviello recalled that the first year only 100 people attended the luncheon. Now eight years later there were more than 400. In introducing Vanita, he told how when he first met her in her office, he had remarked about the art on the walls, only to learn that it had been done by Grant.

Vanita told about the Foundation and its purpose to help young people struggling with mental health crises. In the past suicide had been the third leading cause of death among young people from ages 15 to 24. It is now second among those between 10 and 24. In Texas, the average is one suicide per week among young people.

After a break for lunch, Vanita and Glennon took their places in chairs on stage. Less than 30 seconds into the conversation, Glennon’s headset mic wasn’t working. A man hustled to the stage with a handheld. Despite the change of mic, there continued to be rustling noise over the PA. Another handheld was brought to the stage for Vanita. It didn’t seem all that necessary, since Glennon appeared to need no help in sharing her life of bulimia, alcoholism, drug addiction and her personal views.

Glennon Doyle Melton

She got sober when she was 25 after being in addiction for a decade and a half. Then she got married and life was good until her husband told her that he had been unfaithful. Learning that news, she just couldn’t stay in her house, so she headed to her yoga class, where they had her go to a hot yoga room. Upon entering the room, Glennon thought, “What the hell is this?”

When the question was raised about what the yoga members’ intentions were that day, Glennon admitted, “My intention is sit on the mat and not run out of the room.” The results? “It was the hardest 90 minutes of my life.”

While her talk was a mix of self-deprecating humor and brutal honesty, it was definitely not a scripted speech but rather just Glennon just being Glennon. 

But her message was clear — “My entire life is to not to avoid the pain of life.” She also said that as a parent, “It’s not our job to protect our children from pain.”

In closing, she consoled those who had suffered the loss of loved ones to mental illness by saying, “Grief is just the proof of great love.”

Inner Beauty Shop’s Embody Love Movement To Provide Healthier Alternatives For Area Girls

With summer comes the look. Whether it’s flirty sundresses, too-cute shorts or sizzling swimsuits, the emphasis is on today’s Holy Grail — having the perfect body. Too many young gals actually think there is such a thing. In trying to achieve it, they make unhealthy choices. That’s why the Inner Beauty Shop aims to help women appreciate the whole person and better understand what real perfection is. Here is a report from the field about the program’s official launch:

Melody Moore and Michelle Collins*

Melody Moore and Michelle Collins*

On a springlike evening this past Thursday, May 14, a most inspiring new initiative was celebrated at Blue Print in Dallas. Embody Love Movement (E*L*M) engages in communities of both privilege and transition, offering workshops (their InnerBeautyShop™) incorporating media analysis, affirmation and yoga.  Melody Moore, PhD is a therapist based in Dallas, committed to bringing girls with disordered eating and self-esteem issues to health.  It was through her enlightened practice that Michelle Collins and her daughter Charlotte met Melody, and realized that the message simply had to travel beyond just the world of therapy circles. Hence the birth of E*L*M – a partnership built with the mission “to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world”.

Artwork display*

Artwork display*

James Davis and Katheryne Davis*

James Davis and Katheryne Davis*

The evening captured the creativity and optimism of both founders. The art projects completed by BeautyShop participants decorated the walls of the ever-gorgeous interior design mecca that is Blue Print.  Past participants of the InnerBeautyShop mingled with cute t-shirts on and special turquoise Embody Love bracelets around their wrists (also for sale at the event). Jazz wafted from a trio on the patio by the pool and lovely healthy apps were passed throughout the evening. Melody and Michelle took a moment to articulate the vision and the inspiration of E*L*M and didn’t leave a sign unheard. It was a gorgeous evening.

Host Committee: Robin and Norm Bagwell, Cynthia and Bruce Collins, Charlotte and John Legg and Mary and Mike Smith.

Board members of E*L*M: Caroline Brasch, James Davis, Wayne Goodwin, Paula Larsen, Christie Reniger and Stephanie Setliff, PhD.

To sign up for the next Embody Love Center Inner Beauty Shop, click here.

* Photos provided by Embody Love Movement