Stock Up To “Stuff The Trolley”

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

On the heels of last Friday’s Empty Bowls that filled the Meyerson with restaurateurs and hungry patrons to raise funds for the North Texas Food Bank, NTFB’s Anna Kurian sends word about another foodie project. According to Anna, “Longtime Food Bank friends Janet and Phil Cobb are organizing a special food drive: ‘Stuff the Trolley’ to honor our late CEO Jan Pruitt. I know the Cobbs really want to make sure that this drive honoring Jan is a success.”

Stuff the Trolley*

Here’s the plan: On Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., food will be collected at the Trolley Turntable at the West Village, 2700 City Place West Blvd. That’s the DART Transit Station on City Place West Drive.

Sponsored by the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, both monetary and food items such as canned goods like tuna and peanut butter will be collected. If you were gonna donate your favorite jar of caviar, it’s a nice thought, but doesn’t quite fit the need for those in need.

If you can’t make it by, you can always donate here!

* Graphic provided by 
North Texas Food Bank

The 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Of The Eight Beneficiaries Resulted In Flowers, Tears And Inspiration For The $5.8M Goal

Like many nonprofits, there comes a once-a-year decision of how the raised funds will be distributed. For 65 years, Crystal Charity Ball has had that come-to moment for the Dallas area children’s nonprofits. To think. There are grown-ups who have survived devastating diseases and overcome miserable home lives and then have had amazing lives, thanks to the committee of 100 women.  

On Thursday, February 16, CCB Chair Pam Perella, CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and a busload of ladies undertook a day of visiting the eight beneficiaries thanks to Briggs Freeman | Sotheby’s International Realty’s Layne Pitzer‘s and Joan Eleazer‘s underwriting the tour. It was at one of those stops where the membership saw firsthand how one child and his mother represented the thousands of faceless and nameless other kids who were in need. More about that later.

Before the tour got underway with Andre in the driver’s seat, though, tour director Fredye Factor reminded the group that this year’s “working theme” was TV shows. Since the tour had been tagged as “All My Children,” they had arranged for Susan Lucci‘s cousin Pucci Lucci to address the ladies. Pucci turned out to be CCB member Pam McCallum, whose Pucci was more Blanche Devereaux than Erica Kane.

Big Brothers Big Sister Lone Star — $500,000

Bill Chinn

But it was time to get down to work and things started off with two representative making presentations on board the bus. First up was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lone Star President Bill Chinn, who told how the July 7th shooting in downtown Dallas had spurred them on with a project — Bigs in Blue, which would connect first responders like policeman, fire fighters and city personnel as mentors for at-risk children to “establish strong and enduring one-to-one relationships.”  

Rainbow Days — $500,000

Tiffany Beaudine

Next up was Rainbow Days Director of Development Tiffany Beaudine, who reported that the CCB’s contribution would span three years to purchase a new van for transporting supplies to children living in motels, as well as adding “one new full-time program manager and a portion of four staff members who will assist in implementing programs, and partial salary for the program director.” Rainbow Day’s Project Hope program would also “deliver food weekly including snacks, school clothing and hygiene products as well as an opportunity for homeless children to attend summer day camps and holiday celebrations.”

The children whom they serve often suffer from fear. Too often their lives are filled with gunfire at night and the fear of playing outdoors.  

The Autism Treatment Center — $582,020

Neil Massey

Then the ladies were driven to the Autism Treatment Center to learn firsthand about its Early Intervention Therapy and Educational Capital Campaign. Thanks to the contribution, 101,100 square feet of the present facility will be “reconfigured and remodeled to increase the number of educational classrooms, therapy rooms, counseling offices and other important spaces.” The additional space will allow the Autism Treatment Center to quadruple the number of students who will receive help.

In showing the outdoor playground with its misting umbrella for hot days and the growing garden that provides both education and accomplishment, Development Director Neil Massey looked at the open lot next door. Having outgrown their current facilities, he said that they had tried to buy it from the present owner but had had no luck.

Autism Treatment Center

But it was the classrooms where the ladies learned that patience was a key to working with autistic boys and girls. Structure and patience were not just paramount for the children’s learning to adjust to their special conditions. But those lessons were important to being included in the family life. One lesson was that when an autistic children got frustrated and got physically upset, it was important for them to be ignored until they realized that their actions would not produce results. One CCB-er, upon hearing the comment said, “That probably proves true in all our lives.”

Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation — $541,098

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation board member Mary Ann Hyde

Next on the itinerary was the T. Boone Pickens Center. The timing of the visit was perfectly planned. It just so happened that the Center’s board was meeting that day with Board Trustee Mary Ann Hyde backed by the board members to greet the ladies in front of the magnificent facility.

So, it may have initially seemed curious to have CCB that benefits children to be providing funds for a hospice facility, but there was a very important aspect of the Pickens Center that affected children — the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program.

Breaking into groups, the membership was shown the facilities that would assist not just those completing their lives, but would also help family, especially children, to be part of the final farewell and adjust to the loss. The 36-bed facility featured suites especially designed to comfort the patients with breathtaking views of the lake, doors that could accommodate the patient’s bed being moved to the room’s patio, and the out-of-sight medical equipment.

Presbyterian T. Boone Pickens Center guest suite

But the main point of the tour was how the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program would help children through the process of grieving the loss “in a healthy and healing way.” There were the Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Education Center and the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center that provided both areas of play and adjustment to loss.  

Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program play room

In one room was a playhouse with super heroes on the walls. While in other rooms were materials for kids to vent their feelings regardless of their ages to social workers, counselors, music therapists and art therapists, who “will encourage healthy emotional growth, and bring unique comfort to children who have lost a sibling, parent or grandparents.”  

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance — $527,770

The next stop was the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance in the West End. While it was perfectly planned to coincide with a group of students, it reinforced the need for the Holocaust’s need to expand to a larger facility. CCB and high schoolers found themselves on top of each other learning about the horrors of World War II and the demonstrations of remembrance.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance’s Paul Lake

One such example was the placement of stones representing the persons who were victims of the Holocaust. One teenager’s attempt to place a stone found their effort falling on the floor, resounding throughout the room. Ironically, the sound of the stone hitting the hard stone floor seemed to draw attention to the solemnity that had filled the room.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance

For a three-year period, the CCB contribution will allow “thousands of Title 1 and economically disadvantaged students to the Museum, free of charge, and will provide their teachers necessary curriculum support.”

Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $1,111,735

Just blocks away from Children’s Medical Center, the CCB-ers donned hard hats and safety glasses to tour Children’s Health’s Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program that was under construction. Planned to officially open with full services in May, it allows youngsters with movement challenges resulting from injuries or chronic illnesses to access all the treatments in one facility. The rooms would provide everything from aquatic treatments to padded rock climbing.

Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program aquatic facility under construction

Thanks to CCB’s contribution, it would be possible to purchase “five pieces of state-of-the-art robotic gait and mobility training equipment: The ErigoPro early mobilization tilt-table, the LokomatPro robotic based partial-weight-bearing treadmill system, the Andago body weight supported mobile robotic gait system, the Natus balance and gait assessment system and the HydroWorx therapy pool. Training for staff and robotic software upgrades are included with the purchase of this equipment.”

Thanks to this “centralized accessibility, thousands of Dallas County children will be able to seek services designed for patients from two to 18 years of age.

As the committee gathered in the main room, they were told of a surprise. It was indeed a surprise. Britt Cupp, who had suffered a trauma to his brain due to a skateboard accident years ago, arrived with yellow roses and a personal note for each of the women. As his mother, Angela Cupp, looked on, Britt handed out the flowers. Unfortunately, when Britt had his accident, he and his family were forced to seek assistance at different facilities throughout the country. Many of the CCB-ers who had children Britt’s age looked on in amazement at the mother and son who had been through so much and were spearheading the creation of such a facility.

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

After a massive group pic with Britt, the CCB-ers with flowers in hand gathered outside for the traditional group picture. Inside Angela had one request — a photo of Britt with 2017 CCB President Pam Perella and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher. Little did she know that Brent had made a similar request, saying, “Britt is my hero.”

Hunger Busters — $1,192,500

The CCB bus now headed to West Dallas for the Hunger Busters operation behind a tall wrought-iron fence topped with razor wire. On the side of the small building, the air condition units were padlocked.

Iron fences topped with razor wire at Hunger Busters

New father/Hunger Busters Executive Director Trey Hoobler explained, “We’re in a turf war here caught between two groups.”

But despite the Spartan and tight conditions, Production/Volunteer Manager Gumaro Castillo in the kitchen’s prep area explained how Ford would be proud of the assembly line of volunteers prepping the meals for DISD schools and after-school programs. Having been there eight years, Gumaro pointed with pride as volunteers put together sandwiches.

Hunger Busters volunteers

Thanks to the CCB contribution that would be used over a three-year period, the Feed the Need program would be expanded, “representing a 150% increase in the number of children served, from 2,000 to 5,000 daily. An additional new delivery van and staff support will allow Hunger Busters to serve children and schools on their waiting list for a total of 300,000 additional meals each year.”

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy — $850,000  

Sandra Helton

The final stop of the day was Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy, where Sister Sandra Helton pointed to an open lot adjacent to the school where a cafeteria would be built. She then showed why the new facility would be needed, as she led the group to the present room where children eat. If the current lunchroom was needed for another event, the tables and chairs had to be removed and then replaced afterwards. If a funeral was to take place in the nearby sanctuary, meals would have to delayed.  The kitchen was barely larger than a jet liner’s kitchen.

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy

While the tour was going on, some youngsters took naps on the classroom floors, some practiced in the music room under Brandon McDannald‘s direction and others were hard at work at desks in classrooms.

Thanks to the CCB commitment, a 12,500-square-fooot cafeteria and fine arts center will be built that will be “available weekends for 1,300 children who attend religious education classes and also for Science Fairs, Band and Choir concerts, fundraisers like their Fall Festival and Grandparent’s Day. Funds will also be used for a dedicated fine arts center, giving Santa Clara students many more options in band, music, choir and art with designated classrooms where they can safely secure their instruments and supplies. Additionally, funds will provide a parish office and conference room, allowing for more students in the existing school.”

It was then homeward bound and ten months of fundraising to provide $5.8M for the children of Dallas.

For more photos from the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetWishList: Cars For Kids

According to Cars for Kids COO Malcolm Wentworth,

“My wish is for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season and for all our students to come back to school after the holidays ready to continue their journey. We need your help more than ever in order to help make this journey a success. Our ask is simple, donate your old vehicle in any condition to Texans Can Cars for Kids. We have our own staff that take care of the entire process.  We can pick up the vehicle for free and at a time that is convenient for you. Our tow drivers will provide you with a temporary receipt or we can email you one. We auction your vehicle at our Dallas car dealership and get you the highest possible tax deduction based on the sale of the vehicle at our auction.

Santa Tow*

“Our auctions are open to the public so we get the highest possible value for your vehicle and we have auctions every Saturday, with the exceptions of a couple holidays. Our dealership is located at 7100 Marvin D. Love Freeway, Dallas 75237. 

“You will receive a minimum of $500 tax deduction regardless of the condition of the vehicle. We are an IRS approved 501(c)3 organization. Your donation will help Local kids get back in school and you are helping save their lives because the kids are learning how to read and think for themselves. Texans Can Academies (TM) graduated 1,904 students this past school year. 

Cars For Kids mural*

“With your help we can do even more with two new schools we opened four months ago. My staff is here to help you with the process and we can take all donations up until 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2016, if you want to take advantage of the tax donation for this year. Remember to ‘Write off the Car, Not the Kid®.’”

-By Malcolm Wentworth, Cars for Kids COO

* Graphic and photo provided by Cars For Kids

JUST IN: Chef Kent Rathbun Injured In ATV Accident

It was just last Thursday that Chef Kent “Big Daddy” Rathbun led the fundraising for the annual Signature Chefs Auction at the Hilton Anatole. He was in great spirits raising money for the March of Dimes.

Aaron Staudenmaier and Kent Rathbun

Aaron Staudenmaier and Kent Rathbun

Unfortunately, Kent suffered severe injuries Saturday in West Texas when he, his wife Tracy Rathbun and daughter Garrett Rathbun were thrown from a Polaris vehicle. Luckily Tracy and Garrett were just shaken up. However, Kent had to be careflighted to Odessa ICU late Saturday night and then airlifted to Parkland Sunday.

According to reports, he suffered a punctured kidney, a fractured vertebrae and 22 broken ribs that resulted in fluids building up in his lungs. The goal is to clear the lungs, so surgeons can repair the damage to his back.

Luckily, the conditions were improving this morning. According to D Magazine’s Nancy Nichols, Tracy’s business partner Lynae Fearing reported, “Kent is conscious and blowing into a device that measure his lungs. They feel that if they can get the lungs cleared today, they will do the back surgery tomorrow.”      

At this point Kent and the family need prayers and positive thoughts. Hold the phone calls and visits until things calm down. For updates, the Rathbuns are requesting that you check Caring Bridge.

Update: Here’s proof that Kent is very conscious and his sense of humor hasn’t been hurt one bit.

Internationalism On The Menu At H. Neil Mallon Award Dinner

2016 H. Neil Mallon Award*

2016 H. Neil Mallon Award*

In a presidential-election year that essentially has globalism on the ballot, there was no doubting the commitment of more than 800 people to the concept when the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth held its annual H. Neil Mallon Award fundraising dinner at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, September 24.

The purpose of the event was to present the 33rd annual Mallon award to Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group. But the evening was also a celebration of internationalism, with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where American dominates, at its dynamic heart.

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue was one of the dinner co-chairs, along with Robert L. Crandall, CEO of American from 1985 to 1998. The dinner chairs were CEO David T. Seaton of Fluor Corp., which depends heavily on international construction work, and Texas Capital Bancshares leader C. Keith Cargill, who’s also chairman of the World Affairs Council of DFW board. The honorary dinner chairs were Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who couldn’t attend, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Kay Bailey Hutchison*

Mike Rawlings*

Mike Rawlings*

During the pre-dinner receptions, old friends like Talmage Boston, Laura and Tom Leppert, Marvin Singleton and Richard Holt caught up with the latest news. Marvin, a bigwig with the local office of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, said that he’d just traveled 12,000 miles in the previous three weeks. Richard, the local Bank of America leader, said he’d been traveling a lot in the last month as well. Terrell Falk, wife of WAC/DFW President and CEO Jim Falk, revealed that she’d recently come out of retirement to be CEO/COO of a new arts incubator called The Cedars Union. (Seed money came from the Bowdon family foundation.)

Jim Falk*

Jim Falk*

A little later, as the dinner guests worked on their shrimp salads, braised short ribs, and caramel-and-chocolate truffle torts, Rawlings took the podium to congratulate Parker on “pulling our world together, and making DFW Airport your home.” The mayor then acknowledged that questions about globalism have arisen in the presidential campaign, adding, “Do you pull away, or do you lean in? Thank you for leaning in and supporting the World Affairs Council.”

After a video tribute to Parker—in it, Donohue called Parker the “dean” of airline CEOs, just as Crandall had been—Crandall himself helped Cargill present the Mallon Award to Parker. The 80-year-old retired executive, who now divides his time between Florida and his native New England, praised Parker for launching 18 new routes and adding 5,000 employees since American’s merger with US Airways in 2013.

Robert Crandall, Doug Parker and Keith Cargill*

Robert Crandall, Doug Parker and Keith Cargill*

During his remarks accepting the WAC award, Parker surprised the crowd by announcing that American would name its new Fort Worth headquarters campus—which should be ready for move-in by 2018—after Crandall. “I just told Bob about it an hour and a half ago,” Doug disclosed. Later, Crandall called the announcement “a great compliment, and a huge pleasure.”

The evening concluded with a keynote talk by David Ignatius, foreign affairs columnist for The Washington Post. Ignatius told the crowd that people everywhere are worried that America is becoming less willing to take a leadership role in the world. He then outlined three challenges that he sees: the threat posed by ISIS, the threat posed to the U.S. by Russia under Vladimir Putin, and the problem of China if America withdraws from its involvement in Asia.

David Ignatius*

David Ignatius*

“It really matters whether America remains persistent in the world and has the backs of our friends,” Ignatius said, adding: “Internationalism is strong in our country when it comes from the heartland—from Texas and Minnesota, from businesses and workers, not from the elites. Visiting with people here in Dallas makes me more hopeful that we’ll stay engaged in the world.”

You can bet that most everyone in the house agreed with the sentiment.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

Downtown Dallas Is Gonna Be A Major Traffic Jam… Uh, Party Room On October 21 And 22

If you thought Dallas would be ground zero for revelries on the night of Friday, October 7, with Longhorns and Sooners partying and DIFFA’s Burgers and Burgundy taking place on the Ron Kirk Bridge, think again.

It’s just gonna be a warmup for Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22. On those two days, downtown Dallas has all the looks of being a slam-bang theater of activity.

So, what’s the big hoo-ha?

  • Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    To start things off, the Klyde Warren Park’s biggy fundraiser Park and Palate will be having food, fun and music from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Across the road at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, freebie Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017s will feature “10 massive art installations of light, video and sound from around the world” on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus from 8 til midnight. Plus there will be music in the Annette Strauss Square with the doors opening at 6:30. Suggestion: However, if you’ve got some ca-ching and want a sneak preview, come to the AT&T PAC fundraiser —Prelude Lights — the night before. It will include “an extraordinary evening of interactive art in varied mediums of light and sound, culinary delights, live entertainment by Neon Indian and much more.” The original $250+ ticket levels has had a $75 level offered. What a deal! Plus you won’t have to face the logjam of traffic on Friday and Saturday.
  • Over at the Omni Dallas Hotel the St. Jude’s crowd will be holding the 2016 St. Jude Evening Under The Star starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Needless to say, traffic jamming will test the temperaments of both event participants and innocent commuters. So, if your GPS is set for downtown Dallas on either of these days, pack an extra helping of patience.

Let’s just hope that the weather is pristine. You really don’t want rain on such an occasion, don’t you know?

It Was All Painted Hands On Deck For Hyundai Hope On Wheels Presentation For Children’s Medical Center Foundation

The cancer-battling kids at Children’s Medical Center are such incredible troopers. Having faced daunting treatments, loss of hair and being hooked up to mobile IVs, they take it all in stride. With their families at their side, they trust the wisdom and advice of their doctors and the team of healthcare providers without hesitation.

But on Friday, September 2, a handful of the young patients were wondering if these wise professionals had gone a bit batty.

But more about that later.

Brent Christopher and Kern Wildenthal

Brent Christopher and Kern Wildenthal

With chairs in the Butterfly Atrium filled, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher welcomed all to the Hyundai Hope On Wheels presentation that included area Hyundai dealers and former Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal. Brent reported how in the state of Texas, one in five children diagnosed with cancer is treated at Children’s.

Stephen Skapek

Stephen Skapek

Division of Pediatric Hematology-oncology chief/Dr. Stephen Skapek told of the advances that were being made at Children’s in partnership with UT Southwestern, thanks to generous financial support. Proudly he showed off his “lab coat of Hyundai” honor that he keeps hanging in his office.

Then Hyundai South Central Regional Manager Tom Hetrick told how this event “was the best part of [his] job.” Since 1998 Hyundai nationally has provided a total of $115M to pediatric cancer research. This year the goal was $13M, with $150,000 provided by local Hyundai dealers for Children’s.

Tom Hetrick

Tom Hetrick

This year’s contribution will support the work of Dr. Kenneth “Kenny” Chen, who gratefully thanked the Hyundai team and told how 40,000 children are annually diagnosed with pediatric cancer and one in eight will not survive. He added that “only 4% of the national cancer budget goes to childhood cancer research.” It was just four years ago that Kenny and “his colleagues at Children’s Medical turned surgically removed kidney tumors — once threats to life — into new sources of information on cancer. They sequenced the genes of dozens of tumors.” Thanks to the $150,000 grant from Hyundai, Kenny will be to build on their discoveries.

This undertaking is especially important to pediatric cancer research. The 44 genes were from Wilms tumors, “a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children under the age of five. Also known as nephroblastoma, Wilms tumor is the most common cancer of the kidneys in children. Studying mouse models and human cells. Kenny plans to investigate whether using drugs designed for adults that put microRNAs back into cells can stop or even reverse Wilms tumor cell growth.”

Kenny then introduced “the main event”: 12-year-old cancer patient Jack Maurer, who had a Wilms cancer tumor removed surgically in 2007, came to the podium. With his mother Amy Maurer smiling on the front row, the brown-haired Coppell seventh grader, whose tumor may have been one of those used in the program, briefly told the group about his stay at Children’s and thanked the Hyundai dealers for their donation. He added later, “It’s neat to think I might have been part of that. It’s like I left a legacy at the hospital that took care of me.”

Following a standing ovation, Hyundai Van General Manager George Donaldson admitted that Jack was “a tough act to follow for sure,” but he rose to the challenge saying, “This is not a day about selling cars or promoting our businesses. This is an issue that is truly at the core of who we are… We are proud to be part of this community and even more proud to have an institution like this one serving our children every day. Children are our future. They should have a chance to grow, play and learn in a world that is cancer-free. This is why we are so committed to this cause. It is for the kids.”

Following a photo session with Hyundai fellows, the Children’s team of professionals and kids all were invited upstairs to the driveway. While the adults knew what was going to happen, the kids were a bit mystified. They knew it had to do with a car and something about paint.

Once in the driveway, they spied a white Hyundai with colorful mini-hand prints. Then they were ushered to a table with bowls of paints. Once there, the adults painted the kids’ hands with the paint and had them hand-print a large piece of paper. Hmm, this was so not the usual “adult-approved” situation.

Mackenna Rodolph

Mackenna Rodolph

Then they were taken to the white Hyundai and told to go at it. Frisco third-grader Mackenna Rodolph was the first and laughed as she was actually urged to lay her red-painted hands on the vehicle. She was soon joined by eight-year-old Conner Sides, five-year-old Tatum Teague and Jack.

Hyundai dealers and from the left Jack Maurer, Tatum Teague and Mackenna Rodolph

Hyundai dealers and from the left Jack Maurer, Tatum Teague and Mackenna Rodolph

As if that wasn’t a little unusual, the kids also were pointed to hand-print Kenny’s pristine white lab coat. One kiddo looked at the adults as if to ask, “Are you serious?” But once again the adults and Dr. Chen were all beaming as the kids got handy.

Tatum Teague, Mackenna Rodolph, Kenny Chen, Conner Sides and Jack Maurer

Tatum Teague, Mackenna Rodolph, Kenny Chen, Conner Sides and Jack Maurer

The children decided that they weren’t being punked and got into the occasion, sporting colored hands and smiles. It was a day when the best cancer treatment was kids mixing it up with paint.

Still another photo session was set up with the Hyundai dealers in front of the car. But they wanted the children in the photo. As one of the dealers put it, “This is about the kids.”

As for Jack, he was destined for even more to celebrate his conquest of cancer, thanks to the Hyundai locals. They had arranged with Children’s to have Jack throw out the first pitch at Sunday’s Texas Rangers’ game against the Houston Astros to commemorate Children Cancer Awareness Month.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Jewish Community Center’s Senior Bus Fund

According to Jewish Community Center of Dallas (The J) Senior Bus Fund Chair Sandy Kuntz,

Sandy Kuntz*

Sandy Kuntz*

“Among its many offerings, The J has a vibrant and much needed Senior Adult Department. Our current senior membership is more than 700 strong.

“This past year the J has been challenged with transportation services due to an aging van in need of replacement. With two late model vans on the road providing nearly 5,000 trips each year, we need reliable vehicles to serve our cherished seniors. The cost is $65,000 for each 2-14 passenger, handicap-accessible van. Without transportation, these important seniors have no opportunity for a Kosher, nutritious lunch and programming designed specifically for them.

“The J’s Senior Adult Department serves the needs of this special population as the only senior subsidized Kosher meal site in the city of Dallas. The J also offers a rich array of programs entitled Golden Awakenings, a total wellness-focused series. This program incorporates fun fitness activities such as line dancing and chair yoga, mental stimulating activities such as language classes and speakers offering engaging topics, and uplifting activities such as meditation and Readers’ Theatre.

“As an active member of the senior community, I have seen firsthand how many people rely on the The J’s bus service to stay connected to the community. To date, we’ve raised just over $50,400 toward the project. Please ‘get on the bus’ and help us purchase a new vehicle for our transportation service. Your support would be greatly appreciated! Donations can be made online or by contacting Cece Burt at 214.239.7136 or [email protected].”

About The J
The J is the heart of the Jewish community. It provides social, recreational, educational and cultural programs and services to all age groups from toddlers to senior adults. Within its walls, the Jewish community gathers together to meet, play, learn, celebrate and remember what connects each of us as Jews. Everyone, regardless of age or religious affiliation, is welcome. The J is located at the Aaron Family JCC, 7900 Northaven Rd. in Dallas. For more information, visit or call 214.739.2737.

* Photo provided by The J

A Gentle Reminder: Monday Officially Kicks Off Back-To-School And Rainy Day Reminders

Oh, goodness gracious! Traffic delays are on the menu for Monday. The reason: school officially is back in session and drop-off and pick-up lines plus absolutely no cellphone activity allowed are taking place.

Mother Nature's tears (File photo)

Mother Nature’s tears (File photo)

BTW, weather guessers are saying that an added challenge might be the first day of school being a wet one. So, rain slickers may be the fashion du jour. But, just in case, why not put a garbage bag with holes for the head and arms in your munchkin’s backpack. It will take a minimum of room and just might make for a less soggy student pickup in the days ahead.

Also, if you see a school bus stopped, you’ve gotta stop until it gets going. This allows kids to safely dart across streets to get to and from their mode of transportation. Not only is it the smart thing to do, it’s the legal thing.

After the kiddos are back at their desks getting educated, grownups should head back to their fundraising activities. With oil prices being as slippery as banana peels and economic jitters filling minds, non-profit organizations are more in need of help than ever before.

Cattle Baronesses Hold Raffle Reveal At Park Place Porsche With 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Reveal And Mo-On-The-Go

While private jets were scurrying off to Aspen, the Hamptons and Santa Barbara, the last vestiges of cool were checking in at Park Place Porsche. True, it was billed as the Cattle Baron’s Ball reveal raffle that included

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

Inspirato in Los Cabos*

  • Rolex Sea-Dweller (value: $10,400) donated by Eiseman Jewels and Rolex
  • $10,000 debit card (value: $10,000) donated by PlainsCapital Bank
  • Highland Park Shopping Spree (Value: $10,000) donated by Highland Park Village
  • Seven-night stay at the private residences at Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos (value: $6,000) donated by Inspirato
  • Susie Straubmueller taupe python tote and a hot pink python clutch (value: $5,000) donated by Susie Straubmueller

But in reality it was an overload of Porsche lovers who were waiting to see the black drop cloth pulled back and the reveal of the “all-new 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster (value: $65,000) that will be the sweetheart prize at the 2016 CBB on Saturday, October 15.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster*

And for those who wanted to take the chance, Cattle Baronesses offered raffle tickets for those hoping to win the Boxster for a sweet deal ($100 a pop or six tickets for $500) or the other raffle packages for a mere $25 per chance or five for $100.

Richard Eiseman

Richard Eiseman

But, alas, CBB Co-Chair Cara French missed out. She was in London. And her Co-Chair Andrea Weber was perfectly tanned after a few days in the sun.

Richard Eiseman was sporting the season’s trendy footwear after going through chubby toe surgery on both feet. After 21 days, he had tried on real-live shoes and headed back to his flatwear sandals. Hopefully, his recovery at the family summer place in Maine will have him back in loafers or oxfords in time for the American Cancer Society fundraiser at Gilley’s.

Anne Stodghill with gal pal Kristina Wrenn checked out PlainsCapital’s burly mascot Mo, the buffalo, who was corralled just outside the Porsche showroom. Anne and Kristina were just back from touring Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. But Anne had little down time. The next morning she was off to Europe with family and prepping for co-chairing the 2017 CBB with Sunie Solomon.

PlainsCapital's Mo the Buffalo

PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Kristina Wrenn and Anne Stodghill

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

Nancy Gopez and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon

Others in the crowd included Isabell Novakov, Nancy Gopez, Marybeth and Kevin Conlon, Anne Davidson, John Relton and Dan Pritchett.

Raffle tickets are available here and tickets for the partying at Gilley’s are here!

Auctions, Dancing, Dale Hansen And Mini-Ambassadors At Texas Horse Park Helped Equest Celebrate Its 35th Anniversary

One day before it took place on Saturday, May 7, Equest’s 35th Anniversary Gala at the Texas Horse Park was sold out. Walking around the gala off Pemberton Hill Road in South Dallas, it was easy to see why.

That situation was even more impressive since guests weren’t able to just drive up to the front door and turn their wheels over to car parkers. The vast majority had to be shuttled to the Park via chartered buses from locales in Dallas. After all, Texas Horse Park was built to be equine horsepower as opposed to an automotive parking lot. But despite the perceived inconvenience, the bus loads arrived for a night of fun and fundraising.

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

Stacey Hodge, Disco, Lisa Blackford, Sherry Wood, Dare, Christine Volkmer and Christa Collum

And, of course, there were the horses befitting the group that, since 1981, has used the four-hoofed critters to bring hope and healing to children and adults with diverse needs. (In fact, Equest was the first therapeutic riding program in Texas.) At the front door, there were the miniature equine stars Teddy Roosevelt and Tex; later, gals and guys could have their photo taken with Disco and Dare.

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

Susan Schwartz, Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall

As the guests made their way into the grounds—among them, Stacey Hodge, Amy and Michael Meadows, Sherry Wood, Alan Curtis, David Whyman, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Jeff Byron, Kevin Hurst and Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz—they saw “client and rider demonstrations” happening in the outdoor pens. Moving down beneath the Equest covered arena, they encountered the reception and silent auction and, later, the table settings for the gala dinner and live auction. Among the auction highlights: a Costa Rica getaway (value, $12,000) and a Montana Sporting Club Retreat ($10,000).

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Jody Dean, Maddie Dean and Jocelyn White

Over at the “Equest Country Store,” meantime, mother and daughter Maggie and Annabelle Buckner (Annabelle’s 12) were checking out the goods. As Emilynn Wilson and her husband Claude strode through the stables, Emilynn said, “I just had a horse that fell in love with me.” Guests Phyllis Glazer and Susan Iannaccone were chit-chatting. While Maddie Dean patiently waited, her dad/emcee Jody Dean and co-emcee Jocelyn White huddled over last-minute details with the likes of Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Helena Wall, who with her husband Doug Wall was serving as the Gala Chair. Despite all the hifalutin types, four-year-old mini-ambassador donkey Taco was quite content to stay in his stall and occasionally saunter over for a howdy do with a guest or two.

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer

Susan Iannaccone and Phyllis Glazer



Honorary Chairs Chris and Dale Hansen soon pulled up in their big black SUV with Dale at the wheel and, much later, the Gala guests would be dancing up a storm to the music of Cary Pierce with Crystal Yates and John Christopher Davis. Really, now; with horses, good friends, great food and fun music, could there have been a better way to celebrate Equest’s landmark anniversary?

2016 Art Ball Auction Item #2: Napa Valley Wine Country Getaway

Leave it to the Dallas Museum of Art‘s art-lovers to know just the right spot to enjoy art paired with fabulous wines and incredible scenery. And that’s exactly what this 2016 Art Ball live auction package offers complete with Dallas’ own Tracy and Kent Rathbun escorting around the wineries and tables of Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Wine Country Getaway (Value: Priceless)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Napa Valley is a delicious nirvana for foodies and wine connoisseurs. Perhaps that why Dallas’ fav restaurant couple Tracy and Kent Rathbun envision one day setting up a bed and breakfast there specializing in fine wine-and-dine experiences. How smart this package is to have the Rathbuns serve as “taste tour guides” for six guests to experience Napa Valley.

Hotel Senza*

Hotel Senza*

After arriving via private jet, the group will check in at for a four-day, three-night stay at Hotel Senza. But there will be little time to hold up in the hotel.

Hall St. Helena*

Hall St. Helena*

First there will be Dallas power couple Kathryn and Craig Hall’s Hall St. Helena in St. Helena, where wine tastings and modern art are divine among the Napa hills and Hall’s lush gardens. Check out the artwork by John Baldessari, Jaume Plensa and Jim Campbell. Next stop will be Walt Wines in Sonoma that was the brainchild of Kathryn, whose parents — the late Dolores and Bob Walt — were dedicated winegrowers. The focus here is the production of the area’s premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To prove that point there will be a Root 101 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir tasting showcasing “distinct vineyard voices that demonstrate defined character and personality, from land to table.” This education will include five single vineyard wines coursed from appellations in the Walt collection. To fulfill the experience, The Girl & the Fig will provide a “selection of seasonal, pinot-centric small bites” for each pairing.

Hall Rutherford*

Hall Rutherford*

But the piece de resistance will take place back at Hall St. Helena’s Hall Rutherford for “a platinum tasting experience” with the wines paired with “small bites” from Napa chefs.

Compliments of Kathryn and Craig Hall, Tracy and Kent Rathbun and Julie and Ed Hawes

* Photo provided by 
Dallas Museum of Art

Hilton Anatole’s Towne Park Service Once Again Left A Yucky After-Taste For Fundraising Luncheoners Thursday

Tim Gunn’s talk for Community Partners of Dallas’ Chick Lit Luncheon on Friday, April 1, at the Hilton Anatole was a home run. Only strikeout was the valet parking. One guest waited an hour before the Anatole’s in-house valet staff admitted, “Sorry, but somebody moved it.” Luckily, the vehicle was found. But as the driver left he saw about 50 guests still waiting for their wheels.

Hey, what’s the problem? It was a big luncheon crowd of over 1,200 and “oop’s” do happen. But then it happened again yesterday at the Anatole. And this time it was on a much grander scale, resulting in an automotive tsunami and two major fundraisers having to delay their POA and having guests arrive late for the program.

It might have been excusable if the two events had been handled by two competing valet services, but the Anatole’s in-house parking service Towne Park was in charge. One would think that the in-house staff would be prepared with a game plan for such an undertaking and loads of parkers.

And what was the challenge? The New Friends New Life’s “Wings” luncheon with Amal Clooney as the featured speaker was scheduled for the Chantilly Ballroom, with a projected attendance of more than 1,500. The VNA’s “Legends and Leaders” luncheon with journalist Jim Lehrer in the Imperial Ballroom was scheduled to have more than 650.

Insider info: As anyone in the hospitality industry knows, evening events usually have two people per car, while lunches tend to have more single-driver cars.

Thus, these two groups converged upon the Anatole complex at the same time for the events starting at 11:30. Instead of having off-duty police directing traffic at the intersection of Wycliff and Stemmons frontage road, one lone uniformed man was at the hotel’s Wycliff entrance. Another policeman turned away cars approaching from Market Center Boulevard and large planters blocked other entrances. The result was hundreds and hundreds of cars trying to wedge into less than three entrances, and traffic backing up on both roads. Unfortunately, frustrated drivers trying to cross Wycliff ended up blocking the cross section with 18-wheelers and cement trucks playing “musical lanes” with Mercedeses and Priuses. At times it looked like a vehicular version of the La Brea Tar Pits of vehicles.

One guest who had left their office in the Turtle Creek area at 11 didn’t make it to the Wings luncheon until past noon due to the traffic jam.

A VNA organizer delayed the luncheon program  after hearing tales from arriving guests of 30-minute waits in traffic. That person said it wouldn’t be as bad afterwards, because the VNA had arranged to stagger their event to end after the Wings luncheon, thereby relieving the congestion.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice, men and event planners don’t always happen. One VNA guest who was one of the first to hand in their valet ticket waited 40 minutes for the car to be pulled up. Another woman in a wheelchair moved faster than the cars in the porte-cochere. While guests holding purchased centerpieces patiently searched the horizon for their cars, some Towne Park management types with bellies hanging over their belts were seen laughing at the situation. Or, perhaps they were just sharing a joke?

The luxury hotel’s in-house valet service continues to be its Achilles heel. It tends to be a recurring issue for money-conscious nonprofits. Why? It’s the money, honey. If the fundraiser uses an outside parking service, the hotel charges the organization a fee (usually $3) “per plate” for the use of its parking lot. That’s in addition to paying the outside valet service. In other words, if you’re expecting 500 cars, that’s $1,500 on top of the independent valet charges.

In capturing sponsors, many nonprofits offer valet parking sponsorships. And naturally, the cheaper the sponsorship, the more likely it’s going to be scooped up. But what sponsor wants to be known for providing frowny faces and tapping toes waiting for a car that’s “just over there”?

Suggestion to sponsors: If you’re approached about sponsoring valet parking at the Anatole, ask which service will be used. If it’s one of the independents like Jack Boles or Gold Crown, go for it. If it’s Towne Park, your name just might be taken in vain by potential customers.

Caren And Pete Kline Welcome Dallas Children Advocacy Center Supporters With A White Mercedes Up For Grabs

Kody Followill had only been with Park Place Mercedes-Benz a few months, but as if he had Ken Schnitzer by his side, he cared for the gleaming white car at the entrance of Caren and Pete Kline’s residence on Wednesday, March 23.

Park Place Mercedes–Benz GLC300W

Park Place Mercedes–Benz GLC300W

With guests arriving, Kody made sure that the flawless white mid-size SUV with steel gray interior and all the 21st century gadgets stayed absolutely perfect. If so much as a leaf dared to land on the vehicle, Kody made sure the stay didn’t last more than a second. His one regret was that he hadn’t brought a cloth to keep polishing the Mercedes. Good thing, he didn’t because Kody would have probably rubbed the finish off.

The reason for Kody and his wheels being parked for guests to check out was this sweetheart of the Mercedes lineup will be the raffle prize at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center luncheon on Tuesday, April 26.

Paula Richmond, Caren Kline and Megan Steinbach

Paula Richmond, Caren Kline and Megan Steinbach

Inside, Caren was greeting one and all after attending the J. Erik Jonsson Luncheon earlier in the day. It was a memorable lunch according to Caren, who recalled honoree Terry Flowers describing his daughters as “pieces of my heart that walk outside my body.”

Pete Kline and Lynn Davis

Pete Kline and Lynn Davis

But on this night the occasion was focused on thanking those who had been so supportive of DCAC and another luncheon — Appetite for Advocacy. In the living room, Pete talked with Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Lynn Davis, who, when asked about the raffle, said he could cut a deal. Instead of the $100 per ticket, Lynn could sell 100 tickets for $1000. Well, yeah!

Event Co-Chairs Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach have arranged for TED standout Brené Brown to be the speaker at the luncheon that has changed locations, sorta. It’s still at the Sheraton Dallas, but it will be take place on the upper level opposed to the ground floor.

Piece of trivia: Brené will be flying in that morning and heading out after the luncheon. The reason for the quick visit is a promise she made her family. She would only stay one night a month away from home. Now, that’s a lady who has her priorities in place.

VNA’s March For Meals Had Some Interesting Food Delivery Folks At Seniors’ Doors

Everyone knows that one of VNA leading programs is its Meals on Wheels that provides meals for seniors. But to stir up the “issues of senior hunger and celebrate the work and impact” of the program, VNA held “March for Meals” last month.

In addition to Pi Day Pie Contest held on Monday, March 14, and the launching of “Text GIVE2VNA to 20222 to donate $5,” the organizers managed to have some impressive types deliver 469 meals during the month. Imagine having one of these folks show up at your door with a meal:

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

  • Pete Sessions, U.S. Congressman
  • Marc Veasey, U.S. Congressman
  • Royce West, Texas Senator
  • Jason Villalba, Texas State Representative
  • Mike Garcia, District Manager for Texas State Representative Jeb Hensarling
  • Susan Hawk, Dallas County District Attorney
  • Elba Garcia, Dallas County Commissioner
  • Sandy Greyson, City of Dallas Councilwoman
  • Jim Phaup, Mayor of Sunnyvale
  • Fernanda Gray, Dallas Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief
  • Heather Hays, Anchor, Fox 4
  • Sparky the Fire Dog, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Susan Hawk (File photo)

Susan Hawk (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

There was also the 3650 Days of Caring, where organizations took place in a three-hour team-building opportunity” while they delivered meal to homebound, hungry seniors.” During March the following groups were able to help feed seniors and bond with their fellow associates:

  • Dallas Fire-Rescue
  • Remax
  • Texas Instruments

But these activities aren’t limited to March. Heck, no! This month-long effort was just to spread the word that volunteers, as well as funds, are needed to take care of seniors.

But if you just don’t have time to volunteer, you can still sign up for the Legends and Leaders Luncheon with Jim Lehrer being served up as the feature speaker. Funds raised at the event will benefit the VNA Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels programs. It’s Thursday, April, at the Hilton Anatole, and tickets are available here!

JUST IN: Park Cities Historical And Preservation Society Postpones 5th Annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon To May 19

There’s been a slight change of plans in the Park Cities. It’s the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society. Originally, the organization was scheduled to have its 5th Annual Park Cities Historical and Preservation Distinguished Speaker Luncheon on Wednesday, March 30, at the Dallas Country Club.

Word just arrived that the lunch being chaired by the Jacobs gals (mama Doris Jacobs and daughters Kim Jacobs Calloway and Teffy Jacobs) has been moved to Thursday, May 19. It will still be at the DCC.

And there is no change of date for the PCHPS’s Saturday, April 2nd Classic and Antique Car Show or the 14th Annual Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 9.

Classic car*

Classic car*

BTW, the car show at Burleson Park is being chaired by Dan McKeithen. It will include a treasure trove of vehicles, among them vehicles from the Sam Pack Automotive Museum, including “Fords from the earliest models off the assembly line through the war years, into the best of the muscle cars years and including current day models.”

Another traffic stopper will be “vehicles from the deBoulle Motorsports Collections.”

Dallas Uncorked Provided Sip And Scene With Talking Tidbits About Oscar Predictions And Local News

Leave it to local film-meister Gary Cogill to share his predictions for the upcoming Academy Awards on Sunday, February 21, just a week before the Oscars were doled out. He did it as part of Dallas Uncorked’s “Wine and Film, the Perfect Pairing With Gary Cogill — 88th Annual Academy Awards Preview” at Veritas.

Sure, it was rainy, but that didn’t dissuade movie lovers from getting the inside poop on the Academy contenders, while having Dallas Uncorked founder/Gary’s wife Hayley Hamilton Cogill pouring the vino.

How many guesses did Gary get right? Compare his guesses with the outcome here.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Sarah and Lee Pappert

Sarah and Lee Papert

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

But before Gary took the mic, chit chat was making the rounds. In between serving up wine, Hayley was looking to the future and the Dallas Chapter of Le Dame d’Escoffier International’s annual “A Dame Good Celebration — Raiser Grazer 2016” on Sunday, April 3, at the Dallas Farmers Market’s The Shed. She’ll be heading up the beverage committee and promised “tasty cocktails”…Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert was hinting about the upcoming Dallas International Film Festival that will be taking place from April 14 to 24… And Lee wasn’t the only Papert with future activities around the corner. Lee’s wife, Sarah Papert, who heads up VMLC, has been busy making plans for the Wings of Spring fundraiser on Monday, April 4, when Cheryl Pollman will receive VMLC’s Literacy Legacy Award. Following a cocktail reception and dinner, there will be a performance in the Hoglund Foundation Theater by Sons of Serendip. You know them. They were 2014 America’s Got Talent finalists. This year the event is taking place at the Perot Museum .… Gal pals Debra Nelson and Holly Reed were just back from holiday. It was hard to believe that some folks didn’t know that Holly is no longer with AT&T. She’s working with Ron Kirk on the Texas Central Railway. She’s already been to Japan to check out their super-duper, high-speed bullet trains … Over at a high-top table Pat Holder was looking downright giddy about her Valentine’s proposal at the Mansion by Wayne Ritter. Yup. Pat accepted and the nuptials are in the planning stage.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Newbies Got Their Wheels Spinning For The Benefit Of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Kiddos

While the suited TACA Silver Cup crowd was filling the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom on Friday, February 19, an interesting project was underway in another part of the hotel involving Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. No awards were handed out. No music was played. No programs were distributed. But what took place provided a double whammy involving more than 100 PricewaterhouseCoopers newbies and benefited nearly 70 children that the PwC-ers may never know. And, no, nary a calculator was put in use. Here’s a report from the field:

On Friday, February 19, 120 new PricewaterhouseCoopers employees gathered at the Hilton Anatole for their orientation to the culture of PwC. As part of their final team building exercise, the PwC team revealed that they would be building 68 new bikes to donate to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.

As they divided into two teams, the new hires quickly began to piece the bikes together, each of them varying in size and color. In addition to the bikes, PwC also donated new helmets, as well as front and rear lights. They also took the extra time to hand write special notes of encouragement that were attached to each bike. All bikes were then quality controlled by Future Wheels staff.

Future Wheels LLC President David Thornton said, “It was an honor to be able to assist PwC and the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center team in delivering bicycles to so many kids in the Dallas area. The new hire bike building program PwC has developed over the past 7 years has changed the lives of thousands of kids. Dallas is fortunate to have DCAC as a safety net for so many.”

DCAC staff were able to share with the new PwC hires the impact that these bikes would have on the lives of some of the most severely abused children in Dallas County. Inspired, the new employees listened as DCAC staff told the story of a client who was afraid to go outside as the offender lived across the street. Through her therapy at DCAC, the little girl mentioned that she was ready to go outside again, and would love to have a bike to ride. Hopeful for her client, the therapist asked DCAC’s Family Assistance team for a bike for her client. The team was able to find a bright pink bike complete with pink streamers and a Frozen-themed helmet. Overwhelmed with excitement and the chance to overcome her fears, the little girl rode her bike right out the front doors of DCAC and into the sunshine.

Leading the orientation, PwC Principal Advisory Karla Stricker Anderson said, “The work being done by the team at Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center is truly inspirational.  Knowing we were building bikes for the kids at DCAC served as a great motivator to our PwC team of 120 new hires. We are excited to be able to share this special gift with these deserving children.”

DCAC would like to extend a special thank you to PwC and all of the new hires for their generosity – the bikes will have a lasting impact on the lives of these children.

March 14 Translates Into Home Delivery Benefiting Dallas-Based National Math And Science Initiative

There’s been a heck of a lot of talk lately about STEM. For newcomers, STEM is not a new petunia at the Dallas Arboretum. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

But before you tune out because those four words remind you of that trig class or biology project that involved cutting open a deceased frog, stick with this post.

Today is March 14. Hello? Where did this topic take a right turn? Well, to the average Joe/Josephine, March 14’s abbreviation is 3.14. But show those numbers to a brainiac and they immediately think of “π (aka Pi).” So, for those STEM-istas today is π Day.

For this reason Grubhub is donating 3.14% of all sales to Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative “to fuel the next generation of STEM students” up to $40,000.

Launched in 1990 in North Dallas, NMSI provides programs for area schools to “transform math and science education in today’s classrooms.”

And what’s Grubhub? No, it’s not a place to get grubby hubcaps. It just happens to “the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering company.” How does it work? You order your meal from your fav restaurant like Mi Cocina, Lucky’s Café or East Hampton Sandwich Company or Ruggeri’s, and GrubHub delivers it to you. And if this is your first rodeo with GrubHub, you can even get $7 off your first order!

A Super-Duper Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4×4 Is Being Raffled Off For Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening in Oz” Gala

Recently a cluster of kids and their moms headed to Clay Cooley Chevrolet in Irving. They weren’t going to buy a car or trade one in. No, they were there for a photo shoot.

As one mom and her kids left their car in the parking lot, she brushed her teenage daughter’s hair to be picture perfect. The daughter, Carsyn Sapp, looked smashing in black printed leggings and matching boots.

As they headed into the mammoth showroom, they were greeted by other mothers and their pre-teen munchkins. Some, like pretty-in-pink Kamryn Rakestraw, had bows in their blond hair. There was a whole gaggle of red-haired tykes including Reese Skelte, who was ready to rock and roll in multi-colored socks. But they all had one thing in common — each family had had a youngster who had emerged victorious in the battle against cancer.

The gathering was to promote the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala raffle of a very hunky Jeep. While the moms acted like everybody’s mom fussing with their kiddos, these moms were proven vets in the hand-holding department. Each had held the hands of one of their children through tests, diagnoses and treatments for cancer. And while a lot of parents may complain about waiting for ages in the car pool lane, these moms had held their breath too many times in waiting rooms.

Lisa Cooley, Kamryn Rakestraw, Carsyn Sapp, Reese Skelte and Clay Cooley

Lisa Cooley, Kamryn Rakestraw, Carsyn Sapp, Reese Skelte and Clay Cooley

As for Carsyn, she was the senior member of the cancer survivors at the shoot. Perhaps that’s why her smile seemed both youthful and ages old.

And what about the Jeep that is being raffled off at the Friday, April 22ndAn Evening In Oz” gala at the Hilton Anatole? Well, hold on to your steering wheel. This “customized 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4×4 valued at over $60K” is not some grocery-shopping SUV. Thanks to NTX Auto Master and Epic 4×44 Off Road, it is fully tricked out and a traffic stopper. The only thing missing is a microwave.

And how did CCF Gala Co-Chair Lisa Cooley manage to get the Jeep as the raffle prize? Well, it helps to have “friends” in the car business. You know…friends like husband Clay Cooley and his Clay Cooley Automotive Group that donated the fully-equipped Jeep.

If you want a gander at this sweetheart on wheels, it will be on display on NorthPark Center’s lower level between Nordstrom and Macy’s from Friday, April 1 through Monday, April 11. Raffle tickets are going for $100 per ticket or six for $500.

Thanks to funds raised at the April 22nd gala and by raffling off the Jeep, more research and treatments will help handholding moms and their kids like Carsyn, Kamryn and Reese.

BTW, if you see Carsyn, Kamryn and Reese on the runway at the gala, wave at them. They just might wave back.

Appetite For Advocacy Adds A Park Place Motorcar Mercedes-Benz To The Annual Luncheon Featuring Brené Brown

Appetite for Advocacy is on a roll. Luncheon Co-Chairs Paula Richmond and Megan Steinbach have the ninth annual fundraiser for Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center hitting all the bases. For the Tuesday, April 26 event at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, they’ve locked down University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work research professor Brené Brown. In addition to her 2010 TEDx Houston talk — The Power of Vulnerability — ranking as “one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world,” she’s scored three New York Times #1 bestsellers (“Rising Strong”, “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection”).

Mercedes-Benz GLC300W*

Mercedes-Benz GLC300W*

And then there is the raffle that Paula and Megan have arranged. It ain’t no toaster. It’s a Park Place Motorcars Dallas all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC300W. This nifty mid-size SUV is just perfect for carpool duty, transporting bikes and arriving at a swank, black-tie affair. The raffle tickets are going for $100 per with a limit of 1,500 being sold.

And now for the not-so-good news. Tickets for the luncheon are tight. According to DCAC’s Jana Parker,With regards to ticket prices, currently, due to the popularity of Brené, we have early release tickets available at $500 each. If space allows, we will open up general admission tickets at $175 closer to the event. Table sales start at $1750; so, a good option is to host a table and find 9 others to join.”

In other words, get your buds together, buy a table and grab a handful of raffle tickets.

* Graphic provided 
by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

Here Comes Santa…For Real!

There are actually some folks who question whether there really is a Santa Claus. While it’s not a new question and there have been romantic explanations of the jolly fellow’s existence, here is proof of his being on the job this very moment.

And please note that he does not text while he’s reining his reindeer. And, yes, Rudolph is still in the lead.

So, take that all you naysayers!

MySweetWishList: AWARE Dallas Raffle

According to AWARE Auction Chair Kay Hammond,

Kay Hammond*

Kay Hammond*

“I would like our wish to be that everyone join us in the fight against Alzheimer’s, with this wonderful opportunity for parents and/or grandparents of driving-aged teens. We encourage you to buy raffle tickets for stocking stuffers. For the first time we have the prize of a 2016 V6 Ford Mustang Coupe made possible by Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford in Plano. Only 1,500 tickets are available $35 each or $100 for 3 tickets. The winner need not be present to win. Winner is responsible for all applicable taxes, title and license fees. Please email [email protected] or call 469.573.1515.

AWARE raffle prize**

AWARE raffle prize**

“AWARE is dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Its mission is to provide funding and support to nonprofit organizations that are working on the front lines to fight this disease in Dallas and the North Texas region. Through the grant application review process, AWARE selects the most outstanding groups that provide services, programs, education, and resources to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers, and to organizations doing valuable research to find a prevention and cure.

“AWARE is proud to support nonprofit organizations that share its mission and are also dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease. “Together we will make a difference.”
For more information on AWARE Affair Celebrate the Moments, our gala on Saturday, April 9 chaired by Christie and Frank Scardino, email [email protected] or call 469.573.1515. For details about the grants and membership in the AWARE organization, visit the website at The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)3 publicly supported charity, is the fiscal sponsor of AWARE.”

-By Kay Hammond, AWARE auction chair

* Photo credit: Dana 
**Graphic provided 

MySweetWishList: Road Trip 4 Paws

According to Road Trip 4 Paws Founder Kelly Bond,

Kelly Bond and friend*

Kelly Bond and friend*

“Road Trip 4 Paws is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to transporting dogs and cats to forever homes in other states. We are a 100% volunteer-based organization with a dedicated team of veteran animal rescuers solely focused on finding shelter space in other states for DFW-based animals who would otherwise wait months to be adopted or be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. Our overall objective is to place adoptable animals in shelters where they won’t be euthanized due to spacing or similar issues.

“The cost of transporting animals to states such as Colorado is extensive, including pre-transport pet vaccinations, van rental, fuel, pet food and supplies.

“Road Trip 4 Paws roundtrip expenses per trip:



Vaccinations per animal $   25.00
Health certificate per animal $   20.00
Van rental for round trip $ 500.00
Round trip fuel $ 350.00
Pet food per week $ 115.00
Various supplies for transport $   80.00


“Road Trip 4 Paws is a new organization and we hope to grow our efforts to place as many DFW-area homeless cats and dogs in shelters across the country who have room to house these animals, thereby giving them a better chance of finding a forever home.

“Our organization is dedicated to this effort to reduce the number of homeless pets in the DFW Metroplex, many of whom are euthanized due to spacing issues or airborne illness.

“Road Trip 4 Paws is in need of financial support to cover the cost of transport of DFW-based animals to out-of-state shelters where room is available for adoptable dogs and cats.

“Road Trip 4 Paws is always in need of volunteer support, whether it’s transporting animals to shelters in other states, pre-transport preparation, fostering or administrative tasks.

“Our wish this season is to receive funding to cover the cost of transporting as many DFW-based animals as possible to shelters in other states with space, thereby increasing these animals’ chances of finding a forever home.”

-By Kelly Bond, Road Trip 4 Paws founder

* Photo provided by Road Trip 4 Paws