Change Of Plans: 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award Luncheon Moved To Moody Coliseum Due To “An Unprecedented Response”

2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award*

Remember that post about Bobby B. Lyle’s receiving the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award at a luncheon on Thursday, March 29, at SMU’s Grand Ballroom?

Well, there’s been a change. The organizers underestimated the response to having Bobby as the awardee.

According to SMU’s Candy Crespo, “We have had an unprecedented response to the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award in terms of interest, attendance and funds raised. We moved the location to Moody Coliseum to accommodate the guest list and sponsorship demand. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting for us here in SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center.”

Let’s hope Moody will be big enough. If they need to move the luncheon to AT&T Stadium, we’ll let you know.

* Graphic provided by SMU's Cary M. Maguire Center For Ethics And Public 

The Dallas Museum Of Art Was Turned Into A Speakeasy For Nearly 1,000 21st Century Jazz Babies And Their “Jay Gatsbys”

Giving their tuxedos and flowing gowns the night off, the Dallas Museum of Art‘s DMA Speakeasy guests donned spats and showed plenty of knees for the DMA fundraiser on Saturday, February 24. For one party-hardy evening the crowd of young professional types relived a bygone era when “booze” was verboten, flappers scandalously danced the night away and jazz babies accompanied bootleggers in their roadsters. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art was host to nearly 1,000 guys and dolls dressed to kill in their best Prohibition-era fashions for the second DMA Speakeasy on Saturday, February 24. 

Christine Groffie, Doug and Michelle Norton*

As guests arrived at the sold-out event, on view were period cars provided by Keith Weiss and the Dallas Model A Ford Club, providing the perfect backdrop for photos and selfies. Once inside the Museum’s Hamon Atrium, partygoers were transported to a 1920’s speakeasy courtesy of renowned event designer Todd Fiscus. 


Guests mingled and sipped signature cocktails, including The Outlaw featuring Calamity Gin, Old Fashioned with Title 21 rye, a Nue vodka Watermelon Mule and Roxor Gin’s Rox & Razz, while enjoying the big band sounds of the 18-piece band, the Singpaore Slingers.  Professional dancers from The Rhythm Room showcased their dance moves and provided instruction on the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and fox-trot. Those not cutting a rug enjoyed the gaming tables, and vamping it up at one of the two photo booths sponsored by CultureMap, and then posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #DMAspeakeasy. For movie buffs, the 1974 classic, “The Great Gatsby” featuring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford, was playing in the Horchow Auditorium. 

Evan Kalstad and Lauren Coe*

Omar Brown and Venita Davis*

Anna Sorenson, Elaine Scarborough, Kali Christenson and Shannon Carl*

Louisa Liu and Davis Zhang*

Hannah Humphrey and Courtney Lewis*

For something to nosh on, a cocktail buffet featured gourmet sandwiches and wraps such as crispy chicken biscuit with honey mustard, roasted vegetables on a Hoagie roll with sun dried tomato pesto, beef fajita wrap with jalapeno aioli, Monterrey jack cheese, grilled peppers and onions, tomato and goat cheese toast with balsamic glaze and Green Goddess veggie cup with baby carrot, celery, cucumber, broccoli and cherry tomato as well as desserts of lemon squares, mini s’mores brownies and strawberry shortcake on a stick. 

Caitlin Hebert*

The Bootlegger’s Lounge provided a perfect hideaway for VIP’s with craft cocktails, tunes by DJ Blake Ward, dedicated dancers from The Rhythm Room and private gaming tables. The cocktail buffet included sweet and savory bites such as deviled egg salad toast with smoked salmon and avocado aioli, olive tapenade and goat cheese tart with tarragon pesto, honey roasted turkey and cranberry mayo on a corn bread muffin, oven roasted beef tenderloin on brioche with caramelized onions and house steak sauce, roasted potato and chive crème fraiche with crisp prosciutto, raspberry tarts, candied orange crème brule and chocolate soup and port -raised strawberries with puffed pastry croutons. 

To encourage partygoers to enjoy the Museum’s permanent collection, the “Track the Bootleggers” scavenger hunt led guests throughout the Level 4 galleries searching for images that harken back to the 1920’s and early 30’s in the vast collection of American art. Using a map featuring Prohibition-era facts as clues, participants snapped photos as they tracked down the bootleggers. Upon completion, they shared their photo forensics to collect a sheriff’s badge. 

Jonathan Smith and Kevin Donovan*

Mid-way through the evening attendees gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest.  Contest judge and celebrity blogger Lily Kramlick-Taylor from Dallasites101 presented “Best Flapper” to Caitlin Hebert; “Best Dapper Dan” to Jeff Brown and “Best Couple” to Jonathan Smith and Kevin Donovan. Each winner received a bottle of Ruinart champagne. 

As the Singapore Slingers played their last song, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of six fabulous raffle prizes:  

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get-away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $75 gift card to Commissary and a $100 gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.  
  • Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck Dinner Package:  enjoy a lavish five course chef’s tasting menu for two at one of Dallas’ finest restaurants while enjoying a 360° view of Dallas.
  • Celebrate the Repeal with a fully stocked bar:  Party-sized ice bucket filled to the brim with premium labels.
  • Arts & Letters LiveVIP Package for Tuesday, March 6, featuring Peabody and Emmy-award winning journalist and producer Maria Shriver as she shares insight into the wisdom gleaned through her life’s journey in her latest book, I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package#2 for Friday, April 6, with Lidia Bastianich, best selling cookbook author, beloved television personality, and successful restaurateur.  Includes reserved front section seating for two and a hard-cover signed copy of My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family and Food.
  • Two Tickets to the Turnpike Troubadours at the Verizon Theater on Friday, March 2.

Speakeasy dancers*

Following, partygoers danced the night away as DJ Derek Lynn provided the vibe until the party came to an end.  

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron 

Go Red For Women Luncheon Sounded The Drumbeat To Know The Symptoms Of Heart Disease In Women And The Need For More Research

It was a sea of red at the Omni Dallas Hotel on the morning of Friday, February 23. No, it was a continuation of the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show that had taken place a couple of weeks before at NorthPark Center for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas. The ladies had regrouped in red for the American Heart Association – Dallas’ Go Red for Women’s Luncheon.

One of the day’s speakers, AHA President/UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. John Warner, was there thanks to his 17-old daughter Lauren Warner and the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive.” But more about that later.

Tim McNulty, Sawyer Allday, Linda McNulty, Stuart Allday and Shelle Sills

Preceding the luncheon, there had been health screenings for guests to check their wellbeing as well as a silent auction and a VIP reception. In the red crowd were Shelle Sills was with Linda and Tim McNulty and Avery Allday, Sawyer Allday and Stuart Allday. Of course, Tim and the boys were sporting red ties in honor of the McNulty matriarch, Diane McNulty, who was to receive the Sandi Haddock Impact Award… 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella preparing for her final duty as chair — the presentation of the checks to the 2017 beneficiaries… Caren Kline was considering a cruise to Chile in the near future… Millie Cooper, who received the Sandi Haddock Impact Award in 2016 with her husband Dr. Ken Cooper… and Claire Emanuelson, Christie Carter, Dona Janes, the Cooley clan (Clay Cooley, Ciara Cooley and Bela Cooley) Tracy Lange, Tiffany Divis, Venise Stuart, Luanne McWhorter, Kristen Hinton, Candace Winslow, Tanya Foster and Ann and Bob Dyer, who had hosted the patron party the night before.

Tiffany Divis, Dona Janes and Bela Cooley

Caren Kline and Pam Perella

Tanya Foster and Candace Winslow

Ann Dyer, Linda Robuck, Bob Dyer and Marcy Sands

Once the luncheon started, the message was as constant as a drum beat — one in three women live with heart disease and it is the number one killer of women today.

The program started off with Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker thanking the crowd and the sponsors for their support and to celebrate the success of the American Heart Association has had in fighting heart disease especially for women. It kills more than that forms of cancer combined.

Janelle Walker and Lisa Cooley

Cori Prager

Kimberly Knott

It was time for the major sponsors to talk to the audience. First up was Macy’s District Manager Cori Prager, who stuck straight to the three- minute script as it rolled on the floor screen. She recognized Mercedes Crew for her contributions and told guests that they would receive a $25-gift card. Next up was CVS Health Director  of  Account Management Kimberly Knott. It was during her talk that the rolling script came to a stop, as it appeared she decided to go off script. When she returned to the script, the roll carried on resulting in a six-minute talk. She ended by announcing that one lucky guest would get a $250 gift card from CVS thanks to a red dress sticker on the back of a menu card. After a brief check for the sticker by the 1,000+ guests, no excited shout of discovery was heard. Kimberly said if anyone did find the sticker, they should redeem it after the luncheon at the silent auction check-out table. The final sponsor was Texas Health Resources’ Dr. Jeff Canose, who announced that they had renewed their sponsorship for another year, during his two-and-half minute talk.

Following the invocation, luncheon was served. It started off with a healthy “Chopped Colorful Veggie Salad” that was only 156 calories per serving with 1.1grams of saturated fat and 16 mg of sodium. The recipe was even included on the back of the menu card. However, the entrée’s creamy mushroom sauce atop the breast of chicken may have countered the healthiness of the salad. To top off the meal, dessert was chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. One guest, who obviously was in need of a caffeine kick, wondered aloud, “Where’s the coffee?” Yes, there were coffee cups and saucers at the place settings at many tables, but no coffee appeared. Another guest suggested, “Perhaps that’s a way to reduce stress?”

Melissa Cameron

Following lunch, American Heart Association Dallas Executive Director Melissa Cameron told how the group was in for a special treat soon hearing from American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown and AHA President/UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. John Warner. It would be the first time that the AMA CEO would be on stage for the luncheon. She then introduced a video on  Diane McNulty, who had been born with a congenital heart defect and given less than five years to live. At that time they were not doing surgery on infants. Thanks to her father’s efforts to save his daughter and the research and development in the battle of heart disease, Diane underwent lifesaving surgeries. She attributed her accomplishments — a successful career, children and grandchildren — to pioneering doctors like “a young maverick” Dr. John Kirkland, who performed the initial surgery when she was just 11.    

Diane McNulty and Brynn Bagot Allday

Following the video, Diane and her daughter Brynn Bagot Allday arrived on stage. After Diane spoke briefly, the stage was filled with women of all ages who had survived heart disease like Nancy Gopez, Mary Parker and Millie Cooper. Diane then asked the guests to make a donation in the name of someone they knew with heart disease.

Heart disease survivors

Melissa also invited women to join the Circle of Red for $5,000, adding that thanks to a generous donor, there was a $35,000 match being offered for seven women to sign up.

Millie Cooper and Diane McNulty

While making out donation cards, Millie Cooper spoke to the group retelling her story how despite being married to a doctor, she thought she had lived a heart-healthy life —wasn’t overweight, no smoking, no drinking, exercising. Still her husband kept telling her that her cholesterol was too high. Despite not having a pain her chest, her arms felt heavy one morning as she was walking at the gym. The result was her undergoing quadruple bypass surgery with “Dr. Cool.” She stressed that women have different risk factors regarding heart disease than men adding that more men have heart attacks, but more women die from heart attacks.

Millie then presented the Sandi Haddock Impact Award to Diane.

As the group left the stage, a video was shown introducing TV personality Leeza Gibbons,who in addition to having co-hosted PM Magazine in Dallas years ago, had recently “passed the $1B mark for in sales in the world of infomercials.”

Leeza Gibbons

Arriving on stage at the podium and looking fabulous, Leeza described “Charity is a blood sport in Dallas.” She recalled how her father had had heart surgery and her mother had Alzheimer’s.

Highlights were

  • “We are connected to each other. We’re holding each other accountable.”
  • “One in three women live with heart disease.”
  • Quoting Gloria Steinem, “The truth is going to set you free, but first it’s going to piss you off.”
  • “Do you know your risk factors?”
  • “It’s about making changes instead of excuses.”
  • “Red is not a passive color.
  • “Go Red stands for Get your numbers; Own your lifestyle; Raise your voice; Educate your family; Donate.”
  • “80% of heart disease can be prevented.”
  • “What’s good for your heart is good for your brain.”
  • “Women’s hearts are different than men’s.”

An old hand at interviewing, Leeza was then joined on stage for a chart by Nancy Brown and Dr. Warner. John started things off by suggesting that guests should Google My Research Legacy in the valet line to share their health information (i.e. family history, activity level, etc.) thereby providing greater material for cardiovascular research. Through the Legacy program, researchers will better be able to move beyond having just the averages of heart disease and fine tune the symptoms and treatments of heart disease.

Nancy Brown and John Warner

Nancy told of the AHA’s partnership in One Brave Idea program that has the goal of ending coronary heart disease using today’s technology.  

Regarding Go Red, Nancy said, “We were outraged that back in 2004, women weren’t aware of heart disease.” Thus, a movement was created resulting in a community of women —Go Red that is now in 84 countries today.

John added that such activities as Go Red not only builds awareness among women, but also the healthcare community as well. He encouraged physicians to listen to women differently than men, due to the differences in symptoms.

Nancy surprised some of the guests by reporting that the newest mechanical heart approved in clinical trials does not fit into a woman’s body. “We need to raise our voices to have equal representation in clinical trials.”

In conclusion, Nancy said to take and treasure your health; know the warning signs; work with your doctor; inspire others to join Go Red; and philanthropy.

John added for guests to know the risks and symptoms and to learn CPR. That first couple of minutes can make a difference in a person’s life. It certainly did in John’s life when his heart literally stopped beating in December at the AHA’s annual conference in Southern California. Luckily, his 17-year-old daughter Lauren recalled an AHA Hands-Only CPR training video and went into action. Ironically, she also “remembered learning that the beat of the song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ was the right speed for those compressions.”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert!: 2018 Go Red For Women Luncheon

Heart disease survivors

Surely, there can’t be a single red dress left in North Texas. After the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show on February 6 at NorthPark Center looking like a field of poppies, the stretch for red attire was put to the max for the 2018 Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday, February 23, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Millie Cooper and Diane McNulty

Nancy Brown and John Warner

Benefiting the American Heart Association – Dallas that’s located in Irving, it included all types of heart disease survivors and their families including Sandi Haddock Impact Awardee Diane McNulty, past award recipient Millie Cooper, TV personality Leeza Gibbons and AHA President Dr. John Warner.  

And for the first time ever, AHA CEO Nancy Brown was part of the Q&A on stage with Dr. Warner and Leeza.

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

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