2017 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Honored Its Advisory Board And Beneficiaries With A Reception At Jennifer And Richard Dix’s Digs

Jennifer Dix, Christie Carter and Mary-Elizabeth Carrell

The wine and the conversation flowed freely on Wednesday, April 5, when Crystal Charity Ball‘s friends and supporters gathered at the magnificent, Preston Hollow home of Jennifer and Richard Dix. And, why not? The event, after all, was being held to honor to group’s advisory board and the 2017 CCB beneficiaries.

Anna Hundley, Brent Christopher and Mary Pat Higgins

Guests such as Jan and Fred Hegi, Vinnie Reuben, SuSu Meyer, Michael Teeter, Tucker Enthoven, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Beth Thoele, Anna Hundley, Mary Pat Higgins, Mary-Elizabeth Carrell, Pam Busbee and Patti Flowers and Tom Swiley swarmed happily into the home’s kitchen area, where they found the likes of Christie Carter and Lisa and Clay Cooley. Christie, who’s a big supporter of Dallas CASA, was still talking about that group’s Cherish the Children luncheon held earlier in the day, where entrepreneur Casey Gerald had given an inspiring talk. Commented Christie: “It was a powerful luncheon.”

Nickey and Debbie Oates

Tom Swiley

Sandra Helton

Michael Teeter

On the business front, luxury home builder Nickey Oates and car dealer Clay Cooley both reported that their businesses were in overdrive… For Brent Christopher, it was a switch of roles. In the past as president/CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas, he had served on the advisory board. Having just taken over Children’s Medical Center Foundation this past year and its being selected as a 2017 CCB beneficiary, he was on the other side of the CCB spectrum.

Pam Perella

Finally, it was time for 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella to address the group, and what better place was there to do it than in the crowded kitchen, where Cassandra Tomassetti‘s crew had been creating mini-feasts much to the delight of folks like Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy Stephanie Matous and Sister Sandra Helton.

Standing on the stairway, Pam said, “I might be a little biased, but I’m really thrilled with our beneficiaries this year,” referring to the Autism Treatment Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days, and the Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy.

Vin Perella, Beth Thoele, Tucker Enthoven, Leslie and Bryan Diers

“Our goal this year is to raise $5.83 million,” Pam went on. “We’re almost there, so no big deal!” With that, the crowd laughed heartily as Pam gave way to longtime CCB supporter/patron Chuck Thoele of RGT Wealth Advisors. “Crystal Charity Ball is really good at three things,” Chuck said, beginning to chuckle. “Picking their beneficiaries. Raising a lot of money. And throwing a good party!”

No one at the Dix home that night would argue with that.

For more photos from the party, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Autism Treatment Center

“Founded in 1976, the Autism Treatment Center provides life-changing autism-specific services to North Texas children and adults with autism. Autism is the nation’s leading development disability and currently affects 1 in 68 children, causing a delay in effective communication and socialization. Individuals with autism also often have restrictive interests and sensory challenges. Early-intervention services, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapies are provided at ATC’s out-patient Therapy Clinic to help increase independence and self-sufficiency for a life-time of success.

Autism Treatment Center*

Autism Treatment Center*

“ATC’s services have evolved to respond to the needs of the community. When our organization started providing services for six Dallas families, not much was known about autism or how to treat it. Over 39 years, our program has expanded to meet the needs of the community and we now field over 1,500 phone calls from families searching for services.

Autism Treatment Center*

Autism Treatment Center*

“The Autism Treatment Center operates Dallas’ only Texas Education Agency-approved school with an autism-specific curriculum from its Crystal Charity Ball Educational Wing. The school provides year-round services to 45 children with autism using innovative technology to teach educational and daily-living skills. Upon graduation, individuals transition into the Adult Services program where they have opportunities to provide volunteer services to other Dallas County nonprofit organizations. Each month, volunteers provide over 1,600 hours of volunteer service.

Autism Treatment Center*

Autism Treatment Center*

“We appreciate the support of the North Texas community to assist us in our social mission to assist people with autism and related disorders throughout their lives as they learn, play, work and live in the community. North Texas Giving Day is a wonderful opportunity for the community to learn more about our program and support a cause that is affecting more and more families in our community.

“To learn more about the programs and services of the Autism Treatment Center, please visit www.atcoftexas.org. To access ATC’s Giving Day profile and make a donation, please follow the link https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/#npo/autism-treatment-center.”

-By Anna Hundley, Autism Treatment Center executive director

*  Graphic and photos provided by Autism Treatment Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Pegasus Ball

According to Pegasus Ball Honorary Co-Chair Sharon Folsom,

Steve and Sharon Folsom*

Steve and Sharon Folsom*

On September 19, 2015, my husband Steve and I, along with our entire family – Hunter, Chase and Annabelle – will welcome guests to this year’s Gatsby-themed Pegasus Ball to benefit the Autism Treatment Center. We are excited to serve as the honorary chairmen of this exciting event. We are also excited to announce that Media Sponsor CBS news host Kaley O’Kelley will serve as mistress of ceremonies at the event.

“Five years ago, our son, Chase, enrolled in the Autism Treatment Center’s Educational Program. Steve and I have been very pleased with Chase’s progress and the wonderful staff at ATC. He recently moved into a group home at ATC and couldn’t be happier. We are grateful for the services ATC offers to families in need of their 39 years of experience providing autism specific services.

“The Roundup for Autism has raised funds for ATC since 1988 when Founder Bobby Norris established the event in honor of his daughter, who was also diagnosed with autism. The Roundup is one of Texas’ largest fundraisers for autism and has raised much-needed funds to keep up with the needs of the community.

The Fairmont Hotel is the host hotel of this event. Additional cash sponsors include: Frost Bank, Norris Foundation, Cinch, and Celebrity Cruises.

For more information about the Pegasus Ball, please visit http://www.roundupforautism.org/pegasus.htm. To learn more of ATC’s autism-specific services, including out-patient Medicaid-approved therapies, please visit www.atcoftexas.org.

* Photo provided by Roundup For Autism

Round Robin September 27: Bingo Luncheon, Mission Ole And Pegasus Ball

Following Friday night’s TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction and the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: Dallas, people hardly had time to grab a couple of hours of sleep. Then they had to rise and shine, have a steaming cup of latte and head off to Saturday, September 27’s demands.

DCAC League’s Bingo Luncheon

For those who were suffering from cabin fever due to power outages, there was the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s League 13th Annual Bingo Luncheon at Belo Mansion. Proceed from the event help “fund the Family Advocacy, Forensic Interview, Therapy and Education programs at DCAC, as well as the Clothes Closet.”

Mission Ole

Later in the evening the beautiful peeps heard the call of the Trinity River Mission’s Mission Ole. In contrast to years before, when the event took place in private homes like Laurie Sands Harrison’s, Co-Chairs LeeAnne Locken and D’Andra Simmons Lock decided to shift the party venue to One Arts Plaza. Thanks to a spectacular night with stars and strings of lights overhead, it was a perfect time to party out in the driveway.

Pegasus Ball

Barry Corbin

Barry Corbin

Over at the Fairmont, it was Stetsons and bona fide boots for the gents like Barry Corbin and rhinestones and flowing gowns for the gals like Honorary Chair Yvonne Crum and Carolyn Tillery.

Yvonne Crum, Bryant and Carolyn Tillery

Yvonne Crum, Bryant and Carolyn Tillery

The occasion was the Pegasus Ball benefiting the Autism Treatment Center with a record amount of money being raised. The black-tie gala was the final event of the three-day Roundup for Autism that started Thursday in Fort Worth. As Roundup Founder Bobby Norris explained, “Each day, there are more and more families seeking answer, searching for experienced and dedicated therapists to provide early-intervention services and life-long programs that will be there for years to come.”

Founded in 1976, “ATC just purchased its 22nd community-based group home and is currently expanding its Dallas Therapy Clinic. As a parent of an adult daughter with autism and as a board member of ATC, I am proud of our many accomplishments.”

Chocolate Labrador puppy

Chocolate Labrador puppy

But there was an “Oops!” that came to light at the reception. A cute chocolate Labrador puppy was on a leash being walked around the area and being introduced to guests. When contacted, organizers swore that neither the pup nor a quarter horse corralled outside the Regency Ballroom was being auctioned off. However, they did admit that the Lab had been given a “very good home” in exchange for a donation. That was the “Oops!” — that sticky Dallas ordinance that prohibits the use of animals for any form of nonprofit fundraising.

Upon learning of the ordinance, Autism Treatment Center’s Development Director Neil Massey responded, “This has been a good teaching moment for us — to do more due diligence and make sure that what we’re doing isn’t just because we’ve seen others do it, but to make sure we comply with ordinances.” He then added that they would make a donation to a rescue organization.

Jill Rowlett: Autism Treatment Centers Benefit From The Arrangement

Jill Rowlett (File photo)

The MySweetCharity home team can’t be everywhere all the time. That’s when volunteers are forced into service. In this case it’s Jill Rowlett, who filed the following report from Thursday night’s Autism Treatment Centers benefit:

“The party was given to benefit the Autism Treatment Centers at The Arrangement (Toll Road and Alpha) by owner Katherine Snedeker. The large, beautiful space filled with rustic and warm furnishings was decorated for Christmas so I got in the spirit of course and was able to put a dent in my gift list. They have one of a kind, fabulous TX ornaments should you be in need. Katherine went ALL OUT with a great live band, several bars, tubs of beer, and amazing food by caterer Stuart Jochimsen (former owner of Loma Luna restaurant if you recall). He has an authentic chuck wagon which he pulled up in the parking lot and fed all until I though we would take advantage of the gorgeous bedding and stay the night! From tenderloin, ribs, and pulled pork sliders, to bread pudding with mystery flavored whipped cream which was to die for. People were eating it by the spoonfuls. Not me of course…those others with far less social graces. We were dancing while shopping…. a new concept, not illegal in N. Dallas, since Katherine also hired a great live band! For the first time EVER, a band that wasn’t too loud!  

“A great time was had by all. The best news came the next day when Ms. Katherine Generosity said she’d like to make this an annual benefit for the Autism Treatment Centers! I’m just hoping she cleared the date with the caterer and band as well!”