Jolie Humphrey And Josey Kennington To Co-Chair Aware Affair’s “Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening” At The Statler

Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington*

As reported previously, the 2018 Aware Affair will be taking place on Friday, April 13. The details that were still pending were who and where. But those questions have just been answered by Aware President Venise Stuart. She’s just revealed it will take place at the 61-year-old Statler that has gone through a major renovation transforming it into a 21st century multi-use development including a 159-room hotel, 219 residences, restaurants, retailing and entertainment facilities. The fundraiser’s theme is fitting to the revitalized development: “Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening.”

Co-Chairing the event will be Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington with Kim and David McDavid Jr., serving as honorary co-chairs. The honorees will be BvB Dallas that just celebrated its 10th anniversary this past August and the memory of Frances B. Chantilis with her family, Cheryl and Dr. Sam Chantilis and Stephanie and Bennie Bray.

Starting off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, The Statler Director of Culinary Events Justo Blanco will present a three-course seated dinner following by a live auction.

* Photo credit: Jeremy Lock

Despite Initial Fiscal Confusion, Lee Jarmon Alzheimer’s Pro Am Benefits Aware And Three Other Area Non-Profits With $220,000

There’s been a tad bit of confusion about the funds netted from the Lee Jarmon Alzheimer’s Pro Am held in May at Gleneagles Country Club. Aware President Venise Stuart recently reported that the tournament had provided $20,000 for the group. But upon checking with the Jarmon’s Elisa Stephens, she said that the actual amount for Aware had been $40,000. 

Lee Jarmon Alzheimer’s Pro Am*

So, where was the MIA $20,000? No, Venise hadn’t taken a lavish trip. Rather the two groups have conflicting fiscal years. Jarmon had issued two $20,000 checks with each falling in separate fiscal years for Aware.

According to a statement provided by Aware,

“Venise Stuart, president of AWARE announced today that the AWARE organization received two grants totaling $40,000.00 from the Lee Jarmon Alzheimer’s Pro Am Golf  Tournament and Auction. The first grant of $20,000.00 received in March will be used toward the funding of the 2016-2017 AWARE grant recipients.  The second $20,000.00 grant received this August will be used in the funding of the 2017-18 grant recipients, listed below. The event will be held on April 13, 2018, at the newly renovated The Statler in downtown Dallas.  ALL grant funds received will be dedicated solely to the funding of AWARE’s grant recipients.”

Whew! If you’re confused, call your accountant and s/he’ll explain.

Regardless, the final rundown of checks distributed by the tournament was:

  • $100,000 to Baylor Memory Care Center
  • $60,000 to C.C. Young building fund for their new Memory Care Center
  • $40,000 to Aware
  • $20,000 to the Aging Mind Foundation 

In other words, $220,000 was provided to four nonprofits to fight Alzheimer’s on behalf of the Lee Jarmon Alzheimer’s Pro Am.

* Graphic courtesy of Lee Jarmon Alzheimer's Pro Am

JUST IN: Returning Aware President Venise Stuart Reveals The Grant Recipients And Board Members For 2017-2018

Venise Stuart (File photo)

Venise Stuart’s dance card is getting full. Not only is she chairing the 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, she is once again going to serve as president for Aware .

Venise just revealed the following ten organizations have been named Aware grant recipients for 2017-2018:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Support for the salary of a Ph.D. Neuropsychology Intern for Baylor AT&T Memory Center.
  • Center for BrainHealth – Discovery Group – Support for the Discovery Group, a program designed to help individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias focus on preserving abilities and tapping strengths to promote meaningful engagement and slow the progression of the disease
  • Dallas Museum of Art – Memory Moments – Support for teaching honorariums, supplies, and staffing for Memory Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias ways to engage in art that are revitalizing and gratifying.
  • Jewish Family Service – Support for the salary of a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families/caregivers.
  • Juliette Fowler Communities – Support for group and individual therapy sessions with a Certified Music Therapist for memory care residents, and to help purchase additional instruments and therapeutic tools.
  • NorthPark Presbyterian Church – Casa de Vida – Support the Casa de Vida program, which gives relief to families/caregivers by providing one-on-one care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the church for programs involving art, music, games, and lunch one day per week from 9:30 until 1:30.
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – Support for two concerts by professional musicians in 87 nursing homes and adult daycare facilities that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation – Broad Strokes – Support for the Broad Strokes program at Grace Presbyterian Village that provides music and art therapy to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • The Senior Source – Senior Companions – Support for the Senior Companion Program matching volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and companionship.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center – Support to advance Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research and clinical trials on a DNA Vaccine to clear amyloid plaques in the brain to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship awardees will be Baylor University’s Nora Drutz-Rogney and TCU’s Lindsay Ross.

Part of the grant funding is achieved from proceeds from the annual Aware Affair. This year’s event — Celebrate the Moments — will take place on Friday the 13th of April with a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing. Wondering where it’s gonna be held? And who’s chairing the event? Good questions! That information is coming in the weeks ahead.

Joining Venise on the 2017-2018 Aware board will be Carol Stabler, secretary; Sue John, treasurer; Stacey Angel, membership; Myrna Schlegel, Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship Fund and Janet Broyles, past president. 

Aware Affair Had Guests From Near And Far, Oldtimers and Newcomers Raising Funds To Combat Alzheimer’s

Bob and Myrna Schlegel

While the Yellow Rose Gala was under way across Stemmons Freeway for Multiple Sclerosis, and the No Tie Dinner and Dessert was raising funds for AIDs Services of Dallas at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Aware’s “Aware Affair” was filling the Atrium lobby of the Anatole with about 300 guests on Saturday, April 8.

Sandi and Jim Treliving and Amy and Greg Osler

As Aware vets like Kay and Jim Hammond checked out the silent auction items, honorees Myrna and Bob Schlegel were thrilled to have fellow Canadians Sandi and Jim Treliving on hand. Jim, who owns the Boston Pizza company, has also been a regular for 12 years on the CBC-TV show “Dragon’s Den,” which is the Canadian counterpart of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”

Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan, Ron Corning, Venise Stuart, Angela Fontana and Andre Szuwalski

Aware President Venise Stuart, decked out in a Patti Flowers ensemble, hardly made it past the check-in as she greeted guests like Dolores and Larry Barzune, Dee Holley, Debra Nelson, Harriet Kelly Gibbe, Misty Keown, Jolie and Bart Humphrey, Honorary Co-Chairs Amy and Greg Osler, Chairs Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan and Angela Fontana and Andre Szuwalski, the Center for BrainHealth’s Sandi Chapman, and Kimber Hartmann with husband Michael Hartmann.

Kimber and Michael Hartmann

Dolores and Larry Barzune

Justin Hinton, Shane Allen and Ron Corning

Master of Ceremonies WFAA’s Ron Corning arrived with graying Eye Opener’s Shane Allen and Asheville, North Carolina, TV reporter Justin Hinton. Ron reported having had a full day, as only a few hours earlier he’d been emceeing the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival in Ennis.

Debbie Oates, Christie Carter and Sandi Chapman

Pam and Dan Busbee

In another part of the lobby, honorees Pam and Dan Busbee greeted guests with Christie Carter, Debbie Oates, Gregory Dunbar and Terry Van Willson, as they entered the Stemmons Ballroom for dinner, a live auction and dancing to the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra.

Thanks to funds raised from the dinner as well as the live and silent auctions, checks will be handed over to the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas, Juliette Fowler Communities, NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, The Senior Source, Texas Winds Musical Outreach, and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Myrna And Bob Schlegel, Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund And Pam And Dan Busbee To Be Honored At Celebrate The Moments

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Aware really knows how to show the love. Just last month it was announced that Myrna and Bob Schlegel had re-energized the Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund to support those specializing in gerontology nursing.

Now, Aware President Venise Stuart and 2017 Aware Affair Celebrate the Moments Co-Chairs Angela Fontana and Andrew Szuwalski and Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan have revealed that the Saturday, April 8th fundraiser will honor Myrna and Bob and the Scholarship Fund at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, April 8.

But there’s more news. In addition to the Schlegels and the Fund, community leaders Pam and Dan Busbee will also be honored.

Pam Busbee (File photo)

Dan Busbee (File photo)

Greg and Amy Osler (File photo)

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the evening of cocktails, silent and live auction, three-course dinner and dancing to Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra will be Amy and Greg Osler, who amazed last year’s gathering with their story about Amy’s being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 51.

This year’s beneficiaries will include the Center for BrainHealth, Juliette Fowler Homes Inc., NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, The Senior Source, Texas Winds Musical Outreach and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Aware Meeting Revealed Plans For Aware Affair Plus A Talk By Dr. Sara Festini On “Staying Busy is Associated with a Sharper Mind”

At the Aware Dallas meeting on Wednesday, September 14, at Myrna and Bo Schlegel’s estate, the setting was ideal for the news of the day. Yes, it’s already been reported about the Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund that not only honors Myrna’s years in the nursing profession but also her concern about the need for nurses specializing in gerontology.

Carol Stabler, Venise Stuart, Sara Festini and Stacey Angel*

Carol Stabler, Venise Stuart, Sara Festini and Stacey Angel*

But there was still more news for the assembled guests including Carol Stabler, Stacey Angel, Deborah Packer, Holly Hull Miori, Caroline Rose Hunt, Billie Leigh Rippey, Ramona Jones, Dorothea Meltzer and Sarah Losinger. Aware President Venise Stuart revealed the plans for the annual Aware Affair gala on Saturday, April 8. With a theme of Celebrate The Moments, the cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, three-course dinner and dancing will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole.

Ramona Jones, Dorothea Meltzer and Sarah Losinger*

Ramona Jones, Dorothea Meltzer and Sarah Losinger*

Caroline Rose Hunt and Billie Leigh Rippey*

Caroline Rose Hunt and Billie Leigh Rippey*

Chairing this year’s event will be Angela Fontana and Andre Szuwalski and Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan.

Deborah Packer, Holly Hull Miori and Angela Fontana*

Deborah Packer, Holly Hull Miori and Angela Fontana*

This year’s beneficiaries are Center for BrainHealth, Juliette Fowler Homes Inc., NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, The Senior Source, Texas Winds Musical Outreach and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

You’ll be able to leave your black-tie clothes in the closet, since it will be a cocktail attire gathering.

More details will be announced in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.

In addition to the news about the scholarship and the gala, Aging Mind Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Sara Festini discussed “Staying Busy is Associated with a Sharper Mind.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

Myrna D. Schlegel/Award Scholarship Fund Gets A Boost In Funding For Nurses Specializing In Gerontology

The Aware crowd broke a plethora of news at its meeting on Thursday, September 15, at Myrna and Bob Schlegel’s estate. But more about that in the days to come. The biggest news was the announcement of the Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund.

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Established in 1999 by Aware in honor of Myrna Schlegel, it has grown over the years to more than $255,000. At the meeting it was revealed that the Schlegels were pledging a further contribution of $10,000 to kick-off the rejuvenation of the Schlegel/Award partnership, bringing the fund total to more than $265,000.

Aware President Venise Stuart and Myrna explained that the new fund with The Dallas Foundation would provide funding for nursing students.

A former nurse, Myrna thanked everyone and expressed her enthusiasm for the renewed partnership that will support the growth and scope of the nursing student scholarship award, making possible a difference in the lives of nursing students who have chosen to devote their careers to work in the field of gerontology, especially dealing with dementia.

Selection of the recipients is made through a vetting process that includes members of Aware and representatives of the Schlegel Family.

According to Venise, “Aware Dallas is honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund to further both organizations’ service to individuals and families of the North Texas community affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.”

Despite Rain And Change Of Location, AWARE Affair Was Celebrating The Moment(s)

As if on cue, the unscheduled rains started falling as the AWARE Affair Celebrating the Moments guests started arriving at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, April 9. The good news was that the valet arrival was at the covered porte-cochere.

But for some folks, it was a little bewildering. The invite had reported that the event was to take place at the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom. Still guests like Ramona Jones, Kay and Jim Hammond, Jennifer and John Eagle, Carol Seay and Kristi and Ron Hoyl were directed to the Atrium, where purple-and-white balloons floated and silent auction items filled tables. Evidently there had been a change of plans after the invites had been issued, and the dinner had been moved to the Stemmons Ballroom.

Kay Hammond and Margaret Guerlein

Kay Hammond and Margaret Guerlein

Ron and Kristi Hoyl

Ron and Kristi Hoyl

Someone commented that the Troy Aikman-United Way event was supposed to be taking place at that very moment at Klyde Warren Park. Luckily, word had it that a back-up plan was in place to move the whole thing indoors.

No problem. Venise Stuart, who had chaired the Les Femmes du Monde in October, was fresh off a day of commandeering the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society’s home tour. Venise was all smiles. Seems that despite a drip-drop during the day, the tour had missed the heavy downpour that was taking place during the AWARE fundraiser.

Larry and Venise Stuart

Larry and Venise Stuart

Don Hammond and Sandi Chapman

Don Hammond and Sandi Chapman

BrainHealth’s Sandi Chapman was thrilled with the turnout. After all, the evening was benefiting BrainHealth in addition to Baylor AT&T Memory Center, Jewish Family Service, Juliette Fowler Communities, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Center for Vital Longevity, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation and Texas Winds Musical Outreach.

2015 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer were looking forward to the 2016 Zoo To Do. They were betting that the triumvirate of Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy would beat their total. When asked if the newly arrived elephants naming might be up for bid, Cindy reported that the naming of the elephant newbies had already taken place. Well, darn.

Chuck and Cindy Gummer

Chuck and Cindy Gummer

Sarah and Alan Losinger and Carol Seay

Sarah and Alan Losinger and Carol Seay

But this evening was not about elephants or the weather. It was to honor Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Sarah and Alan Losinger and Gail and Bill Plummer, as well as Honorary Chair Bob Miller. It also provided the opportunity to hear blonde Amy Osler tell how just a couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 50.

Round Robin November 12: Crystal Charity Underwriters And AWARE Announcement Parties, A Night Of Light And Urban Revival

Thursday, November 12 was a gangbuster of a night for Dallas fundraising. Following an earlier of day of nonprofit loving, it was hard to imagine anyone had recovered long enough to make the evening rounds, but they did just that.

Crystal Charity Ball Underwriters Party

Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel

Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel

The Crystal Charity Ball underwriters gathering at Sharon and Terry Worrell was such a big hit thanks to gal pals/evening Co-Chairs Sarah Perot and Christi Urschel that within the first hour, minions were sent out because they were worried about running low on wine and tonic.

The bar in the Worrells great room

The bar in the Worrells great room

No surprise! The Worrells’ house was a killer. One top-ten gorgeous blonde type told her bestie pal, “You should see the bar!”

Good luck on that. The bar was located just under a balcony in the grandest great room in these parts. But just getting to the great room was an interior decorator’s delight. You had to go past the leisurely winding staircase with its non-aggressive lions and then past the “let me have a book” library to discover the great room.

But the conversation of the night focused on, of all things — pooches.

Comerica’s Ralph Babb was soloing the event. Wife Barbara Babb was grandchild tending and Ralph’s stay was gonna be brief. He had lab work. No, not the medical type. The Labrador type that were at home waiting for Ralph.

Michal Powell and Sharon Worrell

Michal Powell and Sharon Worrell

And then there was hot Terry, who had spotted a lynx in the back grounds. Not good for the Worrells’ Cavalier Spaniels. Terry reported that despite living in the very civilized Volks Estate, the neighborhood was still the stomping grounds for coyotes and now lynxs.

Adorable newlyweds April and Russ Lambert check out the display of gifts for the guests. It was so perfectly arranged by Gregory Dunbar, that it hurt to have one taken.

AWARE Announcement

Janet Broyles and Christie Scardino*

Janet Broyles and Christie Scardino*

Speaking of great rooms, Joyce and Larry Lacerte put theirs in Highland Park to use for the announcement of the 2015-2016 grant recipients. With the Texas Winds Musical Outreach musicians playing, AWARE President Janet Broyles reported the following groups will receive funds thanks to AWARE Affair’s Celebrate the Moments on Saturday, April 9th, at the Hilton Anatole:

  • Baylor AT&T Memory Center: Salary support for a Ph.D. Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Baylor AT&T Memory Center;
  • Center for BrainHealth: Support for researching the efficacy of early intervention in Mild Cognitive Impairment with cognitive training;
  • Center for Vital Longevity: Support for Dr. Denise Park’s online repository of data from the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study;
  • Jewish Family Service: Salary support for a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
  • Juliette Fowler Communities: Support for a music therapist to work with JFC memory care residents;
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: Support for Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research on the development of a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation: Support for the Grace Caring Fund, specifically to help residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias;
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach: Support for music programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias.
AWARE Affair Celebrate The Moment*

AWARE Affair Celebrate The Moment*

Christie Scardino will be chairing the gala with both silent and live auction and a three-course dinner. The evening’s entertainment will once again be Wayne Foster Entertainment from LA.

In other words, get your dancing shoes in fine shape. They’ll have a real workout that night.

The evening’s honorees will be Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Sarah and Alan Losinger and Gail and Bill Plumber. Honorary chair will be Robert “Bob” Miller.

A Night Of Light

Over at Sixty-Five Hundred, Nikki and Crayton Webb chaired the 2015 A Night Of Light benefiting CNM Connect where the following awards were presented:

  • 2015 Nonprofit of the Year presented by Atmos Energy
  • 2015 Nonprofit CEO of the Year presented by Wells Fargo
    Michelle Kinder of Momentous Institute
  • 2015 Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year presented by Deloitte, EY and PwC
    Greg May of Dallas CASA
  • 2015 Nonprofit Communicator of the Year in Honor of Robert Miller presented by Communities Foundation of Texas and The Dallas Morning News
    New Friends New Life
  • 2015 Corporation of the Year presented by Texas Instruments
    Southwest Airlines nominated by VNA

Urban Revival

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity Event Co-Chairs Beverly and Al Childs and Kristen and Ladd Sanger welcomed over 150 guests to the third annual Urban Revival benefiting Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at 3015 at Trinity Groves.

Al and Beverly Childs and Ladd and Kristen Sanger**

Al and Beverly Childs and Ladd and Kristen Sanger**

Upon arrival, partygoers entered the venue, which had been transformed into a swanky lounge with white banquettes, cocktail seating and bright pops of colorful linens in orange, fuscia and purple – all created by event designer Tom Addis. House elements, such as windows, doors and trusses, were painted white and suspended above the crowd to represent the homes built by Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity in partnership with hard working Dallas families. Top donors enjoyed their own private Metropolitan lounge, with dedicated bar and delicious passed hors d’oeuvres. DJ Andre 7 with Medric G on drums provided a cool vibe while patrons mingled, sipped cocktails and posed for party pics in the photo booth.

Urban lounge**

Urban lounge**

Chef Van Meter’s delicious cuisine took center stage with an artisan cheese display upon guests’ arrival. followed by food stations offering small plates including jalapeno glazed fired chicken on Callie’s hot little biscuit with pimento chees simmered field peas; ancho braised duck on homestead gristmill grits and southern greens; Coca-Cola braised pot roast with gold potato puree with roasted Brussel sprouts and bacon and her crusted pork loin with hominy grill tomato pudding. For dessert, a pink petit dessert station sponsored by Mary Kay featuring pink velvet cakes, French raspberry macarons, pink frosted rice crispy treats, white chocolate pretzels; pink lemonade bars and prink sugar cookies.

Pink desserts**

Pink desserts**

A highlight was this year’s silent auction of five unique designer series Habitat houses, 3D printed in full-color and designed by Kevin Page 3D Gallery.  Each home model was based on Habitat’s most recent home designs.

Bill Hall**

Bill Hall**

Mid-way through the evening Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity CEO Bill Hall took a few minutes to thank everyone for attending the third annual fundraiser and shared the importance of their financial support to the work Dallas Habitat is doing in the community. Co-Chair Al Childs followed and added his thanks to the many sponsors and donors who had made the evening possible. He then encouraged all including Cara and Jim French, Nancy Gopez and Katy and Lawrence Bock to continue to support Dallas Area Habitat’s mission of revitalizing neighborhoods, by purchasing raffle tickets or by bidding in the silent auction.

Cara French, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Nancy Gopez**

Cara French, Katy and Lawrence Bock and Nancy Gopez**

At 9:00 Co-Chair Kristen Sanger announced the four lucky winners of this year’s raffle prizes, which included a Dallas Design package of one-of-a-kind fashion and home accessories package from some of Big D’s talented designers, a Mountain Getaway with a five-day, four-night stay at Casita Eileen, a two bedroom home (sleeps six) nestled in the Sangre de Cristo mountains just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with airfare, Dinner with Chef Samir, which includes an exclusive dinner for six in your home prepared by the renowned Nick & Sam’s Executive Chef Samir Dhurandhar, and a one-of-a-kind 3D printed 14k gold Habitat house charm representing Habitat’s ongoing commitment to urban renewal.

* Graphic and photo provided by AWARE 
** Photo credit: Rhi Lee

AWARE’s Celebrating The Moments Ranged From Poignant To Partying And From Tears To Cheers

Over at the Hilton Anatole, the entire place was rocking on Saturday, May 9. A wedding reception was in the Chantilly, a “blooming” fundraiser was being held in the Grand Ballroom, and AWARE’s “Celebrating the Moments” was non-stopping in the Stemmons Ballroom.

It was indeed a celebration of moments and very special people like honorees

  • Billie Leigh Rippey and Gail Plummer

    Billie Leigh Rippey and Gail Plummer

    Billie Leigh Rippey with Paige Rippey Locke and Tricia Rippey Besing;

  • Nancy Goff Cheney with Camille Cheney Fournier, Allison Cheney, John R. Cheney and Robert J. Cheney
  • The Caroline Rose Hunt family and
  • Bragg and Jill Smith, Fay and Dan Sheehan and Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller*

    Bragg and Jill Smith, Fay and Dan Sheehan and Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller*

    The late Mary Ann Smith ­­and her children Ann Smith Barbier-Mueller, Fay Smith Sheehan and Eugene Bragg “Bragg” Smith III.

With WFAA’s Ron Corning emceeing, the evening was a perfect blending of compassion and partying to conquer Alzheimer’s by benefiting the Baylor AT&T Memory Center, Center for BrainHealth, Center for Vital Longevity, Jewish Family Service, Juliette Fowler Communities and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Greg and Amy Osler*

Greg and Amy Osler*

One of the most moving parts of the evening was when 51-year-old Amy Osler stood on stage with her husband, Greg Osler, by her side. Diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s, she said he was there to help in case she wasn’t able to remember. It was so touching a presentation that tears fell and guests stood to give her a standing ovation.

Then the call-out for financial support got underway. Starting with an ask for $10,000 and continued down to the $250 mark. At that point Caroline Rose Hunt’s son Patrick Sands raised his hand. When asked if he was signing up for $250, Patrick said, “No! $25,000!” resulting in another standing “O.”

As some of the early birds started heading home as a tornado watch was still in place, one fellow was heard telling a couple of blondes heading out the doors, “Where have you been all my life?”

Teresa Chantilis, Lorena Canellos, Matula Adams and Stephanie Bray

Teresa Chantilis, Lorena Canellos, Matula Adams and Stephanie Bray

Shelly Groves, Susan Mooney, Pam Eleman and Sabrina Schiller

Shelly Groves, Susan Mooney, Pam Eleman and Sabrina Schiller

Others, like Gala Chair Stephanie Bray, AWARE President Gail Plummer, Shelly Groves, Teresa Chantilis, Lorena Canellos, Matula Adams, Susan Mooney, Pam Eleman and Sabrina Schiller, evidently didn’t care in the least about stormy weather as they danced to Wayne Foster’s band in from Carlsbad, California, with Wayne at the piano.

Wayne Foster dancers

Wayne Foster dancers

Wayne Foster dancers

Wayne Foster dancers

Wayne Foster dancers

Wayne Foster dancers

For a break to catch their breath, guests stepped to the edge of the dance floor and watched Wayne’s dancers do a sizzling tango that Len would have given a “10.”

* Photos provided by AWARE

Round Robin April 22: Callier Cares, Cherish The Children And Legends And Leaders Patron Parties

Once again North Texas was being threatened with all types of storms on Wednesday, April 22. Gee. This is getting old. Still, the Heroes and Handbags held a wrap-up party at Alexander McQueen in Highland Park Village; Battle of the Chefs was waging a foodie fight at Frontiers of Flight Museum for the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation; and AWARE patrons were OMG-ing at Margaret McDermott’s home-sweet-home with Barbara Sypult chairing. Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave Margaret’s “cottage.”

Other patron parties taking place throughout the area included:

Callier Cares Patron Reception

Over at Libby and David Hunt’s home in Volk Estates, it was a family affair. The occasion was the Callier luncheon’s Callier Cares patron party for the fundraiser luncheon on Thursday, April 30, at Brook Hollow.

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

The family angle was Mike McCullough, who would receive the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Award for his years of advising Callier. If you’re brand new on the subject or are just having a momentarily “Can’t remember” second, Mike is the dad of Libby Hunt. See the connection?

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Another connection for the night was the gathering of past and present Callier Cares chairs Barbara Stuart, Libby, Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Tiffany Divis (2015).

Bob and Ann Dyer

Bob and Ann Dyer

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

As Ruth and Ken arrived, Carol Seay, Patricia Meadows, Richard Neely, Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Paul Divis, Dr. Tom Campbell and John Stuart were already in place to learn that Angie Kadesky has agreed to chair the 2016 luncheon benefiting Callier.

Cherish The Children Patron Party

Dallas CASA was just plain being adorable with acclaimed impressionist-expressionist artist Leoma Lovegrove at the still-new Dallas CASA headquarters. Leoma’s work of art will be auctioned off at the Cherish The Children Luncheon on Thursday, May 7, at the Dallas Country Club.

You can expect a lot of Thetas in the room. The reason? They’ll be the honorees for their work in raising funds for Dallas CASA.

Legends And Leaders Patron Party

While mom Margaret McDermott was hosting the AWARE patrons at her home, daughter Mary McDermott Cook was having a party for the VNA‘s Legends and Leaders Luncheon patrons.

Perhaps it was ironic that the party was being held on Earth Day at Mary’s “Dump Top,” a home that’s set atop a blend of glorified recycling items.

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Still the glorious Bill Booziotis-designed creation continues to be jaw dropping. Some may not know that Mary and VNA featured speaker Tom Brokaw share a wrist-twisting interest — fly fishing. While some waited in line to have photos taken with Brokaw or have their books signed by the noted journalist/author, Mary and Tom compared wrist techniques.

 John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Before discussing fishy ways with Tom, Mary was recalling school days at Dallas Country Day School on Lomo Alto with fellow grad John Sears. She told how her dad (Eugene McDermott) and John’s lawyer grandfather had been great friends. They never mentioned the fact that both men were outstanding leaders in 20th century Dallas.

Rena Pederson

Rena Pederson

Mary recalled how Sundays had the kids lined up and asked what they had learned during the week by John’s grandfather. If their answers were right, he rewarded them with a dollar. Mary lived to collect those dollars.

Others in the crowd included Lyda Hill fresh from receiving the 2015 Mary Harriman Award. She didn’t have much time to kick back and enjoy the accolades. She was headed to South Africa in connection with the National Geographic project that she’s supporting…Rena Pederson blushing over the accolades that she’s been receiving about her book, “The Burma Spring.”

As for Tom, he looked a bit weary, and why not. The man, who just turned 75, had just announced in December that he was in remission from his battle with cancer.

Round Robin April 16: Equest Fashion Show Announcement, AWARE Reception And Paws Cause Kick-Off Party

The bubble was bubbling Thursday, April 16. “Close family and friends” and big-buck donors were hunkering down at a tented dinner to celebrate the Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary. That had the fine set dashing in and out of other fundraisers like:

Women’s Auxiliary of Equest Fashion Show Announcement

Helen McGraw and Emilynn Wilson

Helen McGraw and Emilynn Wilson

Emilynn Wilson had beau coups of announcements for the Women’s Auxiliary of Equest fall fashion show. Luckily she made the news at Carolina Herrera in HP Village. Don’t you know it was a showplace of OMG fashions with spring colors that could have held its own with the Arboretum.

For even vet Herrera types, the bridal shop still amazes with all the white gowns that make wedding bliss perfect.

But back to the Equest news of the day. Plans call for the annual fashion show to take place at Brook Hollow and the theme would be Caring Hands. Emilynn even had the logo despite the designer, Di Johnston’s daughter, was MIA due to be under the weather.

Carol Huckin and Carolyn Lupton

Carol Huckin and Carolyn Lupton

Then Emilynn revealed that the honorary chair would be longtime philanthropist Carolyn Lupton.

At this point Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth told the crowd that both Carolyn and her daughter Carol Huckin had been dedicated and under-the-radar supporters of Equest for ages.

Louise Griffeth and Tricia George

Louise Griffeth and Tricia George

Emilynn’s final announcement was that the Equest Award for Community Service would be presented to Helen McGraw. Past award recipients have included Louise (2000), Sandra Cude (2001), Pamela Dealey Petty (2002), Carol Huckin (2003), Linda Secrest (2004), Lydia Haggar Novakov (2006), Dian Moore (2007), Linda Perryman Evans (2008) Dee Wyly and Emily Wyly (2009), Mar Nell Bell, Connie Hardin and Patti Brown (2010), Jan Myers (2011), Karen Shuttee (2012), Nancy Carter (2013) and Debbie Oates (2014).

Besides announcements, there was a slight collision of fashion. Louise Griffeth and Tricia George arrived in the different outfits but the same print. Thank heaven, they accessorized differently.

AWARE Reception

Ralph Lauren fashions

Ralph Lauren fashions

Less than a block away and an hour later, Town & Country filled the Ralph Lauren store with a jam-crammed party benefiting AWARE.

Co-Hostess Lynn McBee did a quick change from her outfit worn at the Equest announce party. She was on her way to the Meadows Gala with husband Allan McBee outside in the car with the engine running. Despite surviving on two hours of sleep, she looked wide-eyed and ready-to-go.

Stephanie Bray, Debbie Wilson, Mersina Stubbs and Lynn McBee

Stephanie Bray, Debbie Wilson, Mersina Stubbs and Lynn McBee

Another co-hostess, Mersina Stubbs, was still raving about Katherine and Bob Penn’s house where the Under the Moonlight patron party had been held the night before.

One round-the-bout vet complained upon hearing about the Penn home, “Gee, why haven’t I seen it?”

Paul Divis and Christie Carter

Paul Divis and Christie Carter

Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing

Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing

Others supporting AWARE and checking out the newest Ralph Lauren fashions was Ramona Jones talking about the Vonlane luxury busline, Paul Divis waiting for wife Tiffany and heading to another event, Christie Carter in a darling white leather jacket , mom Billie Leigh Rippey and Tricia Besing being greeted by old friends and fellow co-hostesses Stephanie Bray and Debbie Wilson being photographed.

Paws Cause Kick-Off

Just down the road on Cedar Springs, the Paws Cause humans and critters got together to kick off plans for the upcoming fundraiser for SPCA of Texas’ Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair. Here’s a report from the field:

Amid stunning artwork, glittering jewelry, fabulous hats, over-the-top perfect gifts and one-of-a-kind décor pieces, the SPCA of Texas held a kick-off party for Paws Cause 2015 at Flower Reign by Shane Walker. A delightful array of delectable hors d’oeuvres and champagne refreshed attendees, a photo booth captured the evening’s fun for the guests to share and a highly talented caricature artist sketched guests with whimsy and just a little bit of cheeky playfulness.

Flower Reign donated 20% of the purchase price of all products purchased that night. Special thanks to Flower Reign by Shane Walker for hosting the party, to Kristen & Scott Greenberg for providing the beverages and to Food Glorious Food for providing the delicious hors d’oeuvres.

This year, Paws Cause is celebrating its 20th anniversary of supporting the SPCA of Texas’ Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at Village Fair in South Dallas, where spay/neuter surgeries and wellness care are provided in high-need neighborhoods to help moderate the stray animal population. Each year, the Mary Spencer Clinic performs more than 11,000 low cost spay/neuter surgeries and your generosity allows us to continue positively affecting families and their furry companions.

Paws Cause 2015 is shaping up to be most successful, thanks to Event Chair Phyllis Comu. To celebrate its 20th year, Paws Cause is inviting all past honorary chairs to again be honorary chairs.

The honorary chairs include Jane Arrington, Rebecca and Jim Belew, Diane and Hal Brierley, Andie Comini, Terry Cook and Steve Yevich, Wynne McNabb Cunningham, Barbara and Steve Durham, Holly Forsythe, Gwen Echols, Cassie Evans Decker, Janelle and Larry Friedman, Gemma Galeoto, Brenda Gray, Hillary Hurst, Susan Jones, Whitney Keltch, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Lynn Knox, Ann Marcus, T. Boone Pickens, Madeleine Pickens, Martha and Larry Powell, Gigi and Roy Salley, Sarah Potter, Melinda and William Rathke, Mary Spencer, Mary and Skip Tremble, Karen Urie, Karol Wilson and Cheryl Wyly.

Paws Cause 2015 will be held on Saturday, June 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, a state-of-the-art animal shelter facility in the heart of West Dallas. The summer cocktail-themed evening will feature catering by Food Glorious Food, musical entertainment by The British Are Coming, a silent auction, the famous “Bone Appetit” restaurant drawing, and more. For more information, please visit

JUST IN: AWARE Honorees And Chairs Announced Along With Some Adjustments

The AWARE crowd just announced news and changes. It all took place at Shirley and Bill Mcintyre’s home last night.

First the changes — like Joan Crawford’s vanquishing all wire hangers, the Alzheimer’s fundaisers are proceeding without any periods in AWARE. Gee, that’s gonna be so much easier on the nails and the abused keyboard.

They’ve also moved their efforts over to The Dallas Foundation. Just wanted to make sure you knew where to head.

But let’s get on with the great news. Gala Co-Chairs Stephanie Bray and Evelyn Ponder and AWARE President Gail Plummer announced the 2015 honorees for “Celebrate The Moments” on Saturday, May 9, at Hilton Anatole.

Please note there were no periods in AWARE.

Billie Leigh Rippey and Paige Rippey Locke (File photo)

Billie Leigh Rippey and Paige Rippey Locke (File photo)

Moving on with what you really want to know. The 2015 recipients will not be those suffering from the mind boggling disease. It will their families, who were on the frontline in this battle including:

  • Billie Leigh Rippey, Paige Rippey Locke and Tricia Rippey Besing;
  • Nancy Goff Cheney, Camille Cheney Fournier, Allison Cheney, John R. Cheney and Robert J. Cheney;
  • The Caroline Rose Hunt Family and
  • Mary Ann Smith, Ann Smith Barbier-Mueller, Fay Smith Sheehan, Eugene Bragg Smith III.

A.W.A.R.E. Pits Two Legendary Ice Bowl Quarterbacks On The Same Side In The Battle Against Alzheimer’s

This weekend’s Super Bowl is bringing back memories of times when Dallas was facing off for the NFL championship when ice was not nice.

A time long before Peyton Manning was even a hopeful in his parents’ future, there was the legendary NFL playoff that became part of history – the Ice Bowl.

Despite not being a Super Bowl, it was considered historic as people across the nation watched the Dallas Cowboys face the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay in conditions that were truly brutal. The temperature was -15 degrees with an average wind child of about -48 degrees.

Held in 1967 in Green Bay, the equipment was primitive compared to today’s standards. To keep hands warm, large metal barrels simmered with fire on the sidelines with players huddling.

The coaches were Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi.

When the tarp was pulled back, the field was a showcase of flash freeze. It had coated the field with ice.

And just how bad was it? The halftime band couldn’t perform because the brass instruments stuck to the players’ lips and the woodwind instruments froze. Even the refs couldn’t blow their metal whistles without having their lips result in bloody lips that immediately froze.

The quarterbacks were the late Don Meredith and the take-no-prisoners Bart Starr.

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

Now, 47 years later the two legendary quarterbacks are on the field of competition once again. Only this time, they’re on the same team. Meredith, who succumbed to the disease of Alzheimer’s, is serving as the inspiration, and his old nemesis Starr is leading the charge against the disease.

On Thursday, April 17, Starr will take up the call as he headlines the 25th anniversary celebration of the AWARE dinner at the Anatole.

Luncheon Chair Lisa Shardon and AWARE President Roop Crosby has announced that the luncheon will honor the AWARE founders.

To kick off the 25th anniversary, the Artists Against Alzheimer’s Chair Ashley Tatum and Honorary Chair Laree Hulshoff have arranged for the silent/live action to take place on Thursday, February 6, at Museum Tower. The event will be limited to 150 people with tickets starting at $150. If you haven’t seen Museum Tower, this is a marvelous opportunity to check out it out.

Larry Hagman’s “Other Wife” Will Step Up For AWARE Luncheon

Linda Gray (File photo)

As promised, here is the news about the April 5th A.W.A.R.E. Luncheon. A.W.A.R.E. This afternoon at the annual A.W.A.R.E. Tea, President Kay Hammond announced at Suzanne Palmlund‘s marvelous Swiss Avenue mansion that the luncheon would be in the spirit of Larry Hagman as a tribute to his wife Maj. In place of Larry will be his “Dallas” wife, Linda Gray.

This is gonna be a tough one for “Sue Ellen.” Linda not only adored her on-screen husband and shared the love with his in-life-wife of nearly 59 years Maj, but her mother also suffered from Alzheimer’s.

Folks, this luncheon is gonna be an “oh-so-sold-out.” Get your tickets now, or you’ll be doomed to read about it online.

Revised Plans For A.W.A.R.E. Luncheon To Be Announced At Today’s Holiday Tea

It’s been a daunting two weeks for Larry Hagman‘s world of family and friends. As if the loss of the actor wasn’t enough, some wondered what would happen to his countless philanthropic professional efforts. 

Luckily, Larry had entrusted all to professionals and close friends because these causes were very special to him. One of which was the fight against Alzheimer’s. It was well known that his wife Maj had been battling the disease for a number of years. It had gotten so severe that some questioned whether she would even comprehend his November 23rd death.

Kay Hammond (File photo)

For this reason Larry and his longtime friend Kay Hammond, who is president of A.W.A.R.E. (Alzheimer’s Women’s Association for Resources and Education), arranged for him to be the keynote speaker at the A.W.A.R.E. Luncheon and Silent Auction at the Hilton Anatole.

After getting over the initial shock and grief of Larry’s November 23rd death, Kay realized that Maj’s Alzheimer’s was still a big priority on Larry’s “Must Do” list and she wasn’t going to let him down. 

This afternoon the AWARE Holiday Tea will be more than the annual fare of sipping and sampling goodies. Kay will reveal the revised plans for the Friday, April 5th luncheon.

If you had thought about maybe skipping the tea, you just might want to rethink that. But if you can’t make it, stay tuned. We’ll let you know. But you knew that.

A.W.A.R.E. Luncheon Celebrates A Dallas Love Story — Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr.

Last year’s A.W.A.R.E. luncheon was filled to capacity with former Dallas Cowboys and fans of Don Meredith, who was the honoree. However, at the last minute Dandy Don had to cancel his appearance because of his health. No problem. It was just a great “Dallas Cowboy family” reunion.

This year organizers covered all their bases for the March 31 luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. Not only did they schedule Shelley CoachFabares, whose mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, but they also added Shelley’s husband Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame.  But the A.W.A.R.E. team realized that they needed an extra “WOW!” factor to the luncheon. They wanted a tribute to a love story, even if it didn’t have a direct connection with the disease. They found it in a couple who had personally shared their passion, hopes and dreams with their family and the city of Dallas — the late Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr.

Very wise move.


Just a couple of days before the event, organizers learned that Shelley had come down with a nasty virus and wouldn’t be able to attend. However, Mike would stand in for her. And that’s exactly what he did.

Wednesday night the patrons of the event including Faye Briggs, Diane and Hal Brierley, Shirley and Bob Miller and Biddie Jordan gathered at an elegant Lakeside manor to meet Mike and hear Dr. Sid O’Bryant discuss the neurological disease that affects 5.4 million Americans. In 2010 alone the disease required 17 billion hours of unpaid care by 14.9 million families and friends.

Carmaleta Whiteley, Mike Farrell and Jackie Miller

Speaking of family, the leadership of the Miller clan was out in full force — Jackie and Peter Stewart, Tincy and Vance Miller and Patsy Donosky. Due to back surgery, Henry S. Miller III was skipping the evening event for the Thursday luncheon.

Tincy and Vance Miller and Patsy Donosky

Main topic of the evening was Patsy’s daughter Janie Condon, who was hit by a car in March. Patsy, who in the past year lost her father and her husband David Donosky, reported that Janie was slowly mending but needed rest. When asked about flowers and phone calls, Patsy said that old-fashioned, handwritten notes and get-well cards were the very best medicine.

Thursday morning at 10:30 guests started showing up at the Anatole for the luncheon. Unlike other luncheons, the VIP reception is not held before the event but afterwards. Lynn Dealey is pleased that for once she’s early for an event. While guests sipped OJ, champagne and mimosas, a young miss in a tiara started playing the piano at 10:58. Unlike many musical performances, typically Burt Bacharach style, this one was a little more downbeat. One gentleman, who evidently was not in a good mood, grumbled about getting there too early to hear “funeral music.”

But soon guests started filling the place and chatting with Mike, who described himself as “a human rights activist,” working against the death penalty and the war in Iraq these days. When not helping Shelley, he’s working on movie projects. The most current one is a movie about Standing Bear, the first Native American allowed to speak in an American court.

When asked about Shelley’s good friend Annette Funicello, whose house caught fire on March 10, he reported that both Annette and her husband were out of the hospital after suffering smoke inhalation. He added that Annette was “not doing well” due to her battle with multiple sclerosis.

Mike patiently posed for photos and signed autographs with guests and people just passing by the gathering.

Luncheon Chair Deborah Packer was busily scurrying around to check on last minute arrangements and answering questions.

On the fashion front Rawlins Gilliland in a black chalk-striped suit by Dries Van Noten with black French-cuffed shirt and black-and-white striped tie was providing a dazzling fashion commentary. Want an example? Doris Jacobs’ orange-colored Chanel — “sautéed coral.”

Deborah Packer

Henry S. Miller III

At 11:35, the music got a little peppier just in time for guests to start hot footing it into the Chantilly Ballroom.

Looking around the ballroom, the Miller tables are front row with Jackie Stewart’s and Henry S. Miller III’s tables on one side of the main aisle and Vance Miller’s and Patsy Donosky’s on the other. This placement will play in later.

At another key table were Charles Wyly, who gave the invocation, Caren Prothro, Terry Darrow and Roger Staubach who was seated with Mike Farrell.  At one point in passing the bread basket, someone asked for a roll. Roger “faked” like he was going to toss the basket across the table. This action recalled a scene for Caren, when Rog tossed a football at her table. It came right at her and her old friend Lee Cullum, but somebody reached out and caught it just in the nick of time. “I could have been a hero to my grandchildren, if I had caught it,” Caren added.

At high noon Carmaleta presented a proclamation honoring the Miller family to Jackie.

Nancy Ross and Patricia Donosky

Then it was time for the live auction and lively it was. . .  especially the Italy chalet. Auctioneer Dean McCurry started fielding a bidding war from two areas. The price for the chalet that can accommodate 18 people quickly passed the $16,500 value. Suddenly looking through the crowd of tables Jackie Stewart realized that she was bidding against her sister Patsy Donosky, who ended up with the prize. Donosky girls Nancy Ross and Patricia Donosky were quick to grab the brochure to check out their future vacation spot.

Deborah Packer, Joan Mason and Carmaleta Whiteley

Following the auction, Joan Mason was  named Volunteer of the Year for her tireless work. In addition to Joan’s being an active member of AWARE, she was the caregiver for her mother, who passed away in 2006. Ironically, Joan’s mother had been the caregiver for her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

Then KTVT-CH. 11’s Karen Borta introduced “A Dallas Love Story: A Tribute to Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr.”  featuring Gerald Turner, Lawrence Marcus, Linda Custard, Bill Lively and Roger. The accolades for the Millers included:

  • “When he (Henry) spoke, it was like E.F. Hutton — you listened.”
  • “Mrs. Miller was a pistol.”
  • “They were a fantastic team.”
  • “He preached the message of doing the right thing for the customer.”
  • “A great love story.”
  • “They seemed to be good friends.”
  • “The godfather of real estate here in Dallas.”
  • “Henry had great ideas; Juanita had organization.”
  • “They galvanized donors.”
  • “The Millers were catalysts for the arts. They were at the forefront of the Arts District. . . and literally saved the symphony.”

Nicole and Jackie Stewart

When the well-produced love-story video ended, a standing ovation swept the room, as members of the Miller family were seen tearing up.

Quite frankly, the luncheon could have ended right there and then. But Karen returned to the podium saying, “The Millers did not face the devastation of Alzheimer’s, but they did take care of one another, and that is what we celebrate today.”

She also added that more than 13,300 families have benefited from the Dallas chapter this past year. She then introduced Mike, who did an admirable job of standing in. Starting off with “I think I’ve met a million Millers today, including in-laws and outlaws,” he told of the years that Shelley’s mother, Elsa, suffered from Alzheimer’s.

The first signs appeared in the 1980’s when Elsa, who was keenly intelligent, started displaying odd behavior. She became “coquettish,” but would “throw cups across the room when she didn’t get coffee instead of tea,” and she “hated short people.” At one point, she told Shelley that “If they tell me I have Alzheimer’s Disease, I’m going to kill myself.” When one doctor told Shelly it was probably Alzheimer’s, she was devastated and  called the Alzheimer’s Association in L.A. offering to help. Shelley had meant licking envelopes, but they drafted her to testify in Washington.

“This disease is a cruel thing. It steals your loved ones from you. It stole Elsa from us. At the end, she could only say one thing: ‘Queen Bee. . . ‘ Those were her last words. We need to find a way to arrest this cruel thief.”

Farrell concluded with the fact that by 2020, 16 million people will suffer from Alzheimer’s in this country. Multiply that by four for the family members involved in the patient’s care, and that translates into 80 million people whose lives will be at the mercy of this cruel thief.