Grovel Alert: 2nd Annual Rising Stars Luncheon

Dak Prescott (AP Photo)

Ben Lange (File photo)

Unlike former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t exactly been making the speaking rounds.  Perhaps that’s why Wednesday’s “2nd Annual Rising Stars Luncheon” benefiting After-School All-Stars North Texas is nearing SRO status at the Dallas Country Club.

According to ASAS North Texas Board Chair Ben Lange, the fundraiser that will have Brad “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Sham interviewing the football wunderkind is within one or two tables of selling out.

Nancy Rogers and Gina Betts (File photo)

Chaired by Gina Betts, the fund raiser is being presented by Nancy C. and Richard Rogers.

One of the surprises for organizers has been the number of papa and mama bears who are bringing their kids to the luncheon. Seems that the recent show of munchkins attending The Jonathan’s Place’s “A Chance to Soar” with featured speaker Simone Biles has caught on. Makes sense. Such events provide an excellent opportunity to expose youngsters to role models.

Consider this news to be a “last call” shout-out, so get one of those last spots now by emailing  Liz Arrington or calling her at 469.330.4970.

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall Reveals Deets For Leukemia And Lymphoma Fundraiser

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza (File photo)

Gee, whiz. Could those with news slow down? Heck, no! Another missive arrived for sharing. 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Heather Perttula Randall just sent word that those vets of leukemia, Tracy and Ben Lange, will be the honorary co-chairs for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange (File photo)

If you just hopped off the bus at the Greyhound station, then you just might not know how Tracy and Ben not only journeyed through their son’s Luke Lange’s battle with lymphoma, but they also made lemonade out of the leukemia lemon. Not only did adorable Luke create Luke’s Fast Break T-shirts, but just as importantly they kept their family together. Too often the family unit can become a casualty of battling leukemia, cancer and other deadly diseases.

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

Don and Robyn Conlon (File photo)

But Heather had even more news about the 2017 awards. The Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award will be presented to Robyn and Don Conlon, who know the devastation of leukemia and lymphoma. Their new daughter-in-law’s mother, who happened to be a dear family friend, died of the disease.

Sponsored by Baker and Botts, The Spirit of Tom Landry Award will be presented to six-year-old Bennett Williams, who is an acute Lymphoma leukemia survivor.

The Memorial Hero Award, sponsored by Robyn and Don Conlon, will honor Lillie Young’s late Charles Young, “who fought a valiant battle again myeloma.”

BTW, this year’s luncheon will take place at the Meyerson on….believe it or not, on Tuesday, February 14. Yup, you read that right. It will actually be on St. Valentine’s Day. And the fashions will be provided by Highland Park Village merchants, so you just know it’s gonna be clothes tailor made for ladies who set trends.

Joining Heather in putting the festivities and fundraising together are Underwriting Co-Chairs Daffan Nettle and Yvette Ostolaza and Advisory Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores.

Tickets and sponsorships are available via phone, mail, online or carrier pigeon. No, that last one isn’t true, but we just we’d see if you were really paying attention.

Luke Lange Showcased His Mission And His Fast Breaks T-shirts At The St. Valentine’s Luncheon And Fashion Show Patron Party

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show patron party guests at the Tower Residences at the Stoneleigh on Tuesday, February 9, may have been prepared to hear about the fundraiser’s raffle and check out the model unit. But chances are, they weren’t prepared to meet Luke Lange.

They soon learned that he’s a pretty incredibly cute fella. Be very nice to this dude because he’ll probably be president of the U.S. or something better.

What makes him so special? After all, there are a lot of impressive pre-teens in North Texas. And there are a herd of parents and siblings surrounding these stand-out types.

Luke Lange and Ben Lange

Luke Lange and Ben Lange

But Luke at the age of nine was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Luckily, Luke, like other youngsters facing such a challenge, had a family — parents Tracy and Ben Lange and fashion diva kid sister Livia Lange — to help him through the diagnosis and the treatments.

Ben admitted that the diagnosis had created a life-changing experience for the young family. But they tackled it as a united front by seeking the best medical help and coming together as a family.

Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

Livia Lange and Tracy Lange

True, the diagnosis boded challenges. Tracy and Ben realized the ramifications. All things would have to take a rest while they took care of the family crisis. Luke would suffer the needles and the pain. His sister Livia Lange could become a “shadow sibling.” But as a team the Langes tackled it as a united front by seeking the best medical help and coming together as a family.

Evidently not only did the Lange clan’s efforts work, it benefited others facing leukemia and lymphoma. It seems that while Luke was going through his treatments, he really didn’t care for the hospital garb. His comfort level, like other patients, was a T-shirt. But then there were those needed tubes and ports for chemo and other treatments. So, industrious Luke worked with a tailor to create soft-cotton T-shirts with “fast-snap buttons on both the left and right side of the shirts. The fast-snap buttons run the entire inseam of the shirts from the bottom of the shirt to the end of the sleeve. This provides easy access for the medical staff to ports and other areas of the upper torso without having to remove or pull the shirt up.” It was such a hit that Luke started getting requests from other patients for one.

Next thing you know, a family friend by the name of Mark Cuban learned of the “snapped T-shirts” and joined on board, helping to have T-shirts with the Dallas Mavericks’ logo made.

Ken and Gina Betts

Ken and Gina Betts

DeeDee Lee and Janie Condon

DeeDee Lee and Janie Condon

As patron party guests like St. Valentine’s Day luncheon Co-Chair Gina Betts and her “betts half” Ken, Deedee Lee, Janie Condon and Claire Emanuelson arrived at the party, there was Luke with a table set up to sell his Luke Fast Breaks T-shirts.

Luke's Fast Breaks Tom Landry T-shirt*

Luke’s Fast Breaks Tom Landry T-shirt*

In honor of the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon, the Lange family had gotten Alicia Landry‘s approval to have special T-shirts made with the late Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry‘s likeness. For each one purchased for $25, the entire amount benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas. As for the shirt? It goes to a patient undergoing treatments.

In return, Luke was selected to receive the Tom Landry Spirit Award on Tuesday, February 16, at the luncheon.

Sure, the Dallas Cowboys’ legendary coach had succumbed to leukemia before Luke was born, but if one believes in reincarnation, perhaps Landry’s winning gene was part of Luke’s DNA.

BTW, Luke’s product, salesmanship and mission paid off at the patron party to the tune of $2,500. That means 100 patients will receive Luke’s snappy T-shirts.

* Photo courtesy of Luke's Fast Breaks T-shirts