The Scripps Society Celebrated The Moody Foundation’s Announcement Of A $12M Gift To CRI With Dinner And A Very Special Singer

While Kathy and Harlan Crow were in Washington, D.C., they left “the key under the mat” for The Scripps Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday, October 24.

For newcomers, The Scripps Society was named after Debbie and Ric Scripps, who “have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission.” It’s made up of people who have provided one million dollars or more for the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, better known as CRI.

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

But on this occasion, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and Children’s Health CEO Christopher Durovich had a breathtaking surprise for the group whose funds had generously supported pediatric healthcare.

Following dinner in the Crow Library, it was announced that The Moody Foundation had gifted a whopping $12M for CRI.

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

Despite having coordinated the arrangement of the gift, Foundation Human Resources Director/Regional Grant Director for North Texas Jamie Williams admitted that it had been quite an undertaking, but well worth it. Thanks to the gift, CRI will be able to “attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas to work alongside other researchers at CRI and will fuel their research for the next decade.”

As for Moody Foundation Chair/Executive Director Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg, they were amazed at the magnificence of the library. It was their first time to visit.

In the crowd were CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Dr. Hao Zhu,Christina Durovich, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sherry Vittrup and CRI’s Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, and Dr. Hao Zhu.

Hao Zhu, Russell Vittrup and Sherry Vittrup

Another highlight of  the evening was Children’s patient Russell Vittrup‘s singing some “Old Blue Eyes” favorites. Having been diagnosed with leukemia his first  year in college, Russell’s story, like his singing, is mesmerizing.

Thanks to The Moody Foundation and the members of The Scripps Society, medical research is creating life-saving treatments and diagnoses for others like Russell.

JUST IN: The Moody Foundation Awards Children’s Health With $12M To Attract The World’s Top Scientists And Researchers To CRI

At their annual dinner, the Children’s Medical Center Foundation million-dollar donors/members of The Scripps Society had a delicious surprise that had jaws literally dropping at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s home Tuesday night. And while this crowd is renowned for their generosity, they were more than delighted with the news about an uber gift of generosity. The reason was courtesy of The Moody Foundation.

With Francie Moody-Dahlberg and husband Kevin Dahlberg smiling, it was announced that the Foundation had presented a $12 million gift to Children’s Health. The monies will “establish a prestigious faculty scholar program designed to attract the world’s top scientists to Dallas work alongside other researchers at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI).”

Sean Morrison, Christopher Durovich, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg and Brent Christopher

According to CRI Director Dr. Sean Morrison, “We are deeply honored by this generous gift from the Moody Foundation that will accelerate our ability to make discoveries that improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease in children.”

Jamie Williams and Ralph DeBerardinis

The immediate plan calls for $5M to “create a new Robert L. Moody Sr. Faculty Scholar endowment to support the research of a leading scientist at CRI.” The first Scholar will be Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, who is director of CRI’s Genetic and Metabolic Program and professor in CRI. Thanks to his laboratory, new strategies have been provided for treating cancer by exploiting metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells.”

The Foundation will continue its support of CRI’s world-class medical research “for at least 10 years with a distribution of $700,000 or more every year.”

As Francie put it, “With this gift, we hope to increase the impact of the Children’s Research Institute and attract the most brilliant scientists and researchers from around the globe to North Texas.”

This latest gift brings the total of The Moody Foundation’s support of CRI to $17.35M, “placing it among the top 10 largest cumulative donors for Children’s Health in the system’s 104-year history.”

Children’s Health President/CEO Christopher Durovich summed it up: “Given the established track records of these scientists for finding the pathways to medical breakthroughs, the Moody investment will benefit countless generations yet to come, especially in our relentless pursuit of the discovery of tomorrow’s treatments.”

Once again philanthropy is the reason that North Texas is recognized as a world leader in healthcare research and treatments.  

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation Brent Christopher, “This is an extraordinary gift. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Moody Foundation, and we’re inspired by this powerful collaboration with one of Texas’ most revered philanthropic families.

 “Permanent, private philanthropic support like this is an invaluable tool for these researchers. It is a unique, reliable resource for proven scientists who are at the top of their game and will launch them into their next phase of life-changing discoveries.”

Ironically, on the first night of the World Series, Brent summed it up, “CRI scientists knock it out each month.” 

Nicely played for the team of  The Moody Foundation, Children’s Health and Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) for generations to come.      

Children’s Donor Reception Was Prepared For A Cowboys-Packers Showdown With A Flatscreen In The Dallas Country Club Ballroom

Sundays are usually sorta ho-hum. There are church services and brunches, but otherwise it’s rather calm. And on Sunday, January 15, it should have been especially so, since it was the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend.

That’s why “the Christophers” (Children’s Health President/CEO Chris Durovich and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher) figured it would be ideal for the 2nd Annual Thank You Donors reception at the Dallas Country Club.

What wasn’t predicted was Cowboys wunderkind rookies Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott. Thanks to the Cowboys making it to the NFL playoff and the game being played at AT&T Stadium starting at 4 p.m., the snoozy Sunday was no longer so sleepy.

Then there was the Liener Temerlin’s memorial service at Temple Emanu-El’s Stern Chapel at 3 p.m.

Chris and Christina Durovich

This Sunday was truly going into uber drive.

But then, of course, Mother Nature had to add her two cents with rain.

Luckily, Chris and Brent were prepared for the situation. As Brent chatted in the lobby area, Chris and Christina Durovich officially welcomed guests and let them know that a TV was broadcasting the Cowboys-Packers game at the back of the ballroom just past all the tables filled with goodies.

Randy Muck, Carol Bieler and Brent Christopher

When one guest asked Brent, Carol Bieler and Randy Muck about the Cowboys game, Randy quickly corrected the guest saying it was a “Packers game.” Bow-tied Brent smiled, “Randy’s a Packer’s fan.”

Among the early arrivals were new Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO David Scullin with his wife Susan Scullin, Fran and Bill Carter and Caroline Rose Hunt with Bob Brackbill. Katy and Ken Menges arrived reporting the latest score as they checked in. Katy will be having hip surgery and is glad to have it over with. Annette Leslie sans 25 pounds reported that the Carson Leslie Foundation had ramped up with greater structure.

David and Susan Scullin and Fran and Bill Carter

Katy and Ken Menges

Bob Brackhill and Caroline Rose Hunt

Magda and Dr. Halim Hennes told former Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal that the Children’s ER was on its way to being open. 

Kern Wildenthal and Magda and Halim Hennes

Kern had been an honorary pallbearer at Liener’s services, which were simply flawless with three generations of Temerlins recalling “Papa.” Despite the eloquence of daughter Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and grandson Blake Gottesman, it was great-granddaughter Avery Johl’s telling the story of “The Invisible String” with Rabbi David Stern that was the true memory maker.

In attendance at the service were Gail and Gerald Turner, Marnie Wildenthal, Martha Tiller (sans husband David Tiller, who was preparing for back surgery), Nancy Dedman, Nancy Halbreich, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Melina McKinnon and Michael Cain and Wick Allison.

But back to the Children’s reception. As the party closed down with a hair-pulling end to the Cowboys-Packers game, Ma Nature took over the spotlight with tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms. While disappointed Cowboy fans found themselves holed up at AT&T stadium, the Children’s guests were safe at home.

The Two-Day “Christmas Is For Children Radiothon” Resulted In A Record-Breaking $1,262,704 For Children’s Health

KLUV’s Jody Dean seemed to put an extra “oomph” in this year’s two-day “Christmas is for Children Radiothon.” Perhaps it was because he will have his first granddaughter born this April.

And that “oomph” on Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9, at Children’s Medical Center resulted in a record-breaking sweet deal — a check for $1,262,704 for Children’s Health.

Jody Dean (File photo)

Jenny Q (File photo)

El Chiquilin (File photo)

Chris Sommer (File photo)

As part of the partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, Jody was joined by other CBS Radio DFW folks like KLUV’s Jenny Q, La Grande’s El Chiquilin, KRLD’s Chris Sommer and 26 patients and families like Lacey Parker and her mom Renee Parker for the 26-hour fundraiser.

Why La Grande alone broke another record by bringing in a record-breaking “$558,199, making it the No. 1 CMN Hispanic Radiothon in the country.”

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker

According to CBS Radio DFW Senior Vice President/Market Manager Brian Purdy, “CBS Radio DFW began the Radiothon partnership 11 years ago to support the incredibly amazing work of Children’s Health. Year after year, the generosity of our listeners continues to humble us as we are reminded of how truly blessed we are here in North Texas.”

In addition to the VIP guests like Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and former Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal dropping by to visit with the radio personalities, teams from area companies manned the phone accepting contributions.

Local sponsors of the event included presenting sponsor FairLease, phone line sponsor Credit Union of Texas, child champion sponsor Neighborhood Credit Union and others (Albertsons-Tom Thumb, The Children’s Courtyard, Granite Properties, Padrino Foods, Skanska, ReTrak, Dallas Fort Worth Acura Dealers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, ADT Security, Cisco, Marquis Group, UBC and El Rio Supermercados).

If you missed the opportunity to support the Radiothon, you can still support Children’s Health via the Children’s Medical Center Foundation by donating here!

You Did It Again: North Texas Giving Day Busts Previous Records With A Whopping $37,307,196 For 2,518 Nonprofits Thanks To 142,892 Gifts

Well, dang it! Once again Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Texas Giving Day broke all past records hauling in $37,307,196. Gee, don’t you just love the 142,892 North Texas givers who made it happen? Whether its multi-million-dollar buckeroos or the legions of $25 donors, this neighborhood shines in the world of giving.

North Texas Giving Day

North Texas Giving Day

You simply can’t even fathom the appreciation of the nonprofits for folks and organizations coming through on this legendary day.

By the way, this year’s record breaker is the very first in its eight-year history without former CFT Executive Director Brent Christopher, who announced his departure for Children’s Medical Center Foundation earlier this summer.

For a giggle, MySweetCharity contacted Brent about NTGD’s continuing its record-breaking record in the astrosphere of fundraising without him. His reply:

“The team behind North Texas Giving Day is incredible, not to mention all the participating nonprofits. But, I had no idea that I was holding everyone back all these years! This over-the-top total is nothing short of astounding. And, of course, all of us at Children’s Health are thrilled that donors to Children’s played a big part in that success, too.”

Congrats to Communities Foundation of Texas, the 2,518 nonprofits and Brent for creating one of the nation’s most remarkable fundraising accomplishments.

May the fundraising continue. But let’s let the emailboxes take a rest for a day.

Communities Foundation Of Texas Holds A Two-For-One Reception For Departing President/CEO Brent Christopher

Tuesday, June 28, was not only to be a farewell reception for Communities Foundation of Texas’ outgoing President/CEO Brent Christopher, it was also his 50th birthday.

But before all the brief remarks were made, the CFT reception area filled with bigwigs like Amy and Michael Meadows, Jeanne Tower Cox, Mike Rawlings, Rena Pederson, David Johnson, Cheryl Hall, Molly Bogen, Kevin Hurst, Jane Pierce, Bill Holston, Katherine Wagner, George Ellis, Gail Thomas and Jim Bass.  So, who said the boldfacers had evacuated North Texas for the 4th of July holiday?

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

Asked how the search for Brent’s successor was going, CFT Board Chair Frank Risch reported that it was going amazingly smoothly. Leaving the next day for the holiday weekend at the Risch home in Cape Cod, he admitted that the summer hiatus would not slow down the search efforts.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

But Frank was soon at the podium recalling Brent’s 11-year tenure, which had accomplished the following:

  • the number of funds have grown 30+%
  • assets have grown 43%
  • CFT has received $900M in gifts
  • and granted close to $900M
  • his 11 years represents over half of the total grant giving we’ve done in the past 63 years
  • trained 46 social service agencies in data-driven decision making
  • nine agencies implementing our working families success model with over 1,000 clients
  • 50% increase in discretionary grant-making
  • the staff has tripled
  • has grown Educate Texas, and much more

He also told that when he assumed leadership of the Board, Frank had been directed to check out an envelope left in the CFT library by his predecessor, Fred Hegi. The enveloped contained a piece of paper reading, “Don’t lose Brent.”

But typical of Frank, he eloquently summed up Brent’s departure as both leaving CFT in very good shape and moving ahead in supporting North Texas as CEO of Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

On cue, a birthday cake in the shape of a mammoth bow tie with 11 candles (one for each year that Brent had worked at CFT) was rolled out. With a deep breath, Brent blew out the candles, thanked the guests and emphasized the importance of philanthropy in the North Texas community. In closing he quoted Teddy Roosevelt,

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

Wearing a bow tie reflecting CFT’s colors, he went on to say, “This is a community that dares mighty things. We don’t live in the gray twilight here in Dallas. It’s an extraordinary place to call home and it’s an extraordinary community to be part of. Thankfully, I’m not moving. I’m just going to be at another institution and look forward to being with you in countless ways for years to come. But for now I am standing between you and cake.”

Brent then returned to farewell handshakes and hugs.

Gritty, Tenacious Dr. Bobby Lyle Is Honored By Entrepreneurs For North Texas At The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship

Talk about a “who’s who” gathering of Dallas business and civic leaders! That was the scene for sure at Communities Foundation of Texas on Thursday, May 12, when Dr. Bobby B. Lyle was inducted into the EFNT Ring of Entrepreneurs. The EFNT (Entrepreneurs for North Texas) group is a CFT program focusing on small- and mid-sized companies, and its annual Ring induction honors “world-class entrepreneurs” who’ve excelled at giving back.

Bobby Lyle and Margo and Jim Keyes*

Bobby Lyle and Margo and Jim Keyes*

The who’s who assembly included the likes of Margo and Jim Keyes, Gerald Turner, Ruth Altshuler, Phil Romano, John Wiley Price, Tom Leppert and Garrett Boone. (Garrett and Jim were previous Ring inductees—Garrett in 2015, and Jim in 2009.) Bobby, of course, is the legendary Dallas philanthropist, corporate board member, founder of Lyco Energy Corp., and Dallas investor in fields ranging from real estate and manufacturing to cattle ranching, and green energy.

Garrett Boone*

Garrett Boone*

Ruth Altshuler*

Ruth Altshuler*

Gerald Turner*

Gerald Turner*

Tom Leppert*

Tom Leppert*

As the guests streamed into CFT’s meeting room for EFNT’s 15th Annual Spirit of Entrepreneur event, called “Engineering Philanthropy,” a Salvation Army band struck up “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Outgoing CFT CEO Brent Christopher welcomed everyone with a quip: “I’m not sure we’re all saints, but we all came marching in!”

Patrick Brandt*

Patrick Brandt*

With that Patrick Brandt, chairman of the EFNT board, took the stage to present the group’s annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship North Star awards to Oliver Wyman and Sendero. Next came a video about Bobby, with tributes to the much-admired engineer, executive, entrepreneur, professor, and civic leader from Garrett, Jim, and Ray Hunt. The man of the hour was then introduced by his daughter, Sharon Lyle, who said she “learned grit and tenacity from dad,” adding, “There’s no one I trust more with my life and my business.” At that Bobby took the mic and was presented with the blazer and cuff links traditionally given to Ring inductees, as well as a colorful scale model of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering complex.

Sharon Lyle*

Sharon Lyle*

“Out in the lobby,” Bobby told the crowd, “I saw people I’d seen yesterday, some I hadn’t seen in a couple of months, and some I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.” Then he embarked on a conversational, “360-degree tour of our city,” applauding the people behind such progressive developments as the AT&T Performing Arts Center (among them, Bill Lively); the Trinity River project (Dr. Gail Thomas and Lyda Hill, for example); “SMU’s transformation” (Turner as well as Carl Sewell and others); the Perot Museum (Forrest Hoglund and Nicole Small among them); and the Bush presidential library (Laura and George W. Bush and others).

Brent Christopher and Bobby Lyle*

Brent Christopher and Bobby Lyle*

The evening concluded with a casual talk between Bobby and Brent about Lyle’s long and distinguished career. In it, Bobby admitted that he was “probably scared to death both times” when he took on developing the Dallas Galleria shopping center and, later, when he pioneered fracking and horizontal drilling in the Bakken Field oil-shale play in Richland County, Montana. A key player in getting the latter project off the ground, Bobby said, was Dick Cheney, who was then with Halliburton.

Summed up Brent: “But you saw how to connect the dots.”

* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

JUST IN: Communities Foundation Of Texas’ Brent Christopher To Replace Retiring Kern Wildenthal At Children’s

Don’t you just love a secret? Well, there’s one that has been so stealth that when it broke today, folks thought it was a belated April Fools’ joke. Actually, it was a win-win and a twofer situation!

First, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal is retiring come June. Well, sock-erooni. It was just three years ago that Kern took over the reins of the Foundation after being skewered by The Dallas Morning News investigative team over expense reimbursements. Alas, the end results were that Kern owed something that amounted to a heavy lunch at Abacus and the reporters and editors are no longer with the News.

When asked what his plans for retirement were, Kern pulled a Stanley Marcus. He said that he would start consulting. For those who need the translation, when Mr. Stanley “retired” to consult, he admitted that he made more money and had oodles more fun as a consultant. That’s because he was tapped by international corporations for his experience, knowledge and connections.

Kern Wildenthal (File Photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File Photo)

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

Brent Christopher File photo

Brent Christopher (File photo)

The second part of the news is Kern’s replacement. Smart Children’s Chris Durovich when alerted to Kern’s decision to “retire” recalled a young whipsnapper, who had worked with him when Chris replaced George Farr. It was a fella by the name of Brent Christopher. But after leaving Children’s, Brent had headed up Communities Foundation of Texas and walloped the local nonprofit fundraising with his bowtie and North Texas Giving Day. But come on. Brent had done so much more behind the scenes than the obvious.

When approached about the transitions, all types of platitudes from Kern and Brent were exchanged. It was sorta like the Miss America winner of Miss Congeniality. But the reality was that come the end of CFT’s fiscal end, Brent would no longer be officing at CFT and Kern would be a treasure trove of advice.

Would that affect the killer North Texas Giving Day? Nope. According to Brent, no one would notice his MIA. After all, the staff was so in place and face it — he was just the pretty face with bowtie.

As for his replacement, a search committee was in place to find that person. Good luck.

If you want to have a pity party, have it at CFT for the time being. If you want to have a homecoming, have it at Children’s. If you want a brainiac consultant, contact Kern.

Communities Foundation Of Texas Announces Distribution of $66M In 2012 And The Addition Of Two New Trustees

Communities Foundation of Texas is kicking off the week with lots of great news.

First, let’s talk about money. . . lots of money. CFT revealed that during 2012 it distributed $66 M to the community. How about a breakdown of how the money was spread out?

  • Education: 33%
  • Health and Scientific Research: 15%
  • Religious Activities: 11%
  • Housing and Human Services: 10%
  • Community Improvement: 10%
  • Arts and Culture: 9%
  • Youth: 7%
  • Other: 5%

That brings the grand total of $1.2 billion that CFT has provided the area since its founding in 1953.

Ken Hersh

Another newsflash is the announcement of the newest members of the board of trustees — business man and philanthropist Ken Hersh and CFT President/CEO Brent Christopher, who serve as an ex-officio trustee.

Ken just recently made headlines when The Carlyle Group acquired 47.5% interest in his NGP Energy Capital Management.

Brent Christopher

Brent has been with CFT for eight years during which time the organization “has grown 20% in asset size and crossed the $1 Billion mark in cumulative grantmaking.”

Ken and Brent will be joining other CFT trustees including vice chairman Frank Risch, James E. Bass, Becky Bright, Jeanne T. Cox, Judith W. Gibbs, Jack M. Kinnebrew, Bobby B. Lyle, John McStay, Harold Montgomery, Carlos Gonzalez Pena, Hon. Florence Shapiro, Karen Shuford and Tederma L. Ussery II. Ex-officio non-voting members of the board are former chair Ruth Altshuler and chairman emeritus Jody Grant.

Photos provided by Communities Foundation of Texas