Legendary B.J. Thomas Took The Stage For Northwood Woman’s Club’s Annual Kaleidoscope Fundraiser At Intercontinental Hotel

While the rest of North Texas was resting after a morning of runs/walks on Saturday, October 28, the Northwood Woman’s Club was in overdrive at the Intercontinental Hotel for its annual Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” fundraiser. In addition to having The Triumphs on stage, the star of the night was the legendary B.J. Thomas. Here’s a report from the field that was delayed due to a MySweetCharity elf’s being asleep at the wheel: 

No raindrops fell Saturday, October 28, on the Northwood Woman’s Club Kaleidoscope 2017 “Believe in Love” Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel. The only raindrops at the event came later in the evening in a song when music legend B.J. Thomas took the stage and sang his Grammy winning hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

Upon arrival, guests mingled and explored the silent auction items and wine pull. As guests moved to their tables for dinner, they viewed a slide show featuring the beneficiaries of the event—Attitudes and Attire, Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UTD, Cristo Rey Dallas, Dallas CASA, Interfaith Family Services, St. Simon’s After-School, and NWC Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas.

Gala chair Leslie Apgar welcomed guests into dinner as the band The Triumphs took the stage to play during dinner. The Triumphs, the original band that recorded with B.J. Thomas, added a touch of nostalgia to the evening with their familiar hits from the sixties and seventies.

Sharyl Weber, Patricia Kay Dube and Vaughn Gross*

To start the evening’s program NWC President Patricia Kay Dube welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the event. She then turned the program over to Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer Dean McCurry, who recognized guests from each of the beneficiary organizations, including Dallas CASA President and Executive Director Kathleen LaValle and St. Simon’s After School Executive Director Maria Vizzo.

To start the live auction, Dean urged the crowd to “bid up” on a variety of live auction items. He kept the bidding lively for hot sports items such as a Cowboys game experience that includes tickets in a suite and on field passes, and a suite at a Mavericks game for twelve people. Travel items up for auction included a vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado and a stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii. The live auction concluded with a trip to New York in December to see the Billy Joel concert, and this item generated so many bids that several additional trips were awarded to bidders.

B.J. Thomas*

Ready for the featured entertainment of the evening by five-time Grammy winner B.J. Thomas, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed B.J. to the stage and filled the dance floor to sing along and dance as he performed his many hit songs, including “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Hooked on a Feeling” and many others.

The Triumphs closed out the evening with more music and dancing.

The best part of the evening was the success of the event in raising funds for NWC’s beneficiaries and scholarship fund.

* Photo provided by Northwood Woman's Club

Cristo Rey Dallas Is Opening In August With 35 Area Companies Supporting Its Corporate Work Study Program

It was a little more than a year ago that word made the rounds that former Genesis Women’s Shelter Executive Director Susan Wells Jenevein and Dallas first son/educator Gunnar Rawlings had become part of something called Cristo Rey Dallas. When asked, Susan responded that it was an incredible program and more would be revealed at a later date.

Susan Wells Jenevein (File photo)_

Susan Wells Jenevein (File photo)

That date has arrived and things are happening.

Cristo Rey Dallas is part of the Cristo Rey Network. Okay, so what the heck is Cristo Rey? It’s a “proven, revolutionary model of college-preparatory high school curriculum accessible to those from some of the most economically challenged families.”

The network of schools already has facilities in 19 states with 9,000 students. But now Dallas will officially open its own Cristo Rey doors in August for 130 ninth-graders in Pleasant Grove.

During the next four years, a new class of students will be added, with the goal being 550 students by the 2018-2019 school year.

Originally founded by Jesuit priest John Foley in 1996, the school is open to students of all religious denominations.

As for Susan and Gunnar, they’re part of the team that will be opening the doors the first day of school. Susan is director of development and Gunnar’s in charge of the Corporate Work Study Program.

Gunnar Rawlings (File photo)

Gunnar Rawlings (File photo)

According to Gunnar, “The Corporate Work Study Program distinguishes Cristo Rey Dallas from other college preparatory schools. Through their experience in a professional work environment, our students learn the relevance of their rigorous academic work and open their imaginations to a career that requires a college degree. The process also allows students to take real ownership of their educations and lives.”

Adding to the excitement, it’s just been revealed that 35 Dallas companies “have agreed to serve as the 2015-2016 Founding Job Partners for Cristo Rey Dallas.” This partnership will allow the students to help fund their tuition through the Corporate Work Study Program which “will provide a full-time, entry-level position, which is filled by four students working one or two days a week.”

The 35 founding companies are A.H. Belo Corporation, Bellomy Energy, CBRE, CitySquare, Corgan & Associates, Grant Thornton, Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail, Shank LLP, Dal-Tile Corporation, Dieste, Fish & Richardson, HFF, Hunt Consolidated, Hunt Oil Company, Hunton & Williams LLP, Jackson Walker L.L.P., Jones Day, KPMG LLP. Lincoln Property Company, Locke Lord LLP, ISNETworld, Meadows Collier Reed Cousins Crouch & Ungerman LLP, McKool Smith, Mi Escuelita Preschool Inc., MoneyGram International Inc., Navigator Energy Services LLC, Norton Rose Fullbright, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, Santander Consumer USA, The Boston Consulting Group, Sidley Austin LLP, Southcross Energy, Taxco Produce Co., United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas and Vogel Alcove.