MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dream Builders Dinner

Diane and Mike Gruber (File photo)

Jennifer and Tom Karol (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

According to the Dream Builders Dinner Co-Chairs Diane and Mike Gruber, Jennifer and Tom Karol, and Lynn and Allan McBee,Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s first annual Dream Builders Dinner is a not-to-be-missed evening! Come hear how Habitat is doing more than ever to change the landscape of Dallas’ most deserving neighborhoods. Dallas Habitat will also announce its five-year goal of new homes it will build. 

The dinner will be held at the Belo Mansion on Thursday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. and will feature a conversation between Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who lived in a Habitat for Humanity home as a child, and legendary WFAA Sports Anchor Dale Hansen. There will also be live entertainment and a playhouse auction. We are thrilled to have Amanda and Brint Ryan serve as honorary chairs of the event. 

Dale Hansen (File photo)

Amanda and Brint Ryan (File photo)

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is the largest nonprofit homebuilder in Dallas, constructing more than 50 homes per year. Over the last 30 years, Dallas Habitat has built 1,600 homes in more than 25 neighborhoods in the Dallas community. Dallas Habitat transforms families, revitalizes neighborhoods and is working to build a better Dallas through strategically bringing together public and private funding, community leadership and vision and thousands of volunteers to break the cycle of poverty and transform the city of Dallas.

Underwriting levels, event sponsorships, tables and individual tickets for the dinner are available. We look forward to seeing you at the Dream Builders Dinner! For more information, please visit or call 214-678-2378.

Houston Texans Rookie Quarterback Deshaun Watson Brings His Life-Changing Story To Dallas Habitat For Humanity’s Dream Builder’s Dinner

While there appears to be no doubt who will be the starting quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys this year, down in Houston it’s a different story. The decision is making headlines whether it will be first-round pick rookie Deshaun Watson or veteran Tom Savage. Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien suggested that Savage has the edge after working with the team for the past three years. But perhaps O’Brien was too busy last year to notice what happened up I-45 when the Cinderella story took place in North Texas.

And while a showdown between Deshaun and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott would be a ticket well worth the purchase, only time will tell if that ever happens.

Deshaun Watson*

Dale Hansen (File photo)

However, Deshaun will be in North Texas and he’ll be facing someone who intimidates even the hardiest athlete — WFAA’s Dale Hansen. The newbie NFL-er and the seasoned pro interviewer will get together at Belo Mansion on Thursday, October 19, for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity’s first annual Dream Builder’s Dinner. But chances are they may talk about more than passes, touchdowns and predictions.

It’s because of something that happened just before Thanksgiving in 2006, when Deshaun was just 11 years old. For the first ten years of his life, he and his mother and siblings had lived in public housing. But his mother Deann Watson was bound and determined to get her family into their own home with a backyard. While holding two jobs, she put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work, made an application and received a brand new Habitat for Humanity house.

As Deshaun and his family approached the door of their new home, there was former NFL star running back Warrick Dunn with keys to hand over to the Watsons. Immediately, Deshaun headed straight to his new bedroom. That first night all was in place including furniture and food provided by Warrick.

According to Deshaun, “The home gave him a chance to get out of difficult surroundings and start moving toward the goal of being in the NFL.”

For Warrick, it was a pay-it-forward moment. He “knew from experience how important it was to give a helping hand, but not a handout, to single mothers and their children.” His own mother, who had been a police officer, had been murdered when she escorted a businesswoman to a bank to make a nighttime deposit. At the age of 18, Warrick became the head of the family. He would also be a leading force in NFL players supporting charities. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he “challenged all NFL players, except those who play for the New Orleans Saints, to donate at least $5,000 to the effort.” It resulted in more than $5M in contributions.

Over the years, Deshaun embraced the pay it forward. During his years at Clemson, he and his teammates were part of the Habitat for Humanity program.

Just this past October he was presented with the Lowe’s AFCA Good Works Team Award for his Habitat for Humanity efforts in college.

Now, as a professional football player, Deshaun’s using his “celebrity” to help families achieve their homes by supporting Habitat for Humanity.   

And that’s why Deshaun is making time during the football season to be at Belo Mansion to support Habitat for Humanity. It should be quite a night and quite a chat.

Diane and Mike Gruber (File photo)

Jennifer and Tom Karol (File photo)

Lynn and Allan McBee (File photo)

In addition to DeShaun and Dale, the evening will honor Phil Wise and the Carpenters for Christ of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Co-Chairing the event will be Diane and Mike Gruber, Jennifer and Tom Karol and Lynn and Allan McBee.

* Photo provided by Dallas Habitat for Humanity


Laura And George W. Bush To Serve As Distinguished Chairs For 14th Annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon

And the big, boldface names just keep coming in for The Family Place’s 14th Annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon. Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and Stephanie Seay just reported that former first couple Laura and George W. Bush have signed on as the “Distinguished Chairs” for the Wednesday, September 17th fundraiser at the Anatole.

George and Laura Bush (File photo)

George and Laura Bush (File photo)

But then what would you expect when the event is honoring the legacy of the late Harold Simmons?

Joe Torre*

Joe Torre*

As for Joe Torre, who will be headline “speaker”. . . okay, he’s not going to be at a podium giving a lecture. He’s gonna being interviewed by none other than WFAA’s Dale Hansen.

Well, back to Joe. In a Sunday interview with Larry King, he revealed how the domestic abuse he witnessed as a child affected his professional life:

“I probably didn’t enjoy my playing career as much as I really should have because if I didn’t get any hits I would really torture myself thinking I let everybody down. And of course if I did hit, I felt like I was worthy…It wasn’t until I went through a symposium which told me that all the abuse that was going on at my home was contributing to these feelings of insignificance and insecurity and nervousness.”

The former baseball legend’s being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this Sunday adding to the “Wow!” factor of his presence come September.

* Photo provided by The Family Place

JUST IN: WFAA’s Dale Hansen To Receive HeRO Award At The 21st Annual Genesis Luncheon On May 8

Jan Langbein and Dale Hansen (File photo)

Jan Langbein and Dale Hansen (File photo)

The 2014 Genesis Annual Luncheon was already headed for showstopping with best-selling author Pat Conroy as the featured speaker.

But now word comes in from Event Chair Bunny Cotten that WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen will receive the 2014 HeRO (“He Respects Others”) Award presented by the Genesis men’s auxiliary.

Individual tickets for the May 8th luncheon at the Anatole are now available. So, as Bunny would say, “Hop to it.”

Horsing Around Was Perfectly Grand At Equest Triple Crown Gala Despite The Chair Being MIA

Equest Triple Crown Gala Chair Jocelyn White was a no-show at her own gala at Park Lane Ranch. Despite working months on the fundraiser, she couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Where was she? Cruising the Mediterranean on her honeymoon after wedding longtime beau Kim Seal.

Dale Hansen

Not to worry. The Equest fundraiser went on without a hitch. Even emcee Dale Hansen was beyond best behavior. Of course he was. His bride Chris was not only present, she was a contestant in the team obstacle course. And this wasn’t any old course.

Chris Hansen

Equest students and their adult partners  had to ride their steeds through sand pits and over rails while holding an egg on a spoon.

Equest rider Hilary Babb with Dena Miller

Despite a close race, the Pink Team of Dena Miller and Equest rider Hilary Babb brought their eggs safely on spoons in first, closely followed by the Purple Team (Equest student rider Nancy Appelman and Susan Schwartz), Blue Team (Equest student rider Leah Battalora and Emily Hargrove) and Red Team (Equest student rider James Taylor and Chris Hansen).

After the race,  guests had a chance to meet the equine contestants who were up for adoption. No, it didn’t mean loading the ponies in the backseat and taking them home. Instead “adoption” in Equest language translates into underwriting the upkeep of the horse in the program for a year.

Key Coker, whose mom was raised in Cleburne, knew his way around as he checked out one of the horses.

Linda Evans

On the upper terrace Honorary Chair Linda Evans was joined by good friend Trisha Wilson, Anne Reeder and Diane Frank.

Trisha Wilson

As for fashion, diamonds were outnumbered by turquoise, and stilettos by dressy boots. Honorary

Louise Griffeth

Co-chair Louise Griffeth admitted that she was surprised to learn husband Guy didn’t like boots on gals. Perhaps he changed his tune after seeing Louise in boots and skirt.

Auctioneer Jody Dean‘s date, daughter Madeline, thought the horses were nice, but she was fascinated by Tony “The Butterfly Guy” Delia and his collection of flowers with newborn butterflies. He’s becoming quite the man in demand. Just a few weeks ago some of his herd of Lepidoptera were the scene stealers at the Mad Hatter’s Tea, where Jocelyn wore them in her hat.

Madeline and Jody Dean

In hindsight, perhaps it was just as well that Joce wasn’t there. The parking lot was as filled as NorthPark’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. In addition to Equest in Park Lane Ranch, the adjacent TopGolf was in overload capacity, forcing people to park a block away.