MySweetCharity Opportunity: After-School All-Stars

According to After-School All-Stars North Texas Emeritus Member Gina Betts,

Gina Betts (File photo)

As our name recognition grows in North Texas, we are eager to demonstrate the need for the programming that After-School All-Stars provides. Our students do not have to pay to be members of ASAS nor are they charged annually dues to fees to receive programming and services. Our programs only take place at Title I schools where more than 50 percent of students qualify for federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, a proxy for poverty.

ASAS is the largest national organization, with a strong local presence, that specifically focuses on serving middle school age students. Studies show that 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. is the prime time when unsupervised students are most likely to become involved with gangs, crime, drugs and unsafe sex. ASAS does not incur costs for daily transportation to and from our facilities or put students in a position where they have to travel to programs alone.

Every day, our program initiatives work to address the most prevalent and pressing issues facing our youth. ASAS inspires students to be healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find a career they love and give back to their community. Please visit asasnorthtexas.org to find how you can become a part of the ASAS solution.

Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott And Joanna Hernandez Demonstrated The Importance Of After-School All-Stars For Middle Schoolers

Settle back: This post is a long one, but it’s worth it.

If Dante Alighieri was updating his “Purgatorio,” he surely would have added Middle School to his Divine Comedy. Even the most blemish-free runway model recoils when recalling those days between elementary and high school. Teachers serving time in classrooms during this tenure should receive combat pay. Kids on their way to adulthood via the way station of puberty are being hit by their physical changes as well as peer pressure. Parents who years ago changed their babies’ diapers and made their peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches are transformed into Golfimbul on steroids.

Needless to say, this period of life is trying to say the least. But more about this later.

Brad Sham and Charles Haley

Rising Stars Luncheon organizers were looking a tad bit nervous around noontime on Wednesday, May 17, in the entry of the Dallas Country Club as they gathered for the After-School All-Stars North Texas fundraiser. Keynote speaker/Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was 20 minutes late. Dallas Cowboys voice/the day’s emcee Brad Sham assured them not to worry. Dak was probably stuck in the traffic lineup of vehicles on Mockingbird waiting to turn into the club.

In another area of the DCC, Dallas Cowboys vet Charles Haley was having a great time with the Brad.

Cliff Fischer, Dak Prescott and Charles Haley

Ken Schnitzer and Dak Prescott

Lee Bailey, Gina Betts and Tracy Lange

Bailey Lange, Livia Lange and Dak Prescott

As the lineup of 100 guests including Luncheon Chair Gina Betts with husband Ken Betts and son Jack Betts, Lee Bailey, Lisa Cooley and daughter Ciara Cooley, Tori Roark, Tiffany Divis, Tanya Foster, Lange kids (Bailey, Livia and Luke), Gregory Dunbar, Nancy Gopez, Shannon and Ted Skokos, Roz Colombo and Cliff Fischer surged to more than 200 for the meet-and-greet in the Founders Room, Dak’s handlers seamlessly moved him from the porte-cochere entrance to the grip-and-grin via the kitchen.

Shannon Skokos, Dak Prescott and Ted Skokos

Nancy Gopez and Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott and Stuart Macatee

Tori Roark, Dak Prescott and Ciara Cooley

Tanya Foster, Dak Prescott and Tiffany Divis

Emerging from the hallway, Dak registered a momentary look of surprise at the number of smiling faces. Taking his place in front of the ASAS sponsor board, he met his adoring fans of all ages. It should be noted that as the line continued to grow, Dak only took a two-second break for a gulp of water.

With each new BFF, he flashed that trademark Dak smile.

Arriving with his mom, Jonika Nix, Cash Nix was a standout wearing a Cowboys #4 jersey.

Cash Nix, Dak Prescott and Jonika Nix

Just as Dak was about to make his getaway for the ballroom, Cliff Fischer and Charles Haley arrived for a photo. And, of course, Charles just couldn’t contain himself trying to give Dak a smooch. Doing a great dodge, Dak moved just out of lip shot.

It was interesting to note that one of the last to appear was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with son Jake Cuban. While Mark waved off a photo with Dak, he smiled on the side as the football player had a photo taken with Jake.

Fredye Factor, Dak Prescott and Haden Wolf

Inside the ballroom, it was a battle royale for guests taking selfies with Dak and Cubes. Poor guys hardly had a chance to eat. Speaking of which, it should be noted that the room had a larger showing than usual of young males. It seems that ASASNT Advisory Board Chair Ben Lange‘s blonde wife Tracy Lange had picked up on the abundance of little girls attending the “A Place to Soar” luncheon featuring Simone Biles. So, realizing that parents and grandparents like Fredye Factor might want to have a similar turnout of little boys for Dak, they prepared a menu just perfect for that age group: chicken fingers and French fries. And to be perfectly honest, there were many an adult who eyed the fingers and fries enviously.

Chicken fingers and fries

To keep the program rolling, Gina announced at the podium, “Please keep eating while we’re talking.” With that, silverware hit the plates. Gina explained that presenting sponsors Nancy and Richard Rogers were unable to attend because they were house moving.

She described the raffle prizes: First prize was a signed jersey by Dak, while the second prize was a trip to L.A. to player poker with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his friends. Upon hearing the latter, Dak piped up that he wanted a raffle ticket. 

Gina then got to the meat of the fundraiser: helping middle schoolers who get out of school in the afternoon and go to empty homes because their parent or parents are probably at work. Said Gina: “There is no one to greet them; no one to make them a sandwich; sometimes there’s no TV; and there’s certainly no one there to encourage them to do their school work.”

That’s where ASASNT comes in, Gina added. Between 3 and 6 p.m., “when those children would be on the streets hanging out with their friends or people they shouldn’t be hanging out with, instead they stay after school, where a volunteer comes and helps them with their homework, gives them education and then they get to do something fun.”

ASASNT Executive Director Marissa Castro Mikoy recalled how the year before, this luncheon event had taken place at Arlington Hall with about 100 guests. Today, the room was filled with more than 300 people. Speaking of numbers, she reported that, within Dallas County, more than “125,000 kids go home after school unsupervised. Only nine out of 42 DISD middle schools had any type of onsite after-school programs.” In addition, Marissa reported that “Dallas County has the fourth-highest juvenile crime rate in Texas.”

Joanna Hernandez

Following a video, ASASNT Program Manager Tori Schwarzlose introduced ASASNT 9th grade student Joanna Hernandez, who smartly did a shout-out to ASASNT JCPenney Signature Sponsor for her outfit. She then launched into a talk about her mom, who was from Waco, and her dad, who hailed from Mexico. They instilled in her the fact that they wanted better things for her. She admitted that “school wasn’t really hard for me and I like to read and really worked hard for my classes,” but what was challenging for her was “fitting in. In middle school, people are so quick to judge and I hated that. I felt like the loner in the corner, but when I started seventh grade, it sucked … really.” Joanna hit a chord that the majority in the room shared laughing with her.

But then her laughter and smile turned to the reality of the situation: “I wasn’t the only one dealing with the pressures. But it truly affected me, making me want to stay in my room and believes the lies. I used to come home every day after school, stay in my room, lock the door and wouldn’t let anyone talk to me or tell them how I feel. Mostly I was in a place where I wanted to hurt myself because of the words and actions of other people.” But eighth grade changed things, thanks to her learning about an after-school program. She asked her friends if they would come with her and they said, “Sure.” The first day they showed up for tryouts, “it was all the popular kids, and I felt so out of place. So I sat in the  back of the corner alone as always.” That changed when Tori came in, sat down and began talking with Joanna. 

That was the turning point. Joanna started making friends and having new experiences, like learning how to cook, DJ music production, and coding. Thanks to her teacher, to Tori and to others in the ASASNT program, Joanna admitted that she feels like they are family.

In conclusion, Joanna said that ASASNT can “help other students like me look at themselves differently and gain confidence. I am so grateful for this opportunity [from the] All Stars.”

Joanna knocked it out of the park. She had something that even the most polished professional speakers often lack: she spoke from the heart and from experience. The audience of all ages including Ben and Dak showed their appreciation.

Ben Lange

Dak Prescott

She was followed by JCPenney Executive VP and chief merchant/ASASNT Board Member John Tighe, who made a brief shout-out for financial support and introduced Brad Sham.

John had no soon taken his seat than Brad unleashed an announcement that he was deviating from the script. That statement from the podium naturally sends event planners into a brain frenzy. They realize that they have lost control and are now at the mercy of the man with the mic power.

Luckily, the man was Brad. He started off saying, “First of all, that was a very understated ask.” Then he asked Joanna to stand. Whoa! Things were really going off script. Sham was supposed to introduce Dak and settle down in a couple of chairs for a chat. Instead he was scrambling things up and had everyone’s attention.

“I want everyone to look at her. [Laughter, as Joanna shyly rose from her chair as bewildered as the guests]. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. She’s not a statistic; she’s not a number; she’s a real human person, whose life has been enriched and therefore is going to have the opportunity to enrich her community because of After-School All-Stars. Now, there’s no one over 18 in a sports coat or a tie, who ought to walk out of here today without giving some money to this organization. You care about these kids. Look around the room at these young people. These are people. These are the people who are going to be in charge in before long. We’d better help them. It’s our responsibility. It’s your responsibility.”

He then told Joanna that she could sit down, but he would ask her back on stage soon. He then asked the board members to raise their hands because he wanted to make sure to make eye contact with them about what he was going to say. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be here today. I’m here for two reasons, maybe three. The first one is that my very good friend and your fellow board member Barry Greenberg asked me to be here. Barry Greenberg has a birthday today and his butt is not here. He’s in Hawaii. I would like you to have him hear about that at the next board meeting. He didn’t mention that when he set me up to do this. The second thing is all he had to do was tell me a little bit about After-School All-Stars and I’m in. I talked to Marrissa and you hear the passion.”

Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from the conversation by Sham and Dak, but if you have the time, you might want to check the video below. Like the old saying goes, “A picture (or in this case a video) is worth a thousand words.)

Sham then explained how Dak’s presence had been the clincher for his being part of the program. With Dak sitting directly in front of the stage staring at Sham, Brad said, “He is who you want him to be. I think he’s going to be a pretty good quarterback. He’s already pretty good. He’s had a pretty good year and I think he’s going to have a tremendous career. Preferably what you want him to be is a really good quarterback for the Cowboys. But when you’re a quarterback for the Cowboys and pretty good, you then have to be more than that … and he is. Like two other guys before him under whose shadow he played because of their accomplishments … more than two but two in specific … you want those guys to be who you want them to be. Watch Dirk run up and down the floor and you say, ‘Please let him be that good as a human being’ and then you find out that he is. Dak Prescott is who you want him to be and he’s only getting started. He’s a remarkable young man.

“Here’s another example. Joanna, may I ask you to come back up here? [As the youngster made her way through the crowd, there was a rumbling of people wondering what Sham had planned.] While you were watching Joanna, I had my back to the podium, not intentionally … just how it worked out. I was watching Dak watch Joanna. And here’s why Dak Prescott is who you want him to be. He listens. When you talk to him, he listens. He cares about what you say. He was listening to Joanna. He was nodding at points of affirmation that resonated with him that you’re going to hear about in a minute.”

Then the veteran sportscaster turned to Joanna, saying, “The reason I asked you to come back up here is that though I’ve only known him a year, I think I know him well enough now to know that he wants is his picture with you. So, ladies and gentlemen, Dak Prescott.”

Needless to say, that impromptu intro nailed it, and Joanna and Dak were photographed.

The first question from Brad to Dak was, who were Dak’s role models? “My brothers and my mother were most important,” Dak replied. “To me the thing that resonates to me about such a school program is time. A lot of us don’t come home to parents. My mom was always at work. But I had two brothers who were five or six years older than me and that was who I had to look up to, to watch after me. But there was still time. You may think 10 or 15 are good ages, but we need something to do with our time. Something to better ourselves more than just the sports, the video games until mom gets home to cook for us because you get tired of Ramen noodles all the time. There are so many bad things and wrong decisions that you can make from 10 to 15. A program like this that is putting the kids in the position to get extra hours of studying and taking up new tasks, making new friends and coming out of their shells, doing something that makes you a better person and more interesting within yourself.”

While his brothers weren’t able to finish school, Dak learned from this and committed to getting an education. He admitted that he was one of the few fortunate enough to have people in front of him to tell him the right thing to do and to lead him in the right direction. He emphasized the need for ASAS because others aren’t as fortunate—or have brothers who might lead them in the wrong direction.

The subject then turned to Cowboys and football.

  • What does he do after his work day? “I’m a big video gamer. If I’m not doing something for the community, I play video games and hang out with a couple of buddies. I may try to find a pond to go fishing. I fish for anything. If there are fish in the sink, I’ll try to catch them. I’ve been trying golf lately, but I’m not into golf. I’ve taken it up, but it’s very frustrating.”
  • What was it about football that hooked you? He would go to his brothers’ little league games. “I guess I knew I was good at my first practice. I was in third grade, so I was eight years old and skipped the whole flag football.” It helped that he had played with his older brothers who had never taken it easy on him. “When I played people my age, it was a little bit different.”
  • When did the idea of being a quarterback come into play? In sixth grade, he was a linebacker. Then his brother taught him how to throw the ball.
  • Where did the leadership come from? “That came from my older brothers allowing me to always be around their friends, not really thinking about age at any point. They let me feel that I could play football and hang with them.”
  • How is his life different today compared to a year ago? “Completely.” While the way he thinks of himself and the way he goes about his work haven’t changed, “My platform has. A year ago no one would dared to have had me come up here and talk.” He said the greatest thing is that it has allowed him to tell his story and inspire others.
  • Was he disappointed to go in the fourth round of the NFL draft? “Yes. To sit there and wait two day, three days and wait … Yeah, it puts a chip on your shoulder, thinking there are 134 people that are better than me. I just have to go out and prove myself every day.”
  • Is he at the place where he can go into Jason Garrett‘s office and say what type of draft picks he wants? “No, I’m not there yet.”
  • During one of the games he was caught on camera finishing a cup of water and missed throwing it in the trash. He immediately got up and put it in. What were you thinking? “I wasn’t thinking. I was thinking, ‘How did I miss that shot?’ He was amazed that that video had garnered such attention, when it seemed like the natural thing to do.
  • Have you picked the brains of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman? He’s spoken with both and shared text messages with Troy.
  • He’s creating a foundation called Fight, Finish and Faith. Where did that come from? When his mother passed away, the preacher told how she had said that Fight was for his elder brother Tad, who had fought for his family and the things he believed in; Finish was his brother Jace, who was there until the end; and Faith was Dak, because he believed in making a difference in the world.
  • “What was your favorite play this season?” a youngster wearing a Jason Witten jersey asked Dak. Dak said it was the one where Jason made the touchdown.
  • What was the lesson that Jason taught him at the first practice camp? Dak threw the ball to Witten, who didn’t extend to catch it and let the ball fall right in front of him. “He showed me what it takes to be in this league,” Dak said. Yes, Jason could have caught that ball, but to make it in this league Dak has to be precise and not expect the receiver to save him.
  • Why are you going to be better this year? “Hard work. Study as much as I can, get better with my teammates and just be ready to go. Get better as a team.”

As checkbooks were pulled out, Sham finished with, “Dak is what you want him to be.” And thanks to ASASNT, Joanna will be what you want her to be, too.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: After-School All-Stars North Texas’ Rising Stars Luncheon

Jack Betts and Gina and Ken Betts

It was only After-School All-Stars North Texas’ second Rising Stars Luncheon. And like some newbies on the fundraising scene, it can be tough to draw a crowd or get the organization’s message across. But ASAS Advisory Board Chair Ben Lange drafted Gina Betts, whose reputation in local nonprofit circles is daunting. And she proved that her rep is well deserved on Wednesday, May 17.

Dak Prescott and Brad Sham

Joanna Hernandez

Ben Lange

Thanks to “connections,” Ben and Gina arranged to have Dallas Cowboys quarterback wunderkind Dak Prescott on stage for a chat with Dallas Cowboys voice Brad Sham before an SRO crowd including Mark Cuban and Charles Haley at the Dallas Country Club.

But it was ASAS teenager Joanna Hernandez who stole the show and Dak’s heart with her story.

While the post is being prepped, check out the photos  on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: 2017 Rising Stars Luncheon Scored A Touchdown Netting $336,870 For After-School All-Stars North Texas

Ben Lange (File photo)

Nancy Rogers and Gina Betts (File photo)

If you see attorney Gina Betts and America’s Auto Auction CEO Ben Lange giggling and high-fiving each other, it’s not because they just won a lawsuit or sold a lot full of cars. Nope. The two just learned the results of their After-School All-Stars North Texas’s Rising Stars Luncheon fundraiser on Wednesday, May 17, at the Dallas Country Club.

Dak Prescott and Brad Sham

It was only the second luncheon fundraiser for the group, but ASAS Advisory Board Chair Ben managed to get fundraising queen Gina to chair the event that was such a sell-out that folks were nearly sitting in laps.

In addition to the need for the ASAS program being a big draw, Gina and Ben pulled in a couple of big guns — Nancy and Richard Rogers as presenting sponsors and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.on stage in a chat with Brad “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Sham.

The event was a grandstand touchdown scoring a whopping $336,870. No, that’s not the amount raised. It’s the net.

Needless to say, ASAS Executive Director Marissa Castro is thrilled because it means that middle schoolers will have “safe and structured opportunities between 3 and 6 p.m.”

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.

JUST IN: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott To Be Keynote Speaker At After-School All-Stars’ 2nd Annual Rising Stars Luncheon

Dak Prescott (AP Photo)*

With all the rumbling about Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo‘s probably being released, there’s also news about the “presumed” (wink, wink)  starting quarterback Dak Prescott off the field. 

The too-good-to-be-true former rookie, who rallied the team and North Texas to Super Bowl dreams, is going to be the keynote speaker for the 2nd  Annual After-School All-Stars Rising Stars Luncheon on Wednesday, May 17.

Yup! Luncheon Chair Gina Betts knows all the ingredients for a sell-out event and she’s done it once again. In addition to have bowtie-wearing Dak at the podium, she’s arranged for Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers to be the presenting sponsor.

The question is, “How quick will the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club sell out to benefit After-School All-Stars North Texas?”

BTW, this is one of those splurge events meaning splurging on a VIP-type ticket will have perks like a VIP reception before the luncheon. Tickets and sponsorships are available now!

* Photo courtesy of After-School All-Stars North Texas

MSC Opportunity: Gateway TO Opportunity Luncheon

According to Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger,

Paula Miltenberger (File photo)

Paula Miltenberger (File photo)

Tracy Lange (File photo)

Tracy Lange (File photo)

“Sadly, more than 5,000 children in the Dallas area do not have a place to call home. These children rely on friends, relatives and the generosity of strangers to help make a difference for their world.  Unfortunately the numbers are growing at a record pace of children and families that do not have home.

Family Gateway opened in October of 1986 when Mayor-Pro Tem Annette G. Strauss saw families living on the streets of Dallas and envisioned a facility where homeless families could stay together as a family unit in a safe place. Today, Family Gateway is the largest provider of supportive housing for homeless families in North Texas. We believe that a family that stays together provides the most stability and long term success for children. Our mission is to end child homelessness in our area and with your help we can do it.

“Our annual luncheon, ‘Gateway to Opportunity,’ will be Tuesday, September 27th at the Omni Hotel. We are honored and excited that Jenna Bush Hager will be our guest speaker. She has been an ongoing advocate for children and ensuring that we all do our part to help the generations to come. Honorary event co-chairs are Tracy and Kent Rathbun. Special Advisors are fundraising experts Gina Betts and D’Andra Simmons.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Kent and Tracy Rathbun (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

D'Andra Simmons (File photo)

D’Andra Simmons (File photo)

“We ask that you partner with us to end child homelessness by purchasing a sponsorship or table, or underwriting necessary funds need to make sure this event is a success. Metro PCS is our Presenting Sponsor. Please visit familygateway.org for volunteer and luncheon sponsorship opportunities.

“On behalf of the homeless children and their families, we say thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni.”

Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jane Doe Award Dinner Dazzled With Roger, Serita And LeAnn Thanks To Doug, Gina, Molly And Nancy

In the past the featured speaker of the Genesis Annual Luncheon has attended The Jane Doe Award Dinner the night before for a small gathering of major supporters. This year’s speaker, Tyler Perry, was upfront and regretted that he wasn’t gonna make it for the event scheduled for Thursday, May 5. Now, such a development might send some fundraising chairs into a tizzy. Ah, but Genesis Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers are far from your everyday co-chairs.

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

They rolled up their silk sleeves and made a couple of calls to folks who make big things bigger. The result was a no-sit-down, napkin-in-your-lap and ever-so-proper affair. No, siree. The reception took place in the entertainment center at Molly and Doug Barnes’ estate. Just making it past the security chap with the clipboard at the front gate gave a whole new layer to the expression, “You have arrived.”

Once inside the doors, there was the reception room that’s bigger than some condos. Just behind the check-in table was a marvelous view of the outdoor patio that looked so inviting with pool and umbrella-shaded tables. Still, most everybody stayed indoors with Cassandra and her staff passing all types of yummies and libations in addition to a side buffet of goodies. And then there was talk about a surprise that had been making the rounds. Nobody was supposed to know that Betts-Rogers had arranged for “special entertainment” to follow the presentation of the awards, but it seemed that everyone knew. Only they weren’t admitting it.

Nancy and Richard Rogers

Nancy and Richard Rogers

T.D Jakes

T.D Jakes

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

S.M. Wright II

S.M. Wright II

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Genesis Executive Director Jan Langbein greeted all at the front door…At times it appeared to be a Mary Kay Ash family reunion as Richard Rogers walked in and directly headed to Nancy for a hug…Mary Kay great granddaughter Jessica Blair was on the scene, as well as MK’s granddaughter Gena Tadewald, who came into town from her place in Lucas, where she has horses, cows, dogs, sheep and all types of critters…Driving in from Fort Worth were Olivia and Jeff Kearney. Olivia recalled how Doug had told her, “It took me longer to build this house than it took Jerry Jones to build ‘The Star’ in Frisco.”…Genesis Raffle Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Tanya Foster were on hand with their fellas Lawrence Bock and Pete Foster, respectively…Others filling the room and spilling into the adjoining theater’s lobby were Ken Betts, Nancy Ann Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Kathleen Hutchinson, Michael Flores, Dallas Snadon, Doug Carney, Tracy and Ben Lange, Mary Crosland, Cara French, Lisa Ogle, Beth and Charles Thoele, S.M. Wright II, Genesis Annual Luncheon Emcee/WFAA anchor Ron Corning, Shane Allen, Jane Doe Awardee Serita Jakes with her husband T.D. Jakes, HeRO Award recipient Roger Staubach and wife Marianne Staubach. Roger, who has four daughters, admitted to Jan that “When I was growing up, I would have said it was one [case of domestic violence] in 10 million.” Jan said, “No, it’s one in three.” BTW, it was just a couple of years ago that Staubach daughter Jennifer Staubach Gates received the Jane Doe Award.

Kathleen Hutchinson

Kathleen Hutchinson

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Running a little behind schedule, the group finally moved into the cabaret-style theater with tables and chairs. Due to the SRO crowd, more chairs were assembled, but even then the SRO status remained.

On stage, Jan told about the Rogers’ $1M challenge and if it was met, Genesis Women’s Shelter would receive $2M. She introduced Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb, who heads up Genesis’ HeROs Men’s Auxiliary. Admitting to a definite case of “hero worship,” he did a great job introducing and presenting the award to Roger. Crayton recalled that when he asked Roger about former Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy, who had made headlines regarding “an incident” of domestic violence with his then-girlfriend Nicole Holder, Roger responded, “We don’t root for him. I’ll root for the Cowboys, but I won’t root for him.”

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

Upon receiving the award, Roger added, “If I ever run into Greg, I hope Randy White is with me… Don’t we believe in second chances? Yes, but I’d rather give a second chance to a bank robber than a domestic violence person.” He then thanked Jan for bringing the issue to his attention.

Then Jan presented Serita with the Jane Doe Award for her “Starting Over Ministry,” an 8-week course which offers a curriculum with hands-on practical applications” for women “who are transitioning through some of life’s greatest challenges.” The award is presented to “individuals or groups who display extraordinary commitment to standing alongside those seeking safety, shelter and support.”

Serita Jakes

Serita Jakes

LeAnn Rimes*

LeAnn Rimes*

Following the presentation of the awards, Jan sprung the surprise entertainment — LeAnn Rimes, who sang much longer than her arranged schedule. It was hard to imagine that it’s been 20 years since a 13-year-old Rimes made history with the release of “Blue.” The voice and delivery still amaze.

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Jane Doe Award Party

Serita Jakes

Serita Jakes

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

The high-rolling types passed muster for access to the 2016 Jane Doe Award Party at Molly and Doug Barnes’ estate on Thursday, May 5. On the eve of the annual Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry, the nighttime fest provided the perfect opportunity for the presentation of the HeRO Award to Roger Staubach and the Jane Doe Award to Serita Jakes.

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

And while Tyler couldn’t make the night-before event, Genesis Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers arranged to have a sweet songbird by the name of LeAnn Rimes perform. While the post is being prepared, there are some pix of the night over at the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Carolyn And David Miller Open Their Home For Genesis Luncheon Underwriters With Honeysuckle Wafting In The Backyard

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

David Miller

David Miller

Blessed by Mother Nature, the Genesis Luncheon underwriters party had the most perfect spot to celebrate on Wednesday, April 20. It was Carolyn and David Miller’s home that many have driven by but few had visited.

Too bad that everyone stayed in the main house because the let-me-settle-backyard was enhanced by the fragrance of the honeysuckle in full bloom.

Carolyn and David Miller's backyard

Carolyn and David Miller’s backyard

Janice Provost and her crew were in the garage cooking up the most delish yummies including itty-bitty sliders served in red gift boxes.

Just before Genesis Executive Director Jan Langbein told the group including Ken Betts, Michael Flores, Ashlee Kleinert, Gail and Gerald Turner, Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Michael Meadows, Jan Baldwin and Mimi Sterling of things to come, Co-Chair Nancy Rogers arrived to join her Co-Chair Gina Betts.

Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers

Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers

In the dining room, the raffle items were lined up on the dining room table. They looked ripe for the grabbing. Sorry, but the raffle results wouldn’t be announced until the Friday, May 6, luncheon at the Hilton Anatole featuring Tyler Perry.

In addition to Tyler, there’s that challenge that Nancy and her husband Richard Rogers have issued — they’ll match up dollar-for-dollar up to a million dollars in funds raised for the luncheon.

JUST IN: Serita Jakes And Roger Staubach To Receive Genesis’ Jane Doe And HeRO Awards, Respectively

Less than a month from now the Genesis Annual Luncheon with Tyler Perry as the keynote speaker will be underway at the Hilton Anatole on the Friday before Mother’s Day. But Tyler isn’t the only big name that will be on stage. Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers just sent word about this year’s awardees of the 2016 Jane Doe Award and the 2016 HeRO Award.

Gina Betts (File photo)

Gina Betts (File photo)

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

Nancy Rogers (File photo)

The Jane Doe Award “celebrates individuals who display extraordinary commitment to standing alongside those seeking safety, shelter and support.” This year’s recipient is Serita Jakes “for her leadership of the ‘Starting Over Ministry’ and her recognition of the important role of the faith community in ending domestic violence.”

Serita Jakes (File photo)

Serita Jakes (File photo)

Roger Staubach (File photo)

Roger Staubach (File photo)

The HeRO (He Respects Others) Award “recognizes men who use their voice and influence to take a public stand against domestic violence.” The word “hero” has long been associated with this year’s recipient in the world of sports, business and community involvement — Roger Staubach.

If you have a mom in your life, why not treat her to an early Mother’s Day treat that will be a real memory maker? Individual tickets are now available!

St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show And Luncheon Kept The Champagne And Fashions Flowing To Battle Leukemia And Lymphoma

The weather on Tuesday, February 16, was major payback for the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon’s years of Mother Nature’s dumping ice storms and freezing temperatures on the Leukemia and Lymphoma North Texas fundraiser.

Some still recall how the pashmina favors the year that Rainey Fogiel and Natalie Fogiel co-chaired the event became necessities instead of perks thanks to frigid conditions.

But still the weather on this day was ideal. Sure, it was a couple of days after St. V-day, but who was gonna have the event on Sunday? And then there was the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 15. So, the Tuesday pick made perfect sense.

But not to worry. The flourish of reds and pinks was sparkling in the Meyerson lobby at the pre-show reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt to have flutes of champagne adding sparkle to the crowd.

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Going against the typical Valentine colors was Co-Chair Gina Betts in a St. John turquoise dress and coat bottomed off with splashy Jimmy Choo stilettos and matching purse.

Despite the smile and the day’s glow, Gina had had a rough few days. Seems the attorney had had plans to celebrate her anniversary with husband Ken Betts in Los Cabos. But just hours before taking off, she was hospitalized, with her doc saying “No way” to the trip. The Betts family trips seem to be jinxed. They had scheduled Christmas in Paris, but the November 13th  terrorist attack squashed that and now this one.

Speaking of clothes, Lisa Cooley and Cara French had stories about the fine art of mother-daughter sharing. While Cooley daughter Ciara Cooley considers Lisa’s closet a type of fashion lending library, Cara admitted that she was wearing her mother Prissy Gravely’s coat.

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lisa Cooley and Cara French

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Lee Bailey and Leigh Bailey Carrizales

Speaking of mother-daughters on the scene, Lee Bailey and daughter Leigh Bailey Carrizales reported that mama Lee’s Turtle Creek palazzo was on the market. Talk about fabulous on steroids with a wondrous spot on Turtle Creek. Wonder if Lee’s black swan, Ziggy, goes with the estate?

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy and Ben Lange and Livia Lange

Another sale item but not tagged with four figures were Spirit of Tom Landry Awardee Luke Lange’s so very uber-friendly Luke’s Fast Breaks T-shirts. At the patron party the week before, Luke had sold $2,500 worth of the shirts. What’s so special about the T-shirts? Not only are they designed to accommodate leukemia/lymphoma patients going through treatments, but when purchased for $25 they are given to the patients free with the moola going in toto to the leukemia and lymphoma research.

But not all of the day’s awardees were on hand to celebrate the sunshine. The late Ed Robinson, who was the recipient of the 2016 Memorial Hero Award, was honored with the presence of his family and friends like Frank Risch. As Frank put it, Ed had been his associate at Exxon, but he had also been a great friend.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Heather Randall and Yvette Ostolaza

Sidley Austin Attorney Yvette Ostolaza revealed that her buddy/Underwriting Chair Heather Randall had not only gotten her on board for the law firm to co-sponsor the meal with Trinity Industries, but Heather would be chairing the 2017 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon. Had they selected a date? Not yet, but stay tuned.

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

Kent and Tracy Rathbun and Ray Washburne

A much slimmer Kent Rathbun arrived and reported that after losing 100 pounds, he still wanted to shed 30 more. When asked how the dramatic weight loss hadn’t resulted in a sagging skin, Kent claimed that it had been a result of his working out over the year. As he put it, the healthy guy had always been there, just under extra layers.

Ray Washburne was on the phone but also on the scene for the HP Village fashion show. Unfortunately, he had to duck out before the show got underway.

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Arriving to the delight of photographers was Nancy Rogers with Event Co-Chair Michael Flores. Before heading to the lobby, Nancy was found chatting with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein. Made sense. Nancy and her bud Gina Betts are chairing the Genesis Luncheon featuring Tyler Perry. Wasn’t it interesting that just a few days after the St. V-Day event, it was announced that Nancy and husband Richard Rogers were offering a million-dollar match for any donations/sponsorships given to the Genesis Luncheon?

But back to the St. V-day festivities. As a trio of Carolina Herrera-gowned models were on display in the reception area, the Meyerson chimes called all to the McDermott Hall for the Jan Strimple-produced program. It was running just a tad bit behind schedule due to a traffic kerfuffle resulting from a nearby funeral procession.

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Models in Carolina Herrera bridal white

Eventually all were seated and the show was underway with KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley doing the emcee duties. After good words from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Chief Relationship Officer Mark Roithmayr, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Executive Director Dr. Patricia Thomson, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society North Texas Board Chair Erin Ragsdale, Gina and Michael, the awards were presented to:

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

Mark Roithmayr and Patricia Thomson

  • Accepting the Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award presented by Park Place Motor Cards for his father George Alden Ryan, St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair Brint Ryan admitted that his dad had indeed had his ups-and-down but he was rising to the challenge. Adding to George’s own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia was the loss this past winter of his good friend Brint’s father-in-law to cancer.

    Brint Ryan

    Brint Ryan

  • Surrounded by her family, Ruth Robinson graciously accepted the Memorial Hero Award presented by Robyn and Don Conlon for her late husband Edgar Robinson. The former community leader and ExxonMobil executive succumbed to leukemia and lymphoma on April 19, 2015.

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

    Ruth Robinson at podium with family

  • And then there was Luke, who stole the show with his smile and his story of raising thousands of dollars to fight cancer. The youngster admitted that he was truly honored by being awarded the Spirit of Tom Landry Award presented by Baker Botts. He revealed that when Gina had called his folks about his being chosen for the award named after the late Dallas Cowboys coach, he heard that Gina was so pleased that she cried and according to his folks “that was evidently not typical of Gina.”

After a call-to-action for members of the audience to join “the team against leukemia/lymphoma” resulting in $195,000,” the fashion show of Highland Park Village fashions from Alice and Olivia, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hadleigh’s, Hadleigh’s Kids, Market and St. John was underway.

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

Hadleigh Kids

As usual, the munchkins in the show held their own alongside the willowy professional models. These kids knew how to work the runway with hands on hips and flirty smiles.

But before the models did their finale, Luke’s dad Ben Lange hustled out the door to man the sale of Luke’s T-shirts in the lobby. After all, every cent counts when it comes to shutting down leukemia and lymphoma.

For lots more photos from the St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon fundraiser, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Nancy And Richard Rogers Just Upped The Ante For The Genesis Annual Luncheon Bigtime

Nancy Rogers and Jan Langbein (File photo)

Nancy Rogers and Jan Langbein (File photo)

At last week’s St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show and Luncheon, blonde philanthropist Nancy Rogers was seen in a one-on-one conversation with Genesis Women’s Shelter’s platinum Jan Langbein. Were they talking about what they did over the St. Valentine’s weekend? Were they comparing notes about politics? Were they discussing the Academy Awards?

No way. It was much bigger than any of that stuff and was just revealed.

Tyler Perry*

Tyler Perry*

Nancy, who is co-chairing the annual Genesis Annual Luncheon on Friday, May 6, with her legal-eagle buddy Gina Betts, has presented Jan with a major buck-a-roo of an offer. It seems Lady Rogers and her sweetheart husband Richard Rogers will match any and all donations and underwriting up to… now, hold on to your breath… $1M. As if the Rogers do any that isn’t bigger than big!

This luncheon is gonna be a knock-out-of-the-park with Tyler Perry as the speaker and Ron Corning serving as emcee.

It’s gonna be at the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom, but at the rate it’s going they may have guests doubling up at the tables, so get your reservations in now. And remember, big donations and underwriting do have perks.

* Photo provided by Genesis 
Women's Shelter

JUST IN: Gina Betts And Michael Flores Reveal A Record-Breaking $725,000 Netted From St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

Nancy Rogers and Michael Flores

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores have been working their calculators non-stop since Tuesday’s Leukemia And Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser at the Meyerson.

Their hard work, dedication and great friends like Nancy Rogers have resulted in a record-breaking $725,000 being netted. Yup, that’s not the amount raised, it’s the amount of money that will support the research and treatment against leukemia and lymphoma.

Why, “the ask” that took place before the fashion show took place, had hands raised to a whopping $195,000.

What a simply lovely way to start the weekend! Gina and Michael, go have a manicure. Your fingers deserve a bit of pampering after summoning up that amount!

MySweet2016Goals: Michael Flores

According to The Michael Flores Salon at Neiman Marcus owner/2016 Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon & Fashion Show Co-Chair Michael Flores,

Michael Flores (File photo)

Michael Flores (File photo)

“My goal, especially for the early part of this year, is to have the 32nd annual Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon to be the most successful fundraising event ever for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

“My co-chairman, Gina Betts, and I want the luncheon to bring more awareness and more money for the cause than has ever been raised. We feel that we are on way to reaching that goal and we know it would not be possible without the dozens of volunteers, the dedicated staff and the incredibly generous donors.”

St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Kick-Off Party And ReuNight Eve Reception Kept Fundraising Going Into The Night

After a day of honoring veterans on Wednesday, November 11, the fundraising efforts for North Texas continued into the night throughout the area.

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

Michael Flores and Gina Betts

Over at the Mockingbird Room in Highland Park Village, St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Michael Flores were rallying the troops with plans for the Leukemia and Lymphoma of North Texas sweetheart of a fundraiser.

The twosome have arranged for Amanda and Brint Ryan to serve as honorary co-chairs for the Tuesday, February 16th event with fashions from HP Village.

Yes, it’s a couple of days after the right-official St. V-Day, but love is always in the air, don’t you know?

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

Luke Lange, Tracy Lange and Livia Lange

In the crowd hearing the deets were Platinum Presenting Sponsor Nancy Rogers, Joyce Fox, Holly Davis, Angela Nash, Nikki and Crayton Webb, 2015 St. V-day Chair Lisa Singleton, Pat Holder, 2016 Tom Landry Award recipient Luke Lange with his folks Tracy and Ben Lange and his sister Livia Lange.

Faerber bracelet

Faerber bracelet

Speaking of Nancy, it was tough keeping up with her. She had a full dance card! Seamlessly, she headed over to Forty Five Ten, where Brian Bolke was hosting a private little gathering.

The occasion was for folks to check out to the Faerber collection of marvelous antique necklaces, bracelets, broaches and baubles to benefit Thursday night’s Family Place fundraiser’s ReuNight that was being co-chaired by Lady Rogers and Robert Weatherly.

Brian Bolke

Brian Bolke

Claire Emanuelson

Claire Emanuelson

On hand were ReuNight Honorary Co-Chair Claire Emanuelson, Rainey Fogiel, Shelby Wagner, The Family Place’s Paige Flink.

One guest admitted that she wasn’t able to stretch the budget to qualify for the $1,500-a-head ReuNight dinner at Oak. Then with a twinkle in her eye, she smiled that just perhaps she could get herself an early Christmas gift since Brian was donating a percentage of the purchases to ReuNight.

Art Ball Tickets Are Sizzling Like Paris Or John Legend On Stage Or Stephane Pompougnac “After Dark”

The Art Ball is just a month and a day away and the tickets are flying. Just ran into Art Ball Chair Gina Betts, who revealed that there are a scant number of tickets going for $2,500 a couple, plus tables for five-figures.

John Legend and Stephane Pompougnac

John Legend and Stephane Pompougnac (File photo)

Interested? Why shoot! Not only does it include one of the ultimately most fashionable events of the year with an incredible Parisian theme, the entertainment is going to be to-die-for John Legend.

In addition to the seated dinner and live auction of earth-shaking items, you’ll get to continue the partying in the Sculpture Garden at the Art Ball After Dark chaired by Chart Westcott and Kameron and Court Westcott with Hotel Costes’ DJ Stephane Pompougnac handling the music.

As she is known for breaking records in fundraising and delivering the best parties around, Gina’s Art Ball promises to be one of the legendary galas. Understand the invitations alone are collector’s items.

BTW, those $2,500 tickets can be had by contacting Gina herself, but better hurry. They ain’t gonna last long.

JUST IN: 2014 “Art Ball” Date Set

Gina Betts

Gina Betts

With folks still recovering from April’s big-tented Art Ball, plans are already falling into place for the 2014 Dallas Museum of Art fundraiser. The 2014 Art Ball Chair Gina Betts has just confirmed the date will be Saturday, May 3.

Expect big things. Remember, it was Gina who broke Cattle Baron’s Ball records when she chaired the 2007 fundraiser and others like the Habitat for Humanity in 2011 and the recent Wings Luncheon benefiting New Friends New Life.

More deets will follow as General Gina reveals them. Stay tuned!

Amy Simmons To Be Honored At The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 5th Annual Breath Of Life Dinner

Let’s face it — cystic fibrosis is not a sexy, Top Ten disease. You don’t see Hollywood stars holding massive telethons about it. And to be honest, most folks have heard of the disease but really don’t know exactly what it is.

For instance, did you know it’s an inherited chronic disease affecting both the lungs and the digestive system? Not only does it result in a “thick, sticky mucus” clogging up the lungs resulting in life-threatening lung infections, it also raises havoc with the pancreas, stopping the natural enzymes from breaking down and absorbing food.

Enough of the scientific stuff, let’s talk numbers and facts.  According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation:

  • In the U.S., 30,000 children and adults suffer from the inherited chronic disease.
  • An additional ten million more—or about one in every 31 Americans—are carriers of the defective CF gene, but do not have the disease.
  • CF is most common in Caucasians, but it can affect all races.
  • Currently, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. However, specialized medical care, aggressive drug treatments and therapies, along with proper CF nutrition, can lengthen and improve the quality of life for those with CF.

The good news is that advances have shown very positive results. Why, back “in the 1950’s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school.” Today, “many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30’s, 40’s and beyond.”

Oh, but surely we can do better than that!

Amy Simmons and Annette Simmons

Yes, indeed. And the Breath of Life Dinner is one way to do it. On Thursday, January 24, Gina Betts is chairing a dinner at the Ritz-Carlton with “all proceeds benefit(ing) the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and its mission to cure and control cystic fibrosis.”

In addition to raising the much-needed funds, the dinner provides the occasion to

  • honor the heroes within the community “who are working to provide a hopeful future for those with cystic fibrosis.”
  • recognize “the many individuals and their families that struggle daily with this progressively degenerative disease.”

One of those “heroes” is Amy Simmons, who has made a “significant difference in the lives of those with cystic fibrosis and who had inspired others to do so as well.”

Does Amy have cystic fibrosis? No, but perhaps that’s why she’s such a star. Amy has been involved for quite a while simply to help others who are victimized by this dreadful disease.

For more information about the dinner, contact call Jennifer Farnsworth at 214.871.2222 or email her at [email protected] Tickets start at $250 per person.

Photo provided by Breath of Life Dinner