JUST IN: Emmy Award Winner/Former WFAA “PM Magazine’s” Leeza Gibbons Returns To Dallas As Go Red For Women Keynote Speaker

And the news keeps rocking and rolling in today. Go Red For Women Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Janelle Walker have just announced Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons will be returning to familiar surroundings for the American Heart Association – Dallas fundraiser.  

Leeza Gibbons*

It was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Leeza appeared with Bill Ratliff on WFAA’s “PM Magazine,” before heading on to other programs like “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra” and “Leeza.”

In addition to her television career, Leeza has made quite a reputation for herself regarding children’s causes and health issues. One of them being heart disease. She knows all too well that one can survive a heart attack. Her father Carlos “Pops” Gibbons was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Not one to sit around and do nothing, Leeza insisted that her dad get a media alert system, Philips Lifeline. Three years later Carlos fell to the floor having a heart attack. Thanks to the device, an ambulance arrived in time.  

Leeza was so impressed with the lifesaving device, she became a spokesperson for it and an advocate for heart healthiness.

According to Leeza, “While heart disease doesn’t discriminate, we do know there is a need to make more women aware of their risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all the cancers combined. Go Red For Women is a movement I am happy to stand behind to help drive change through advocacy, research and education.”

On Friday, February 23, Leeza will be at the Omni to join 1,300 women and men to raise funds to battle heart disease.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Liz Robinson at 214.441.4258.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association of Dallas

Go Red For Women Luncheon Speaker Alison Levine Inspired Guests To Conquer All Challenges Including Heart Disease By Being Relentless

As loads of folks especially ladies attended the health screenings, cooking demonstration and CPR demonstration starting at 10 a.m. at Omni Dallas for Go Red for Women on Friday, February 4, the car cha-cha at the front door grew to bumper-to-bumper around 11:30 for those attending just the luncheon.

Amy Simmons Crafton, Melissa Cameron and Anne Stodghill

In the meantime, the invitation-only VIP reception scheduled for 10:30 was aglow in red thanks to guests in their American Heart Association best like Amy Simmons Crafton and Anne Stodghill, who was in a full-length red coat complete with glitter.

Miller Gill, Rebecca Gill, Mary Parker, Suzanne Humphreys and Joe Parker

Nancy Gopez and Alison Levine

Alas, speaker-of-honor Alison Levine was late in arriving, but once there she was non-stop howdy-doing. Waiting their turn with Alison, Sandi Haddock Community Impact Awardee Mary Parker and her family (son Miller Gill, daughter Rebecca Gill, mother Suzanne Humphreys and husband Joe Parker) posed for a quick cellphoto taken by Open Your Heart Chair and Survivor Nancy Gopez.

By noon the reception area in front of the Dallas Ballroom looked like a poppy field thanks to guests like Sandi Haddock, Kay Hammond, Kit Sawers, Roz Colombo, Gina Betts, Debbie Oates, Christie Carter, Mary Martha Pickens, Lisa Cooley, Ciara Cooley, Tracy Lange, Becky Bowen, Vicki Howland, Ramona Jones and fellas like Ron Haddock and Stan Levenson.

Kit Sawers, Gina Betts and Roz Colombo

Mary Martha Pickens, Ciara Cooley and Lisa Cooley

Thank heaven the chimes rang, the ballroom doors opened and the crowd filled the place.

Stan Levenson

Pat Malambri

Luncheon Chair Michelle Vopni introduced Amy Simmons Crafton for the invocation and Macy’s Dallas Fort Worth District VP Pat Malambri, who told of the longtime association of the retailer with the battle against heart disease in women. He also added that he hoped that many of the guests’ red outfits had come from Macy’s.

Following a brief rest for lunch, American Heart Association Dallas/Fort Worth Executive Director Melissa Cameron presented the Sandi Haddock Community Impact Award to Mary Parker, who graciously accepted the award and scored points with Pat saying, “My dress came from Macy’s.”

Then Melissa presented Open Your Heart Chair/Survivor Nancy Gopez, who asked her pal Mary to return to the podium to share the occasion. It was Mary’s advocacy about heart disease that alerted Nancy to the sign of her heart attack last year.

Mary told the audience that Amy and her AmazingGrace.Life had provided a $25,000 match for any $1,000 contributors.

Beck Weathers

As the ladies left the stage, local mountain climber Dr. Beck Weathers, who barely survived the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, introduced Alison, who gave a polished talk. Somehow, she intertwined her twice quest to conquer Mt. Everest with every day challenges by taking one step at a time and the importance of being relentless. The first attempt in 2002 had been daunting with weeks of climbing back and forth between camps on the mountain to acclimate her body for the climb to the 29,002-foot peak. Toward the final phase, one has to take five to ten breaths for each step. To make it through this part of the climb, she focused on a nearby rock. Once there, she would focus on another rock. The message was to take one step at a time in order to achieve the final goal.

In the end, she and her team had come within 200 feet of the summit only to have to turn back because they were running low on oxygen and supplies.

Alison Levine

As a result of the miss, she learned that failure wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, she and her team survived. If they had made it to summit, they might not have survived the journey down. Still, she had no plans of attempting another run for the summit.

It was her good friend/collegiate All-American soccer player Meg Berté Owen who urged her to try again. It was Meg’s resilience that turned Alison’s decision. It seems that despite her lungs being damaged due to having Hodgkin’s disease, Meg had become an avid cyclist and raised funds to fight cancer. Her death in 2009 as a result of the flu provided the impetus for Alison to take on Everest again. This time she engraved Meg’s name on her ice-ax and took on the challenge one more time. This time as she neared the summit, a storm approached. But Alison just knew she could make it to the top and return safely. Yes, she made it to the top of the world long enough to hold up a T-shirt reading “Team Meg.”

It was a talk that lasted just long enough and yet was both inspirational and refreshing.

Then it was a scamper to the cars, but it ran right on time with a finish time of 1:10.

MySweetCharity Reminder: Ready Your Reds For Friday

Friday is National Wear Red Day. No, it’s not a warm up for Valentine’s Day. It’s a united effort to remind people that heart disease is as deadly as any terrorist. And while in years past, the emphasis among the ladies has been on breast cancer, heart disease has risen to the top of the “Most Unwanted” health issues. One in three women die each year as a result of heart disease and strokes.

So, if you haven’t got a Reagan red outfit and can’t afford to go out and splurge on one, head to the drugstore and buy the flashiest red lipstick you can find. Then pucker up and let heart disease know it can “kiss off!”

BTW, you do have your tickets to Go Red For Women at the Omni Dallas, don’t you?

JUST IN: Martha Hawthorne To Receive Sandi Haddock Impact Award

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon is just a week away and word comes that this year’s recipient of the Sandi Haddock Impact Award will be Martha Hawthorne.

Martha Hawthorne*

Martha Hawthorne*

The award is annually given “to a key female leader in the Dallas Community. The honoree is someone who has made a significant impact in the community with a particular focus on the betterment of women’s health issues.”

The event at the Omni Dallas will also feature a on-stage conversation with Charlotte Jones Anderson and her father Jerry Jones.

My, but the Joneses are going to be busy. That night they’ll be at AT&T Stadium for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Unite Forever Gala.

Congratulations to Martha.

* Photo credit: James Edward

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Go Red For Women

Sandi and Ron Haddock, Dick Cheney and Sam Johnson

Sandi and Ron Haddock, Dick Cheney and Sam Johnson

Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Anatole on Friday, February 7, was a sea of red. While the hundreds gathered in the lobby to learn and be tested for heart disease, a very limited few headed for the Media Bar for a meet-and-greet with keynote speaker/former VP/grateful heart patient Dick Cheney.

Check out some of the photos from the luncheon at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery, while the story is being prepared for posting.

Former VP Dick Cheney’s “American Medical Odyssey” Will Come To Go Red For Women Luncheon For American Heart Association

Dick Cheney (File photo)

Dick Cheney (File photo)

If anyone has experience with heart conditions, it’s former Vice President Dick Cheney. Having suffered his first heart attack at the age of 37 in 1978, his life has been plagued by heart disease. But thanks to advancements in the treatment of cardiac conditions, he’s survived five heart attacks and eventually had a heart transplant.

In his recently released book, “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey,” he tells how his doctors had to adjust his defibrillator when he was vice president. They were worried that terrorists might hack it.

With all that background, it should come as no surprise that Cheney will be the keynote speaker at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday, February 7, at the Hilton Anatole.

But don’t go thinking that this is a ladies-only luncheon. No, siree. Co-Chairs Capera Ryan and Barbara Smith are encouraging gents to join the American Heart Association fundraiser.

Don’t let your political leanings hold you back from attending this luncheon. Heart disease cuts across all political lines.

SOLD OUT ALERT: Go Red For Women

Kate Rose Marquez

Kate Rose Marquez

It’s gonna be a totally full house Friday for Go Red for Women at the Hilton Anatole. Well, what would you expect when the subject if heart health for women and the featured speaker is former First Lady Laura Bush.

Yes, you want to know how sold out it really is. First of Co-chairs Kate Rose Marquez and Virginia Rose are reminding friends how wonderful carpooling is. Second, it seems Kate Rose and Virginia have had “to up their order on party favors twice, and are scrounging around the country to gather up enough matching linen.” Surprising? No. Last year’s attendance was a little more than 520. An expected 920 are planned for Friday.

In addition to break out sessions on women’s heart health, healthy cooking with T.J.’s Seafood courtesy of Nancy Rogers/ Mary Kay, Inc., guests can also have their cholesterol, blood pressure or B.M.I. checked in the private THR health cabanas.

And then there is the Go Red Lounge for those with $250-and-above tickets, where they’ll find “Lucy Wrubel will be spinning, a photo booth, make up touch ups, mocktails, champagne and bites are all part of the exclusive club.

“If you haven’t purchased a $250 ticket, you can upgrade at the Go Red Lounger door by using your bidder number for $100.”

Photo provided by Go Red for Women

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2013 Go Red For Women

According to 2013 Go Red for Women Co-chairs Kate Rose Marquez and Virginia Rose:

Go Red for Women, February 1, 2013 at The Anatole, benefiting The American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and yet many people believe this is a “man’s” disease. Go Red for Women is the annual luncheon that seeks to educate and inspire women to take control of their health, exercise and affect true lifestyle changes that lead to an  active and longer life. Traditionally, this event has been held the first week of June and has had tremendous corporate support. However, individuals and the decision makers at foundations often consider the charitable season over by Memorial Day and many dollars that could support this event go untapped because of timing.

“By moving the event to February 1, we are in line with the traditional “Heart Health” month, February, and we are giving donors who have so generously supported women’s health issues in Dallas in the past the opportunity to support the American Heart Association and it’s research to  further women’s heart health.

“We would love to create a meaningful sponsorship opportunity for an individual or foundation. And of course, additional corporate donors are welcome!”

Share-A-Date: Go Red For Women Luncheon

Go Red for Women

Friday, June 8: It’s only come to light in recent years that heart disease among women is indeed insidious. While much has been promoted about the typical signs of a heart attack in men, it was just assumed that women suffered the same symptoms. But thanks to research that assumption was proved to be wrong. Women are totally different once again.

The unfortunate fact is one in three women die from heart disease each year. Surely, that number can be improved with a little education and effort.

That’s what so great about the Go Red for Women luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. Luncheon Chair Lora Villarreal, Honorary Chair Nancy Leiberman and Social Chair Mary Gill have put together a great lineup. Not only will world record-setting champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee be the keynote speaker and heart-disease survivor Renee Tichnor relate her experience, there will be “breakout sessions” in which health and fitness experts will discuss how to avoid becoming a victim of this #1 killer of women.

BTW, if you’re a gent, you might want to make a reservation for your favorite gal. . . a gift from the heart for a heart.

Graphic provided by Go Red for Women

No Whining For Wine And Women In Raising Funds For American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women

Chris Ryan, Lea Yaest, Paul Rowsey Jr., David Snyder, Susan Arledge and Eric Hage

No golf tournaments were held on November 8, but golf was definitely in the air for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Commercial real estate mavens Susan Arledge and Lea Yaest held their Wine and Women Networking Event  at the former home of both former Mayor of Dallas Robert Folsom and Barney Adams, CEO of Adams Golf at Preston Trails.  

Here’s a little history: Before becoming mayor of Dallas, Bob developed Preston Trails that eventually hosted the original Byron Nelson Golf Tournament. When golf legend Arnold Palmer played the tournament, he stayed at the home in what is now called the “Palmer Suite.”

Among the 125 wine-drinking women and seven male wine stewards were Callison Architects principal David Cassidy, Frisco Square owner/developer Jim Leslie, Tannery Wealth Management’s Mike Tannery and Migura Insurance’s Tony Migura.

An addition for this gathering was the old-world Christmas Santas by “Chelsea Santas” that have been sold at Neiman’s and Sak’s. For this evening the entire collection was centerstage with 10% of the proceeds going to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women.

Photos provided by Women and Wine

Go Red For Women Luncheon Raises Heart Healthy Awareness And $502,305

Brenda Jarratt

Brenda Jarratt is proud of her surgical scar. Barely more than an inch long and situated above her left breast, the scar resulted when Brenda had a Pacemaker installed after suffering a heart attack at age 38.

Jarratt was one of three survivors of cardiovascular disease who turned up Friday to “testify” at the sold-out, 2011 Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. The annual event was focused on preventing stroke as well as heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of women. Brenda was joined at Go Red for Women by Mary Gill and Wenter Blair, who also told the assembled about surviving cardiovascular scares.

Susan Arledge and Mary Gill

More than 600 guests in all attended the luncheon, which combined fundraising with a number of health-related activities under the expert guidance of Susan Arledge.

Nancy Lieberman

Along with her executive leadership team, Arledge–the American Heart Association’s Go Red Dallas campaign chair–arranged for a rollicking, well-received keynote talk by basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Lieberman is coach of the Frisco-based Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Development League team co-owned by Mavs president Donnie Nelson.

Leading up to Lieberman’s presentation, though, there was plenty for attendees to do. In spaces outside the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom, for example, guests could:

  • Bid on an array of silent-auction items and take advantage of complementary readings for the likes of glucose and blood pressure by Methodist Health System. Two who did so were Doris Jacobs and Carmaleta Whiteley, who afterwards reported scoring “identical” cholesterol ratios.
  • Stroll the various exhibits by vendors including Kathryn Nordstrom’s Pucker Up Impressions.
  • Attend two educational breakout sessions led by Colleen Affeldt and Larry North. Affeldt’s offering dealt with building and leveraging business and personal networks.

    Colleen Affeldt and Larry North

    North’s was called “How to Turn Your Fat Burning Engine on High.” Both sessions were packed.

Then it was time for the luncheon, which was emceed by CBS 11’s Tracy Kornet and—naturally–was a heart-healthy affair. On the menu: watermelon-tomato gazpacho, Moroccan spiced-beef salad, a yogurt and fruit parfait. (No word about the health content of each guest’s boxed-up Gigi’s cupcake, compliments of Allie Beth Allman.)

The event’s Signature Auction Item—a private dinner for six prepared by Richard Chamberlain at the home of Marianne and Roger Staubach—grabbed the spotlight next, with bidding starting at $3,500. Mary Ruppe-Hawkins (she owns the local Gigi’s Cupcakes with her daughter, Katie) snapped up the feast for $6,000.

Lieberman’s keynote was a mix of the inspirational and the humorous (she came on stage wearing a “Gucci defibrillator purse,” and later made a fake comic phone call to the Mavs’ NBA Finals foe LeBron James). Lieberman talked about three of her role models (boxing champ Muhammad Ali, businessman Warren Buffett, musician Michael Jackson) and exhorted the crowd to be fearless and consistent.

She also told them to have trust and belief, to be team players, and to never make excuses. “Work out, eat right, and get checkups,” she added, returning to the luncheon’s main theme. “You’ve gotta take care of yourself, because [stroke and heart attack] are hidden diseases.”

At the end of the event, Kornet announced that Go Red For Women had raised a whopping $502,305. That will buy a lot of cardiovascular research to help save women’s lives.

“Go Red” Pre-luncheon VIP Party Warms Up The Look Of Red

Red comes in different styles

While the rest of Dallas was in “Go Mavericks blue” Thursday night, a passel of gals were warming up in all tones of red at the Go Red for Women pre-luncheon VIP Party at an Allie Beth Allman-listed home in Highland Park. While luncheon speaker Nancy Lieberman wasn’t on hand, about 50 or 60 others were advance bidding on the top auction packages like the private dinner for six prepared by Richard Chamberlain at Marianne and Roger Staubach‘s.

Speaking of red, Brenda Sandoz met Mary Gill. Now, that shouldn’t be a big deal. Both of the ladies are very fashionable, outgoing and seem to know everyone. But evidently this was only their second meeting. Upon being introduced to Mary, Brenda asked, “Do you remember the Dallas Summer Musicals (gala)?” Of course, Mary remembered it. Heck she co-chaired the darn thing in May. Then Mary experienced a major “I remember when” moment. Seems that through a “failure to communicate” Brenda, her husband Tommy and sister/Go Red Luncheon chair Susan Arledge, who had opted for the concert only tickets, had been directed to sit in numero uno front row seats for the Blake Shelton concert. It was moments after taking the prized seats that Brenda and Mary first met. Those were Mary’s seats. In other parts of Texas, the ladies might have had to step outside and “had words,” but this is Dallas and everyone’s mother would have been proud that it was seamlessly straightened out.

BTW, Friday’s luncheon at the Hilton Anatole will have more than Nancy speaking, the silent auction, etc. Methodist Health System will provide screenings that include body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. If you’ve seen the tally for your last physical, you just know that this is a major gift in itself. Warning: To get an accurate lab test, you need to fast eight to ten hours before hand. Testing starts at 10 a.m., so limit your intake to water, black coffee and plain ice tea starting at midnight.

Go Red! Go Mavs!

Share-A-Date: Go Red For Women Luncheon

Friday, June 10: For ages, heart disease symptoms and treatment have been focused on men, but that’s changing thanks to efforts like Go Red for Women. To bring upfront even more so, Go Red for Women Luncheon is being held at the Hilton Anatole. But it won’t be your typical fundraising luncheon. Here’s a breakdown of the activities:

  • 10 a.m.– Registration, health screening (Sponsored by Methodist Health System), exhibits, VIP hospitality lounge and Go Red Silent Auction
  • 10:30-11 a.m. — “Give to Get: Connecting vs. Networking” – Colleen Affeldt (Reframe the way you are building and leveraging your network. It’s not who you know, it’s what you do for who you know.
  • 11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m. — “How to Turn Your Fat Burning Engine on High” – Larry North, Larry North Fitness (Learn how to feed the muscle and starve the fat and never allow yourself to feel hungry again. Sponsored by Ryan)
  • 12 p.m. — Welcome and Opening Remarks, Heart Healthy Lunch (Sponsored by Texas Beef Council)
  • 1 p.m. — Keynote Speaker – Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman

And since commercial real estate maven Susan Arledge is chair the event, she called on her good buddy and former boss Roger Staubach to help out with a “Signature Auction Item.” No, Rog isn’t going to sign a football. Well, maybe he will, but he and his wife Marianne will host a dinner for six prepared by chef Richard Chamberlain at the Staubach’s very cool home.

Even if you don’t win the signature dinner, you’re going to be a lot smarter and healthier after attending this luncheon. Go Red!

Go Red For Women, Wine And Stewards

Twice a year an evite is sent to around 300 women inviting them to a “Women and Wine Party.” The event promoting Go Red for Women is hosted by Susan Arledge (pictured) and Lea Yaest. All the ladies are asked to bring a bottle of wine and perhaps an appetizer.

Last Thursday the body count of more than 125 had plenty of room to “wine” at Brenda Sandoz‘s home. However, parking was the challenge since a neighbor a block away was holding a party, too. Brenda realizing that her neighbor’s valets might encroach on her festivities visited with the valets and lines were drawn to everyone’s liking.

Inside sommelier David Snyder (pictured right with Joe Gampper) was having a jolly good time advising the ladies on their selections and making recommendations like ’08 Prisoner by Orin Swift and ’07 Raymond Reserve Cabernet, both from Napa.

But David in his formal attire and red bow tie was not the only gent on the premises. He was assisted by fellow (volunteer) wine stewards like Joe Gampper, Sean Goff and Calvin Hull. If these names sound familiar, it because most of the fellows are commercial real estate pros who know the reputation of Susan’s and Lea’s wine party.

Of course, wine steward Chris Ryan had to be different. Instead of the typical tuxedo, he wore his kilts and was already when asked, “What are you wearing under your kilts?”

Among the sipping guests were w2wlin.com’s Lisbeth McNabb (formerly CFO of Match.com), Martha Jansen of Razor and People Newspapers Publisher Karen Mordecai (pictured left with Chris Ryan).