Thanks to Ted Dealey’s Grandson Rusty Dealey’s Surprise Announcement At The Fur Ball, The Family Support Of The SPCA Of Texas Continued

With loads of animals hitting the SPCA of Texas facilities thanks to hurricanes and abusive situations, a black-tie crowd of more than 800 guests rallied in the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, September 30.

But before that happened, the crowd at the “Reigning Cats and Dogs” was shoulder-to-shoulder with tiaras topping coiffured heads in the lobby. As Barbara and Jim Moroney headed to the registration table, other members of The Dallas Morning News family like longtime DMN photographer David Woo were already partying. Only seemed appropriate, as the DMN was to receive 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award.

Russell “Rusty” Dealey and Debra Burns*

But there was still more news to come during the meal. SPCA Development Director Debra Burns recalled how before moving to the state-of-the-art Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on I-30, the SPCA had occupied much smaller facilities just off of then-Irving Blvd., now known as Riverfront Blvd. It was named the G.B. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. Debra told how on her first day with the SPCA, she had discovered a photo of Joe Dealey and George Jalonick at the opening of the facilities back in the 1970s. That set her sights on continuing the family’s involvement in the 21st century SPCA. Sure, the late Betty Moroney Norsworthy’s estate had contributed a $1M gift to kick off the fundraising in 2003 for the future Rees-Jones facility. But that was more than a decade ago, and the SPCA’s programs and services had grown dramatically. She got together with Ted’s grandson Russell “Rusty” Dealey and the two of them pulled off a major surprise that was only revealed at the gala — Rusty’s gifting $1M for the 41,000 square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. According to Debra, not even the family nor Rusty’s accountant knew about his generous gift.

Amy Bailey and little fella

Lynn McBee, Joe B Clark and Paige McDaniel

But before the announcement of the gift was made at the dinner, the cocktail reception continued with Amy Bailey cuddling up with a “boy toy” looking for a permanent hug… Lynn McBee may have been solo because husband Allan McBee was out of town, but she soon ran into Paige McDaniel and Joe B ClarkKaty and Lawrence Bock reported that they were still getting rave reviews from the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction preview at their home base in Preston Center. Katy, who will be co-chairing the 2018 CBB, said things were moving along, but she sorta hated the thought of just one more year with the organization. Seems CBB bylaws require old CBB chairs to retire from hands-on involvement. Lawrence comforted Katy by saying there would probably be other organizations in her future…. Checking out the acres of silent auction items were Mary Frances Burleson and Lori Ferguson ….Alas, longtime animal-loving Diane Brierley was a no-show. But, she had a valid excuse. Earlier in the day she had hurt her paw foot and was homebound. 

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Mary Frances Burleson, James Bias and Lori Ferguson

Once the ballroom doors opened, the fundraising ramped up. Here’s a report from the field:

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous floral centerpieces complete with golden crowns thanks to Dr Delphinium. The delightful dinner included a salad of butter lettuce and seasonal greens salad with spiced pecans, goat cheese, and pancetta served with a Sherry Vinaigrette along with entrees, either Beef ‘Wellington’ petite filet and slow roasted salmon with mushroom duxelle, puff pastry, Pomme Dauphinois, green bean bundle, baby carrot, roasted radish and acorn squash bordelaise or Herb Creamed Spinach Stuffed portabella mushroom with steamed rice, green bean bundle, roasted vegetables baby carrot, acorn squash and radish in red pepper sauce. The delicious dessert was a Black Forest cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla sauce with a gold-flecked cherry garnish.

Subbing in for WFAA’s Ron Corning, who had to bail out due to a previous commitment was “Good Morning Texas’” Alanna Sarabia wearing her glittering Fiesta Queen crown. As past reigning Miss San Antonio and Fiesta Queen, her platform was the importance of responsible pet ownership as well as spaying and neutering pets to curb overpopulation for the health and safety of the community. Ms. Sarabia spoke about the importance of pets in all our lives, remembering that pets were furry siblings as she grew up and an important part of her life ever since. She thanked guests for their support and partnership to help the SPCA of Texas rescue, heal, and find homes for abandoned and abused animals.

SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias, welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas is able to perform thanks to the community’s support, such as saving animals on a cruelty case like the 100 dogs seized from a puppy mill the previous Monday, providing spay or neuter services to tens of thousands of pets in Southern Dallas and all of North Texas, and, most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. James also thanked the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets. 

Jocelyn White and Katy Murray

James and SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray presented the 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award to The Dallas Morning News for their comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas. Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Publisher/A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney accepted the award, and was joined by several members of the editorial staff. The Spencer Humanitarian Award, named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, recognizes an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. The Dallas Morning News has and continues to shine a light on the heartbreaking issue of suffering on the part of people and pets taking place in the most underserved area in Dallas. Their coverage in no small part contributed to the subsequent funding of the largest-scale spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping effort in the nation to date by many of the most prominent charities in North Texas. Their voice, calling attention to animal issues, is loud, clear and unwavering, and the pets and people of North Texas are fortunate indeed for this.

SPCA Senior VP for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, and announcing a surprise $1 million gift from Russell E. Dealey. The SPCA of Texas is grateful for Mr. Dealey’s tremendous gift, and has re-named its Animal Rescue Center in Dallas the “Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.”

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways to Telluride and New York City, a decadent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” spa and shopping package and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more. Others were a getaway to Mountain Lodge in Telluride, Colorado and a fabulous Thanksgiving Day in New York, New York.  

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied until after Midnight. 

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to Event Chair Cindy Lindsley; Event Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including 

  • Diamond sponsor: Russell E. Dealey;
  • Sapphire sponsors: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Lydia and Bill Addy, Colin and Sandra Fite, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, H/3 Foundation, Northern Trust, Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones and Sewell Automotive;
  • Ruby sponsors: Dr Delphinium and Rebecca Farris;
  • Emerald sponsors: Carla J. Brandt, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Jill Bee and Loren Glasser, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Holly and Philip Huffines, Nancy and Ty Merelli, Milagro Tequila, Thompson and Knight Foundation, Come from Away – A New Musical and Webb Family Foundation;
  • Corporate Royal Gem sponsors: AG&E Structural Engenuity, Alliance Insurance, Cityvet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hollywood Feed, Merck Animal Health, Heineken, OrangeTheory Fitness, Origin Bank, PBK, RKD Group, Swiss Avenue Women’s Guild, Tejas Ranch & Game Fence, VCA Animal Hospitals, Vinson and Elkins LLP and Whole Foods Market;
  • Media Sponsors: Modern Luxury Magazine and Slingshot.

Guests included the Rees-Jones clan (Jan and Trevor, Jenny and Trevor, Margaret and David), Sally Anne Hudnall, Stacey and Don KivowitzGwen and Leldon Echols, Gigi Potter Salley, Phillip and Holly Huffines, Beth and Steve Jarvie, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Meredith Perot, Peter Addie, Kirsten Burns, Jill Bee and Dr. Loren Glasser, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Betsy Orton and Sharon FancherJudy Davis, Gus HinojosaTeresa and Chic Henderson, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, Kelly Thompson, Dr. Rocky McKelvey, Carolyn and David KubesPam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Bill Driscoll.

* Photo credit: Brett Redman

Amid A Ballroom Of Orange, 2017 Linz Awardee Lyda Hill Graciously Accepted The Accolades And Inspired All Present To Get Involved

With the predictions of a major event collision, the Omni Dallas was ground zero on Wednesday, March 8. Perhaps it was to squeeze in one more fundraiser before North Texas emptied out for spring break. Or maybe it was just the “oops” ingredient for the fundraising recipe.

The problem was the schedule of two behemoth events for lunch — the Planned Parenthood fundraiser with Marcia Clark and the 88th Linz Award Luncheon on the same day. 

In the meantime, the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Lunch fundraiser was across town at the Belo.

But the gods of planning smiled on the scheduling. Thanks to the Junior League of Dallas commandos, they had scheduled everything down to the second not to collide with the Planned Parenthooders.

Timing was imperative.

From the left: Tom Dunning, Ron Steinhart, Ruth Altshuler, Sheila Grant, John Scovell, Lyda Hill, Dolores Barzune, Walt Humann, Lindalyn Adams, Jody Grant, Debbie Branson, Forrest Hoglund, Bob Thornton and Bill Solomon

The Linz group’s past awardees (Lindalyn Adams, Bill SolomonSheila and Jody Grant, Debbie Branson, Ruth Altshuler, Forrest Hoglund, John Scovell, Ron Steinhart, Tom Dunning, Dolores Barzune, Bob Thornton and Walt Humann) gathered in a side room for a photo with the 2017 Linz Awardee Lyda Hill with the Dallas skyline in the background by 11:10. Then they were led to the VIP Reception outside the Trinity Ballroom.

With the timing of a prima ballerina, the Linz group was cloistered in the Trinity’s reception area just as the Planned Parenthood guests arrived for check-in at the Dallas Ballroom’s lobby.

In the meantime, men and women in blue stood watch. One Linzer wonder why all the security. It wasn’t because of the Linz Award. Rather, the recent protests at the Fort Worth Planned Parenthood had put the local first responders on alert.

When Lyda was complimented about how great she looked, the lady responded, “Take a good look, because it’s gonna be the last you’ll see me like this.”

Orange tableclothes

Despite the protests, Lyda did look great and, of course, was wearing an orange jacket. In fact that was the password color of the day. In the ballroom filled with hundreds of guests, everything from BBFs (Lynn McBee, Millie Cooper, Bobby Sue Williams, Diane Brierley, etc.) to table centerpieces honored Lyda’s love of orange.

Mike Rawlings and Lyda Hill

A couple of fellas like Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Don Glendenning sheepishly admitted that their borderline reddish, yellowish ties were as close as they could get to the color of the day.

Speaking of the good mayor, Mike reported that son Gunnar Rawlings’ wedding to Gabby Gutierrez had gone off without a hitch in Mexico, except for the bridegroom’s limp. Seems Gunnar had fractured his leg and hobbled to the altar. However, Mike admitted that it was a beautiful occasion with the weather behaving marvelously.

While some guests hopped between the Linz Luncheon and the Planned Parenthood Luncheon, 2016 Linz Awardee Debbie Branson got things going in the Dallas Ballroom. No sooner had she gotten the attention of the group than Junior League of Dallas Sustainer President Kitty Peeler thanked The Dallas Morning News and Zales and welcomed Rev. Stephen Swann to provide the invocation.

Planned Parenthood check-in

Following official introductions and recognitions, guests lunched.

Following the lunch, it was time for the salutes and a couple of shots across the bow. Mayor Mike kicked it off welcoming all to the city-owned hotel. He then told how in reviewing the list of Linz Award recipients, he was surprised that only 10 women had received it.

Mike recalled that when the Ebola outbreak and the July 7 shootings took place, Lyda was one of the first to step forward offering help. He pointed out other endeavors in which Lyda was a rock: VNA, North Texas Food Bank, Perot Museum, etc. He finished up by describing Lyda as a “rock of our city and a wonderful gem.”

Jim Moroney

Across the stage in a chair, Linz Award Co-Sponsor Dallas Morning News Publisher/CEO Jim Moroney didn’t look all that happy at the comment about the Linz recipients. Following Mike, Jim said, “Mayor, on behalf of the two sponsors of the Linz Award, I would say that we are not proud of the number of women that have received this award—but I think we’re doing better than the mayors of Dallas… Just saying.” That “shade throwing” got a mix of laughter and hoots from the audiences.

Then Jim got on his bully pulpit, bringing up the problems making headlines — homelessness, police and firemen’s pension fund, renegade dogs in South Dallas, etc. 

Nicole Small

After Mike’s and Jim’s exchange, Linz Award Co-Sponsor Signet Chief Retail Insights and Strategy Officer George Murray along with Lyda Hill Foundation CEO Nicole Small lassoed the group back to the topic du jour — Lyda. Nicole went on and on providing insight about the woman, who prefers to provide for others rather than promote herself. A telling moment came when Nicole asked Lyda to stand. Then Nicole asked all who had known or been friends with Lyda for more than 30 years to stand. More than a third of the room stood. Nicole then asked for a board member or executive director of an organization that Lyda had spent her time with to stand. Another third of the room stood. Her next request was for anyone whose organization had received funding from Lyda to stand. Almost the rest of the room stood. Nicole’s final request was for anyone who just wanted to know Lyda to stand. That allowed the handful of folks who were left to stand. 

The rest of Nicole’s talk was a valentine for Lyda, including the revealing of her love for dark chocolate and her hidden stash in the upper left hand drawer of her desk.

At one point Nicole told how Lyda would clear the trail of branches to make it easier for those who follow. Throughout her various endeavors, that is what Lyda has done — cleared the way for those who follow.

Lyda Hill

Being called to the stage, Lyda started off in typical Lyda form, “I think I’d be smart if I turned around and left right now…. Nicole, you didn’t have to tell which drawer the candy’s in.”

Lyda admitted that she had “born into privilege and have been privileged all my life to live in a great city with generations of community-minded citizens. But I feel far more privileged today to be able to have an impact on the city that I love.”

Despite only knowing her childhood surroundings, she attributed the Junior League’s provisional program for showing her what needed to be done and how to do it.

She recalled that she has lived half of her life following her breast cancer diagnosis. “I’m trying to make the best that I can with my borrowed time.”

Ten years ago when the economy went down, Lyda made the largest grant that she has ever made. The result? “Nothing is more gratifying than being able to experience helping the abused, the homeless and the hungry.”

She pointed out that in reviewing the previous Linz Award recipients, three traits stood out:

  1. They looked ahead to what was coming.
  2. They were entrepreneurs with a can-do spirit.
  3. Collaborations allowed the winners to bring groups together to solve issues.

With the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas Eve, Lyda talked about what the future held.

She encouraged the audience to in turn encourage family and friends to get involved. Within her own family, Lyda not only takes her nieces and nephews on her Meals on Wheels deliveries. She has also established the “Aunt Lyda Grant.” When her nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews turn seven, she sends them a letter “offering to make charitable contribution to the charity of their choice for $50 times their age. As they get older, the charities get happier. But most important I asked them why they want that charity, to get them thinking about it. Then I have the charities send the newsletters directly to them. I have also taken all my nieces and nephews and most of my grands to deliver Meals on Wheels. Because I want them to be exposed at how much fun it is to be there and help people and see what it feels like when you’re helping people.”

She closed by saying, “We are lucky to live in Dallas. Spread this luck in your own way. Most people vote every four years, but donors and volunteers daily vote for the kind of action for the world they want to be through their actions. That same kind of world is available to all of us. A world that is full of hope and inspiration for the future.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.