25th Anniversary Partners Card Program Kicks Off At Highland Park Village Despite The Threat Of Stormy Weather

While some hunkered down due to threats of storms on Thursday, May 18, The Family Place folks weren’t gonna let a few drips hold them back from kicking off the 25th anniversary of its Partners Card program. Everybody from former chairs to longtime sponsors were on hand at Highland Park Village for the launch of the 2017 shopping extravaganza that will take place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. For more deets, here’s a report from the field:

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village Thursday, May 18, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.

Joanne Teichman, Lynn McBee and Charles Teichman*

Remarks were given by Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, Beyond, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith*

“Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year,” said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. “The Family Place’s mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It’s a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it’s a reality for too many, and we’re very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people.”

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill Martin*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20% discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

David and Sheryl Pidgeon*

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee and Diana Hamilton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

North Texas Food Bank’s 9th Annual Golden Fork Awards Recognized Major Corporations As Well As Hands-On Individuals

Hunger is preventable. Unlike diseases that are researched and solved thanks to lab work, the solution to hunger is found through hands-on efforts by organizations and individuals. Leading the charge locally is the North Texas Food Bank. On Tuesday, November 1, the mega-food provider recognized some unsung heroes at the 9th Annual Golden Fork Awards presentation at its Farmers Market administrative headquarters.

With Booker T. Washington High Schoolers Kennedy Park and Damian Garcia playing a cello and harp at the pre-presentation reception, NTFB Chief Marketing Officer Brett Gray reported that while the last two months of the year are their biggest months, he would be delaying the ad campaign until after the November 8th election day.

Regarding the status of North Texas Food Bank President/CEO Jan Pruitt, who has been away for a year tending to health needs, Brett said that her cancer treatments “are having an effect. Hopefully, she’ll be back sometime soon.”

At 5:45 p.m., Interim President/CEO Simon Powell kicked off the presentation, reporting that 70M meals were provided during the NTFB’s 2016 fiscal year. But as part of its 10-year plan, 92M will be needed annually.

Right on schedule, the awards were presented including:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award — State Fair of Texas (“The annual It’s a Fair Deal campaign – whereby fairgoers can bring in canned goods in exchange for a discounted admission – is the NTFB’s largest canned food drive, with more than 267,000 lbs. of food donated in 2016 alone.”)
  • Campaign Of The Year — Dallas Theater Center (“For the past nine years, the Dallas Theater Center has raised awareness and funds for the NTFB at their showings of A Christmas Carol. Through this partnership, more than $538,000 has been donated to the NTFB which has allowed for the Food Bank to provide access to more than 1.6 million meals for hungry North Texans”) and The Dallas Morning News Charities (“They support organizations that work in the fields of sheltering, hunger relief, emergency services and rehabilitative programs, and provides non-profits – including the NTFB – with the critical funds necessary to meet their missions. Their support of the NTFB has allowed us to grow one of our core child feeding programs, Food 4 Kids. Since 2006, The Dallas Morning News Charities has donated more than $540,000 to NTFB.”)
  • Corporation Of The Year — Bank Of America (“The organization donates funds, time and talent to the Food Bank regularly. The bank is one of our top volunteer groups year over year with eager groups coming to donate their time year-round. In addition, their employees’ time, Bank of America also donates critical funds to help the Food Bank meet our mission. In 2016 Bank of America will donate $25,000, which will help provide 5,000 backpacks for our Food 4 Kids program, and another $50,000, which will help provide 150,000 meals for hungry North Texans.”)
  • Partner Agency Of The Year — Mission Oak Cliff (“The 2016 Partner Agency of the Year honoree, Mission Oak Cliff – a community ministry of Cliff Temple Baptist Church – has a long history of cooperation with the North Texas Food Bank. As one of our charter members, Mission Oak Cliff has worked with the Food Bank to combat hunger since the early 1980s. They serve an average of 700 families per month and more than 22,000 individuals per year.”)
  • Retail Partner Of The Year — Sam’s Club (“Sam’s Club, our 2016 Retail Partner of the Year, provides an invaluable amount of support to the NTFB. They donate a tremendous amount of food product annually — more than 3 million pounds to date in 2016. In addition to food donations, Sam’s Club employees also regularly volunteer at the Food Bank warehouse, sorting and boxing foods for families in need.”)
  • Anurag Jain, Joyce Goss, Joanne Teichman and Simon Powell

    Anurag Jain, Joyce Goss, Joanne Teichman and Simon Powell

    Volunteer Of The Year — Joyce Goss and Joanne Teichman (“This year NTFB’s Golden Fork Award for Volunteer of the Year is shared by two Dallas philanthropists, Joyce Goss and Joanne Teichman, for their work supporting NTFB’s Letter Writing Campaign. This endeavor helps fund NTFB’s Food 4 Kids program which operates in many local schools, proving a weekend backpack filled with kid friendly, shelf stable foods to chronically hungry children. Thanks to the efforts of these honorees, more than 721,548 weekend backpacks were provided to children in need.”)

  • Youth Leader Of The Year — Quinn Graves and Stella Wrubel (“The youngest honorees for the evening, Youth Leader of the Year awardees Quinn Graves and Stella Wrubel took a simple idea of selling mistletoe during the holidays, and transformed the endeavor into a successful business plan which includes support from retailer Highland Park Village. In the two years that the mistletoe sales have benefited the Food Bank, these 5th graders have helped provide more than 168,000 meals, or $56,000 in donations.”)

    Stuart Reeves, Quinn Graves, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Stella Wrubel, Jennie Reeves and Katherine Reeves

    Stuart Reeves, Quinn Graves, Lucy and Steve Wrubel, Stella Wrubel, Jennie Reeves and Katherine Reeves

  • Hunger Ambassador Of The Year — Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (“The Honorable Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere is a regular collaborator with the Food Bank. He couples big ideas with a big heart for giving. His work to expand NTFB’s Food 4 Kids program in the city of Plano is just one of the reasons he was selected as Hunger Ambassador of the Year. Thanks to his efforts, now more than 1,400 elementary aged students receive a weekend backpack filled with nutritious foods, and are also offered special holiday meal boxes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break to ensure these students and their families receive the nutrition they need over the holiday breaks.”)