Philanthropists Lisa And Kenny Troutt To Serve As Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s 32nd Annual Presentation Ball Honorary Co-Chairs

Lisa and Kenny Troutt (File photo)

Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Presentation Ball Chair Lori Routh has announced that philanthropists Lisa and Kenny Troutt will serve as the honorary co-chairs for the 32nd annual fundraiser.

In addition to being the parents of three kids (Preston Troutt, Grant Troutt and Savannah Troutt), the couple has been involved with various aspects of North Texas nonprofits including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Council for Life, One Hundred Share, New Friends New Life, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, UT Southwestern Medical Foundation, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, the Laura W. Bush Women’s Initiative Advisory Council and many others.

Lisa and Kenny will add to the gorgeous factor at the debutante presentation on Saturday, February 17, at the Meyerson.

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo Is Star Attraction At Just Say Yes’s 6th Annual Celebration

The pool house at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s sprawling Preston Hollow manse was buzzing with excitement Tuesday, April 12, for the Just Say Yes group’s 6th Annual Celebration, officially titled “Missing Puzzle Piece.” The reason: Candice and Tony Romo were down at one end posing graciously for photos, and all the VIP guests wanted to get close to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback and his wife.

Candice’s mother, it turns out, had been instrumental in introducing Just Say Yes founder and president Dan Bailey to potential donors at a coffee some 15 years ago. And tonight, the 350 attendees—including Annette Simmons and Jerry Fronterhouse, Ed Franklin, Lee Ann and Alan White, and Tiffany and Paul Divis—would listen to Romo being interviewed by Bailey at the dinner fundraiser. Just Say Yes (Youth Equipped to Succeed) empowers youth to attain their dreams and goals—and say no to destructive choices—by educating them through student-assembly speakers and classroom curriculum.

While honorary chairs Gena and Chuck Norris weren’t able to make it, Cassandra and Avery Johnson flew in from California for the evening. Avery, the former Dallas Mavs coach who now coaches men’s basketball at the University of Alabama, presented the Avery Johnson Youth Impact Award to Lisa and Kenny. During brief remarks, Avery joked that his son Avery Jr.—a basketball player who will be transferring from Texas A&M to Alabama—is “obsessed with Tony Romo.”

Avery’s son would have been in good company at this event. During a wide-ranging conversation with Dan, Tony:

  • Said that his broken clavicle is mending nicely, and that “I think I’m gonna make it through the season, so we should be fine.”
  • Disclosed that his parents were his most influential role models growing up. He was reared in modest circumstances as a “little bit of an outcast,” Tony said.
  • Advised today’s high school students to resist peer pressure from the “cool” kids: “It doesn’t matter. Don’t let them affect you day-to-day. Don’t let them control you. Just give it to God and live your life.”
  • Criticized the often-negative effects of social media. “This social media world is so not real life,” Tony said. “I would say, a.) don’t read it. But b.), if you do, be unemotionally attached. People don’t really care about you that much. Life will go on. Just do your job and everything will be fine.”

“Missing Puzzle Piece” also featured a dinner by Chamberlain’s and an auction and raffle, with Louis Murad calling the shots. The fundraising aspect was important, Bailey explained, because Just Say Yes is aiming to triple its annual budget in three years, from $900,000 currently to $2.7 million. With the larger amount, he said, Just Say Yes would be able to reach 250,000 students a year.

JUST IN: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo To Be “Just Say Yes” Keynote Speaker

Kenny and Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Kenny and Lisa Troutt (File photo)

So exactly what does Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo do during the off season? Play a little golf? Work out? Post on Facebook? Perhaps, but he’ll definitely be at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s home as the guest speaker for the Just Say Yes’ “The Missing Puzzle Piece” on Tuesday, April 12.

Due to Tony’s schedule, the annual gathering is going to be a night-time supper instead of a lunch.

Adding to the importance of the evening, 20 of Just Say Yes’ STARS Peer-To-Peer Mentor students will be featured.

But the extra-oomph doesn’t stop there. Chef Richard Chamberlain will be in charge of the evening’s feast in the Troutts’ indoor basketball court.

If you’ve been curious about the organization that “provides speakers, peer-to-peer mentoring, parent programs and teacher trainings to enable at-risk students to break through the barriers in their lives and excel inside and outside of the classroom,” just want to say that you’ve been to the Troutt estate or want to hear Tony, here’s how to be there!

Avery Johnson Tells “Kids” At KL Troutt High School To “Just Say Yes”

Troutt basketball court

The crowd of 300 hardly noticed that Lisa and Kenny Troutts’ indoor basketball court was transformed into a banquet hall last Wednesday for  Just Say YES luncheon with former Dallas Mavericks’ coach Avery Johnson.

Will Allen and Kenny Troutt

Toward the front of the room were the likes of the Troutts, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Lillie Romano, Alicia Landry, Sue Gragg and Dee Wyly.

Lillie Romano

Lisa was still a little amazed at all the hubbub over the recent rumor about her being involved in a reality show. One would suspect that a drive-thru beer barn would open in HP Village before Lisa would be on a unreal drama show.

Avery Johnson and Trevor Rees-Jones

Before Avery addressed the group, the audience learned that girls who are sexually active are seven times more likely to drink alcohol and 46 times more likely to use marijuana.

Lessons to be learned in raising healthy kids from the information:

  1. Parent-child connection like having five family meals a week is a powerful weapon;
  2. Positive role models are essential;
  3. Connection to dreams and goal are key.

As Just Say Yes Founder/President Dan Bailey introduced Avery, he described him as a “Master at Connecting With Teens” and went on to tell the group that Avery “has been to 23 schools talking with teens. . . Off-season in basketball is the on-season for him at Just Say Yes.”

Avery’s commitment to the program was emphasized by his arriving at 1:30 a.m. immediately following a game in New Jersey, where his New Jersey Nets played the night before.

To show their appreciation, Avery was presented with two gifts:

  1. A sleeping mask to wear on the flight home.
  2. A donation in Avery’s name to Hunger Busters.

Following a brief video, Avery took over the microphone telling the room full of adults that they were to “transform yourself into being a student at KL Troutt High School.”

The “kids” gave him a standing ovation. Don’t know if it was him just being Avery or letting them return to their youth.

Avery started off by telling the kids how he met his wife, Cassandra, 24 years ago. “She’s the sugar in my tea. She’s not Sweet and Low. She’s the real thing. This is the first time for her to hear me speak to high schoolers.”

Throughout his talk, he referred to himself at “Coach.” Avery told the “youngsters” that 30 years ago, people  used mailing addresses and phone numbers. But now there are different ways to communicate.

Using Facebook as the backdrop, he proceeded to walk them through, “What are the chapters of your Facebook?”

According to Avery, the chapters should be:

  • Chapter 1 — “I’m Special. I’m not an Accident.”
  • Chapter 2 — “Compete and Don’t Complain.” He then shared a touching story about his youth. It seems from the ages of 14 to 20, he got a job as the “warehouse boy” at Crescent Plywood. Despite offers, Avery refused to succumb to “offers” to provide a little more than the customers paid for. As he prepared to head to college and a long daily commute, the mill’s owner told Avery to go to a neighborhood car dealership and pick out the kind of car he would get for himself. The next day the car — an $8,500 Escort —  was waiting for him. When Avery asked, “Why?”, the owner said that he had watched Avery over the years and appreciated his honesty.
  • Chapter 3 — “Expect Conflict. (You Can’t Get to the Top Without Conflict)” Conflict will help train you. You sometimes need failure to get success. Frustration is the cocktail for depression.
  • Chapter 4 — “Exploring the Other Side”
  • Chapter 5 — “Say ‘No’ to Drugs”
  • Chapter 6 — “Under Construction”

In closing, he also told the “children” that the photo that they post on their Facebook is important. It’s got to reflect their character.

Needless to say, the students at KL Troutt H.S. gave him another standing ovation and this time there was no doubt that it was for Avery being Avery.