Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. Receives Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation’s Legacy Award At Yellow And Black Gala

It was as if Saturday, November 4, had become the perfect storm of fundraising in North Texas with Jubilee Park And Community Center celebrating its 20th birthday at the Omni Dallas, the animal lovers partying is up at Zoo To Do at the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Summer Musicals Gala on stage at Fair Park’s Music Hall and Art for Advocacy at General Datatech. But north of the Dallas CBD, the black-tie set was raising fun and funds for Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation at its annual Yellow and Black Tie Gala. Here’s a report from the field:

Richardson luminaries lit up the night on Saturday, November 4, at Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel for the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation’s Yellow and Black Tie Gala. 

Parin and Stuti Makadia, Sharon Snayd and Randy Montgomery*

This annual event is the crown jewel of Richardson and dazzled more than 500 guests that support the hospital in Richardson. Guests like Ann and Charles Eisemann, Stuti and Parin Makadia, Sharon Snayd, Randy Montgomery, Judy and Max Martin, Anne and Bernie DiFiore and Stephen Mansfield were captivated by a riveting story about a patient who died for virtually 55 minutes and was brought back to life because of the type of equipment that the Foundation helps to fund and the expert physicians at the hospital. The evening also included a live auction that was a source of fun and funding for the Foundation. 

Charles and Ann Eisemann*

Judy and Max Martin

Bernie and Anne DiFiore*

Clay and Shelly Harrison*

Each year, the Foundation also gave the Legacy Award to a person or organization that has been one of its ardent supporters. Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. received this year’s honor with its president and CEO, Mikito Kiname, graciously accepted the honor from Methodist Richardson Medical Center President Ken Hutchenrider and Methodist Richard Medical Center Foundation Chair Colleen Halbert commending the Foundation on its mission and important work in the community. 

Mikito Kiname, Ken Hutchenrider and Colleen Halbert*

The evening was capped off with a casino afterparty, where guests chanced their luck and danced late into the evening.

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner Honored Rep. Dan Branch With Brainiacs, Politicians And Four Generations Of Branches

Traditionally, area country clubs are closed on Mondays. But for those rare, special occasions, they open, and such an event was the Center for BrainHealth‘s Legacy Award Dinner on Monday, November 14, Dallas Country Club. It was a gathering of the area’s top-tier bold-facing brainiacs to honor Rep. Dan Branch. Here is a report from the field:

Four generations of Texas’ illustrious Branch family, including gracious matriarch Sylvia Branch and her precious two-month old great granddaughter, Waverly Branch, along with more than 250 guests convened at the Dallas Country Club on Monday, November 14.

Sylvia Branch and Waverly Branch*

Kevin McBride, Margaret McDermott and Patricia McBride*

Under the auspices of witnessing Rep. Dan Branch receive the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas’ highest honor, the Legacy Award, the virtual family reunion attracted a philanthropic and political who’s who including Margaret McDermott, Toni Pickens, Rep. Morgan Meyer and Keana, former Lieutenant Governor of Texas David Dewhurst, former Rep. Bill Ceverha and his wife Mary, UT System top brass Melissa Jackson and UT Dallas executive vice president and provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal. Other guests included Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Marla and Mike Boone, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Kathy and Harlan Crow, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Heather and Ray Washburne, Gail and Gerald TurnerSally Hoglund with daughter Kelly Compton, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Shelle and Michael Sills and Lee Ann and Alan White.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones*

Debbie Francis and Toni Pickens*

Gerald and Gail Turner*

Heather and Ray Washburne*

The vibrant Shelly Slater of WFAA Channel 8 emceed the annual event that honors an individual whose vision and dedication enables the Center for BrainHealth and its Brain Performance Institute to empower people of all ages to unlock their brain potential.

As a state representative from Dallas and chairman of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, Rep. Branch authored House Bill 51, the “Tier One universities” law. This landmark legislation encouraged private giving to public emerging research universities, including UT Dallas, by matching private gifts with state funds. Since 2009, gifts, appropriations and National Research University Fund distributions represent a total investment in Texas emerging research universities of $770 million.

It is worth noting that a love for brains runs in the Branch family. Dan Branch’s late father, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Charles L. Branch, was a pioneer in the field of neuroscience and donated a cache of artifacts to the Center chronicling the history of neurosurgery. BrainHealth honors Dr. Branch each year, presenting the Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award for “unparalleled breakthroughs in brain research” to a deserving brain research scientist or physician.

After honorary co-chair James Huffines recognized distinguished audience members, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, who was detained by official business in Austin, kicked off the evening with a warm video welcome. He conveyed congratulations to his friend that he has known since they were kids. “And if you wonder how long that has been,” said Hon. Straus. “I will simply point out that Dan is now a grandfather.”

During an energetic tribute video, long-time friend of Dan Branch, Harlan Crow, expressed how easy it is to like Dan and incredibly difficult to dislike him.

The University of Texas System Deputy Chancellor Dr. David Daniel, who was President of The University of Texas at Dallas when the Tier One legislation took effect, said, “The Tier One legislation may well be the most important, transformative and wildly successful legislation in Texas relative to public higher education in our lifetime.”

Dan Branch and Sandi Chapman*

Center for BrainHealth Founder/Chief Director and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at Dallas Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman presented Rep. Branch with the crystal Legacy plaque. “Dan Branch’s efforts have helped elevate the cause of brain health to the forefront of discussions not only in Texas but nationwide,” she said. “Because of his legislative work, we have been able to attract top talent from around the world to grow our research team and continue to make meaningful scientific discoveries that improve lives today.”

 

In regards to the outpouring of high praise during the evening, Rep. Branch playfully bantered, “Typically when people say nice things about me, I like to say that I wish that my mother could hear that. Well, tonight she did!”

Dan and Stacey Branch and Hobson Wildenthal*

Dan Branch’s magnanimous acceptance speech epitomized his priorities, expressing his passion for understanding and delivering on his constituents’ needs and above all honoring his family. He identified each family member individually, lingering especially on his dedicated wife, Stacey, of 32 years whom he gave much credit for being his inspiration and the foundation of their family.

James and Patty Huffines and Eric and Robin Bennett*

Sue Blackwell and Carolyn Rathjen*

Patty and James Huffines were the honorary chairs of the event and Robin and Eric Bennett were the dinner chairs. The host committee included: Lana and Barry Andrews, Sue and Pryor Blackwell, Marla and Mike Boone, Debbie and Jim Francis, Lynn and Allan McBee, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, Jane and Bud Smith and Gayle and Paul Stoffel.

Past BrainHealth Legacy Award recipients include Dianne Cash, Debbie Francis, T. Boone Pickens, James Huffines, Dee Wyly, Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan, Jane and Bud Smith and Clint Bruce.

Major donors at the Center for BrainHealth Legacy Award Dinner included:

Gold ($25,000):

  • Al G. Hill, Jr.
  • Carolyn and David Miller and The David B. Miller Family Foundation
  • Toni and T. Boone Pickens

Silver ($15,000):

  • Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge/Nancy Dedman /Jane and Bud Smith
  • Sylvia L. Branch Family
  • Lisa and Clay Cooley

Bronze ($10,000):

  • Suzanne and Moshe Azoulay
  • Colleen Barrett
  • Sue and Pryor Blackwell/Carolyn and Karl Rathjen, MD
  • Marla and Mike Boone
  • Teresa and David Disiere
  • Cindy and Pat Fox
  • Debbie and Jim Francis
  • Highland Capital Management
  • PlainsCapital Bank
  • Gail and Bill Plummer
  • Sapphire Foundation
  • Lisa and Kenny Troutt
  • Winstead PC
  • Julie and John Young

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH®

The Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a research institute committed to enhancing, protecting and restoring brain health across the lifespan. Scientific exploration at the Center for BrainHealth is leading edge, improving lives today and translating groundbreaking discoveries into practical clinical application. By delivering science-based innovations that enhance how people think, work, and live, the Center and its Brain Performance Institute™ are empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential. Major research areas include the use of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiology supporting cognition and emotion in health and disease. 

* Photo credit: Melissa Macatee

Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Dinner Honored U.S. Navy SEAL Clint Bruce On Veterans Day

With parades and flags being flown in honor of Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11, the Center for BrainHealth‘s Legacy Award Dinner at the Brook Hollow Golf Club saluted former U.S. Navy SEAL Clint Bruce. Here is a report from the field:

On Veterans Day the Center for BrainHealth grandly showcased that brains and brawn really do go together. As the last place setting was perfectly positioned in a room adorned with masculine shades of gold floral designed by the one-and-only Junior Villanueva of The Garden Gate, 250 brain health advocates began to trickle into Brook Hollow Golf Club in celebration of former U.S. Navy SEAL Clint Bruce, this year’s Center for BrainHealth’s Legacy Award recipient. When this charismatic veteran and former NFL player enters a room, people notice. As retired U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Morgan Luttrell says, “You either stand up with a smile on your face, or you jump up and give him a hug.”

Debbie Francis, Eric Bennett, Karl and Carolyn Rathjen, Clint and Aimee Bruce, Sue and Pryor Blackwell and Sandra Bond Chapman*

Debbie Francis, Eric Bennett, Karl and Carolyn Rathjen, Clint and Aimee Bruce, Sue and Pryor Blackwell and Sandra Bond Chapman*

All eyes turned to the man of the hour as he strutted through the doors clad in a kilt crafted from the family tartan and knee high socks that he dapperly complimented with a bold buckle and his distinguished beard – clearly not a “Movember” only accessory. Naturally, the dinner invitation called for “business formal attire,” but when his friends dared him to go rogue, he didn’t back down.

With a large American flag hanging behind him on stage, Bruce explained his attire. “I thought this was called the ‘Leg You See’ Award, but you all meant ‘Leg-a-cy.’ I get it now. I really do have the best knee caps, and I just wanted to give you all the opportunity to see them.”

Bruce hugged and greeted the Center’s founder and chief director Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD., Brain Performance Institute executive director Eric Bennett, and members of his personally selected Warrior Host Committee that included retired military officers and enlisted personnel from three different branches of service as well as a handful of Navy SEALS, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force veterans.

James and Patty Huffines and David and Suzanne Holl*

James and Patty Huffines and David and Suzanne Holl*

Lisa and Kenny Troutt*

Lisa and Kenny Troutt*

Laurie and Phil Evans*

Laurie and Phil Evans*

As the dinner bell rang about a quarter after 7 p.m., stylish philanthropists including co-chairs Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Dr. Karl Rathjen, Sue and Pryor Blackwell and guests Betsy and Richard Eiseman Jr., Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Kelly Hoglund Compton and sister Kristy Hoglund Robinson filed into the ballroom to hear co-chair Pryor Blackwell begin the evening. He, of course, thanked everyone for attending and recognized host committee members Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Debbie and Jim Francis, Kate and Hunter Henry, Lyda Hill, Charlyn and Rob Holmes, Margot and Ross Perot, Michal and Loyd Powell, Patrick B. Sands, Jane and Bud Smith, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Mary and Mike Terry, Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Heather and Ray Washburne. He then asked the Warrior Host Committee to stand and be recognized. Moments later, he called for all active duty service members and veterans to join the committee and a roaring round of applause ensued.

Lance Hancock, Patrick Sands, Kristy Morgan and Mike Billings*

Lance Hancock, Patrick Sands, Kristy Morgan and Mike Billings*

Blackwell welcomed the guest of honor and explained that Bruce had tragically lost his father during when Bruce was in high school. In one of the most moving moments of the evening, Blackwell asked the crowd, “If you are a father or, one day, you hope to be a father, will you please stand if you think Clint’s dad is proud of him?”

Dr. Rathjen then gave the invocation and . Once the table chatter began to subside, Center for BrainHealth advisory board vice chair Joel Robuck headed to the stage and asked past Legacy Award Recipients Lyda Hill (2014), Jane and Bud Smith (2013), Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan (2012), Dee Wyly (2011), James Huffines (2010), T. Boone Pickens (2009), Debbie Francis (2008), and Dianne Cash (2006) to stand and be honored.

Wally Stone, Jane and Bud Smith and David and Sara Martineau*

Wally Stone, Jane and Bud Smith and David and Sara Martineau*

“Where’s Boone?” Robuck asked, pointing out the energy entrepreneur in the crowd. “The only reason T. Boone is here is because there’s no Oklahoma State University game on. And,” he continued, in a playful effort to explain the absence of two past award recipients. “Daryl [Johnston] and Lee Roy [Jordan], well they’ve been drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.”

He discussed the history of the Center for BrainHealth and recounted last month’s monumental groundbreaking for the Center’s new clinical arm, the Brain Performance Institute.

Joel and Linda Robuck*

Joel and Linda Robuck*

“Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman founded the Center in 1999 and since then it has continued to grow and flourish, focused on leading innovative and transformative brain research, improving lives today and changing how we as the public think and act about our most vital organ, the brain,” Robuck said. “Most scientists focus on what is wrong with the brain. But, at the Center for BrainHealth, what is wrong is just one starting point. We want to focus on cognitive solutions.”

“If you were to cross a Texas high school football coach and a southern Baptist preacher, you would get Bruce,” Holley said of his 20-year buddy.

A video featuring “Beef”, a Navy SEAL and one of Bruce’s closest friends who was unable to attend the dinner, congratulated Bruce, saying, “This is just as much Aimee’s award as it is yours. The fact that she’s still married to you is proof that love is blind.” Bruce’s gorgeous spouse who had been by his side all evening chuckled with the rest of the room.

After Bruce’s first visit to the Center for BrainHealth in 2011, he was inspired to write a letter to the leaders of the organization. That letter was a pivotal point in the organization’s history, transforming the Center’s presence in the veteran space. The clever BrainHealth team translated that letter into a video montage of faces and voices that gave the entire room goose bumps.

Bruce’s most profound words, “You can leave a legacy with a name on a building, you can leave a legacy with a name on a stadium, or a door or some invention, or you can leave a legacy with someone.”

Bennett took the stage and told a story about his first encounter with Bruce in which he asked, “Clint, how do you know [the brain training] really helped you?” Bruce’s response, “Ask my little girl, and she can tell you how it helped me. Ask my wife, and she can tell you how it helped me.”

Bennett turned the mic over to Dr. Chapman who recalled some of Clint Bruce’s first words of advice to her regarding working with service member. He said, “Ma’am you can’t call us all soldiers. If you call a Navy guy a soldier, none of them will come.”

Chapman acknowledged her friend, Clint, as their spiritual leader who has a duty driven by a higher power. “He calls me the Jedi, but we are training with Clint because he’s the Obi-Wan Kenobi. Thank you, Clint Bruce for teaching us the way of the Jedi.”

The two embraced and Bruce corrected her, saying, “I am more of a Chewbacca than an Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

The Navy SEAL’s captivating words challenged every person in the room to reflect on their lives, their priorities, their goals and their legacy.

“I don’t remember much about the day they buried my father. What they said about my father is that he used his time to honor his Christ,” Bruce said. “How will you use your time? Will it be about the small things or will it be about the mighty things? We are the ‘not done’ kind. Words are not about you. They are about the things you do.”

He recognized the handful of Vietnam veterans in the room and apologized to them, for when they returned home, they did not receive the same words of gratitude, appreciation and welcome that Bruce and his fellow warriors did.

Bruce concluded his remarks with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”

After an extended and much deserved standing ovation, Bennett closed out the night thanking the hundreds of attendees.

* Photo credit: Grant Miller

Center For BrainHealth’s Legacy Award Dinner Salutes The Warriors’ Heroine Lyda Hill With Accolades And Hugs

Despite the arrival of the season’s first bone-chilling temperatures, Veterans Day activities were not to be deterred. Throughout Tuesday, November 11, parades, lunches and the showing of Travis: A Soldier’s Story at the Majestic saluted past and present veterans.

Over at the Joule Hotel, the BrainHealth Center’s Legacy Dinner got underway with a very special tip of the hat to the veterans and Legacy Awardee Lyda Hill.

Sandi Chapman

Sandi Chapman

April Box Chamberlain

April Box Chamberlain

Nicole Small

Nicole Small

Dianne Cash

Dianne Cash

John Hart

John Hart

Allie Beth Allman

Allie Beth Allman

Lucy Billingsley

Lucy Billingsley

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Marti Carlin

Marti Carlin

But before all the hoop-la started, a reception took place in the Fortnight Ballroom with a pretty impressive crowd of 240 including Ellen and John McStay, Sue and Brett Ringle, Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Debbie and Jim Francis, Caroline Rose Hunt and Del Frnka, Kay Hammond, Patrick Walsh, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Tincy Miller, Patsy Donosky, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Jody Grant (Sheila was in New York City), Toni and Boone Pickens, Margot and Ross Perot, Barbara and Steve Durham, Nicole Small, Bobby Lyle and Lottye Brodsky, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones and Ka and LL Cotter.

Following a minute by minute schedule, everything was right on target as the group adjourned to the Mosaic Ballroom for dinner and the program.

Coley and Jennifer Clark and Lynn and Allan McBee

Coley and Jennifer Clark and Lynn and Allan McBee

Dinner Chair Lynn McBee on stage with an American flag covering the wall behind her welcomed guests, pointed out key people and revealed a “housekeeping” tip about the valet POA. Guests were to text the number on the valet ticket and then type in the assigned number on the stub when they wanted their car. In turn the valets would text them when their cars were at the curb. Seemed to be very simple. But a wave of whispers went through the room. It was a new-age way of car pickup. Hey, technology has been making its way into fundraising in recent years. After all, iPads and cellphones were becoming the way to bid in and monitor silent auctions. More about valet texting later.

Center for BrainHealth’s Brain Performance Institute Executive Director Eric Bennett recognized “The Warriors,” adding “I’d never had a calling life until two years ago. It was inspirational for me to take this opportunity.”

Jacob Fuller and Jake Schick

Jacob Fuller and Jake Schick

Retired Marine Corps Corp. Jake Schick, who is the Warrior Relations Specialist with the Brain Performance Institute, told how he had been injured head to toe 10 years ago and of the stress of being under fire. Looking directly at Lyda across the room as if there was no one else in the room, he said, “Lyda, you are the epitome of a force multiplier…There’s only one woman stronger than you, probably — my wife. Brownie points, check!…We will not rest until we get where we want to be. As we all know, complacency kills. We won’t get complacent.”

Following the invocation by Navy SEAL vet Jacob Fuller, dinner (market lettuce salad followed by beef tenderloin and snapper served with risotto-style butternut square barley, sautéed spinach and read wine sauce) was served. That was when the schedule went off kilter. The original plan called for the rest of the program to continue after dessert (banana wafer trifle) was served. But the first two courses evidently took a bit longer than organizers allowed. So, the trifle was put on hold and the program proceeded.

Lyda Hill and Jake Schick

Lyda Hill and Jake Schick

During dinner, Lyda, who usually shies away from being photographed, asked for a snap with Jake.

Debbie Francis and Kimber Hartmann

Debbie Francis and Kimber Hartmann

At 9 p.m., BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis recognized the warriors and the previous Legacy Award recipients (Dianne Cash, Boone Pickens, James Huffines and Jane and Bud Smith). She then talked about the “soon-to-be” Brain Performance Institute: “With Lyda, one can expect the unexpected. She is tough, but always kind. Smart, yet always eager to learn. When Lyda makes a gift, she makes a true difference.”

A video followed showing how Lyda’s gift had made everything possible including the ability to reach 500+ warriors so far in 2014.

Sandi Chapman and the Warriors

Sandi Chapman and the Warriors

With warriors standing on stage, Dr. Sandi Chapman then told the group of the “two sister problems coming out of the war: PTSD and Traumatic Brain Disorder.” But thanks to Lyda’s “initial capstone gift,” positive results were taking place.

Sandi Chapman, Lyda Hill, Jacob Fuller, Mike Rials and KeeShaun Coffey

Sandi Chapman, Lyda Hill, Jacob Fuller, Mike Rials and KeeShaun Coffey

Upon accepting the Legacy Award, Lyda told the group that it was her nephew Michael Wisenbaker, who “kept bugging her” to do something about the returning vets and their problems. In conclusion, she said, “I’m overwhelmed and honored to receive this.” Then she added that she was accepting the award on behalf of all Americans.

Banana wafer trifle

Banana wafer trifle

As the guests started texting for their cars and heading for the elevators, servers entered the ballroom with desserts in hand.

Alas, the scene at the curb wasn’t quite as glorious as the evening’s program. It was more a Marx Brothers throwback. Corporate CEO’s and community leaders followed the texting instructions and looked like school children who have presented their homework perfectly. For their efforts, they almost immediately received the following text: “The Joule has received your request for ticket 127769. We will notify you when your vehicle will be ready.”

Guests looked relieved that the hi-tech valet program was working so seamlessly.

But those feelings changed when a second text was received — “Unfortunately, no valets are available to retrieve your vehicle at this time. Please try again in 10 minutes or present your ticket to the valet stand.”

Nobody was waiting. Guests hit the valet stand en masse proving the old-fashion way of retrieving cars still worked.

The good news is that it provided a subject for conversation on the ride home or as one guest laughed, “We don’t need those desserts. I’ve got my Baskin-Robbins on the way home!”

As for the Joule, it was back-to-the-tech drawing board to rethink the cool way to retrieve a car.

And as for the vets, they blew it off. It was such a non-big deal after all they had faced and are facing.