SOLD OUT ALERT: Callier Cares Luncheon

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File photo)

Well, Emilynn Wilson has gone and done it. She said she would hit the “Sold Out” mark for Thursday’s Callier Cares Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club, and word just arrived that the ballroom is filled.

But then how could she lose with Lisa Troutt as her honorary chair, Dr. Kern Wildenthal receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award, and noted audiology researcher Dr. Sharon Kujawa being presented with the 2017 Callier Prize?

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the patients in need through the Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

Grovel Alert: Callier Cares Luncheon

With the Callier Cares Luncheon still 10 days away, Event Chair Emilynn Wilson and Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt report that the tickets are nearly gone with the wind. They’ve nearly filled the entire Dallas Country Club’s ballroom thanks to having the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award being presented to Dr. Kern Wildenthal and the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders awarded to Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

While Kern is well known for his leadership in healthcare administration, clinical medicine, education, biomedical research and philanthropy, Sharon may not be a familiar name. That’s because she’s not a local. She’s the director of audiology research and a senior scientist at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Her focus is “to clarify mechanisms and manifestations of common forms of acquired sensorineural hearing loss in humans; particularly, those due to aging and exposure to noise and ototoxic drugs.”

In addition to receiving the Prize at the Thursday, April 20th luncheon, she’ll be the keynote speaker at the Callier Prize Conference at Callier Dallas the following day.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Callier Care Fund that was created by Ruth and Ken Altshuler to “help children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Suggestion: Don’t put off buying that ticket much longer, because it just not be there.

Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Announces Dr. Kern Wildenthal To Receive Ruth And Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award

Before the flurry of snow Friday became a convention of snowflakes stymieing afternoon traffic in North Texas, 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson held an intimate luncheon at the Warwick Melrose’s The Landmark Room’s private dining room. The purpose was the formal announcement of plans for the Thursday, April 20, luncheon benefiting patients in need through the Callier Care Fund.

Tom Campbell, John Stuart, Emilynn Wilson and Kern Wildenthal

With Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorder Executive Director Tom Campbell in attendance, she revealed that former president of UT Southwestern/former president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation/community leader Dr. Kern Wildenthal would be the recipient of the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award and that Dr. Sharon Kujawa would receive the Callier Prize in Communication Disorder.

Kern, who just recently retired from Children’s Medical Center Foundation as president, reported that the day after his retirement he was called back to duty as a consultant for the foundation.

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Cyndi Bassel (File photo)

Joining Emilynn in orchestrating the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt and a host committee of hundreds including Kern’s former associate/Children’s Medical Center Foundation Senior Vice President Cyndi Bassel, who retired from the foundation Thursday. When asked what her future plans were, Cyndi responded, “I plan to light my fireplace and stay near it with a good book. A wonderful way to begin my new chapter.”

While tickets aren’t available, sponsorships are.

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!

2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debs And Moms Do Holiday Teatime At Troutt Estate

As the fundraising activities were going into hibernation, the private get-togethers were in high gear. However, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League managed to squeeze in one last event. It was actually perfect timing for most. With girls back from college for the holidays, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League took full advantage of the 2016 DSOL Presentation Ball debs being available for the annual tea.

Lisa Troutt

Lisa Troutt

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

Christie Reniger and Nancy Labadie

DSOL Ball Chair Nancy Labadie and her committee managed to have the holiday afternoon event at Lisa and Kenny Troutt’s estate whose halls were decked with a towering Christmas tree, lit candles and a dining room table filled with all types of goodies.

As delicious as the food looked, some of the debs were passing on taking advantage of the spread. After all, they were watching their waistlines since their ball gowns were in the final stages of being sewn up. One of the debs admitted that she hadn’t really been working on her bow, but figured that she still had plenty of time to get the process down by the DSOL Presentation Ball at the Meyerson on Saturday, February 20.

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

Ciara Cooley, Payton Scott, Carolina Henry and Alexandra Henry

As Lisa and Nancy greeted guests, moms (Lisa Cooley, Claire Henry, Christie Reniger) and daughters (Ciara Cooley, Carolina Henry, Alexandra Henry) made themselves right at home.

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

Lizzy Gates and Robin Bagwell

On the other hand, Robin Bagwell reported that son, Nolan Bagwell, had to “bow out” of being a member of the ball’s honor guard. His reserve duty commitments scheduled on that weekend had forced his being MIA. Luckily, Robin felt right at home at the tea, since her goddaughter Lizzy Gates is one of the 2016 debs who will be bowing on stage at the Meyerson.

Speaking of MIA, Simona Beal and her daughters weren’t at the tea. Seems her twins Lauren Beal and Tasha Beal were still away at Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina, respectively. Luckily, the Beal girls would make it home in time for Christmas and then it was off with their brother Robbie Beal and sister Gracie Beal to ski the slopes with their dad and to Mexico with their mom.

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.