Dallas Arboretum Is Offering A “Thank You For 2017” Special In January

It’s so typical of North Texas. The temperatures slide up and down the thermometer. But in January because there’s a tendency to bundle up instead of tube topping, the Dallas Arboretum is offering a “Thank You For 2017” bargain. Here’s the scoop on the special price:

The 12 Days Of Christmas (File photo)

Instead of the usual $10-$15 admission, the fee is a measly $5 each day for the whole month! Why not take them up on the offer before the 12 Days of Christmas and the 100+ Nutcrackers in the DeGolyer House go on hiatus starting Sunday, January 7? BTW, many of the Nutcrackers are from the collection of the late Rosemary Thornton Brinegar, whose daughter Mary Brinegar is the Arboretum’s CEO/president.

The grounds are the perfect spot to start that brisk walking program that you promised yourself to shed the holiday pounds.

And what about checking out A Tasteful Place? There are indoor activities including daily tastings, classes and demonstration.

Caveat: The Rory Meyers Children Adventure Garden is closed for its annual maintenance. BTW, the $5 does not include parking.  

Round Robin November 14: Mary Brinegar Brunch, Arboretum Accolades And National Philanthropy Day Lunch

With hardly any time to recover from the day before, Friday, November 14 was off to a rousing start with a “Brunch for Brinegar” and quickly followed by a salute by area fundraisers. Sorry to do this to you, but here we go with another Round Robin.

Brunch for Mary Brinegar

Delilah Boyd and Mary Brinegar

Delilah Boyd and Mary Brinegar

Thursday, November 13, Mary Brinegar accepted SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In a far off table in the tent, Delilah Boyd was cold. All she could think of was the next morning. She was hostessing a brunch for Mary and their Theta sorority sisters who had been at SMU when Mary was a student.

Having tented her back patio complete with rugs on the ground, there was no way Delilah was going to let the Polar Vortex spoil Mary’s morning.

Brunch in a toasty tent

Brunch in a toasty tent

With heaters that would have well done the fattest filet, Delilah and The Catering Company’s Greg Rankin made the beautifully draped tent splendiferous with stemware, loads of pastries, fruits and orange juice, both G- and R-rated.

Delilah, who eventually was Theta president, recalled being initiated with Laura Bush, who joined the sorority in her sophomore year.

Upon arrival Mary seemed a bit take back by all the hoop-la. And that was before she was shown the tent.

In the crowd were Cynthia Woodall, Janet Schoeller Knight, Linda Dodson and Clare Adams Kittle.

Arboretum Kudos

Speaking of Dallas Arboretum President Mary Brinegar, she wasn’t the only one finding a place for a new award. Other Arboretum accolades on this day included:

  • The Dallas Regional Chamber presented the Arboretum with the Blueprint Award in the Community Catalyst category for its economic impact to the region.
  • Dallas Arboretum Chair of the Board Brian Shivers had received the Obelisk Award the day before and
  • 12 Days of Christmas

    12 Days of Christmas

    Dallas Arboretum Board Member Tom McCasland was inducted into the 2014 Oklahoma Hall of Fame for his “contributions to the state.” Tom and his wife Phyllis “had the idea of The 12 Days of Christmas” for the holiday season.

National Philanthropy Day

Awards

Awards

As early birds arrived at the Hyatt Regency for the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, Hyatt staffers were pulling out propane tanks from vans for the driveway patio heaters. There was definitely a chill in the air. Inside it was a different story. The moment folks entered the sliding doors, they were hit with a nice kiss of warm air for the luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professional Dallas Chapter.

Margot Perot and Katherine and Eric Reeves

Margot Perot and Katherine and Eric Reeves

Christina Moore-Salinas and Chris Kleinert

Christina Moore-Salinas and Chris Kleinert

While at times the reception outside the Landmark Ballroom took on the look of Hunt and Perot family reunions, there was good reason. Katherine Perot Reeves and Chris Kleinert were both on the list to be honored. The pre-lunch reception was sponsored by the North Texas Food Bank, so NTFB’s Jan Pruitt joined National Philanthropy Day Luncheon Chair Christina Moore-Salinas in welcoming the crowd that included Kern Wildenthal, April Box Chamberlain, David Krause, Fred Shapiro and Deborah Montonen, who just revealed that she was leaving her LaunchAbility post for a position at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

The following honorees were all present, introduced and photographed to the nth degree:

Honorees

Honorees

  • Outstanding Philanthropist (sponsored by Clarkson Davis) — Katherine Perot Reeves nominated by North Texas Food Bank/Colleen Brinkmann
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser (sponsored by Dini Spheris) — Chris Kleinert nominated by Methodist Health System Foundation
  • Outstanding Foundation (sponsored by Children’s Medical Center) — Children’s Cancer Fund nominated by Children’s Medical Center Foundation
  • Outstanding Corporation — BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas nominated by Caring for Children Foundation of Texas
  • Outstanding Fundraising Executive — Milton Key nominated by John Roppolo
  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (sponsored by Hunt Consolidated Inc.) — Charlsie Doan nominated by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
 Jan Pruitt and Bette Perot

Jan Pruitt and Bette Perot

While the honorees were getting their share of attention, it seemed like Bette Perot was the one many folks wanted to chat and have a photo taken with. After a request for a photo with Bette was made by her niece, Carolyn Perot Rathjen, Bette told the photographer, “I’m charging $15 a picture.”

On the side, Jan Pruitt revealed that it was because of Bette that her niece Katherine Perot Reeves joined the NTFB board, which is preparing to launch a major capital campaign.

Right on schedule, the doors to the ballroom opened at 11:30, but seating took a bit of doing. This group of fundraisers and friends, like Diane Brierley, Steve Ivy and Roslyn Dawson, loves to get together, hug, laugh and “What have you been up to?” Susan Wells Jenevein, who left the Genesis Women’s Shelter in September, is now working with Gunnar Rawlings to open Cristo Rey College Preparatory School in 2015.

While some might think these folks are competitors for the same honeypot, they’ve actually a team after the same basic goal — to help those in need. That’s what philanthropy is all about and today was the day to celebrate.

At 12:13, Christina welcome the guests and introduced Daniel Prescott, who before giving the invocation reminded the crowd that it was 29 years ago that the late President Ronald Reagan declared November 15 to National Philanthropy Day. He then asked everyone to stand and hold hands for the invocation. One or two of the tables opted out on the handholding part of the request. Guess they were abiding by the suggestion that the flu can be spread unknowingly by handshakes, handholding, handy anything.

Next up was Greater Dallas Chapter AFP President Diana Marquis, who thanked KERA for producing the honorees’ acceptance speeches. This process seems to streamline the program along…if it’s working. More about that in a couple of paragraphs.

At 12:24 lunch (bib lettuce, arugula, spinach, fennel shavings, radicchio and dried fruit with lavender honey cabernet vinaigrette; pepita crusted children breast with Dr Pepper blueberry sauce over green chili masa pudding and broccolini flowers and artisan breads and butter; and edelweiss raspberry tranche cake with bitter chocolate sauce) was served.

Keeping to the schedule, emcee Scott Murray proved why it’s wise to have a professional on stage. At 12:47 Scott was at the podium. Within the first couple of sentence, he did a shout out at the audio coordinator that there seemed to a ringing in the sound system. It quickly improved.

The first presentation was made to Katherine Perot Reeves, who had helped provide $2M for NTFB. Her video had just begun and the video stopped mid-sentence. The screen just plain went black.

Scott filled in the gap by saying, “I guess it’s going to be one of those days.” The video never returned, so the show went on with Katherine all in white accepting her award.

Then Scott introduced the video on Chris. It almost seemed like everyone held their breath. No video appeared. Scott once again filled the silence by saying, “My mother taught me the best word in this time is ‘patience.’”

The patience paid off with Chris’ video coming on much to the relief of organizers. The rest of the videos behaved themselves and appeared flawlessly.

Scott Murray and Charlsie Doan

Scott Murray and Charlsie Doan

Despite the gracious remarks by the adult honorees, the showstopper was 13-year-old Hockadaisie Charlsie Doan, who had been born with symbrachydachtyly, a congenital hand disorder resulting in her missing her right hand. It was through her being treated by Scottish Rite’s prosthetics department that she and her family became involved with the world-renowned center. But Charlsie’s involvement extended beyond being a patient. She has raised over $167,000 for patient care. When Scottish Rite approached the Crystal Charity Ball committee for a grant in 2013, Charlsie played “the violin to demonstrate how a custom prosthetic device allowed her to pursue her musical ambitions. Her participation as key to the success of the hospital presentation, resulting in a Crystal Charity Ball commitment of $500,000.” At the age of 11, Charlsie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she took up that cause with the same diligence and fervor.

Just before closing the luncheon at 1:32, Christina returned to the stage and announced that the organization was going to honor Scott with an honorarium for the Scott Murray Foundation.

After all, that’s how fundraisers say, “Thank you!”

Virginia Chandlers Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon Honors Mary Brinegar And Reveals A Retirement

Why is it that great things tend to happen at the same time? On Thursday, February 20, that’s exactly what happened during the day. While MySweetCharity was on board a bus for six hours touring the 2014 Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries, the Dallas Arboretum’s Mary Brinegar was being feted at the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award luncheon. Luckily, this field report covered the tribute beautifully including about a retirement this spring:

Mary Brinegar (File photo)

Mary Brinegar (File photo)

“In its 12th year of recognizing a Dallas leader with a lifelong commitment to bettering society, improving quality of life, and furthering the importance of education, Texas Woman’s University honored Mary Brinegar with the 2014 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award, sponsored by Bank of Texas, on February 20. The Belo Mansion was packed with a record crowd of 450 for this luncheon including friends, colleagues, philanthropists, leaders, and supporters of Brinegar, president and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society.

“’Past luncheons have raised over $350,000 for scholarships for TWU students, most of whom have become leaders in their professions and communities,’ according to Virginia Chandler Dykes, a distinguished alumna in the field of occupational therapy whose vision and leadership gave TWU this signature event in Dallas.

Virginia Chandler Dykes (File photo)

Virginia Chandler Dykes (File photo)

“In highlighting this year’s recipient, Virginia recalled her first memory of the Dallas area when the city bought the DeGolyer Estate, and she took her two young sons to the opening.  ‘It was a vast acreage of rough land and the primary entertainment was a snake charmer and two dancers from India,’ added Virginia.  ‘And now, thanks to Mary’s leadership, the gardens have become an unbelievable creation of beauty with extensive learning opportunities for children and adults.’

Patricia and Curtis Meadows (File photo)

Patricia and Curtis Meadows (File photo)

Patricia Meadows, last year’s award recipient along with her husband Curtis, introduced Mary, detailing her many accomplishments throughout her career, including the past 20 years ‘that Mary has led the Arboretum and Botanical Society from a nice garden by the lake to internationally acclaimed greatness – one of the 14 most beautiful gardens in the world!’  As she wrapped up her remarks, she welcomed ‘superwoman Mary Brinegar’ to the podium.

“As Mary began, noting she was in the presence of so many distinguished guests and past award recipients, she utilized a phrase her grandfather used to say, ‘I’ve just landed in high cotton!’ But she immediately gave all the credit for every nonprofit for whom she has ever worked to all the people she has worked with including outstanding staff members, volunteers, board members and donors.

“Guests, including Mary’s proud mom Rosemary Brinegar; Mayor Mike and Micki Rawlings; Lynn and Allan McBeeSharon and Mike McCullough, Carol and Don Glendenning; April Box Chamberlain; Paula Lambert; Sue and Chris Bancroft, Chair, TWU Board of Regents, Tincy Miller, past recipient and sponsor of the College of Professional Education scholarship; and Caroline Rose Hunt, past award recipient, enjoyed a delicious meal including herb-dusted filet beef, mashed potatoes and asparagus, and milk-chocolate mousse.

Ann Stuart (File photo)

Dr. Ann Stuart (File photo)

“The luncheon also honored four graduate students from all four TWU colleges as recipients of scholarship funds. They were Angela Boisselle, College of Health Sciences; Laura Thomas, College of Nursing; Amy Johnson, College of Professional Education; and Sheila Bustillos-Reynolds, College of Arts and Sciences.

“Last but not least Virginia made ‘a sad announcement’ of the retirement later this spring of TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart, presenting her with a special gift. ‘A stalwart supporter of this program and what it has accomplished, whose extraordinary career as chancellor and president at TWU first began in 1999, Ann, you will be greatly missed.’

“Under Stuart’s leadership, enrollment has grown by 80 percent, TWU has produced more than 20,000 graduates in critical fields and the university has received national recognition for its quality, value and diversity.  She has raised more than $220 million for facilities, scholarships, and faculty development and led the implementation of advanced technology and teaching tools that mirror the workplace and improve learning.”

The Unsurprise Announcement Of Mary Brinegar As 2014 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Recipient

While many may have been headed to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas dinner on Wednesday, September 25, they first stopped by Libby and David Hunt’s home. The reason was the announcement of the recipient of the 12th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award.

Libby Hunt and Mike and Sharon McCullough

Libby Hunt and Mike and Sharon McCullough

Actually it was not so much of a surprise announcement, since Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar’s photo was on the front of the invitation. Rather, it was an official announcement reception hosted by Libby and David, and Bank of Texas.

Mary Brinegar, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Ann Stuart

Mary Brinegar, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Ann Stuart

After a whirlwind weekend of opening festivities of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, some might have headed to a spa to recoup. But Mary was fresh as an Arboretum daisy and preparing to launch Autumn at the Arboretum with its 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash on display.

Carmen McMillan and George Schrader

Carmen McMillan and George Schrader

Among those on hand to hear about plans for the February 20th luncheon fundraiser for Texas Woman’s University at Belo Mansion were TWU Chancellor Ann StuartCaroline Rose Hunt, Bob Backbill, Mary Frances Burleson, George Schrader, Marj Waters, Bob White, Carmen McMillan, Craig Hester, Norm Bagwell, April Box Chamberlain and Libby’s folks Sharon and Mike McCullough.