MySweetCharity Opportunity: Meal For The Minds Luncheon

According to Metrocare Services CEO Dr. John W. Burruss,

John W. Burruss*

Emmitt Smith*

NFL and Cowboy Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith will speak to the 2017 Meal for the Minds audience this year.  Mr. Smith is renowned and respected not only for his Super Bowl championships and NFL achievements, but also for his substantial success in business and his goodwill and generosity.  His extraordinary life provides him a unique platform to influence others about mental health care issues.  Mr. Smith encourages everyone to speak openly about the need to seek help while advocating for increased access to mental health care.

Metrocare Services celebrates our 50th anniversary this year! In 1967, no one spoke publicly about mental illness.  In 2017, the stigma of mental illness is lessened because of those with the courage to speak out and those with the means to support them.  Last year, as a result of this community’s willingness to battle the challenge of stigma, Metrocare helped over 57,000 adults and children with mental health needs and/or developmental disabilities, more than ever before!

The goal for Dallas must be complete elimination of this stigma.  It’s an honor to have Mr. Smith further that goal by speaking at Metrocare’s Meal for the Minds on how we can each play a role in “breaking the silence, fighting the stigma and changing minds.”

To amplify his and all of our voices, NBC 5 will be our media sponsor to assist us in promoting this year’s Meal for the Minds. Additionally, NBC 5 will continue to build awareness of Metrocare’s wide range of programs for those who need mental health care, services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, primary care, housing, and supportive services.

The 2017 Meal for the Minds luncheon will be held Thursday, October 5, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.  The silent auction begins at 11:00 a.m. and the lunch program begins at 11:45 a.m.  Individual tickets for the luncheon are $150 each and sponsorship opportunities begin at $1,500.  For tickets or sponsor information, please visit our website at  For questions, contact Tameka Y. Cass at 214.743.1220 or email [email protected]

* Photo provided by Metrocare

Use Those Warms Thoughts To Take The Chill Out Of Munchkin’s Holidays

The advantage of being a firstborn was you got new stuff. The problem with being #2, #3 or #4, you got hand-me-downs. By the fifth kiddo, the clothes were so threadbare, that your folks ended up getting new stuff.

So, the lesson learned is that new is always best when it comes to clothes, shoes and facelifts.

And that’s what Metrocare Services is aiming for this year. No, not the facelifts or even the shoes. They’ve set a goal to “collect 1,000 NEW coats, jackets, sweaters or sweatshirts in size 2-18 for many of the children and teens we serve.”

While some are asking for “gently used” items, Metrocare is ramping things up because “There is something special about receiving a gift with the tags still on, and for our kids, it is a very rare thing. It says, ‘You are special and you deserve this!’”

So, with the brutal chill of the past days in mind and your sights set on Black Friday, why not do one of the following things:

  • Individual donations of clothing or money. They need to be delivered to Metrocare Services (1380 River Bend Drive) from December 1 through 12 from 9 .m. to 4 p.m.
  • Host an Angel Tree at your office, in your community group or neighborhood for coats.
  • Volunteer your time to help the Metrocare team sort and match donations with a child. You can help out on December 11, 12, 15 and/or 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Or better yet, do two or three of the above suggestions.

JUST IN: Dr. Lisa Genova To Be Keynote Speaker At 2014 Meal For The Minds Luncheon

The keynote speaker for Metrocare Services2014 Meal for the Minds Luncheon has just been announced. Focusing on the subject of autism, the speaker will be Dr. Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist. In her book, “Love Anthony,” she “invites us into the world of autism through the thoughts of a young boy.”

In addition to having appeared on Dr. Oz, CNN, and Diane Rehm, she was featured in To Not Fade Away, an Emmy Award-winning documentary film on Alzheimer’s.

This year the luncheon and “edible auction” and art sale will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, September 25. Tickets are $100 with sponsorships starting at $1,200.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Makes A Wake-up Call Out On Behalf Of Mental Health

Mayor Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Mayor Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Keeping up with Mayor Mike Rawlings is like scampering after a bunny at a greyhound race track.

With very little sleep, he manages to be everywhere. On Wednesday evening, he’s part of the Communities Foundation of Texas’ “Mayor-athon.”

But Thursday morning, when the early-morning jocks are helping folks drive to work, Mighty Mike will deliver the welcoming speech at the 28th Annual Texas Council of Mental Health Centers Conference on behalf of Metrocare Services.

With more than 700 mental health providers in the audience at the Sheraton Dallas, he’ll stress the importance of providing “first-class treatment for those struggling with mental illness, substance additions and intellectual development disabilities.”

Dad gummit! Time and time again mental health has proven to be painfully important within families and communities. Yet when it comes to funding, it appears to have the importance of a distant relative that you don’t even send holiday. . . change that. . .  Christmas cards . . . to.

Mike is overloading his battery pack, but thank heaven he’s picking causes that need his impact.

Dr. John Burruss Named CEO Of Metrocare Services

Dr. John Burruss

Dr. John Burruss

According to Metrocare Services Board Chair Julie Noble, Dr. John Burruss will officially assume his duties as CEO of Metrocare on April 30.

According to Julie, “Dr. Burruss brings a wealth of experience that will help Metrocare better address the growing need for public mental healthcare. As CEO, he’ll provide invaluable leadership to all our dedicated doctors and practitioners who serve the community and make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

Formerly Executive Medical Director for Affiliates and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, John has also served as Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and interim Chief Medical Officer at Baylor College. He was Chief of Psychiatry at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston from 2003 – 2008.

“I look forward to working with the Board and the management of Metrocare as we expand our mission of improving the lives of people with mental illness and developmental challenges,” John said.

“Mental health is a serious and growing challenge in our society and one that’s still filled with public misperceptions. I welcome the opportunity to work with Metrocare’s talented employees to help erase the stigma of mental illness and give individuals and families the treatment and support they truly deserve.”

He will replace Dr. James Baker, who has served as Metrocare CEO and “decided to step down to practice medicine full time at Metrocare.”

Photo provided by Metrocare Services

Meal For The Minds Offered Plenty to Chew On

Edible auction item

Every year, the Meal for the Minds fundraising luncheon presented by Metrocare Services is highly anticipated. Maybe it’s the event’s unique Edible Auction—a silent auction featuring beautiful cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other treats from Dallas’ top bakeries—that makes it so.

Or perhaps it’s Art Focus, another silent auction and art sale offering the likes of colorful and original paintings and greeting cards. Then there’s the featured speaker, who always seems to deliver an inspiring and compelling talk.

Wednesday’s 2012 Meal for the Minds at The Belo Mansion, attended by a crowd estimated at 275, did not disappoint. It hardly could have, what with star emcee Steve Blow, columnist for The Dallas Morning News, and keynote speaker Kim Stagliano. An accomplished editor and author (All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa), Kim is the mother of three daughters with full-blown autism.

Her talk, titled “I’m No Mother Teresa: Who Is? A Glimpse into a Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism,” was a gripping tale of her challenges and triumphs as a parent, and how communities can support families raising children with special needs. It was a message that struck a chord, since Metrocare Services is Dallas’ largest nonprofit provider of mental and behavioral health services to those with conditions including depression, asperger’s and autism. The latter is said to affect 1 in 88 children, mostly boys by a factor of 4 to 1.

Jean Obert, Kim Stagliano and Lanora Potts

Before the luncheon began, Kim chatted amiably with Jean Obert, the luncheon chair, and Lanora Potts, president of the Metrocare Auxiliary. The auxiliary, a group of 145 volunteers, served as host for the luncheon. Last year the event raised $50,000 for Metrocare’s work, and this year the organizers were hoping to reach $60,000.

Get Your Grocery Carts Warmed Up For Wednesday At Whole Foods Preston Forest Benefiting Metrocare Services

What’s the best day of the week to shop for groceries? This week it’s Wednesday! And the best store to push a cart in is the Whole Foods Market at Preston and Forest. Sure, it’s a little out of your way if you live in Uptown, but it will provide funding for Metrocare Services‘ Kids’ Kloset.

As part of the Whole Foods Market community Giving day program, 5% of Wednesday’s net sales at this specific Whole Foods will go Kids’ Kloset, which supplies new school uniforms for low-income, poverty-level children who are patients at Metrocare for their mental health services.

You know as well as anyone that kids give each other a hard time for not having new stuff. They can even spot a new uniform from a raggedy one. So, why not stock up on those long-lasting canned foods and fill that freezer for the long, hot summer ahead? You’ll also help a little one to start school with a spiffy new uniform.

Metrocare Services Adds Awards And Personnel

Formerly known as The Dallas County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, Metrocare Services is providing treatments and community support services for economically disadvantaged people with mental disabilities.  The 600 employees help more than 50,000 people yearly.

Dr. Judith Hunter

For that reason alone, it should be no surprise that Metrocare’s Executive Medical Director Dr. Judith Hunter has been awarded the Pamela Blumenthal Memorial Award from Mental Health America of Greater Dallas. It resulted from her work and leadership in “treating those adults with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system.

“Mental health is such a serious and misunderstood part of our society,” said Dr. Hunter. “I’m hopeful the work we do at Metrocare will help change people’s perceptions as we continue to treat mental illness with the importance it deserves.”

In order to handle the increasing demands put upon Metro-

John Lurkins

care, John Lurkins has just been named clinical manager of Metrocare’s Center for Education and Research, “a unique new facility dedicated to addressing the urgent need for mental health care training. “

Photos provided by Metrocare Services.