St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon And Fashion Show Is Heading Up Central Expressway For Leukemia And Lymphoma Society’s Fundrasier

Roz Colombo (File photo)

Nancy Gopez (File photo)

While folks are having their couture Halloween outfits being finished, 2018 St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chairs Roz Colombo and Nancy Gopez are thinking cupids and dreams of heart-shaped occasions.

Whoa! The gals really have their change-can-be-good thinking caps on. Bulgari gem Roz and Brinker International yummy Nancy have done a 180-degree turned for the 2018 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser.

Nancy Nasher (File photo)

The first change is that the red-and-pink clad guests will be seen at NorthPark. What! Yup, that’s right. Instead of the Meyerson, the fashion show and luncheon will take place in NorthPark’s center courtyard with fashions provided by NorthPark neighbors.

Gee! This is world changing. Questions still being asked:

  • Will it be a tented affair?
  • Which merchants will be providing the fabrics and gems?

Nancy said that “Oh, and yes, clear tent in the center courtyard! :)”

Cannot wait to see which of the high-tone retailers will be on the runway!

In the meantime, am still digging for the merchants, the honorees and the answers to world peace.

If anyone was wondering, “Who’s gonna be the honorary chair?” Immediate response from thrilled Nancy: “Nancy Nasher!”

There will be a kick-off event, but to get an invite, you gotta have connections. Connections? Like hit Nancy G. and/or Roz or come through with a sponsorship. Suggestion: Sponsorship makes you a very BFF with Nancy and Roz.

Stay tuned for developments, but put this baby on the calendar. It will be Thursday, February 8, with fashion wizard Jan Strimple working her magic with the NorthPark merchants.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: First Sight/First Night

According to First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Dianne B. and Mark H. LaRoe,

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Two of the most captivating fundraisers of the fall are First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon and First Night Pre-Performance Dinner and After Party, The Dallas Opera’s season kick-off events. Important revenue is raised and awareness is gained for the company’s splendid 2017-2018 programming. The festivities surround the opening night of the opera “Samson and Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Many North Texas patrons are aware of The Dallas Opera’s world class opera productions, but may not be familiar with all of its activities. More than 87,000 people were reached last year with the non-profit arts organization’s traditional and non-traditional formats. Family Programs, free simulcasts, student dress rehearsals and matinees, school presentations, opera camp, and performances at community partners all help to attract and serve patrons of every background, educational level, and ethnicity.

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

We have long recognized The Dallas Opera as a top notch arts organization presenting magnificent opera productions, and as a company that does tremendous work serving our community with its comprehensive education and outreach programs. We are so pleased to chair the wonderful Season Opening celebrations and invite everyone to join us, take part in the fun, meet new people, and enjoy some quality entertainment! Our hope is that our participation will encourage new supporters of this great company. We are also thrilled that Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are serving as honorary co-chairs of the events.

We believe our guests will be excited to experience the fashions by Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo that will grace the runway at First Sight Fashion Show and Luncheon with NorthPark Center serving as presenting sponsor. The fete will take place on Thursday, October 19, at 11:00 a.m. in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and culinary master Wolfgang Puck will cater the gourmet luncheon. We know Rhonda Sargent Chambers, of RSC Productions, will produce a magnificent show for us! Lisa Cooley, her daughter Ciara Cooley and daughter-in-law Bela Cooley are co-chairs, so we’re expecting something exquisite! Sponsorships, tables which start at $7,500, and individual tickets at $500, are available.

Then on Friday, October 20, First Night presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be chaired by wonderful patrons Betty and Steve Suellentrop, in Sammons Park in front of the Winspear. We begin at 5:30 p.m. with a red carpet entrance and guests then flow into an elegant black-tie pre-performance dinner, which starts at 6:00 p.m. We hope everyone will enjoy the scrumptious epicurean specialties, also by Wolfgang Puck, in a beautifully adorned tent enhanced by the creative team of Jeffrey Horn and Larry Leathers.

After dinner we will head into the opening night performance of “Samson and Dalila” which begins at 8:00 p.m. The festivities continue following the opera at the After Party. The cast will join us to mix and mingle with guests, more delicious Puck noshes will be on hand, and everyone will dance the night away, reveling in anticipation of more of the incredible season to come! Sponsorships, tables which start at $10,000, and individual tickets at $1,000, are available. Please join us!”

For more information, please visit www.dallasopera.org/firstnight.

MySweetCharity Summer Pitch: 2017 Parade Of Playhouses

According to Dallas CASA Board Chair John Gibson,

John Gibson*

Looking for a cool way to run off some of your children’s energy while also helping a good cause? Grab your kids and head to Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses July 7 through 23 at NorthPark Center.

With 14 perfectly pint-sized playhouses decorating the halls of NorthPark, Parade of Playhouses is the perfect way to let your kids’ imaginations go wild while also learning about children in our community who need help.

For 22 years, NorthPark Center has played host to the playhouses, which are donated by local builders, designers and corporations and available to win through raffle at the end of the 17-day event. What child doesn’t want to imagine his or her own miniature house? This year’s designs include a house in the image of an owl, an activity house with a climbing wall and even a house shaped like a cuckoo clock. House designers and builders pour skill, creativity and love into these unusual creations.

The event benefits Dallas CASA, a nonprofit that provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children navigating the child welfare system. Walking the corridors and viewing the playhouses is a great way to start a conversation with your own kids about those in our community who are less fortunate. Children in the child welfare system don’t dare dream of a playhouse with all the bells and whistles. They dream of safe and permanent homes where they are loved.

2017 Parade of Playhouses*

Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses is open until Sunday, July 23, during NorthPark’s hours. Viewing the playhouses is free and raffle tickets to win a playhouses are available for $5 each or five for $20.

All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales help Dallas CASA provide more children with advocates to serve them. For Dallas CASA, Parade of Playhouses has also become a key recruiting and community awareness event. Tables throughout NorthPark are staffed with volunteer advocates and other supporters who can tell you about becoming a volunteer advocate for abused children.

In fact, Parade of Playhouses might be the beginning of something for you to do after summer, too. A training class for volunteer advocates begins Sept. 6, right after the kids go back to school. The first step to becoming a volunteer advocate is attending an information session.

Maybe it’s your turn to dream not about a tiny house but about helping make the world a better place one child at a time.

* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas CASA

22nd Annual Parade Of Playhouses Is Polished Up And Rocking At NorthPark Center For Dallas CASA

Craig Beneke

It was just a couple of weeks ago in June that af architecture and fabrication’s Craig Beneke got a shout out from one of his 21-year-old twin daughters. It wasn’t for a new car. It wasn’t for a loan. It was for a house. No, not a 2,000-square-foot bungalow in the M Street hood. It was for a playhouse. She wasn’t reverting back to her childhood. Rather, she was hoping that her dad could provide a playhouse for Dallas CASA’s 22nd Annual Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark.

It seems one of the originally signed-up builders had bailed, and there was a need to fill a spot for the annual Dallas CASA fundraiser that would run from Saturday, July 8 through Sunday, July 23.

Playhouse Rock cowbell on a construction work belt

Playhouse Rock sound tubes

Playhouse Rock floor

Not only did Papa Craig answer the call-to-deliver, but he literally hit the nail on the head.  His Playhouse Rock was a musical marvel that would please anyone from Jaap to Jay-Z with a mini-xylophone built into the floor complete with mallets for playing and an assortment of others goodies — rain stick, triangle, sound tubes, etc. There were personal touches, too. For instance, the front door’s cowbell is suspended by his construction work belt.

But being a perfectionist, Craig was eyeballing the hand prints left from the move-in on Thursday, July 6. He was going to do some touch-up, so his Playhouse Rock would be perfect.

Whimsical Cottage

A few playhouses away, Doug Beaty of Beach Sheet Metal was sharing Craig’s dilemma about prints. It seems that the Whimsical Cottage’s copper roof was a fingerprint magnet. Last year, he arrived daily to polish the roof, so it was spotless. He expected to do the same this year. When someone offered to post a sign dissuading people from touching, he scoffed at the idea. He relished the idea that little ones and their parents couldn’t resist touching the shiny roof.   

Cuckoohaus

Paw Rescue

The White Owl’s Den

But those are just two of the 11 playhouses on display. Some have rock walls; some are so cozy; some have interior lighting; some are open and breezy. But they all will be raffled off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, in NorthPark’s North Court to support Dallas CASA’s mission “to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children, helping these children gain safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.” If you’re unable to check out the houses, you can still buy your raffle ticket here. They’re going for $5 each or five for $20.

Also, the builders are all vying to claim the title of “Favorite Playhouse.” You can vote by texting dallascasa to 41444. BTW, each vote costs $5.

Check out the Parade of Playhouses at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 22nd Annual Parade Of Playhouses

Playhouse Rock

The White Owl’s Den

The 22nd Annual Parade of Playhouses started its march this past weekend through NorthPark Center to fund Dallas CASA, come rain or shine. One of the adorable mini-mansions didn’t even exist until a couple of weeks ago, and it came about thanks to a daughter’s call to a dad. And, boy, did pop come through!

Paw Rescue

Whimsical Cottage

Before heading over to NorthPark to see them up close and personally to examine the detail and craftmanship, check out the 11 houses at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But you’d better hustle, because they’ll be raffled off on Sunday, July 23.

Cowbell on a construction work belt

Cottage light

In the meantime, the post about the dad is being finalized. Stay tuned.

JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night Plans Revealed With Dianne And Mark LaRoe At The Helm

While the queen bees may have flown to cooler places, the worker bees are hard at work churning out news.

The latest comes from The Dallas Opera about its annual fall two-day fundraiser — First Sight/First Night.

First, let’s get the basics down. The luncheon and fashion show will take place on Thursday, October 19, followed the next night [aka Friday, October 20] by First Night’s seated dinner, performance and after party. All of these activities will be taking place at the Winspear Opera House, but you already knew that.

Now about the who’s who involved in putting the festivities on, here goes:

Overseeing the whole two events will art-loving Dianne and Mark LaRoe, who chaired the 2016 TACA Custom Auction Gala, and, boy, have they been busy putting together their team.

Dianne and Mark LaRoe (File photo)

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger (File photo)

Serving as honorary co-chairs will be Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, who have practically made the Performing Arts District their second home.

Lisa Cooley and Ciara Cooley (File photo)

Bela Cooley (File photo)

Steve and Betty Suellentrop (File photo)

Co-chairing the First Sight luncheon will be Lisa Cooley and her girls — daughter Ciara Cooley and new daughter-in-law Bela Cooley. Presented by NorthPark Center, the luncheon will be highlighted by fashions from NorthPark Center’s Salvatore Ferragamo.

As for the black-tie First Night, it will be presented by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management and will kick off for The Dallas Opera season with Betty and Steve Suellentrop serving as co-chairs. The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with guests arriving via a red carpet for a cocktail party, having a gourmet dinner in a tent in Sammons Park and attending the Linda and Mitch Hart Season Opening Night Performance of Camille Saint-Saëns‘ “Samson and Dalila.” For those with no curfew, there will be an after party.

Tickets are available here.

JUST IN: Details Revealed About Upcoming 2017 Parade Of Playhouses At NorthPark Center For Dallas CASA

Who says that summer is the “quiet time” for North Texas fundraisers? Even before schools are out, Dallas CASA is already staking claim for more than two weeks of its annual Parade of Playhouses. The annual favorite fundraiser that transforms NorthPark Center into a showcase of mini-cottages is scheduled to officially be on site starting Friday, July 7.

Parade Of Playhouses*

Built and donated by local designers, architects and builders, the 16 pint-size palaces include an Australian airline-themed house, a Rubik’s cube and a space-theme house.

This year’s collection includes houses from the international playhouse design by Nicollo Abe of Ontario, Canada; Riaan Kotze of Massachusetts, USA; Christiaan Luijk  of Cape Town, South Africa; and Amrita Raja and Katharine Storr of London, United Kingdom.

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

According to Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle, ““The creativity, imagination and ingenuity that these playhouse builders and designers brings is simply astounding. The vulnerable children we serve need safe homes where they can heal from their physical and emotional injuries and begin dreaming of a future they could not dare to think about. We hope every builder, designer and organization donating a playhouse knows they are helping an abused child begin to build a new dream for themselves.”

On Sunday, July 23, the mini-mansions will be raffled off. Interested? Raffle tickets are going for $5 each or five for $20 and can be purchased at event ticket tables or online during the 17-day run.

Jim Thompson (File photo)

Thanks to the following people and organizations, who are aiding Dallas CASA’s goal of providing all abused children with a Dallas CASA volunteer to help them through the child welfare system:

  • Honorary Chair — Jim Thompson
  • Parade Host — NorthPark Center
  • Castle — Jim Thompson
    Estate — SketchUp
  • Mansion — Kappa Alpha Theta Dallas Alumni Chapter, Newton Thomas with Summit Funding Inc. and Pirch
  • Villa — Bernbaum/Magadini Architects and Jackson Walker LLP
  • Playhouse Architects and Builders — Austin Commercial, Beck Architecture LCC, Bob Borson, BufordHawthorne Homebuilders, Butscher Construction, Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti, Domiteaux and Baggett Architects, FP Construction, Guardian Exteriors Inc., Jay W. Grishby Jr., Harman, Holder Construction Company, LRO Residential, Omniplan Inc., Perk Homes, Redlee/SCS, Robert Hopson Construction Group, Schwob Building Company LTD., University of Oklahoma – College of Architecture and William P. Manning Company Inc.

The 22nd annual parade is the absolutely perfect event because it’s free for the viewing, inside the air-conditioned center and helps Dallas CASA “continue its growth trajectory to serve all children in need.”

* Graphic provided by Dallas CASA

Sold-Out Alert: No More Room For Dec My Room’s Room To Grow Luncheon And Fashion Show

Dec My Room’s “Room To Grow”*

And the announcements keep pouring in. The first ever Dec My Room’s Room To Grow luncheon and fashion show at NorthPark’s Neiman Marcus on Tuesday is sold out. Co-chaired by Sue Fair, Diana Hamilton and Andrea Nayfa along with NorthPark’s Kristen Gibbins, the event will featured a presentation by NorthPark Ambassadors Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Moll Anderson on Neiman Marcus’ Level Two.      

Dec My Room was established ten years ago and “helps to create a healing place” for children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time. 

* Graphic provided by Dec My Room

Champion Of Children Award Dinner Guest Speaker Antwone Fisher Strikes A Chord As Dallas CASA Honors NorthPark Center

On the evening of Thursday, October 27, the reception area outside the Fairmont Hotel’s International Ballroom was packed. The big ballroom, after all, was about to play host to the 2016 Champion of Children Award Dinner benefiting Dallas CASA, which advocates for abused and neglected children, and nearly 550 guests were expected—more than last year’s total.

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Angela and Jim Thompson*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Andrea Martin and Cheryl Lee Shannon*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Mike and Jana Brosin*

Greeting friends in the crowded foyer were the likes of Caroline Rose Hunt, Lynn and Roy Shelton, Debra Nelson, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Dallas CASA board member Christie Carter, Frank Risch, Judge Andrea Matin, Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon, Jana and Mike Brosin (their Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti was the dinner’s presenting sponsor), Angela and Jim Thompson, Betsy and Richard Eiseman and Jan Sanders.

Jan is the widow of Judge Barefoot Sanders, the well-known political figure and longtime U.S. district judge—and steadfast supporter of Dallas CASA, whose annual Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award bears his name. “When they named an award after him, I thought I’d better put up or shut up,” Jan said with a smile, eying the scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. “So I’ve been a CASA court advocate for three years.”

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Mark and Karen Carney, Joseph and Jeanne Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson*

Inside the ballroom, meantime, Mary Martha and Dr. John Pickens were peering out the tall glass windows, admiring the spectacular sunset. Soon enough, the hall behind them had filled, and event co-chairs Karen Carney, Kristy Hoglund Robinson, and Joe Manogue were onstage welcoming everyone. “Normally we would ask you to put away your phones, but tonight we ask you to take out your phones and text,” said Joe. “Let’s raise $100,000 tonight!”

With that, Kathleen LaValle, the Dallas CASA executive director and president, took the podium to pay tribute to the evening’s honoree and winner of the Judge Sanders award, NorthPark Center. As Kathleen explained, NorthPark for 21 years has hosted the annual Parade of Playhouses, which raises money for Dallas CASA and attracts volunteers to the nonprofit. In addition, she said, NorthPark secured five billboards across Dallas County touting Dallas CASA—and the group had only asked for one!

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Kathleen LaValle and Nancy Nasher*

Accepting the award was NorthPark co-owner Nancy Nasher, who had invited to the dinner members of her NorthPark team, including G.M. Billy Hines, Special Event Managers Lona Crabb and the workmen who’d transported the playhouses into the center. Nancy said NorthPark has become “a place to learn about social causes” and, in 2015, celebrated its 50th anniversary by donating more than $1 million to 50 Dallas nonprofits, many of them benefiting children. (Dallas CASA, in fact, was the first of the groups to receive a donation.) Then she made a surprise announcement: “We will donate space once again on our prime billboard, at Walnut Hill and North Central Expressway, to Dallas CASA.”

After Nancy received a heartfelt standing ovation, Dallas CASA board chair John Gibson reiterated the group’s need for more advocates and more funds and said that, so far, more than $50,000 had been raised just during the dinner. Then he introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Antwone Fisher. Antwone is a director, screenwriter, film producer, and author who grew up in an abusive foster home—and then was homeless—before joining the United States Navy and turning his life around. His life was the subject of a 2002 movie, called “Antwone  Fisher,” that starred Denzel Washington and was based on Antwone’s memoir, “Finding Fish.”

Antwone Fisher*

Antwone Fisher*

During his talk, Antwone recalled that his mother was 17 and in prison when he was born in 1959. He was abused during 18 years in foster care, he remembered, and dealt with a total of 13 social workers during that time. Despite the years of abuse—and his experiences encountering pimps and drug dealers along the way, as well—Antwone said, “I learned to appreciate my fear. I wasn’t afraid of being afraid. If you’re not afraid, [bad] things can happen.”

During his years as a homeless person on the streets of Cleveland, he went on, he stole—but only for food and necessities like shoes, galoshes, and a warm coat. It was during this period that he saw a sign saying, “Join the Navy,” which he decided to do. He willed himself to pass the necessary tests, even though he couldn’t read, and, over the next 11 years in the service, turned his life around.

“If I had had a CASA [a court-appointed special advocate] as a boy, I would have grown close to that person and they would have been able to help me, like they do all over the country,” Antwone said. “Having an advocate who can speak for you is so important. When I was a kid, I couldn’t articulate my thoughts. … Sometimes all it takes is one person caring about you.”

After the evening’s second standing ovation—this one for Antwone—event co-chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham took the stage to wrap things up. A total of $53,440 had been raised during the event, they announced, which, thanks to a $50,000 match, meant that Dallas CASA was $103,000 richer just since the first course was served. That amount, the guests realized happily as they made for the exits, would pay for a lot of advocates for a lot of Antwones.  

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

A Gentle Reminder: 2016 Komen Dallas Race For The Cure Starts Setting Up For Saturday’s Fundraiser At NorthPark

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

Komen Dallas Race for the Cure route map*

If you haven’t made it over to NorthPark for your turquoise jewelry, suede outfit and killer boots for Saturday’s Cattle Baron’s Ball at Gilley’s, you might want to hustle big time. Preparations are starting to get underway at NorthPark for the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure that is taking place all around the NorthPark area Saturday morning.

Translation: If your Saturday morning is getting a cinnamon bagel and a cup of java at Panera’s or popping into Barnes and Noble to browse the shelves, you may want to sleep in. Or better yet, you just might want to be part of the thousands raising funds to battle breast cancer. The goal is to provide $1.3M and as of 9:30 a.m., they’re nearly halfway there.

BTW, if you just want to stay at home Saturday morning, why not check out the Cattle Baron’s  auction online? There are literally hundreds of trips, fashions, services and all types of goodies and you won’t even have to get out of your pj’s to bid.

* Graphic courtesy of Komen Dallas Race for the Cure

From The Pop-Up Stands To The Mega-Events, North Texas Giving Day Is Raising Awareness and Millions For Area Nonprofits

By 3 p.m. today the North Texas Giving Day tote board was busting with more than $18.5 M and over 74,000 gifts. Throughout the region all types of activities are also busting loose thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas!

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Over at Highland Park Village NTGD flags were waving and at Starbucks, Just Say Yes!’s Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau were womaning a table for coffee-lovers to not only learn about their organization, which helps area students, but to, hopefully, get some donations.

As Celia put it, “We’re appreciative of every donation we can raise to help North Texas students.”

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

On the other hand over at NorthPark Center, Nancy Nasher and her team were hosting various nonprofits showing their stuff to all types of donors, beneficiaries and shoppers like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, Neiman Marcus’ Kevin Hurst, Business Council for the Arts’ Ashley Wilson, Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Linda Kordek-Milton and Amanda Duquette, SPCA’s Victoria Albrecht and Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center’s Ann Slate Gaspari.

Billie the snake

Billie the snake

The showboaters of the day were, of course, the organizations with critters. From the Dallas Zoo’s Billie the snake fascinating Alcuin School students, Equest’s mini-ambassador posing for photos with folks to Chihuahua Rescue and Transport’s slimmed-down Ariel (she’s down to 12 pounds from 25 when she was in an Arlington ditch in 2013) accepting a Theodore gift card at the noontime drawing, the animals scored in popularity.

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

But the humans held their own with all types of entertainment. Whether it was Shakespeare Dallas or the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, NorthPark’s North Court was filled with music, drama and singing.

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

For a small group of donors, Communities Foundation of Texas board members and NTGD best buds, a private luncheon was held at Theodore’s patio. And despite it being one of the hottest days weather-wise and fundraising-wise, the outdoor luncheoners like Jane Pierce, Becky Bright, Lydia Novakov, Karen Shuford and Lydia Novakov were all smiles and cool.

Frank and Helen Risch

Frank and Helen Risch

CFT Board Chair Frank Risch was checking the leaderboard updates on his smartphone and very pleased with the results. He easily reeled off all of the past successes and had hopes of once again breaking another record with more than 2,500 nonprofits participating.

When asked about the search for CFT’s new executive director, Frank said the search was going very smoothly but they’re continuing to vet applicants.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: NorthPark Center

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

“To celebrate the philanthropic spirit of our city and the wonderful work of our local nonprofits, NorthPark Center is honored to partner with Communities Foundation of Texas for a special Donation Station event for North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

North Texas Giving Day is the one day each year when donations of $25 or more are amplified by bonus funds and prizes. This event has grown over the years into the largest giving day in the nation, raising over $119 million since its inception in 2009. Last year, an astounding 118,000 gifts totaling $33 million benefited more than 2,000 worthy nonprofit organizations.

Ballet Folklorico dancer (File photo)

Ballet Folklorico dancer (File photo)

“In celebration of this day, NorthPark will welcome many important nonprofits as well as showcase special entertainment by some of our region’s best performing arts organizations, such as Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts Dance Company, Junior Players, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Shakespeare Dallas, and The Singing Girls of Texas and Texas Boys Choir from Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, among others.

“Save the date now to attend KidsGive, which provides children with a chance to donate their loose change and help with nearly a dozen hands-on, philanthropic activities like stuffing goodie bags with toiletries for Attitudes and Attire and writing notes to deployed soldiers with Patriot PAWS Service Dogs. Children can also engage with animals from Dallas Zoo, SPCA of Texas and Equest.

Nancy Nasher*

Nancy Nasher*

“We hope to see you at NorthPark Center on Thursday, September 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in NorthCourt, on Level One between Nordstrom and Macy’s.”

Nancy A. Nasher, NorthPark Center President and Owner

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support North Texas Giving Day by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

* Photo provided by NorthPark Center

Dallas CASA’s Champions Of Children Award Dinner To Honor NorthPark Center With Author Antwone Fischer As Keynote Speaker

Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

After 21 years of Dallas CASA filling the NorthPark Center with adorable cottages for auctioning, Champion For Children Award Dinner Co-Chairs Christine and Jonathan Bassham, Karen and Mark Carney, Jeanne and Joseph Manogue and Kristy Hoglund Robinson just announced that the renowned retailing center will be presented with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award at the annual dinner fundraiser for Dallas CASA.

Dallas CASA*

Dallas CASA*

Joining the festivities on Tuesday, October 27, at The Fairmont Dallas will be Honorary Co-Chairs Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson (File photo)

Karen Carney and Kristy Hoglund Robinson (File photo)

Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Another highlight of the event will be keynote speaker/film producer/director/screenwriter/author Antwone Fisher, whose “Finding Fish” resulted in a movie starring Denzel Washington.

 

According to Antwone, “I think back on a childhood of longing for belonging and see my life now as something created out of my dreams. I clung to that preposterous vision and with the force of those dreams willed it and made it happen. Not because I needed to be famous but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong. So I imagined myself free, I imagined myself loved, I imagined myself as somebody.”

Individual tickets start at $300 and are available now!

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas CASA

[Read more…]

2016 Parade Of Playhouses At NorthPark Center Marched Off With A Record-Breaking Amount For Dallas CASA

Dallas nonprofits are on a roll with good news. Now word comes from Dallas CASA about the results from the 2016 Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark. The Kappa Alpha Thetas have spent the last couple of days tallying the results. The total was so astonishing that they triple checked their findings. But the numbers added up to 15,546 raffle tickets being purchased. Adding that amount with sponsorships and text voting, “more than $200,000” went to Dallas CASA and it was a record breaker!

But the smiley faces weren’t just on the Dallas CASA staffers and volunteers. Nope. More good news was being spread all around. Here’s a snapshot of other results from the “parade” from Dallas CASA’s Rosanne Lewis:

Kid Cottage (File photo)

Kid Cottage (File photo)

Say Cheese (File photo)

Say Cheese (File photo)

The Lookout*

The Lookout*

  • “’The Kid Cottage’ by LRO Residential (copper roof) was won by a Preston Hollow family with 3 kids under three. They have two boys and a girl and the boys were hoping for the Crest CASA Garage but mom split the tickets because she wanted the Cottage!
  • “’Say Cheese’ was won by one of our new volunteers. In her email she said, ‘Winning a playhouse was almost as exciting as becoming an advocate.’
  • “’The Lookout’ was won by a family who also have three children, a little 3-year-old boy and infant twins (a boy and a girl), who were born premature and are still in the hospital. On Sunday they won their playhouse, and on Monday they finally brought their babies home.”

And how about the playhouse builders? Which ones were voted the most popular via text ballots? Here’s the answer:

  • African Safari Adventure by Harman
  • Basecamp by Redlee/SCS with Sketchup
  • Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti

 

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari  (File photo)

Basecamp (File photo)

Basecamp (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Tomorrow and Thursday the playhouses will be delivered courtesy of Glazers to their new homes. One of them is going to Celina!

The only question remaining is what the heck are the builders going to come up with next year?  Perhaps a playhouse with a storm shelter?

LAST CALL: Dallas CASA’s 2016 Parade Of Playhouses Raffle And Voting Ends Sunday

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Those adorable little residences that have been lining NorthPark Center’s hallways have evidently been a big, old hit. In just two weeks folks have purchased more than 10,000 raffle tickets in hope of winning one of the Parade of Playhouses for their own. Thanks to Dallas CASA volunteers including Kappa Alpha Theta types, more than 2,000 hours have been invested in the raffle sales that will benefit Dallas CASA.

Insiders report that sales are ahead of last year and 2015 was a record maker.

And as for the voting, there’s been a bit of debating on which one will win. So far, pollsters claim that the Kid Cottage by LRO Residential, African Safari Adventure by Harman and Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti were in the lead.

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

But that could easily change, since voting doesn’t end until Sunday, when the raffle winners will be revealed in NorthPark’s North Court at 4 p.m. BTW, if you’re thinking about doing an online-ticket purchase, get it in before noon on Sunday.

As for the popularity contest, the voting results will be announced via social media and the Dallas CASA website.

Chance tickets are going for $5 each and a bargain-saving $20 for five. Voting is accomplished by texting dallascasa to 41444 with each vote costing $5 and are “not included” in the raffle drawing.

Plans Announced For The Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night As Part Of Its 60th Anniversary

Leave it to The Dallas Opera types to get ahead of the heat of summer. Word has it that DO General Director/CEO Keith Cerny and his team got those music loving Winspears (i.e. Ellen and Don) to chair this fall’s First Sight First Night fundraising for the DO’s 60th anniversary.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Gee, it was three years before Don was even born and such names as Elsa von Seggern, Larry Kelly and John Ardoin were mainstays along with Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. in making arias the hip of hop of Dallas sounds back then.

But there’s more to the reveal. Joyce and Harvey Mitchell will be the honorary co-chairs.

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

More good news! NorthPark will be the presenting sponsor for the First Sight Luncheon Fashion Show that will be returning to the Winspear on Thursday, October 27, with fashions gloriously provided by NorthPark’s Versace, of course. The luncheon co-chairs will be the willowy fashion-loving trio of Tiffany Divis, Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus.

Of course, there will be the designer highlights, but those details are forthcoming.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

As for the black-tie goings on, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk will co-chair the cocktails, dinner, opera — “Eugene Onegin” —and after-party with Hunter Sullivan providing the non-operatic tunes. That will all take place on Friday, October 28, at the Winspear. The evening’s festivities are being presented thanks to Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management.

As for the vittles, the Wolfgang Puck crew will be in charge for both the luncheon and dinner.

Before heading to Pilates, why not get your tickets now?

2916 Crystal Charity Ball Committee Chairs Breakfast At NorthPark’s The Theodore

Who said January was a “take a break” month? Absolutely not! A perfect example was Tuesday, January 12. Sure, oil was not having a happy day, but the nonprofits were still charging ahead to help neighbors and strangers.

Meredith Marceau, Christie Carter and Rachel Roberts

Meredith Marceau, Christie Carter and Rachel Roberts

One of the first activities of the day took place at NorthPark. even before the valets were on the scene at 9 a.m. As NP staffers were pulling in, the Crystal Charity Ball members were heading to The Theodore.

Claire Emanuelson and Jonathan Knecht

Claire Emanuelson and Jonathan Knecht

The turnout was incredible, with The Theodore Manager Jonathan Knecht a little amazed at the numbers filling the place. He managed to have cookies and oysters on the half shell lounging on ice for the gals. Needless to say, the oysters stayed pretty much in place, but the cookies moved pretty quickly.

NorthPark gift bags

NorthPark gift bags

Other items that were being eyed were the rows of NP gift bags with complimentary valet cards.

While each member stood and reported on her role in the 2016 CCB fundraising effort, it was 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter who pointed out that the day was also CCB member Tanya Foster’s birthday.

Knoxie Edmondson, Ann Lardner, Carole Lou Bruton, Delilah Boyd, Sally Johnson Leigh Anne Haugh

Knoxie Edmondson, Ann Lardner, Carole Lou Bruton, Delilah Boyd, Sally Johnson Leigh Anne Haugh

Speaking of Christie, each year the chair selects an internal working theme. This year Christie decided on “Steel Magnolias.” The reason was her late mother, who Christie felt was—much like the committee members—a true-blue “Steel Magnolia.”

Nancy Nasher And David Haemisegger Celebrate NorthPark’s 50th Anniversary With NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Oldtimers love to play the memory game of playing the “Remember when…. at NorthPark?” Such names as Kips Big Boy’s hot fudge sundaes, “Mrs. Pierce” at The Carriage Shop, Magic Pan’s Cherries Royale Crepes, The Melody Shop’s Jack Jacobs and, of course, Ron Chapman hosting “Sump’n Else” with “The Little Group” — Joanie Prather, Delpha Teague, Kathy Forney and Calleen Anderegg. The game has been the favorite topic of late thanks to the 50th anniversary of the legendary shopping center that was built because of the determination of Patsy and Ray Nasher.

To celebration anniversary, Patsy’s and Ray’s daughter Nancy Nasher and her husband David Haemisegger staged a great reveal on  the exact day — August 19 — and time that 50 years ago NP opened in 1965.

Before the 250 nonprofit representatives and longtime NP friends took their seats in NP’s North Court on Wednesday, August 19, numerous memories were being exchanged. NP General Manager Billy Hines, who has probably worn out countless shoes walking the grounds, reminisced about his 40+ years at NP. He had seen the center through the transition of the family ownership, the massive expansions and more holiday shopping that the NP Santa. When asked how he felt about being part of the NP family, he looked across the court at Nancy and David receiving congratulations, smiled and said, “I am honored to have been a part of it.”

James Bias and Billy Hines

James Bias and Billy Hines

No sooner had the words been spoken, then Billy was tapped on the shoulder by the SPCA’s James Bias. They’re old buddies like Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle and other nonprofits that have benefited from NP’s support.

As pianist Gary Beard and trumpeter Ryan Anthony serenaded the group, guests like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, University of North Texas’ Susan Collins Sanders, The Family Place’s Paige Flink, Children’s Kern Wildenthal and Lori Wagner, Crystal Charity Ball’s Michal Powell, Team Connor’s Carolyn Alvey, Jamie Singer and Kathryn Copple, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein, Dallas Habitat for Humanity’s Bill Hall, Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jonathan Martin, Vogel Alcove’s Karen Hughes, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick and Jill Magnuson, Dallas Museum of Art’s Max Anderson and so many others took their places.

Nancy Nasher

Nancy Nasher

Nancy welcomed the invited guests plus onlookers telling them that the tune that Gary and Ryan had just played — “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” —was the same one played 50 years ago with the late Gordon MacRae singing. She briefly recalled being a 10-year-old handing our programs and wearing a dress and a pin that her mother had designed for her. (Nancy didn’t mention that the next day was her birthday.)

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

Just for a moment she seemed to be back in that day when a retailing legend was introduced to the world despite naysayers. Yes, there were those who thought a enclosed shopping center with pieces of artwork on display was pretty gutsy. And the very idea of plopping it down in a cow pasture across from a cemetery miles away from downtown Dallas? Well! But her parents had a vision for both NorthPark and Dallas and she and David picked up the banner and carried it on.

One of those ways that Nancy and David were continuing the legacy was by supporting the area nonprofits. To do that they announced the creation of a unique program — NorthPark50: 50 Years of Giving. Following a brief video, it was announced that 50 area nonprofits would reap benefits for the next 50 days. How that would take place was alluded to, but nothing definite was announced. Instead guests were told to check social media daily for status reports.

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Brent then took the podium telling of Dallas’ national reputation for generosity in supporting the nonprofits. He kept his remarks brief because he wasn’t telling this group anything they didn’t already know.

It was also revealed by Brent that unlike years past when NTGD was held with various activities throughout Dallas, it would be held at NorthPark in North Court on Thursday, September 17.

NorthPark50 guests

NorthPark50 guests

Nancy returned to the stage and told of Ryan’s battle against multiple myeloma and how impressed she was at “Blow for Cancer” when Ryan the country’s finest horn musicians performed. She asked Ryan to come to the stage and perform one more tune —“Gabriel’s Oboe” — that he had performed at the March fundraiser. As the haunting notes floated through the air, all activity in the center seemed to stop. Perhaps it was proof that thanks to funding for cancer research and treatments, even cancer couldn’t quell Ryan’s talent. At its conclusion, Ryan received a standing ovation.

NorthPark50 group photo

NorthPark50 group photo

Then Nancy thanked all and asked for representatives from the NorthPark 50 nonprofits to come to the stage for a group photo. This gathering proved to be entertaining as various stagings were attempted to fit all 50 plus on the stage, off stage, with chairs on stage, with chairs off state. Nobody minded. After all, they had 50 days of surprises ahead.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: NorthPark Center

“As we celebrate 50 years of NorthPark Center, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the wonderful community that surrounds us in Dallas. We are proud to be part of a city that is so generous and community oriented.

NorthPark50*

NorthPark50*

“Giving back has been a part of the NorthPark culture since we opened our doors in 1965. To celebrate this milestone, we are launching NorthPark50: Fifty Years of Giving. The initiative aims to honor some of the amazing charities in our community.

“One of the most exciting philanthropic events that takes place in the Metroplex is North Texas Giving Day. It is the one day each year when donations of $25 or more are amplified by bonus funds and prizes. Year after year, we have watched this one-day giving spectacular grow into the largest giving days in the nation. It exemplifies the philanthropic spirit of our city and celebrates the wonderful work our local nonprofits are doing to build a community that cares for people, art, art, culture and more.

Nancy Nasher*

Nancy Nasher*

“That is why we are so pleased that NorthPark will be the official host of the Dallas County North Texas Giving Day Donation Station on September 17, 2015, with thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas which presents North Texas Giving Day and has arranged a line-up of free nonprofit performances and KidsGive activities.

“The activities will take place at NorthPark in NorthCourt, on Level One, between Nordstrom and Macy’s from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 17, 2015.

“The showcase performances will include performances by Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts Dance Company, Junior Players, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Shakespeare Dallas, The Singing Girls of Texas and Texas Boys Choir from Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, and see animals from Dallas Zoo and SPCA of Texas.

“Register now for the 2nd Annual DFWChild KidsGive that will provide kids a chance to donate their loose change and help with nearly a dozen hands-on, philanthropic kid activities like making superhero capes for Union’s Capes 4 Kids and stuffing goodie bags with toiletries for Attitudes and Attire.

“We hope you will join us 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on North Texas Giving Day to celebrate our community’s wonderful nonprofits and rally for another record-breaking giving day!”

-By Nancy Nasher, Co-owner of NorthPark

* Graphics and photo provided by NorthPark Center

JUST IN: NorthPark Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary Today With The Announcement Of NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Just before noon today, NorthPark Center‘s Nancy Nasher addressed more than 225 people representing 50 nonprofits, friends and media from a stage set up in NorthPark’s NorthCourt. She told how at that moment 50 years ago, she and her sisters were part of the festivities when her parents, the late Patsy and Ray Nasher, officially opened NorthPark.

Nancy recalled how she wore a dress that her mother had designed for her.

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

With husband/business partner David Haemisegger sitting on the front row smiling, Nancy announced that in celebration of NP’s 50th anniversary, they had created NorthPark50: Fifty Years of Giving.

Fifty Years of Giving*

Fifty Years of Giving*

The 50-day program will allow “specific gifts to be announced in the days and weeks ahead in order to shine light on their individual missions and inspire others to embrace a spirit of philanthropy. The announcement of the gifts will be made through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NorthPark50.”

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher with the 50 nonprofits

The lucky 50 nonprofits are AT&T Performing Arts Center, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Bookmarks – A Dallas Public Library, Business Council for the Arts, Cancer Blows, CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education), Catch Up & Read, Children’s Cranifocial Association, Children’s Health, Community Homes for Adults Inc. (CHAI), Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas CASA, Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater enter, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, The Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Heroes on the Water, Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, Junior League of Dallas, KERA, Nasher Sculpture Center, North Texas Food Bank, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Sam’s Day), Parkinson Voice Project, Preservation Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Share Housing Center Inc, SPCA of Texas, Susan G. Komen Dallas County, TACA, TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Two x Two for AIDs and Art, University of North Texas – Texas Fashion Collection, Uplift Education and Vogel Alcove.

Once again, the NorthPark family has found a new way to give back to the community’s nonprofits. Happy anniversary, NorthPark.

PS — You might to also send a happy birthday wish to Nancy Thursday.

* Graphic provided by NorthPark

JUST IN: CFT’s North Texas Giving Day’s Dallas Donation Station And KidsGive Are Moving To NorthPark Center’s NorthCourt Level One

Communities Foundation of Texas and NorthPark Center have been neighbors forever. Both of their roots stretch back to the Caruth family and its legendary farm. But unlike other neighbors that borrow a cup of sugar, they’re partnering up for the 7th Annual North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 17.

How?

Stephanie Knight and Priscilla the Piglet (File photo)

Stephanie Knight and Priscilla the Piglet (File photo)

In years past the Dallas Donation Station and KidsGive have been based in the Communities Foundation of Texas lobby and parking lot. Depending upon the weather, that parking lot action was a gamble — too hot, rainy, etc. But this year neighbor NorthPark is providing its NorthCourt’s Level One. You know where that is. It’s right smack between Nordstrom’s and Macy’s.

How simply perfect! Regardless of the weather, the fun will not be hampered one iota. As for what fun, here is a rundown of the free activities that will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

Performances by Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, The Singing Girls of Texas and Texas Boys Choir from Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Junior Players, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, and Shakespeare Dallas, and check out the animals from Dallas Zoo and SPCA of Texas. For performance times and latest details, go to: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/#dallas.

KidsGive sponsored by DFWChild will provide kids a chance to donate their loose change and help with nearly a dozen hands-on, philanthropic kid activities like making superhero capes for Union’s Capes 4 Kids and creating sensory bottles for Journey Learning Center’s students with autism. While it’s free, space is limited to groups doing service projects and registration is required.

To see details for other events including chicken plucking and porcupine juggling (just kidding, but wanted to see if you were really reading), go to the “Events” tab on www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org.

This year’s bonus funds and prizes have been contributed by Amon G. Carter Foundation, Anonymous donor, Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, Bank of America, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), Community Foundation of North Texas, Cooper Institute Give for Good Campaign, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Michelle and Houston Hall Fund at CFT, Hunt Cares Campaign, The Meadows Foundation, The Miles Foundation, The Morris Foundation, Granville C. and Gladys H. Morton Fund of CFT, Neiman Marcus, Rees-Jones Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Rinker Remnants Fund of CFT, Annadele H. Ross Fund of CFT, Harold Simmons Foundation, The Swan Smith Family Fund of CFT, Mike and Mary Terry Family Foundation, Trinbrook Fund, and Vector Systems. Media sponsors include The Dallas Morning News, MySweetCharity and WFAA.

20th Parade Of Playhouses Is Underway At NorthPark With An Elephant, A Kayak And A Fireman’s Pole To Benefit Dallas CASA

It’s official. Summer heat has arrived and settled in. But that’s no reason to hide in a dark room with a bucket of ice cubes. And besides the munchkins have already gotten tired of the swimming pool and have seen all the kid-friendly movies.

But here’s a new must-see that’s in a very air-conditioned environment. It’s the 20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses benefiting Dallas CASA at NorthPark Center that starts marching officially today through Sunday, July 26.With strollers parading by, the little houses are holding their own against NP’s artwork.

20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses

20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses

Yes, the Parade is taking place a month early, but that’s because NP is going to kick off its 50th birthday celebration in August.

If you’re out of town, hustle home because this year’s crop of 16 mini-castles is incredible. One woman was heard to say this morning, “I wish my house was built as well as these.”

And, of course, everyone has a favorite. There’s the Ellie The Elephant house in the La Duni wing, the Funguard Beach House in front of Victoria’s Secret, the Mini Luxury playhouse between Apple and Papyrus, a number of contemporary houses and some darn charming cottages. One even has a fireman’s pole to slide down from the upper level to the downstairs.

Ellie The Elephant house

Ellie The Elephant house

Funguard Bach House

Funguard Beach House

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

 

But the one that had the chatter going was Harman’s Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house. The two-story playhouse itself is perfectly fabulous with its own stone wall for climbing. But what comes with it is better than Santa could provide. For instance? Well, how about a kayak, a mountain bike, a GoPro Style camcorder, a hammock, a four-person tent with two sleeping bags, a JBL 2 Channel Marine amplifier and JBL MS6520 6½” loudspeakers.

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

If you have child in your life, or have an organization that could use one of these playhouses, then buy a raffle ticket. They’re $5 each or five for $20. Winners will be picked at a drawing in NorthPark’s North Court on Sunday, July 26, at 4 p.m.

Dallas CASA’s 20th Annual Parade Of Playhouses Headed To NorthPark Center A Month Early

The 20th annual Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses will not take place in August at NorthPark Center.

Ah, don’t worry. It’s still gonna happen, only it will be in July this year. The 16 adorable children’s playhouses will be on display starting Friday, July 10, with the raffle drawing on Sunday, July 26, at Pirch for “new big homes with yards for the wee homes.”

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

Jim and Angela Thompson (File photo)

Jim and Angela Thompson (File photo)

Bob Borson (File photo)

Bob Borson (File photo)

Event Co-Chairs Fran and Mark Berg have arranged to have longtime Dallas CASA supporters Angela and Jim Thompson serve as honorary co-chairs with area builders (Austin Commercial with Tyler Murph and Life of an Architect, Beck with Integrated Interiors Inc., Buford Hawthorne with Bob Borson, Butscher Construction, Classic Urban Homes, Coats Homes with Jerry Coleman, Creekview Custom Homes with parmadesign, CRThurman Homes with PBD Inc., HARMAN, Kinetic Ingenuity, LRO Residential, OMNIPLAN with DNG Construction, parmadesign with Creekview Custom Homes, Perk Homes with Andres Moreno and Life of an Architect, REDLEE/SCS Inc. with Susann Stein and Life of an Architect and SpawGlass with BOCA Powell Architects) providing the playhouses.

And what a group of playhouses are going to be lining up — an urban playhouse with a loft, a frozen castle replica, a movie theater, a ski lodge, a modern playhouse with a climbing wall, a reading room with a window seat, an elephant-shaped playhouse and a beach-themed house, as well as many more.

Kathleen LaValle (File photo)

Kathleen LaValle (File photo)

Thanks to the success of the fundraiser, monies will help to “recruit and train CASA volunteers advocates for children in our community.”

According to Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle, “Some children dream of having their very own fantasy playhouses, but abused children dream of having safe and stable homes. We want all children to have loving and permanent homes. Sadly, almost half of abused children in protective care in Dallas County do not have CASA volunteer advocates. We look forward to the day when we have enough volunteers for each child to have an advocate.”

The raffle tickets will be a bargain at $5 per or $20 for five tickets and can be purchased at NorthPark or online.

Traffic Advisory: NorthPark Center

If you have some last minute shopping at NorthPark for tomorrow’s Cattle Baron’s, better do it today or tomorrow afternoon. The reason? The Komen Dallas Race for the Cure is going to taking over the mega shopping center. Things are being set up today, but you know the drill. Streets will be blocked except for authorized vehicles around NP and the route.

So the good news is

  • If you’re walking/running in the Komen, you can hop on into NP right after the event feeling healthy and knowing you helped others get healthier
  • If you’re not participating in Komen, you can sleep in or get that needed manicure.