Fifth Annual Going For The Gold Gala Had Guests All Scrubbed Up To Celebrate Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Long gone are the days when nurses were women in starchy white uniforms with their hair in tight buns and wearing white stockings and white leather shoes. Today’s backbone of the healthcare industry is made up equally dedicated professionals, but they’re both men and women in colorful scrubs and running shoes and clogs. They are also facing daunting challenges in a world of infectious diseases, ever-changing developments and the “every-day routine” of improving the well-being of their patients.

Dallas’ own Baylor University Louise Herring School of Nursing is providing the education for this vital resource. But it’s not all work. Here’s a report from the field about its Fifth Annual Going for the Gold Gala:

On Saturday, February 27, the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing hosted its “Fifth Annual “Going for the Gold Gala” at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel to raise scholarship funds for student nurses and support the new nursing school building fund.

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Alice Starr, Noah Galloway, Ken Starr and Terrance Williams*

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Alice Starr, Noah Galloway, Ken Starr and Terrance Williams*

Honoring the service of our military and nursing veterans, the gala drew more than 800 guests. Serving as keynote speaker was Noah Galloway, a wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom U.S. Army war veteran hero as well as a finalist on the popular TV program, “Dancing with the Stars.” Noah shared about his second tour of duty, life-changing injury and the care of nurses throughout his recovery. Plus, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Saralinda Garcia (BSN ’10) shared her compelling testimony as a mother of five and LHSON scholarship recipient, having served 18 years in the Navy and as a medic during a tour in Iraq. In addition, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and former Baylor Football All American Terrance Williams (BU ’13) was our special guest, along with Emmy award-winning WFAA-TV meteorologist and Baylor parent, Pete Delkus as emcee.

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Shlley F. Conroy and Louise Herrington Ornelas*

Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing students in green with Shelley F. Conroy and Louise Herrington Ornelas*

Celebrating the spirit of generosity, LHSON recognized Louise Herrington Ornelas as this year’s Grand Golden Star Benefactor. Judge Ken Starr, 14th President and Chancellor of Baylor University, expressed his heartfelt thanks for her transformational and long-standing commitment to the school that bears her name.

The LHSON is proud of the rich history of service, sacrifice and support for all branches of the Armed Forces. Baylor nurses have cared for soldiers in every armed conflict since the civil war. BU LHSON endeavors to prepare students for their calling. In keeping with their commitment to our veterans, and in honoring the rich history of veteran nurses at Baylor, the LHSON endorsed the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, a nationwide call to rally around service members, veterans and their families and support them through wellness, education and employment opportunities. As part of this Initiative, BU LHSON commits to strengthening the curriculum and instruction students receive on topics related to veterans’ issues like traumatic brain injury, PTSD and other concerns that impact their wellbeing.

* Photos provided by Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Sugar Ray Leonard Scores A KO At The Children’s Advocacy Center Of Collin County’s “Join The Fight Luncheon”

If WFAA-CH.8’s Pete Delkus ever tires of weather guessing, he could easily be the first male Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. That man in his natty attire and slicked back hair can get a crowd rallied up like the best of the Aggie Yell leaders.

Pete Delkus

Pete Delkus

No better example for proof than the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County’s “Join the Fight Luncheon” that took place on Thursday, February 12, at the Embassy Suites Dallas in Frisco.

For most it would have been enough just to have had Olympian Sugar Ray Leonard as the guest speaker. Time and time again, Sugar Ray posed for photos in the VIP reception with a perfect smile and charming personality. When some of the folks asked to strike a boxer’s stance with him, he accommodated without delay.

Members of Barney and Me Boxing Gym

Members of Barney and Me Boxing Gym

There was even a brief session where he had a one-on-one with youngsters from the Barney and Me Boxing Gym. The kids had been provided with tickets to the VIP reception and luncheon thanks to one of the luncheon sponsors, Independent Bank and Executive VP Rob Temple.

Across the hall, the ballroom was filling with tables of guests. Unlike most luncheons that tend to skew toward the female gender, this one had an equal number of gents.

In keeping with the theme and the headliner, the CACCC staff had built a faux ring with red ropes on the stage.

First in the ring was Pete with a ring girl holding a card to announce him. He started rallying the troops by thanking the sponsors like presenting sponsor JC Penney. Never have luncheon sponsors received such cheers. These Collin County folks know how to show their appreciation. In recognizing the local officials, he said he felt safe because Collin County Sheriff Terry Box was present. Yup, and he was packing.

Carolyn Speese and Sugar Ray Leonard

Carolyn Speese and Sugar Ray Leonard

The final intro was Carolyn Speese, who in addition to co-chairing the event with her husband, Mark Speese, have been major supporters of CACCC over the years. She proudly announced that for the fourth year in a row CACCC had earned the Charity Navigator 4-star rating, Navigator’s highest rating.

In promoting the sale the Rusty Glenn centerpieces, she reminded guests that Valentine’s Day was just two days away and they “save themselves a trip to CVS.” Needless to say, the centerpieces sold.

After lunch, Carolyn returned to the podium to tell guests why “this luncheon was so important and necessary. We are fortunate…beyond fortunate to not only live in the United States but the greatest county in America.” Then she shifted directions reminding them that even in this remarkable setting, child abuse still existed. In 2014 more than 4,800 cases were reported in Collin County.

Carolyn then surprised the audience by having her friend WFAA-CH. 8 anchor Shelly Slater join her at the podium, who described Sugar Ray as a “really cool cat.” In announcing the winners of the raffle, she revealed that the sheriff had been one of the winners. And, no, it wasn’t fixed.

Pete in returning to the stage told the guests that “Shelly’s the sister I never wanted…just kidding Shelly.” He once again returned to cheerleading asking the audience to give a round of applause for the servers.

Now, it was time for Sugar Ray, whom Pete revealed that at one point in Sugar Ray’s childhood, he was a victim of abuse.

Sugar Ray started off telling the group that before the lunch he had had lots of pictures taken with guests and he noticed that as the guys walked away and “then they would look back. And I know what they were thinking. I know exactly what they were thinking. They were saying, ‘Sugar Ray. Wow! The champ! He’s not that big. [Laughter] I bet I could take him. [More laughter]”

He then settled into the topic of the day — despite having beaten “the best of the very best,” the power was not just limited to physicality but to that of the mind and spirit.

Sugar Ray has based his professional and personal life around POWER (Prepare Overcome Win Every Round). He went to say that “dreams are your GPS for success.”

He applauded the guests for their efforts in ending child abuse admitting that he was indeed a statistic.

When he decided to come out of retirement in 1986 to fight Marvelous Marvin Hagler, he discussed it with his father-in-law, who told him there was no way he could do and he was crazy to try. When asked why he would take on such a challenge, Sugar Ray replied, “They’re going to pay me $10M.” The father-in-law said, “So, when does training camp start? And how can I help you?”

Despite being a total underdog, he proved the critics wrong in Caesar’s Palace in 1987.

He then described his fight in 1981 against Tommy “Hitman” Hearns, whom Sugar Ray described as a freak of nature at 147 pounds and with arms the length of a football field. By the 13th round, it was looking bleak and his trainer Angelo Dundee wanted him to come out stronger and more aggressive. Thanks to Sugar Ray’s building up a reserve of energy, he came back to win “The Showdown”.

Returning to his bout with Marvin, he said that very few knew that just days before the fight, he received a severe blow from his sparring partner. His team realized it was a possible game changer and the mood back in the hotel room was “deathly quiet.” The original fight plan was to “stand toe-to-toe with Marvin…and with creative prayer.” He took the negative and turned it into a positive winning the fight by out boxing him. He believe in himself.

Her recalled his loss in 1980 against Roberto Durán and admitted that the former Undisputed World Lightweight Champion/#1 weltereight contender had gotten in Sugar Ray’s head, especially after Durán cursed Sugar Ray’s wife. He had “gotten the best of me.”He admitted that “that fight actually made me a better fighter.”

Six months later a rematch was held and he saw to it that Durán would lose his composure. During that time, Durán had gained weight and Sugar Ray used it to get in his head. Durán didn’t even finish the eighth round. He quit claiming stomach cramps and retired from boxing.

Sugar Ray’s biggest challenge was when at the age of 32, he moved up to weight classes and faced 28-year-old Don Lalonde — “It was a weird fight and I was close to retiring.” This one taught him not to take anyone for granted. It was one of the first times that Sugar Ray thought, “I shouldn’t be in this ring.” Still he won the fight.

He finished his talk saying that for nearly 40 years, despite the wins in the ring, he had remained silent about being sexually abused because “there’s such a shame, such embarrassment, such a stigma attached to being abused.” He explained, “What happened to me…this is going to be with me the rest of my life, but it’s not going to run my life.”

He didn’t delve into the incidents that took place in his youth, but the accounts are described in his book, “The Big Fight: My Life In And Out Of The Ring.”