The 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour Of The Eight Beneficiaries Resulted In Flowers, Tears And Inspiration For The $5.8M Goal

Like many nonprofits, there comes a once-a-year decision of how the raised funds will be distributed. For 65 years, Crystal Charity Ball has had that come-to moment for the Dallas area children’s nonprofits. To think. There are grown-ups who have survived devastating diseases and overcome miserable home lives and then have had amazing lives, thanks to the committee of 100 women.  

On Thursday, February 16, CCB Chair Pam Perella, CCB Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers and a busload of ladies undertook a day of visiting the eight beneficiaries thanks to Briggs Freeman | Sotheby’s International Realty’s Layne Pitzer‘s and Joan Eleazer‘s underwriting the tour. It was at one of those stops where the membership saw firsthand how one child and his mother represented the thousands of faceless and nameless other kids who were in need. More about that later.

Before the tour got underway with Andre in the driver’s seat, though, tour director Fredye Factor reminded the group that this year’s “working theme” was TV shows. Since the tour had been tagged as “All My Children,” they had arranged for Susan Lucci‘s cousin Pucci Lucci to address the ladies. Pucci turned out to be CCB member Pam McCallum, whose Pucci was more Blanche Devereaux than Erica Kane.

Big Brothers Big Sister Lone Star — $500,000

Bill Chinn

But it was time to get down to work and things started off with two representative making presentations on board the bus. First up was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lone Star President Bill Chinn, who told how the July 7th shooting in downtown Dallas had spurred them on with a project — Bigs in Blue, which would connect first responders like policeman, fire fighters and city personnel as mentors for at-risk children to “establish strong and enduring one-to-one relationships.”  

Rainbow Days — $500,000

Tiffany Beaudine

Next up was Rainbow Days Director of Development Tiffany Beaudine, who reported that the CCB’s contribution would span three years to purchase a new van for transporting supplies to children living in motels, as well as adding “one new full-time program manager and a portion of four staff members who will assist in implementing programs, and partial salary for the program director.” Rainbow Day’s Project Hope program would also “deliver food weekly including snacks, school clothing and hygiene products as well as an opportunity for homeless children to attend summer day camps and holiday celebrations.”

The children whom they serve often suffer from fear. Too often their lives are filled with gunfire at night and the fear of playing outdoors.  

The Autism Treatment Center — $582,020

Neil Massey

Then the ladies were driven to the Autism Treatment Center to learn firsthand about its Early Intervention Therapy and Educational Capital Campaign. Thanks to the contribution, 101,100 square feet of the present facility will be “reconfigured and remodeled to increase the number of educational classrooms, therapy rooms, counseling offices and other important spaces.” The additional space will allow the Autism Treatment Center to quadruple the number of students who will receive help.

In showing the outdoor playground with its misting umbrella for hot days and the growing garden that provides both education and accomplishment, Development Director Neil Massey looked at the open lot next door. Having outgrown their current facilities, he said that they had tried to buy it from the present owner but had had no luck.

Autism Treatment Center

But it was the classrooms where the ladies learned that patience was a key to working with autistic boys and girls. Structure and patience were not just paramount for the children’s learning to adjust to their special conditions. But those lessons were important to being included in the family life. One lesson was that when an autistic children got frustrated and got physically upset, it was important for them to be ignored until they realized that their actions would not produce results. One CCB-er, upon hearing the comment said, “That probably proves true in all our lives.”

Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation — $541,098

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation board member Mary Ann Hyde

Next on the itinerary was the T. Boone Pickens Center. The timing of the visit was perfectly planned. It just so happened that the Center’s board was meeting that day with Board Trustee Mary Ann Hyde backed by the board members to greet the ladies in front of the magnificent facility.

So, it may have initially seemed curious to have CCB that benefits children to be providing funds for a hospice facility, but there was a very important aspect of the Pickens Center that affected children — the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program.

Breaking into groups, the membership was shown the facilities that would assist not just those completing their lives, but would also help family, especially children, to be part of the final farewell and adjust to the loss. The 36-bed facility featured suites especially designed to comfort the patients with breathtaking views of the lake, doors that could accommodate the patient’s bed being moved to the room’s patio, and the out-of-sight medical equipment.

Presbyterian T. Boone Pickens Center guest suite

But the main point of the tour was how the Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program would help children through the process of grieving the loss “in a healthy and healing way.” There were the Marnie and Kern Wildenthal Education Center and the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center that provided both areas of play and adjustment to loss.  

Faith Presbyterian Hospice Child and Family Bereavement Program play room

In one room was a playhouse with super heroes on the walls. While in other rooms were materials for kids to vent their feelings regardless of their ages to social workers, counselors, music therapists and art therapists, who “will encourage healthy emotional growth, and bring unique comfort to children who have lost a sibling, parent or grandparents.”  

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance — $527,770

The next stop was the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance in the West End. While it was perfectly planned to coincide with a group of students, it reinforced the need for the Holocaust’s need to expand to a larger facility. CCB and high schoolers found themselves on top of each other learning about the horrors of World War II and the demonstrations of remembrance.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance’s Paul Lake

One such example was the placement of stones representing the persons who were victims of the Holocaust. One teenager’s attempt to place a stone found their effort falling on the floor, resounding throughout the room. Ironically, the sound of the stone hitting the hard stone floor seemed to draw attention to the solemnity that had filled the room.

Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance

For a three-year period, the CCB contribution will allow “thousands of Title 1 and economically disadvantaged students to the Museum, free of charge, and will provide their teachers necessary curriculum support.”

Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $1,111,735

Just blocks away from Children’s Medical Center, the CCB-ers donned hard hats and safety glasses to tour Children’s Health’s Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program that was under construction. Planned to officially open with full services in May, it allows youngsters with movement challenges resulting from injuries or chronic illnesses to access all the treatments in one facility. The rooms would provide everything from aquatic treatments to padded rock climbing.

Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program aquatic facility under construction

Thanks to CCB’s contribution, it would be possible to purchase “five pieces of state-of-the-art robotic gait and mobility training equipment: The ErigoPro early mobilization tilt-table, the LokomatPro robotic based partial-weight-bearing treadmill system, the Andago body weight supported mobile robotic gait system, the Natus balance and gait assessment system and the HydroWorx therapy pool. Training for staff and robotic software upgrades are included with the purchase of this equipment.”

Thanks to this “centralized accessibility, thousands of Dallas County children will be able to seek services designed for patients from two to 18 years of age.

As the committee gathered in the main room, they were told of a surprise. It was indeed a surprise. Britt Cupp, who had suffered a trauma to his brain due to a skateboard accident years ago, arrived with yellow roses and a personal note for each of the women. As his mother, Angela Cupp, looked on, Britt handed out the flowers. Unfortunately, when Britt had his accident, he and his family were forced to seek assistance at different facilities throughout the country. Many of the CCB-ers who had children Britt’s age looked on in amazement at the mother and son who had been through so much and were spearheading the creation of such a facility.

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

After a massive group pic with Britt, the CCB-ers with flowers in hand gathered outside for the traditional group picture. Inside Angela had one request — a photo of Britt with 2017 CCB President Pam Perella and Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher. Little did she know that Brent had made a similar request, saying, “Britt is my hero.”

Hunger Busters — $1,192,500

The CCB bus now headed to West Dallas for the Hunger Busters operation behind a tall wrought-iron fence topped with razor wire. On the side of the small building, the air condition units were padlocked.

Iron fences topped with razor wire at Hunger Busters

New father/Hunger Busters Executive Director Trey Hoobler explained, “We’re in a turf war here caught between two groups.”

But despite the Spartan and tight conditions, Production/Volunteer Manager Gumaro Castillo in the kitchen’s prep area explained how Ford would be proud of the assembly line of volunteers prepping the meals for DISD schools and after-school programs. Having been there eight years, Gumaro pointed with pride as volunteers put together sandwiches.

Hunger Busters volunteers

Thanks to the CCB contribution that would be used over a three-year period, the Feed the Need program would be expanded, “representing a 150% increase in the number of children served, from 2,000 to 5,000 daily. An additional new delivery van and staff support will allow Hunger Busters to serve children and schools on their waiting list for a total of 300,000 additional meals each year.”

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy — $850,000  

Sandra Helton

The final stop of the day was Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy, where Sister Sandra Helton pointed to an open lot adjacent to the school where a cafeteria would be built. She then showed why the new facility would be needed, as she led the group to the present room where children eat. If the current lunchroom was needed for another event, the tables and chairs had to be removed and then replaced afterwards. If a funeral was to take place in the nearby sanctuary, meals would have to delayed.  The kitchen was barely larger than a jet liner’s kitchen.

Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy

While the tour was going on, some youngsters took naps on the classroom floors, some practiced in the music room under Brandon McDannald‘s direction and others were hard at work at desks in classrooms.

Thanks to the CCB commitment, a 12,500-square-fooot cafeteria and fine arts center will be built that will be “available weekends for 1,300 children who attend religious education classes and also for Science Fairs, Band and Choir concerts, fundraisers like their Fall Festival and Grandparent’s Day. Funds will also be used for a dedicated fine arts center, giving Santa Clara students many more options in band, music, choir and art with designated classrooms where they can safely secure their instruments and supplies. Additionally, funds will provide a parish office and conference room, allowing for more students in the existing school.”

It was then homeward bound and ten months of fundraising to provide $5.8M for the children of Dallas.

For more photos from the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball bus tour, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Bus Tour

Just when you think you’re the source of all knowledge regarding North Texas area nonprofits, those Crystal Charity Ball gals bring you down to earth thanks to a bus tour. The annual bus tour provides firsthand knowledge of how the funds raised will be put to use and introduces new programs and organizations that in many cases have gone under the radar.

At some places there are children going through their daily routine. At others, work is in place for facilities that will help countless youngsters in need.

Neil Massey

Claire Emanuelson, Cheryl Joyner, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Tucker Enthoven, Trey Hoobler and Lisa Longino

This year’s tour included eight beneficiaries (Autism Treatment Center Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days and Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy).

Pam Perella, Angela Cupp, Britt Cupp and Brent Christopher

While the post is being…. ah, shoot! You know the drill. Head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery to see what was on the tour that brought tears, laughter and inspiration CCB Chair Pam Perella and her ladies.

JUST IN: 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries Announced

Alas, there was nary a Crystal Charity Ball gal in sight on Thursday, February 2. The ladies had hunkered down at Communities Foundation of Texas for the presentation of the 2017 beneficiary finalists.

Pam Perella (File photo)

Lisa Longino (File photo)

Leslie Diers (File photo)

According to 2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, Charity Selection Chair Lisa Longino and Underwriting Chair Leslie Diers, the recipients of the 2017 fundraising efforts will be:

  • Autism Treatment Center Inc. — $582,020
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters Lone Star — $500,000
  • Children’s Medical Center Foundation — $1,111,735
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum — $526,770.35
  • Hunger Busters — $1,192,500
  • Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation — $541,098
  • Rainbow Days — $500,000
  • Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy $850,000

That means the CCB 100 gals have a goal for $5,804,123.35 to haul in for the eight children’s nonprofits. Thanks to the fall CCB Fashion Show, the CCB Ball on Saturday, December 2, and a heck of a lot of elbow grease, that goal will be met for the children of Dallas.

Award-Winning Henry Winkler Served Up Humor, Passion And Inspiration At Each Moment Matters’ Awards Luncheon

Each time Henry Winkler comes to North Texas, he manages to actually make people realize that “The Fonz” was indeed an act. The philanthropist, businessman and family man speaks off the cuff to … not at … his audience, using memories of his past, G-rated rumor and lessons that all can share. That is exactly what happened on Friday, October 28, at the seventh annual Each Moment Matters at the Hilton Anatole. In addition to boasting Winkler’s presence, the event also recognized some dozens of local role models. Here is a report from the field:

Henry Winkler’s mix of humor and passion was just the right recipe for the seventh annual Each Moment Matters Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, October 28, as he shared his life lessons of tenacity and gratitude. Mr. Winkler’s iconic portrayal of The Fonz for 10 seasons on “Happy Days” (1974-84) made him one of the most recognized actors in the world, earning him two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and three Emmy nominations in the same category. He is also an author of children’s books entitled “Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Under-Achiever,” which have appeared on several Best Seller lists. More recently, he co-starred in the NBC reality series “Better Late than Never,” which has been renewed for a second season.

Emceed by Fox 4’s Clarice Tinsley, and hosted by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation (PC&SF), the luncheon raises money for the Faith Presbyterian Hospice’s Caring Fund. Such funding provides critical financial support for end-of-life services to terminally ill patients needing assistance – but who have exhausted all of their financial means.  In addition to receiving excellent hospice care, patients can participate in music, massage and pet therapies and their families are offered bereavement services, including children’s grief therapy.

Jim Neathery, Henry Winkler and Missie Neathery*

Jim Neathery, Henry Winkler and Missie Neathery*

While raising funds is the focus of the event, it also honors local individuals who have been selected for their impactful work in various organizations, schools, churches, or businesses. The 2016 Each Moment Matters honorees are: Sharon Balch, Mary Bartholow, Frederick Brewster, Judy and Dr. Bill Burnett, Catherine Bywaters, Kathryn Carpenter, Cleveland “Cleve” Clinton, Robyn Thomas Conlon, Louis Dunklin, Sharyn Fein, Mary “Mackey” Harper, Linda Humphries, Richard Knight Jr., Dr. Robert I. Kramer, Alice Masciarelli and Dr. Filippo Masciarelli, Melissa “Missie” Neathery, MSN and James “Jim” Neathery, DMN, Camille Owens, Patricia Porter, Shannon M. Radford, Ralph G. Santos, Katie McKinley Schlieve, David Grant Smith, Rand Stagen and Dr. Daniel Varga.

Henry Winkler, Lucy Johnson and Barbara Hunt Crow*

Henry Winkler, Lucy Johnson and Barbara Hunt Crow*

Barbara Hunt Crow and Lucy Johnson served as this year’s co-chairs and reported that a net amount of $360,000 resulted from the luncheon. A generous day-of challenge gift from a longtime donor, combined with board members’ contributions, totaled $50,000, encouraged additional giving.

* Photos provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation

“Loss happens. Loved ones die, and suddenly you don’t know what to do.

Tyra and Steve Damms*

Tyra and Steve Damms*

“Can you imagine seeing your children struggle with your terminal illness, fearing no one will be there to help them through the most painful time of their lives? Meet the Damms Steve, Tyra and their children Cooper (age 8) and Katie (age 4).

“’Steve was my one true love. He loved Cooper and Katie more than any parent I’ve ever seen love a child. Steve started showing symptoms in the fall. In January, tests revealed a mass in his brain stem, a glioblastoma grade IV, the most aggressive kind of brain tumor in a location that’s not operable,’ shares Tyra.

“The children watched their lives unravel as Tyra cared for Steve during his illness while struggling to maintain daily life and deal with her own grief. That’s when Faith Presbyterian Hospice stepped in with care and support from Faith’s Child Life Specialist. Valerie Sanchez, Director of Bereavement at Faith, explains, ‘Adults often ask: is it OK to tell children that mom or dad is dying? What do we say? Together, the Child Life Specialist and the family figure out how to get through when those tough times come.’

“Grief support for children is so important. Children who lose a parent are at much greater risk for falling behind in school, depression, anger and substance abuse. Faith provides a dedicated Child Life Specialist to help children through their grief journey – something very few other hospices provide.

“’It was time for me to tell Cooper and Katie their daddy was going to die soon. We sat in the family room and with the support of Faith and our pastor, I told Cooper and Katie that daddy had fought very hard but he was about to die.

Steve Damm, Katie Damm and Cooper Damm*

Steve Damm, Katie Damm and Cooper Damm*

Katie Damm with blanket*

Katie Damm with blanket*

Cooper Damm, Katie Damm and Tyra Damm*

Cooper Damm, Katie Damm and Tyra Damm*

“’Having Faith’s support made Katie and Cooper more comfortable discussing their emotions. Faith staff made them special blankets with pictures of Steve that they sleep with every night. When we celebrated Steve’s birthday after his death I used Faith’s idea to release balloons. Cooper has fond memories of his buddies around him and writing notes to Steve and seeing 100 balloons go up in the air. Those were special moments created because we have the support of Faith.  As Katie and Cooper grow, they’ll have different kinds of questions, reactions and emotions. Knowing I have the caring support of Faith means a lot,’ shared Tyra.

“The kind of hospice care that makes Faith different includes patient therapies and grief programs that Medicare and insurance don’t cover. Traditional hospice support ends after 13 months, but not at Faith.  Faith staff are there for children and families as long they are needed. Donations provide for 100% of Faith’s Child Life Services and grief support.

“With your support on North Texas Giving Day, we can continue to help families like the Damms who are going through the scariest time of their lives. We will be there in their worst moments to support them through their struggle – before and after the loss.

Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation helps ensure compassionate care for residents, patients and families in Greater Dallas served through Faith Presbyterian Hospice, and two senior living communities, Grace Presbyterian Village and Presbyterian Village North.

“When the personal finances of a resident or patient are exhausted, the Caring Funds ensure that quality care is available, regardless of ability to pay.

North Texas Giving Day is a great source of blessing for our Caring Funds. Please consider a generous gift on September 22, 2016. Together we can provide a much-needed lifeline for those we serve!”

-By Anita Ray, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation Manager of Annual Giving

* Photos provided by Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation
 _____________

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 Presbyterian Communities And Services Foundation by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

JUST IN: Aware Dallas’ Celebrate The Moments Plans And Beneficiaries Announced

Venise Stuart (File photo)

Venise Stuart (File photo)

After packing the younger elves off for summer camp and checking elder-type elves in for surgical enhancements, MySweetCharity headquarters continues being hit with all types of news. Forget all those rumors that things were calming down for the summer.

Aware Dallas President Venise Stuart just sent word that plans are already in place for the fundraising Aware Affair gala, “Celebrate the Moments,” on Saturday, April 8, at the Hilton Anatole. Co-chairing the evening of auctions, three-course dinning and dancing to Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra tunes will be Angela Fontana and Andrew Szuwalski and Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan.

Proceeds from the annual soiree will benefit the following programs dealing with Alzheimer’s:

  • Center for BrainHealth: Support for research aimed at slowing the rate of cognitive decline in patients with Early Mild Cognitive Impairment;
  • Juliette Fowler Homes, Inc.: Support for an expansion in the Art Therapy Program for residents who live with various stages of Alzheimer’s and related dementias;
  • NorthPark Presbyterian Church: Support for the Casa de Vida program offering affordable respite care for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with beginning-to-middle stage dementia being cared for at home;
  • Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation: Support for the Grace Caring Fund which provides a safety net for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents experiencing financial hardship ensuring that they can continue living at Grace;
  • The Senior Source: Support for Senior Companions (volunteers) to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach: Support for Musical Therapy Concerts for Seniors in Priority Facilities;
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: Support for the Clinical Neurology Fellowship Program.

Despite Rain And Change Of Location, AWARE Affair Was Celebrating The Moment(s)

As if on cue, the unscheduled rains started falling as the AWARE Affair Celebrating the Moments guests started arriving at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, April 9. The good news was that the valet arrival was at the covered porte-cochere.

But for some folks, it was a little bewildering. The invite had reported that the event was to take place at the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom. Still guests like Ramona Jones, Kay and Jim Hammond, Jennifer and John Eagle, Carol Seay and Kristi and Ron Hoyl were directed to the Atrium, where purple-and-white balloons floated and silent auction items filled tables. Evidently there had been a change of plans after the invites had been issued, and the dinner had been moved to the Stemmons Ballroom.

Kay Hammond and Margaret Guerlein

Kay Hammond and Margaret Guerlein

Ron and Kristi Hoyl

Ron and Kristi Hoyl

Someone commented that the Troy Aikman-United Way event was supposed to be taking place at that very moment at Klyde Warren Park. Luckily, word had it that a back-up plan was in place to move the whole thing indoors.

No problem. Venise Stuart, who had chaired the Les Femmes du Monde in October, was fresh off a day of commandeering the Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society’s home tour. Venise was all smiles. Seems that despite a drip-drop during the day, the tour had missed the heavy downpour that was taking place during the AWARE fundraiser.

Larry and Venise Stuart

Larry and Venise Stuart

Don Hammond and Sandi Chapman

Don Hammond and Sandi Chapman

BrainHealth’s Sandi Chapman was thrilled with the turnout. After all, the evening was benefiting BrainHealth in addition to Baylor AT&T Memory Center, Jewish Family Service, Juliette Fowler Communities, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Center for Vital Longevity, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation and Texas Winds Musical Outreach.

2015 Zoo To Do Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer were looking forward to the 2016 Zoo To Do. They were betting that the triumvirate of Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy would beat their total. When asked if the newly arrived elephants naming might be up for bid, Cindy reported that the naming of the elephant newbies had already taken place. Well, darn.

Chuck and Cindy Gummer

Chuck and Cindy Gummer

Sarah and Alan Losinger and Carol Seay

Sarah and Alan Losinger and Carol Seay

But this evening was not about elephants or the weather. It was to honor Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Sarah and Alan Losinger and Gail and Bill Plummer, as well as Honorary Chair Bob Miller. It also provided the opportunity to hear blonde Amy Osler tell how just a couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 50.

Each Moment Matters Honors 49 Who Matter Each Moment

Let’s be very brutal. Everything that is born will die. That’s a cold reality. It’s not a question of how good you’ve been or how rich you are. It’s just a plain fact that in most cases the body wears out despite the best technology and greatest love. But the true issue is how to face those final weeks, days and hours. It’s hard to undertake this step of life for the person as well as his/her family, but it must be addressed.

While some may consider hospice the kiss of death, it’s not. It’s a truly remarkable program with people who have compassion, resources and experience in making this transition easier for the individual and their family and friends.

Why bring this up? Because Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation held its 4th annual Each Moment Matters luncheon benefiting 10-year-old Faith Presbyterian Hospice at the Anatole on Friday, November 1 to a sell-out crowd of 1,150 in the Chantilly Ballroom.

Serita and Bishop T.D. Jakes and Jan Miller

Serita and Bishop T.D. Jakes and Jan Miller

While keynote speaker Bishop T. D. Jakes with wife Serita by his side was the rock star surrounded by legions of fans and friends including Jan Miller and Presbyterian Communities and Services President/CEO Godwin Dixon, it was the 49 honorees who mingled among the crowd that were the stealth stars of the day.

Godwin Dixon

Godwin Dixon

For instance, when the doors opened at 11:42 and the guests started filling the ballroom, Jennifer and Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford moseyed on in like a couple on a date. In their case, it sorta was. Between Jennifer’s work at Communities Foundation of Texas and Joe’s non-stop work as senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, their “time-off” is rare. Joe chuckled that he was home the night before for Halloween with his kids. They gave no sign of their being one of the 49, whose portraits lined the tables in the lobby.

Portraits of 49 honorees

Portraits of 49 honorees

What is the criteria for being recognized as one of the 49? Well, they are individuals, couples and families “who exemplify the following attributes:

  • Compassion and excellence in daily living;
  • Faith in serving others with joy, gratitude, respect and kindness;
  • Courage in empowering, educating and giving hope to others;
  • Integrity in maintaining a high level of ethics, reliability, trust and decency.

Once inside the ballroom, those portraits were individually presented on four mammoth screens. One of the mistakes for these occasion is the placement of the screens. Too often they are placed on either side of the stage. What’s wrong with that layout? Well, the people at the round tables facing the stage have their view for the main action. But if you are seated with your back to the stage, you have to rely on your flexibility to turn around and see what the heck is going on. And forget that plan entirely if you’re trying to eat at the same time.

But let’s face it — those mega screens cost a pretty penny, so the nonprofits can’t be faulted for scrimping in this area.

However, the Each Moment Matters folks were smart and knew that showcasing their fabulous 49 was a major part of the program, and so four screens were placed around the room.

Unfortunately, the video intro had a hiccup that caused it to stop-and-start-and-stop. This situation was followed by a voice over the PA announcing the Rev. Karl Schwarz, who gave the invocation. After a brief munching of lunch, the video was back and on its best behavior.

Dalene Buhl and Linda Humphries

Dalene Buhl and Linda Humphries

Following a welcome by Chair Dalene Buhl and Vice-Chair Linda Humphries, emcee/KDFW-CH. 4 anchor Clarice Tinsley explained how the honorees would be presented. While some may have been skeptical, thinking that the presentation of 49 would take a couple of hours, they soon learned that would not be the case. Clarice established the ground rules — honorees would be announced, come up, get their award and have their photos taken on either side of the stage. Then she issued a plea that she admitted would be tough on all concerned — hold your applause until the very end. As the process took place, it was obvious that hands were so tempted to come together, but everyone played by the rules as the 49 were recognized.

And just who were these 49? Of course, you want to know, so here goes:

  1. Audie Adkins
  2. Thelma and Arzell Ball, EdD
  3. Rev. Patsy and the late Rev. Ben J. Beltzer
  4. Mary and Frank Bonno
  5. Jacqueline and Guy Brown III
  6. John R. Buhl
  7. Carol Casey
  8. April Box Chamberlain
  9. Hak Ja and Ky Mo Chung
  10. Jennifer and Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford
  11. Betty and the Honorable Bill Coker
  12. Martha “Marty” and Russ Coleman
  13. Susan and John Cuellar
  14. Terry Flowers, EdD
  15. Jerome M. “Jerry” Fullinwider
  16. Robert E. Hall
  17. Cherry and David A. Haymes, M.D.
  18. Frank L. Higginbottom, D.D.S.
  19. John (Fox) Holt III and Jordan (Josh) Holt
  20. Joan and Chuck Hudson
  21. Betsy and Clyde Jackson
  22. Brenda L. Jackson
  23. Kara M. Janasak
  24. Dennis Jenkins
  25. Elaine and William “Bill” Johnson
  26. Mary and Charles Ku, D.D.S.
  27. Nancy Kurkowski
  28. The late Kerney Laday Sr.
  29. David Marquis
  30. Marianne and Thomas H. McConnell III, M.D.
  31. Sue B. and Rev. Dr. John M. McCoy Jr.
  32. Jane McManus
  33. Louisa O. Meyer
  34. Maryann Sarris Mihalopoulos
  35. Twila and Ted Moore, D.D.S.
  36. Betty Muse
  37. Charles H. Newby
  38. Cynthia Nott
  39. Janine Pulman
  40. Brad Soper
  41. The late Louis N. “Bill” Sparkman Jr.
  42. Wayne Spencer
  43. Mike Stanley
  44. Roena and Charles Tandy, M.D
  45. The Walker Family including: Sharon and Bob Walker, Sarah Walker Kinard and Matt Kinard and Amanda Walker
  46. Barbara Lord Watkins
  47. Beth Webb
  48. Marsha L. Williams
  49. Chief Justice Carolyn Wright
Bishop T. D. Jakes

Bishop T. D. Jakes

Following the presentation, Bishop Jakes told the audience “that one of [his] greatest accomplishments in life was being there for [his] mother every step of the way at the end of her life.”

As he explained, “We don’t get to choose how we come into the world or choose how we go. We are not just Americans. We are people and people deserve dignity. . . Love, dignity and support is what’s important. And that’s what Faith Presbyterian Hospice does.”

He revealed that it was “sitting by my mother while she was dying, I began writing about how we must all live life to the fullest, while we are vibrant and strong, so we can care for others.” That writing resulted in his book, “Maximize the Moment.”

Thanks to Bishop Jakes, the honorees and those gathered for the luncheon, more than $470,000 was raised.

 

 

Each Moment Matters Lunch Proved That Each Moment Does Matter

A record may have been set Friday at the Each Moment Matters. Yes, they raised $353,430 and honored The Harold Simmons Foundation with the EMM Lifetime Achievement Award and 49 EMM Honorees (Isabelle K. Adams and Katherine K. Adams, Gil H. Andres, Mike Blake, Eleanor and Howard Bond Ph.D., Frank D. Bracken, Dalene Buhl, Owen Simpson Buntyn, Brent E. Christopher, Wendell Cox, Janet Denney, Nancy Diebolt, Suzanne Dwight, Rebecca Gafford, Marla Gravens, William Gruver, Ernest Higginbotham, Martha Hardwick Hofmeister, Kay and David Jordan Ph.D., Mrs. Melvin “Dean” Kadesky, Charles Kemp, Sharon King, Dan Klein, Mary and Roger Kuehn, John “Victor” Lattimore Jr., Jody W. Lindh, Francie Mancillas, Ellen H. and Conrad, J. Masterson Jr., Wil McCall, William McGinnis, Cyndy and Rev. Dr. Blair Monie, Ruth P. Morgan Ph.D. Sara Bernice Moseley, Helen and Jimmy Payton Sr., Terry Price,Rev. Dr. Nancy Ramsay, Sydney Reid-Hedge, Leonard Riggs M.D., Orville C. Rogers, Valerie Sanchez, Presbyterian Village North, Sew and Sews, Janet Sims, Kent Skipper Ph.D., Randy Smith, Rev. Dr. Clem Gordon Sorley, Kitty St. Claire, Betty and Ray Stephens M.D., Adelle and Jim Taylor, Rev. Dr. John D. Williams and Mark Wischmeyer).

But they also managed to break a time record for a lunch this season.

Benefiting Faith Presbyterian Hospice, the luncheon officially started at 12:05 and at 12:57 guests surprised the valet parkers with “It’s over,” sending the staff hustling for vehicles.

What a gift on a Friday and proving that “each moment does matter.” After all, this event was held to raise money to create a hospice center for all in the area. What a downer? No. Hospice is the kindest service provided to individuals and their families as the final stage of life takes place. One only has to experience the confusion, helplessness and anxiety that occurs when it’s determined that life is ending. Hospice professionals manage to bring a sense of calm, comfort, dignity and relief for all involved.

Maybe that’s the reason why luncheon Co-chairs Kimber Hartmann and Mary Ann Hyde appreciated their guests’ time and didn’t want to have a luncheon that went on and on. In addition to recognizing the 49 honorees and the commemorative book that included their portraits and stories, a video was presented recognizing the support by the Simmons Foundation. It was 10 years ago that the Foundation provided a grant to purchase computers for Faith Presbyterian Hospice. This past year the Foundation gave FPH a $10M grant for the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center.   

It was also revealed that Charlotte and Don Test had given $2.5M to help fund the future hospice center’s Outdoor Reflection Center.

These numbers plus past donations bring the total amount committed to more than $30M. But the goal is $45M and a groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for November 2013.

To help get closer to that goal, PC&SF Board of Trustees Chair Nell Carvell told the audience that The Turning Point Foundation and two anonymous donors had offered a matching grant for pledges up to $50,000. Only problem? The offer was only good til midnight.  

Then the group was thanked for their attendance and the lunch was done. Well, sorta. Yes, there were those who scampered happily to their cars, but many stayed to discuss what they had heard and congratulate those who make such a great difference in the community.