Sold-Out Luxury And Supercar Showcase Drives Home A Whopping $30K For Salesmanship Club Of Dallas’ Momentous Institute

Out at the Four Seasons Resort And Club Dallas at Las Colinas, a whopping 2,500 people gathered on Saturday, September 9, to enjoy some of the world’s most exotic, luxury, and high-performance vehicles. The inaugural Park Place Luxury And Supercar Showcase, a sort of mini-Concours d’Elegance, was held in part to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ken Schnitzer‘s Park Place Dealerships. But it also was intended to benefit the Momentous Institute, owned and operated by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas since 1920.

Bugatti and future drivers

Surrounded by car lovers checking out nearly 200 autos—from new Bentleys, Bugattis, and Rolls-Royces sold by Park Place to vintage cars, like Robert Ostrowski‘s 1948 Plymouth Convertible and a ’65 Shelby 427 Cobra—Schnitzer recalled the event’s origins. “We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary, so we thought, what can we do that would be special and memorable?” he said. “So we came up with this sort of mini-Concours event, which has never been done in Dallas before. We completely sold out of tickets, and we even had to turn people away. We want to make it an annual event.”

Vintage vehicle

In addition to the cars, there were fashions from NorthPark Center on display, as well as specialty boutiques with offerings by the likes of Bachendorf’s, Mulberry, Montblanc, and Niven Morgan.

Lee Bailey and Niven Morgan

At one point Niven greeted Lee Bailey, one of the guests and a major aficionado of high-end cars (she currently owns a Rolls convertible, plus two Aston-Martins). Niven told Lee that he drives a Range Rover himself and is “doing all the candles” for the opening of Schnitzer’s new North Texas Land Rover dealership.

Also lending a hand was Brad Oldham, who partnered with wife  Christy Coltrin to create the “Spirit of Park Place,” an original sculpture that was presented to three big winners of the day’s car show. “Bachendorf Crystal” awards were also given to winners in the Vintage, Classic, Contemporary, and Exotic/Supercar categories. Before the trophies were given out, though, Ken presented the Momentous Institute with a giant check representing a $30,000 contribution from Park Place.

Later, just before a private dinner at the Four Season’s LAW Restaurant hosted by Rolls-Royce, the company’s communications head, Gerry Spahn, gave Lee and a few others an up-close look at the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, which had just arrived straight from Pebble Beach for its Texas debut. Park Place’s Heath Strayhan said the Dallas-based dealership expected to sell four or five of the top-of-the-line Phantoms in 2018, “give or take two or three.” 

JUST IN: Attorney Guy Kerr To Head Up Salesmanship Club Of Dallas For The 50th Anniversary Of AT&T Byron Nelson

This is gonna be a big year for the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. They’re moving their mega-huge AT&T Byron Nelson to the brand new course at Trinity Forest Golf Club after years of being held at Las Colinas Four Seasons Resort. What a great way to celebrate the tournament’s 50th anniversary!

Heading up the 97-year-old non-profit service organization that “owns and operates Momentous Institute” will be newly named President Guy Kerr, whose day job is practicing corporate and securities law at Locke Lord LLP. A member of the Club since 1989, Guy has “held a wide variety of leadership positions for the Club, Momentous Institute and the AT&T Byron Nelson.”

According to Guy, ““The year ahead for the Salesmanship Club promises to be exciting, historic and immensely fulfilling as we transition the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Southern Dallas and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tournament, while we continue to change the odds for thousands of kids and families through the work of our Momentous Institute.”

Guy Kerr*

Alan Walne (File photo)

Joining Guy during this transitional year will be the following new members of the Salesmanship Club Board of Directors: First VP Alan Walne, Second VP Joe Alcantar, Secretary Joseph Worsham, Treasurer Nelson DeVega, Momentous Institute Board Chair Jeff Barnes and Chair of the Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas Board David Watson.

Start setting your GPS for Trinity Forest Golf Club for the tournament that starts Monday, May 14.

* Photo provided by Salesmanship Club of Dallas

2017 Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf Of Dallas Provided A Record $6.8M For Momentous Institute

Despite hurricane Harvey making this weekend seem pretty darn miserable, the Momentous Institute folks are all smiley facing it.

Salesmanship Club of Dallas, AT&T Byron Nelson and Momentous Institute*

Thanks to the Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas tournament that was held this past May, the Institute received “a record $6.8 million in net proceeds.” That translates into Institute’s being able to support “social emotional health for all children, so they can achieve their full potential.”

According to 2017 Tournament Chair Tim Costello, “This year we set out to make the AT&T Byron Nelson’s final year in Irving our best yet, and to celebrate our long relationship with the Irving community and the Four Seasons. We are grateful to the countless people who came together to make sure we raised the most we could for the kids and families we serve through Momentous Institute.”

The 2018 Tournament will be held at Trinity Forest Golf Club and will again benefit Momentous Institute.

Momentous Institute Hosts Award-Giving Dinner With Author Glennon Doyle Melton On The Eve Of The Changing The Odds Conference

The night before the Momentous Institute kicked off the two-day Changing the Odds Conference, a very special dinner was held on Wednesday, October 5, at Sixty Five Hundred. Not only did Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones receive the inaugural  Changing the Odds Leadership Award, but author Glennon Doyle Melton was the keynote speaker. Here’s a report from the field:

Leslie Melson and J.D. McCaslin*

Leslie Melson and J.D. McCaslin*

More than 400 supporters gathered at Sixty Five Hundred on Wednesday, October 5, for Salesmanship Club of Dallas and Momentous Institute’s 5th annual Changing the Odds Dinner. Guests enjoyed a private dinner and address with speaker Glennon Doyle Melton, bestselling author and founder of the wildly popular Dinner chairs for the event were J.D. McCaslin and Leslie Melson.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Bill McClung and Guy Kerr*

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Bill McClung and Guy Kerr*

Momentous Institute Chairman Guy Kerr and Salesmanship Club of Dallas Past President  Bill McClung presented Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones with the first-ever Changing the Odds Leadership Award for their significant contributions to the health and well being of children in our community, including those served by Momentous Institute.

Michelle Kinder*

Michelle Kinder*

Momentous Institute Executive Director Michelle Kinder followed by underscoring the urgent need for social emotional health, particularly in light of national events, including the recent Dallas shootings.

“As a city, in the face of the unspeakable – we saw firsthand the difference social emotional health makes — we saw it in Mayor Rawlings and we saw it in Chief Brown. Compassion exemplified,” Kinder said. “Momentous Institute is about showing up in the lives of children so that the next Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown can emerge. Every person we work with represents a complex story – and a sacred opportunity for kindness, compassion and the expectation of momentous outcomes.”

Glennon Doyle Melton*

Glennon Doyle Melton*

Melton inspired the crowd as she recounted years of love, hurt, addiction, bravery and healing with her trademark authenticity and wit.

Melton is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoirs “Love Warrior,” of which the evening’s guests received a signed copy, and “Carry On, Warrior.” She is also founder of, an online community reaching millions of people each week, as well as the creator and president of Together Rising, a nonprofit organization that has raised nearly $5 million for women and children in crisis.

The dinner preceded Momentous Institute’s annual Changing the Odds Conference (October 6-7), a two-day conference at Omni Dallas that brings more than 1,600 mental health and education professionals (from 132 cities, 29 states and 7 other countries) together to hear best practices in social emotional health from thought leaders around the world.

* Photos provided by Momentous Institute

Salesmanship Club Of Dallas’ Momentous Institute Opens Availability For Changing The Odds Conference Via Live Streaming

Changing The Odds Conference*

Changing The Odds Conference*

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas’ Momentous Institute is just now announcing that its Changing The Odds Conference — “Compassion: Brain Changer” — that will be held Thursday, October 6 (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and Friday, October 7 (9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.), at the Omni Dallas was sold out last April.

Whoa! That was five months ago. So, why the delayed announcement?

According to organizers, “We have been sold out since April and have had a growing waiting list. We did not announce the sellout back in April since we were exploring options for how to give more people access to the conference. Now that option has arrived.”

The option is the live streaming of the event that will allow “live stream ticket holders to watch the conference anywhere from their own devices.” Translation: you’ll be able to watch and hear the speakers in your jammies if you like.

Brené Brown**

Brené Brown**

And what a lineup they have! How about New York Times bestselling author ofEmotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman; motivational speaker and author Lizzie Velasquez; “the happiest man in the world,” Matthieu Ricard; the emotions expert behind Pixar’s “Inside Out,” Dacher Keltner; neuroscientist and one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People” Richard J. Davidson; Momentous Institute experts and #1 New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown, who hit it out of the park last spring at the Dallas Children’s Appetite for Advocacy Luncheon.

There is a catch, of course. But it’s not a big one. You’ve just got to register to gain access for the live streaming. The price for the two days of live streaming is $300 per individual stream. Sign up here.

* Graphic provided by Salesmanship Club of Dallas 
** Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Salesmanship Club Hopes AT&T Byron Nelson Tourney Will Raise $6.5M For Momentous Institute

Since its inception, what’s now called the AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament has raised at least $143 million for charity—the most of any annual PGA tour event. This year the goal is to add to that total at least $6.5 million in net proceeds in support of Momentous Institute, a Dallas nonprofit serving needy children and their families with education and mental health programs.

Momentous is owned and operated by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which has hosted the Byron Nelson tourney since 1968 and will do so again this year from May 16-22 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas in Las Colinas.

Tim Costello, Patton Chapman and Tim Marron*

Tim Costello, Patton Chapman and Tim Marron*

At a “media preview” event for the Byron Nelson on Tuesday, March 1, at TopGolf Dallas, 2016 tournament chair Tim Marron said the Salesmanship Club’s goal is to raise $14 million in sales for this year’s tourney, up from the $13.4 million that was raised last year. Marron and other club officials said this year will be AT&T’s second year as the Byron Nelson’s title sponsor, and that this year’s total purse will be $7.3 million. Of that, $1.31 million will go to the tournament champion.

Michelle Kinder*

Michelle Kinder*

Dallas phenom Jordan Spieth, 22, who was last year’s PGA Player of the Year, has committed to attending the Nelson, Marron announced. He also disclosed that Spieth may host the tournament’s free Youth Golf Clinic at the Four Seasons on May 17, and that Hudson Moore, the Limelight Band, and David Nail would provide entertainment in the Pavilion After Dark on May 20, 21, and 22, respectively. Other activities during the week-long extravaganza will include something called the KidZone (bounce houses and the like) Presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers, and the AT&T Digital Clubhouse, showcasing the telecom giant’s products and services, both from May 19-22.

Momentous Institute Executive Director Michelle Kinder said the organization is serving at least 6,000 children and family members annually. Last year, the Byron Nelson provided the institute with $5.6 million in net proceeds.

Also attending the media preview were other members of the Salesmanship Club’s fabled “Red Pants” brigade—longtime member Patton Chapman, for example, and the AT&T Byron Nelson chair-elect Tim Costello —as well as media members The Dallas Morning News’ Holly Haber and CBS Channel 11’s Robbie Owens.

* Photos provided by Momentous Institute

JUST IN: Family Compass Executive Director Jessica Trudeau Heading To Salesmanship Club Of Dallas’ Momentous Institute

Word’s just arrived that Family Compass Executive Director Jessica Trudeau will be heading over to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas’ Momentous Institute to be Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships.

Jessica is replacing Kristen Howell, who became Chief Programs Officer at Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center in January.

Family Compass Clinical Director Tina Robertson, who subbed in for Jessica at the Crystal Charity Ball bus tour, will serve as Interim Executive Director.

Jessica’s departure is scheduled for April 28 (aka the Tuesday following Family Compass’ April 25th “A Legendary Evening” fundraiser).

BTW, Family Compass was just named one of Crystal Charity Ball’s 2015 beneficiaries.

Salesmanship Club Of Dallas Ramps Up Support Of Kids With The Momentous Institute

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas has operated the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers for years. Supported by funds raised through various endeavors including the HP Byron Nelson Championship, its focus has been on helping kids achieve their full potential.

Established in 1920, the Club has been “committed to transforming kids’ lives.” One of its programs was the “nation’s first year-round, residential treatment camp for troubled youths.”

Bill Wilshusen and Michelle Kinder

Bill Wilshusen and Michelle Kinder

While the focus of the program had targeted local youths, times have changed and so Club officials including President Bill Wilshusen announced two new developments recently:

First a name change. No, not the club. It’s still the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Rather, the program itself is moving ahead and will be called Momentous Institute headed by Michelle Kinder.

Second, the Club will be “pursuing ambitious goals to share our work and research nationwide to help kids we will never meet.”

Those goals will include:

  • The power of relationships
  • Focusing on strengths
  • Expecting momentous outcomes.

As for the Club itself, the golf tournament will continue and the boys will still don their red pants on the greens.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush Shares His Thoughts On Bringing Up The Nation’s Kiddos For Salesmanship Club Of Dallas

Just a day after for President George W. Bush made a surprise appearance at the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner, his brother Jeb charmed and charged up about 300 guests. Surprise! He wasn’t talking politics or trying to raise funds for a run.

The September 25 dinner chaired by Lydia and Dan Novakov for more than 280 was to kick off the Salesmanship Club of Dallas’s Youth and Family Centers’ Changing Odds program and its two-day conference, which was expected to have 800 attendees from 80 cities and 17 states.

Video wall in Freedom Hall

Video wall in Freedom Hall

Taking place at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, no one could resist observing the 360-degree, high-definition video wall high top the Center’s Freedom Hall. Even Jeb had to look up at the amazing panoramic shots of West Texas and people in between breaks during the meet-and-greet with guests. From crouching down to chat with Joel Williams Jr. in his wheelchair to cutting up with others guests, he endeared himself to all. Why, even the late Gov. Ann Richards would have probably enjoyed his company.

Joel Williams Jr. and Jeb Bush

Joel Williams Jr. and Jeb Bush

During the reception the snapshots of folks included DISD Superintendent Mike Miles asking about the Salesmanship’s Byron Nelson Championship signature red pants. A club member told Miles about the time that former Mayor Ron Kirk was headed to the Bryon Nelson Golf Tournament saying, “Where else do you see 500 white guys in red pants?”. . . Marianne and Roger Staubach were showing photos of the newest member of the Staubach clan — a great-grandson. . . . Communities Foundation of Texas’ Brent Christopher attributed the recent North Texas Giving Day success to leveraging the power of social media and having the nonprofits vigorously participate. . . Lee Ann White was with son Michael Fowler. Husband Alan was busy integrating all the South Texas banks that PlainsCpaital just picked up when Jerry Ford acquired Edinburg-based First National Bank. . . Jim Turner was all smiles about daughter Jenna’s wedding to Brendan Higgins in Aspen on October 4. . . Donnie Miller was recalling his recent 31st wedding anniversary to Martha and her Princess Di wedding dress. . . Tracy and Richard Cheatham were enjoying life at Museum Tower after selling their estate in Volk Estate. . . Others going through the metal detectors included Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Anne and Larry Nixon, Mary McDermott and Dan Patterson, Linda Evans, Cate and Jeremy Ford, Marla and Mike Boone, Jan and Fred Hegi, Sally and Forest Hoglund, Gloria Campos, Robin Robinson, Karen and David Shutte, Alicia and Scott Wood, Mary Jalonick, Lesley MatinelliSarah and Alan Losinger, Kathy and Bill Shuford, Barbara and Ralph Babb, Robin and Norm Bagwell, Linda and Bill Custard.

Jeremy and Cate Ford and Anne and Larry Nixon

Jeremy and Cate Ford and Anne and Larry Nixon

Marianne and Roger Staubach and Lydia Novakov

Marianne and Roger Staubach and Lydia Novakov

Robin Robinson and Karen and David Shutte

Robin Robinson and Karen and David Shutte

After the last photo was taken in the meet-and-greet, the crowd was moved downstairs for dinner (port poached pears with pecan crusted Texas goat cheese and mission fig vinaigrette, mignon of bistro style au poivre with cognac peppercorn cream, Gruyère gratin potatoes and citrus steamed asparagus and flourless chocolate cake with tart cherry compote and Bailey’s pistachio anglaise). Before folks were seated, Jeb reported his travel schedule is a busy one, but it includes frequent stops in Dallas. For instance, just in the following week, he was to return to the area on September 28 for the baptism of “Little P” (aka Jeb’s grandson courtesy of Mandy and son George P.). Then Jeb and his wife, Columba, were headed to Europe only to return once again to Dallas for Barbara Bush’s “Celebration of Reading” on Monday, October 7, at the Meyerson.

Sally Hoglund, Jeb Bush, Mike Rawlings and Forest Hoglund

Sally Hoglund, Jeb Bush, Mike Rawlings and Forest Hoglund

Mayor Mike Rawlings walked up to Jeb and said, “Governor, welcome to Dallas.”

After the dinner, Salesmanship Club Executive Director Michelle Kinder explained the importance of the centers and the upcoming conference.

Referring to Michelle’s talk, Rawlings, admitted to the crowd, “I was intimidated because I was going to introduce Governor Bush, but now I’m scared to death.” He then went on to describe the Salesmanship Club — “They’re a tough crowd. . . This room is full of leaders, not whiners, who understand we’re fighting for our kids.”

Jeb started his talk with an update on the family — “George might have been president, but Laura designed this place!” He admitted that being the father of a candidate is the hardest thing to do.

He then turned to the night’s topic: young people. Jeb said the problem with children is that they begin to act like adults. They lose the wonder and innocence. If the focus was on a “committed family life [as] the organizing principle of our country,” the other problems would disappear. But this was not going to happen thanks to “a fairy godmother. . . All of us have to be engaged.” With half the 17M kids enrolled in K-3 in poverty, he stressed the importance of establishing higher academic standards, increasing choice (in schools) for parents, etc.

Then he offered three reforms:

  • Stress early childhood literacy.
  • Digital learning.
  • Teaching effectiveness. He claimed that kids get a 50% penalty with an ineffective teacher. Impeding reform is collective bargaining based on longevity of service. Ineffective teachers should be found and kicked out of classrooms. Mediocre teachers should be “remediated,” and great teachers should be recognized and rewarded.

His final point was about the Salesmanship Club’s program — it shouldn’t be viewed as a charity. Rather it should be consider re-instilling [in all students] the right to rise in society.

It should be noted that during Jeb’s discussion of point #3, a number of eyes looked in the direction of Mike Miles, who appeared to be wearing an approving smile.

More photos are available on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Salesmanship Club Of Dallas Dinner

For a second night in a row, one of the Barbara’s Boys was helping a local nonprofit. This time it was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at the Salesmanship Club of Dallas’ dinner. And where did it take place? Why at the Bush Center, of course.

Sally Hoglund, Jeb Bush, Mike Rawlings and Forest Hoglund

Sally Hoglund, Jeb Bush, Mike Rawlings and Forest Hoglund

As you guessed, the write-up is being done, but just wanted to share some photos from the night. They’re on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Bill Wilshusen Elected President Of Salesmanship Club Of Dallas

William Wilshusen*

William Wilshusen*

It’s hard to imagine there have been 93 presidents of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. And the news is that the 94th president has been announced — Haynes and Boone partner William “Bill” Wilshusen. A member of the Club since 1992, he has held various positions including board chair of the Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas that oversees the Club’s golf franchise. And you do know what that “franchise” is — the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Thanks to the funds raised by this bigger-than-huge tournament, funds are made available to “build and repair social emotional health in kids and families.”

“It’s an honor to be chosen to lead an organization that is focused on helping kids and families achieve their potential,” Bill said. “We know that children growing up with few advantages are capable of making incredible gains, even when the odds are stacked against them. Our education and therapeutic programs build on strengths, creating an early understanding about the importance of persistence and determination.”

Other recently elected Club officers include first vice-president Guy Kerr, Belo Corp.; second vice-president Mike Haggerty, Jackson Walker; secretary Blair Oden, CBRE; and treasurer Bob Myers, Myers Commercial, Inc.

* Photo provided by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas

HP Byron Nelson Championship Is More Than Getting Tee-ed Up

The HP Byron Nelson Championship doesn’t officially start until tomorrow at the TPC Four Seasons, but it’s already getting headlines with its announcement of moving to South Dallas in 2019. And then there is the annual concern about the weather — is it going to rain, or be bright and shiny for sunscreen action?

But something seems to be lost in the news and that’s what the tournament’s real goal is. Yes, one mission is to have a winning player decided by Sunday. But more importantly it’s the money that is raised for the Salesmanship Club’s mission.

According to Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers Executive Director Michelle Kinder, “Kids are at the heart of everything we do, and we want Nelson fans to know that we value their support. This championship is not just about golf. It’s about creating brighter futures for struggling kids and families.”

Thanks to the money raised from the tournament

The Club’s two Dallas campuses provide mental health counseling and treatment for more than 5,500 kids and family members

The Salesmanship Club’s Jonsson School and other “urban education programs” involve 1,700 at-risk students.

To get the Club’s message across, they’re providing a collection of activities during Nelson week including:

  1. Youth Caddies: Jonsson School fifth grade students will caddie for PGA TOUR pros on No. 17 during the pro-am on May 15, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  The association between kids and players has been inspirational as students have an opportunity to meet the pros and walk a hole with them, often creating a positive, lasting impression with the players.
  2. KidsZone: Take a brain break at KidsZone and learn how to “settle your glitter.” Salesmanship Club staff will use a glitter jar project to help children learn about their brain and how it can be calmed during emotional times.
  3. Sign Your Support on Champions Way: Fans are being invited to sign their names inside a giant version of Salesmanship Club’s heart logo to show support for the year-round services that the tournament makes possible. A paint-splattered canvas painted by Jonsson School students is a true work of art and a fitting backdrop for this interactive project.
  4. Wear Red on Saturday: We hope everyone will be seeing red on Saturday, as fans show that they are “part of the heart” and support for the Salesmanship Club’s work by wearing red.

You just know that you have something red that’s quite smashing. Why not pull it out of your closet for a Saturday outing and support the Club and the kids?

Salesmanship Club Of Dallas Promotes Its Involvement With Children And Education With The Goldie (Hawn) Touch

Goldie Hawn

Back in the 1960’s, Goldie Hawn was the giggly goofball on Laugh-In. Near the end of the decade she was being taken more seriously by winning an Academy Award. Over the years, she’s written a book and made dozens and dozens of movies. But in the last 10 years she hasn’t been seen much on the big or little screen. Instead, she has focused her energy on trying to equip children with social and emotional skills to lead better lives through her Hawn Foundation.

Kristen and Bill Howell

In fact, many of the tools that Goldie has incorporated have been adapted by the Salesmanship Club of DallasJ. Erik Jonsson Community School. It’s been so successful that according to SCD Development of Development Kristen Howell, “At our school, 95% graduate on time versus 43% average in the area.”

So, it was no surprise that Goldie was the headliner for the club’s 2012 Changing the Odds Conference. And since she was in town, some smart person thought it might be a great opportunity to have her share her thoughts with major area influencers and donors as well as let them better understand the mission of the club.

Bill Shuford and Alan Engstrom

So, a seated dinner for 200 was held Thursday night at Alan and Randy Engstrom‘s marvelous estate. As the Engstrom’s auto courtyard took on the look of a square dance of luxury vehicles, guests received their name tags (there was even one for Goldie. . . as if. . .) and made their way down the steps to the pool area for the cocktail reception. As the elite set of movers and shakers gathered around the pool at the base of the Engstrom mansion, even the most sophisticated could be seen raising an eye to check out the newest arrival at the top of the lantern lined stairway: Was it Goldie?

Cocktail reception at Engstrom estate

In the meantime, organizers worked on a game plan to have Goldie head to the walkway leading to the massive air-conditioned dinner tent for a grip-and-grin photo session.

Robin Bagwell, Goldie Hawn and Norm Bagwell

Then without fanfare the blonde of the hour appeared. It was sorta endearing to see some locals sneak a look at her at the top of the stairs, while others lucked out and got a chat with her.

Ah, shoot! There went all the plans to maneuver her to the designated photo spot. She barely made it to the base of the steps. Local handlers soon realized Goldie did not have an egg timer limiting her conversation with new BFF’s. Each conversation was given full attention and time. But there were 200 people and only so many hours.

Most guests realized that their one-on-one session with Goldie just wasn’t going to happen, so they happily continued their chatting it up with friends and new acquaintances. Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow, who was to interview Goldie, had been given the caveat — “No questions about movies!” Really. That’s like interviewing a presidential candidate without involving anything political. But Goldie’s purpose was not to promote a movie. It was to promote children’s education and she was not going to be distracted by a minor item like 30 years of show biz.

Then Stephan Pyle’s Ben Brown started playing the chimes calling all to the tent. The parade of high rollers was rewarded with cooler temperatures inside the tent with chandeliers, wonderful fall-colored floral arrangements, a clear top to see the sky and neatly done cards (place, menu and program).

Soon all seats were filled except for a pair at one table. Nothing stands out like a no-show at a seated dinner, don’t you know.

SCD Development Committee Chairman Paul Whitman welcomed the group, saying that the 92-year-old club had only had a development committee for one year and admitted that most folks “know we wear red pants and support the Byron Nelson golf tournament. . . but we have so many more things we want to do.” Then he added that everyone should settle back for dinner and they’d get ’em out by 9:30 p.m.

Neils and Elaine Agather and Lydia and Dan Novakov

During that time the crowd (Ralph Babb, Elaine and Neils Agather, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne

Beth Van Duyne and Barbara Van Duyne

with her mom Barbara Van Duyne, Lydia and Dan Novakov, Nancy Dedman with Brad Kelly, Mike Miles, Lynn and Allan McBee, Brent Christopher and Marianne Staubach with daughter Michelle Staubach Grimes) caught up. Norm Bagwell said his Bank of Texas had a record quarter, and last year was a record year. However, it will get tougher going forward, he added. Hmm, sounds like the same song that Comerica’s Ralph Babbsang at the Crystal Charity Ball Platinum Patron dinner.

Marianne Staubach and Katherine Perot Reeves

Perot Museum of Nature and Science fundraising wunderkind Forrest Hoglund was talking to Caroline Rose Hunt. Asked the secret of getting the $185M Perot Museum to open earlier than expected—Dec. 1—Forrest said, “The project absolutely has been blessed. On time, on budget. There was a tremendous outpouring of support in Dallas. Biggest problem was, people didn’t know at the start what a good museum is. But if they went to see the Houston Museum of Natural Science. . . that’s the fourth-best attended museum in country, after the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan in New York, etc.”

Forrest explained that getting the two museums at Fair Park to merge was as hard as getting Exxon to merge with Microsoft. “We raised $100M right off the bat. Got to $130M, then got a bunch of million-dollar-and-more matching gifts.” When asked if people cry when they hear that he’s phoning them, he said, “What’s the worst technological invention of the last 25 years? Caller ID!”

Seated nearby, Forrest’s wife Sally added with a twinkle in her eye: “He’ll flirt with anybody who will give him money.”

At the head table, Trevor Rees-Jones snapped a shot of Goldie seated next to his wife Jan on his iPhone.

After dinner (roasted balsamic portabella with shaved fennel and marinated cherry tomato on fresh baby greens, BBQ beef short rib with horseradish potato gratin, braid artichokes and picked red onions; and lemon pound cake with port-macerated blackberry and blackberry chicharron), the program was reminiscent of Todd Wagner’s event with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Rather and ZZ Top at Cowboys Stadium. The host had paid for the event and brought in celebs for the guests to hear the message.

Salesmanship Club President Charley Spradley thanked the Engstroms and recognized the many, including Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, who were “generous underwriters of the event.”

A video on the Salesmanship Club was shown about the SCD on two screens on both sides of the stage. The screens were big enough to handle a NFL football in most dens, but in this mammoth tent they reminded one guest of a 1950’s screen on which home movies were shown.

It was followed by Salesmanship Club Executive Director Designate Michelle Kinder, who explained in detail the past, present and future of the organization’s goals. While guests listened, it was obvious they wanted to hear from the “gold one.”

It might have been more productive if the talks had been cut in half and handouts had been provided for guests to find in their cars, or better yet mailed the day after.

But at this point, who cared. It was Goldie time.

In introducing the main event, Event Chair George Bramblett said interviewer Steve “is the reason we read the Dallas Morning News.”

Goldie Hawn

Goldie and Steve took their places on stage. While Steve sat in his chair, Goldie with mic in hand talked to the crowd like a Sunday morning TV minister.

She recalled how on 9/11, she was staring up at a glass roof with rain coming down in a Vancouver hotel room. She had read about various school shootings, and was inspired then to pursue social and emotional learning. “We aren’t teaching children about their brains! One in three is medicated.” When she met with Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan, she asked, “Why are our kids dropping out?”

Goldie then told the crowd that she felt “we’re not looking at what’s really wrong. The kids’ hearts are breaking.”

It would be up to the private sector to make a difference by building a society that has empathy and toughness of spirit, she said.

Then, recalling her start as the lovable Laugh-In goofball, she said, “It is odd, because I started out as a dummy on Laugh-In.”

Goldie Hawn

During a visit to the Jonsson school earlier in the day, a student had asked her why she was doing this. Goldie told the child, “I am doing this because I want you to find happiness.”

Then it was time for Steve to get to work. He opened by saying, “I’ve been a fan since Laugh-In. I dreamed that we might meet one day. Not like this, though.” He asked her about the present situation facing young people. To this issue, she answered that youngsters nowadays have no social and emotional skills. They’re too tech-oriented.

Breaking the rules, Steve asked Goldie about her show biz past. Heck, what was she gonna do? Walk off the stage?

What were her favorite movies? Answer: Sugarland Express, Private Benjamin and Overboard.

Is Kurt Russell (her longtime companion) still cute? “I think he is. . . He keeps me interested.” She met him when he was 16  and she was 21 on a Disney movie, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band.

What do you want to impart to your grandchildren? Steve finished up. Answer: “Empathy for others.”

Ironically, when some guests got home, what did they discover showing on their cable TV? Overboard. Now, how the heck did the Salesmanship Club pull that one off?

Make-Believe-Benefactor: Ed Bernet

Ed Bernet

“My suggestion would be the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. The good that is done by that organization in the lives of so many kids through the years is extraordinary. The school run by the SC…the J. Eric Jonsson Community School in Oak Cliff…starts kids off on the right foot…kids that might not otherwise get a good start…and its methods and procedures have been exported to hundreds of other schools throughout the world. It’s so heartwarming to visit the school and see, first-hand, what goes on there…and to hear about how many kids and their families have been helped…for so many years! The Salesmanship Club of Dallas would be my choice!”

-Ed Bernet