Jubilee Park And Community Center Celebrated Its 20th Birthday With Balloons, Cakes, Cannon Confetti And Some Off-Scripted Moments

The Omni was the site of two groups that split centuries ago on Saturday, November 4. In the Dallas Ballroom, a largely Catholic contingency rallied for 2017 St. Jude Evening Under The Stars. Just a hallway way in the Trinity Ballroom, the Jubilee Park and Community Center’s 20th anniversary “Celebrate Love Dream” was being celebrated with a large number of Jubilee’s founding partners, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

But both groups faced a common challenge. It was in the bathrooms. Despite the best efforts, people emerged from the restrooms with soapy hands. It seems that the sensor-detecting faucets in the lavatories were playing hard to get. One woman, upon seeing another guest failing to find water at any of the six basins, buddied up and held two fingers against the sensors, resulting in flowing water. The soaped-up guest’s wasn’t very quick. By the time she put her hands under the faucet, the water had stopped. The two women partnered up; while one blocked the sensor, the other finally got the now sticky soap off. Gents reported a similar situation in their lavatory.

Anne and Bill Johnson

Ken Malcolmson and Stacey Paddock Malcolmson

But the soapy challenge was soon forgotten as the partying commenced. Before even entering the cocktail party in the ballroom’s lobby, arriving guests saw hundreds of colorful ribbons hanging from equally colorful balloons hovering overhead.

As the 800 members of the Jubilee black-tie set like Marla and Evening Emcee Tony Briggle, Brent Christopher, Anne and Bill Johnson, Stacey Paddock Malcolmson and Ken Malcolmson, Heather Furniss, Delilah and Sam Boyd and Amanda and Price Johnson cocktailed, chatted and made great use of MirMir in the lobby, Event Co-Chair Lydia Addy was in the ballroom going over last-minute details.

Delilah Boyd and Price and Amanda Johnson

Heather Furniss

Lydia Addy

The room was like a mega birthday event, with a mammoth chandelier of huge balloons, party games like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and “Putt Putt” in the corners of the room, and a 12-foot-high, multi-layered birthday cake in the center of the dance floor.

Birthday cakes

On each table was a cake topped with electric candles. The confections looked good enough to eat, and guests would soon learn that they were, indeed. Despite looking like faux cakes, they actually were chocolate and vanilla, double-layer cakes.

Organizers had planned to run a tight program, with each speaker limited to two minutes. But as speakers with the best of intentions addressed the crowd, they said those infamous words that give event planners conniption fits — “I’m going to go off script.” It started when Rev. Mark Anschutz, who was to provide the invocation, told the audience that they should have known better than to give a minister the mic. His two minutes ended up being a lengthy thank you to individuals who had worked over the years to make Jubilee happen. That opened the floodgates, with Lydia and her Co-Chair/husband Bill Addy also expanding upon their two minutes in making their remarks. One behind the scenes person said that Jubilee CEO Ben Leal would stay on script, only to hear Ben tiptoe off script, too.

Ben Leal

But seriously, who could blame them if they wanted to thank everyone involved in the success of the southwest Dallas oasis? Since 1997, Jubilee Park has strengthened the 62-block community in southeast Dallas based on the five pillars of education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for both children and adults. As Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings noted of Jubilee Park and its supporters in addressing the crowd: “This marks the best of Dallas.” Not to mention that, instead of hitting the goal of $1.3M, the event had brought in more than $1.4M!

Ann and Bob Dyer, Guy and Louise Griffeth and Les and Linda Secrest

In between the speakers, salads were followed by chewy short ribs. Servers removed the centerpieces and returned minutes later with slices of the cake on plates and flutes of champagne. Ben invited all who had had any part of Jubilee to come to the dance floor to toast the occasion. With the dance floor filled, the rest of the guests, like Louise and Guy Griffeth, Linda and Les Secrest, Ann and Bob Dyer and Ken Schnitzer, stood in their places to join the birthday toast and sing “Happy Birthday.” With that, a confetti canon showered the room with paper.

Confetti Cannon

Then, to keep the action going, Emerald City quickly followed to transform the dance of toasters to dancers with glow sticks.

Downtown Dallas Is Gonna Be A Major Traffic Jam… Uh, Party Room On October 21 And 22

If you thought Dallas would be ground zero for revelries on the night of Friday, October 7, with Longhorns and Sooners partying and DIFFA’s Burgers and Burgundy taking place on the Ron Kirk Bridge, think again.

It’s just gonna be a warmup for Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22. On those two days, downtown Dallas has all the looks of being a slam-bang theater of activity.

So, what’s the big hoo-ha?

  • Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    Klyde Warren Park (File photo)

    To start things off, the Klyde Warren Park’s biggy fundraiser Park and Palate will be having food, fun and music from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Across the road at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, freebie Prelude: A Preview of Aurora 2017s will feature “10 massive art installations of light, video and sound from around the world” on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus from 8 til midnight. Plus there will be music in the Annette Strauss Square with the doors opening at 6:30. Suggestion: However, if you’ve got some ca-ching and want a sneak preview, come to the AT&T PAC fundraiser —Prelude Lights — the night before. It will include “an extraordinary evening of interactive art in varied mediums of light and sound, culinary delights, live entertainment by Neon Indian and much more.” The original $250+ ticket levels has had a $75 level offered. What a deal! Plus you won’t have to face the logjam of traffic on Friday and Saturday.
  • Over at the Omni Dallas Hotel the St. Jude’s crowd will be holding the 2016 St. Jude Evening Under The Star starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Needless to say, traffic jamming will test the temperaments of both event participants and innocent commuters. So, if your GPS is set for downtown Dallas on either of these days, pack an extra helping of patience.

Let’s just hope that the weather is pristine. You really don’t want rain on such an occasion, don’t you know?

Round Robin October 26: St. Jude Evening Under The Stars, Commit To Cure And Northwood University Distinguished Women

Honors were being handed out at the area’s two most popular hotels, Omni Dallas and Hilton Anatole, on Saturday, October 26. Two events dealt with health care and one with education. All three raised money and had a great time doing it.

St. Jude Evening Under The Stars

Lydia Haggar Novakov, Marian Haggar Bryan, Carole and Scott Murray

Lydia Haggar Novakov, Marian Haggar Bryan, Carole and Scott Murray*

Over at the Omni Dallas hotel, Carole and Scott Murray were honored at the 13th annual St. Jude Evening Under the Stars party. The Murrays are longtime supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which benefited from the gala, western-themed event that was co-chaired by Marian Haggar Bryan and Lydia Haggar Novakov. Cindy Feld served as party chair, while Holly and Doug Brooks co-chaired the host committee. Among the 900 in attendance were Rick C. Shadyac Jr., St. Jude’s CEO, and his wife, Ann.

Doug Brooks, Cindy Feld, Holly Brooks and Elizabeth and Perry Smith

Doug Brooks, Cindy Feld, Holly Brooks and Elizabeth and Perry Smith*

Following dinner (beet carpaccio, filet of beef and seared chicken, new potatoes and roasted vegetables, and assorted Bundtini’s) and a live auction, guests enjoyed a blowout performance by top Nashville songwriters

Phillip White and Sonny Curtis*

Phillip White and Sonny Curtis*

Tommy Lee James, Don Poythress, Phillip White and West Texas native Sonny Curtis, lead guitarist in Buddy Holly’s pre-Crickets band. Earlier, Sonny explained that he was participating at the suggestion of Alabama’s Randy Owen—a longtime St. Jude’s supporter—and was very pleased to be doing so.

Commit To Cure

For decades Dr. Alan Menter has been the adored and respected doctor of lotions and potions. When it came to skin diseases, Alan was the man. Teenagers suffering through the agonies of acne found him to be the go-to man for their formative years. Vicki Chapman recalled, “You don’t make an appointment with him at 4 p.m. You’ll be there until 7.” Why? Because the good doctor is always running late due to his thoughtful handling of previous patients.

Pat and Dr. Alan Menter

Pam and Dr. Alan Menter**

Newcomers quickly learned that Alan’s fame extended way beyond the patient care world. In 1968, he had been a part of the top-ranked Springboks rugby team.

But on Saturday, he was the man to be honored for his lifelong work in the area of psoriasis.

OK, so go laugh. Psoriasis is that disease that’s on TV. . . the heartbreak of psoriasis.

But to the hundreds of medical industry experts from around the world who were present for the Commit To Cure gala in the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom, the disease was a fearful condition and Alan was the knight leading the charge.

Zambian Vocal Collection

Zambian Vocal Collection**

The evening’s entertainment ranged from Zambian Vocal Collection to Troy Cartwright and a live auction. But the highpoint of the evening was the plaudits paid to this remarkable physician.

It started off with a heartfelt tribute by Alyssa Krafsur, who has suffered from the pain and appearance of the disease. Before she became a well-known speaker on psoriasis, she was just a suffering little girl with both severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Then she met Alan, who treated and helped her during those years. Alyssa and her mother would drive to Dallas from El Paso on a regular basis just to have Alan treat her. With the care that would make Marcus Welby seem like a Spanish inquisitor team leader, Alan worked with her to curb the disease.

Stephen Giles and Clarice Tinsley

Stephen Giles and Clarice Tinsley**

Upon receiving his award, Alan showed the grace and articulation that has made him an international star on skin diseases, as well as beloved by his friends and patients who filled the audience including Honorary Chair Richard Fisher (“My chief claim to fame is Alan is my doctor”) along with mom-in-law Dee Collins Torbert, Gala Chair Julie Hubach, Emcee Clarice Tinsley with husband Stephen Giles, Francois Fournier (“Everyone knows Alan”), Dr. Caitriona Ryan, Dr. Alexa Kimball (“He treats his patients like he treats his daughters and sons”) and Baylor Health Care System CEO/President Joel Allison, who passed on attending the Baylor football game just to be at the dinner.

In his remarks, Alan said that psoriasis used to be considered part of leprosy. Today 120 million suffer from the disease, with 7 million of them living in the U.S. In addition to the pain and ugliness of psoriasis, 10% of the victims struggle to ward off additional “inside” problems: liver, lung, etc. In closing he revealed that two of his brothers have psoriasis.

As a result of the dinner and in recognition of Alan, $1.175 million was raised.

Northwood University’s Distinguished Women

While Dr. Menter was being applauded in the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom, Northwood University also was in the accolade business across the complex in the Coronado Room with its Distinguished Women Induction Dinner.

The class of 2013 was being feted following a two-day program in which they learned about Northwood and even kicked back at D’Andra Simmons (2011 honoree) palazzo.

Susanne Dicker and Harriet Miers

Susanne Dicker and Harriet Miers**

Yvonne Crum and Kevin Fegan

Yvonne Crum and Kevin Fegan**

As Susanne Dicker (1984) snapped photos on her pearl-covered smartphone, 2013 recipient Harriet Miers chatted with friends. . .  Yvonne Crum (2001) and Barbara Brice found a spot to sit and talk,  and Leslie Anne Crozier (2006) arrived in a flourish of colors.

Leslie Ann Crozier

Leslie Ann Crozier**

Barbara Brice

Barbara Brice**

BTW, if you’re wondering who the gals were in this year’s class, they included

  • Dallas’ Harriet Miers and Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk
  • Fort Worth’s The Honorable Congresswoman Kay Granger and Patricia Chambers
  • Margaret Peale Everett of Sherman, Connecticut
  • Linda Orlans of Troy, Michigan
  • The Honorable Mayor Mary Roche of Indian Wells, California
  • Lorraine Schultz of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

The Distinguished Women’s Award honors women who reflect the values which Northwood espouses for its students:

  • commitments to free enterprise
  • the partnership of arts and business
  • the management of global commerce.
* Photo credit: Glenn Hunter
** Photo credit: Jeanne Prejean