JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Honorary Chairs Include Such Dallas Icons As Andersons, Joneses, Kirks, Nasher-Haemiseggers And A Pickens

The 2017 ReuNight Co-Couple Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl are taking full advantage of having The Family Place’s high-roller fundraiser at the legendary Statler on Wednesday, November 8. After all, the former hotel had been the site of some of Dallas’ most memorable galas way back when. Ah, memories! For instance, that October 20 night in 1973 when oil baron Ed Cox threw a little soiree for his daughter Chan Cox. The grand ballroom was turned into an undersea grotto with aquariums placed in the walls and Skitch Henderson and his orchestra performing in a pirate ship. Just around 10 p.m. the Jackson Five performed on stage to the delight of the thousand heavy hitters.

But over the years, the hotel was upstaged by newcomers like the Hilton Anatole, the Hyatt Regency, the Ritz Carlton and the Omni Dallas Hotel. The Statler fell upon hard times. But thanks to a recent gazillion-buckaroo renovation, she was rejuvenated into a multi-use, luxury high-rise complex with residences, hotel rooms, offices and restaurants.

Charlotte and Shy Anderson (File photo)

Gene and Jerry Jones (File photo)

While the Dixes and Hoyls had already scheduled “unofficial Statler mascot” Llinda Llee Llama … no, not the original, but one of her great, great grandllamas… to be available for photo opps with the 200 guests in the Statler Courtyard Garden, they weren’t satisfied. They wanted something to “pay homage to Dallas icons.” So, they set their sites on some local heavy-hitting headliners to serve as honorary chairs. Boy, did they land ’em — Charlotte and Shy Anderson, Gene and Jerry Jones, Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger and T. Boone Pickens.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis Kirk (File photo)

David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher (File photo)

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Goodness! Talk about having folks who represent everything from sports and politics to retailing and energy. Makes perfect sense, since these are the elements that have made Dallas the powerhouse of Texas kingdoms.

The three-course dinner with wine pairings in the Grand Ballroom will be followed by a “curated live auction of luxury goods and trip packages.” Then it will be dancing on the original Statler dance floor and/or having a nightcap or two at Waterproof, the pool-deck bar.

Want to join the llama and other mamas and papas to support The Family Place? Here‘s where you can get your place at the dinner table.

There’s No Messing Around When Dealing With Strokes

Say the word, “stroke.” Some will immediately fall back on their days at Camp Longhorn when they paddled their way across Inks Lake. Some will think about their cat’s favorite relationship with its human owner. But for way-far-too many, the word is like a lightning flash to the spine changing the world that they’ve known and throwing their family and friends into a universe of helplessness.

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Nearly 800,000 Americans suffered strokes in 2016, including Dallas philanthropist T. Boone Pickens. Thanks to swift actions, Boone’s “mini-stroke” did minimal damage that thanks to rehabilitation has been all but eliminated

While this medical condition has been scoffed off as a baby boomer problem, it has devastated way too many young people and their families. According to the National Stroke Association, there was “a spike of 44% in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke in the past decade, and over 73% are not familiar with stroke symptoms and the need for urgent care.”

Munchkins are also victims of stroke due to “head trauma, sickle cell or unknown origins.”

Also known as a “brain attack, a stroke occurs when a clot blocks the supply of blood to the brain or a blood vessel in the brain bursts.”

That is why the American Heart Association has partnered with the American Stroke Association to spread the word that both heart disease and strokes are life-changers and killers that can be conquered.

Since May is Stroke Awareness Month, our good friends at Parkland Health And Hospital have provided the acronym “BE FASTT” for common stroke symptoms:

  • Balance: Do they have a sudden loss of balance?
  • Eyes: Do they have a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
  • Facial droop: When they smile, does one side of their face droop?
  • Arm drift: When they raise both arms, does one arm drift downward?
  • Slurred speech: When they repeat a sentence, are any of the words slurred?
  • Terrible headache: Do they have a sudden, severe headache with other neurological deficits?
  • Time is key: If a person shows any of the above symptoms, call 911.

If these signals arise, don’t hesitate because you need to put on your makeup or worry about “What will the neighbors say?” Call 911. The sooner a stroke victim can get medical treatment, the less devastation will take place. 

According to Parkland Stroke Program Medical Director/assistant professor of Neurology And Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center Dr. Alejandro Magadan, “In most cases of stroke, we only have 3 to 4 hours to safely deliver clot-busting drugs and 6 to 8 hours after symptoms begin to perform surgery to extract the clot.”

To reduce the chances of encountering this very swift and deadly disease, here are some suggestions:

Philanthropists/ Romantics Toni Brinker And T. Boone Pickens Got Hitched On Valentine’s Day At His Place

Toni Brinker and T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Toni Brinker and T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

On the way to TACA’s annual Valentine’s Day champagne toast at Kelly and Norm Green’s estate, it was noticed that adorable blonde Toni Brinker’s home was rather quiet and dark.

With good reason! That romantic T. Boone Pickens got hitched today (aka Valentine’ Day) to his blonde sweetie Toni (Norm Brinker’s widow) at the picture-perfect chapel on his Mesa Vista estate in the Panhandle.

Despite celebrating a variety of their pals’ lunches Thursday at Café Pacific with loads of best wishes and flowers, Gene Jones and Annette Simmons managed to make it to the nuptials along with Lee Ann and Alan White and Lana and Barry Andrews.

Many best wishes to the newlywed philanthropists.

JUST IN: T. Boone Pickens To Be Honorary Chair For Big Brothers Big Sisters’s Big Black Tie Ball

The Bigs have added another very big name for their November 9th Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Black Tie Ball at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Serving as honorary chairman will be philanthropist/energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens.

As reported in March, Boone’s buddy Louisiana-born country/western singer Trace Adkins will be on stage to provide the entertainment.

 “Big Brothers Big Sisters is humbled to have T. Boone Pickens lend his support to our organization and this worthy event,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Rob Roby. “We are equally honored to introduce country music superstar Trace Adkins at this year’s Big Black Tie Ball. Through the generosity of Mr. Pickens, Trace Adkins is donating an unforgettable performance as a demonstration of his friendship with Mr. Pickens and his commitment to changing the lives of the children we serve.”

Tickets will starts at $350 for individuals and $500 for couples. VIP ticket holders will be able to do the meet and greet with Trace, but don’t wait because there are a limited number of VIP tickets.

Last year’s gala that featured Jewel broke the record with more than 650 guests and $550,000 being raised.

Did you know that there are more than 4,000 children “currently waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister” in the area? For each $500 raised, a child on the waiting list will be matched with “a mentor, who will enrich, empower and encourage them to reach their highest potential.”

T. Boone Pickens Proves To Be Ripe Material For The Senior Source’s 2012 Spirit of Generations Luncheon

Nancy Carter

You can always bet that Thanksgiving will take place on the fourth Thursday in November and that The Senior Source‘s “Spirit of Generations” luncheon will be full of fun and surprises. This year was no different for the 950 guests at the Hilton Anatole, thanks to Luncheon Chair Nancy Carter and The Senior Source team.

Folks like Joel Allison, Marianne Staubach, Emilynn Wilson, Pat McEvoy and Joyce and Linus Wright gathered in the Plum Room for the VIP reception. Veteran luncheoner Claire Emanuelson nudged her gal-pal Pam Perella and asked, “There are so many men here. What’s up?”

Perhaps it had to do with the day’s honoree being  T. Boone Pickens, who had excused himself just minutes earlier from the reception. Seems he needed to change into an orange tie. Not UT burnt orange, but OSU Pantone 166 orange. But he never made it back to the reception. He got hijacked into conversation by everyone walking by.

At 11:45, as 84-year-old Boone moseyed on over to the Grand Ballroom, his right-hand man Jay Rosser was asked if Boone was going to talk for a half hour or so. Jay’s comeback: Boone would keep it short and sweet if the program seemed to be running long. Seems that at a recent lunch that was getting a bit long in the tooth, Boone talked for less than two minutes.

Within 15 minutes the elevated head table was seated and being introduced by The Senior Source Chairman of the Board Anne Mostenbocker. Since it was a extensive group. . . but not nearly as never-ending as the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council luncheon’s two-tier head table . . .  Anne asked that everyone hold their applause until the end. Unfortunately, Nancy Carter’s fan club was in full turnout mode and could not keep from ripping loose with cheers.

Ebby Halliday

Jay R. was talking with Randall Graham, 101-year-old Ebby Halliday‘s right-hand man. When asked if the two of them are negotiating a marriage between Boone and “cougar” Ebby, they laughed and one of them replied that both seniors were available.

After the invocation, Nancy Carter warned the audience that it was her “duty to squeeze the last dollar out of you. . . We accept anything of monetary value.”

There was reason for this plea, as Baylor Health Care System President/CEO Joel Allison reminded guests that with the baby boomers becoming seniors, they were showing more interest in The Senior Source.  Perhaps that’s because they’re starting to look like a tsunami of potential clients?  

Anne returned to the podium admitting that Nancy wasn’t the last one to make a pitch for money. She advised luncheoners that the envelopes on the table were there for a purpose and hoped that they might be put to use.

At 12:14 p.m., as lunch was served, “Booneisms” began appearing on the room’s mammoth screens. What is a Booneism? Here are some samples:

  • Booneism #1 — “Don’t rush the monkey and you’ll see a better show.”
  • Booneism #2 — “Chief executives who own few shares of their companies have no more feeling for the shareholders than they do baboons in Africa.”
  • Booneism #5 — “Work eight hours and sleep eight hours, and make sure that they are not the same eight hours.”
  • Booneism #8 — “I have always believe that it’s important to show a new look periodically. Predictability can lead to failure.”
  • Booneism #10 — “Keep things informal. Talking is the natural way to do business. . . talk generates ideas.”
  • Booneism #12 — When you blow away the foam, you get down to the real stuff.”
  • Booneism #13 — “When you are young, fitness is a sport. As you grow older, it’s a necessity.”
  • Booneism #14 — “Fight your way out of the corners. I play pretty good off the wall.”
  • Booneism #18 — “I may have been born at night, but not last night.”
  • Booneism #20 — “We’re flexible, quick on our feet and able to get the job done.”
  • Booneism #22 — “You win with a team, and I’m a good team builder.”
  • Booneism #24 — “If you are going to run with the big dogs, you have to get out from under the porch.”
  • Booneism #29 — “A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan any day.”
  • Booneism #44 — “It may smell like manure to you, but it smells like money to me.”
  • Booneism # 48 — “There are three reasons we can’t do it. First, we don’t have the money, and the other two reasons don’t make a damn.”

Little T. Boone Pickens*

Along with the Booneisms were photos of Boone ranging from his childhood to current boardrooms. One shot in particular was rather amazing. It was of Boone appearing to hit a racquetball directly at the camera. Wow! What a shot! Was the photographer hit? Nope. It was “trick photography.” Seems the ball was taped to the racquet.

At 12:25 p.m., coffee was being served at the head table. Minutes later Senior Source Executive Director Molly Bogen introduced a video about the Senior Source.

Front row — Alan White, John Yeaman, Jerry Jones, Larry Reece, Roger Staubach

At 12:47 p.m. The Ticket’s George Dunham took charge of the program with Dave Tanner at the keyboard. Seems they’d decided the surprise this year would be readings about Boone by local “talent” and friends of Boone including Ebby (“The Role Model”), Roger Staubach (“The Sports Icon”), Larry Reece (“The OSU Connection”), Jerry Jones (“The Other Cowboy”), John Yeaman (“The Longtime Compadre”) and Alan White (“The Lucky Banker”). As his “friends” read and teased the man of the hour about everything from his multi-marriages to his multimillions, Pickens’ smirk never diminished.

Forrest Hoglund, Anne Mostenbocker and T. Boone Pickens

Finally, in an attempt at a bit of seriousness, Forrest Hoglund presented the Spirit of Generations Award to Boone with Anne. But even this part of the day couldn’t go without a couple of laughs, as Forrest described Boone at The Senior Source’s “Dream Idol,” having given away $1 billion to charities. According to Forrest, Boone claimed, “Giving away the money is almost as much fun as making it.”

At 1:06 p.m. Boone graciously and sincerely accepted the accolades, awards and ribbing. His words lasted just barely two minutes. You see, he had to get back to business to raise more money to give away.

* Photo from The Senior Source

October 25 Round Robin: VNA Lunch, Signature Chefs Auction, Senior Source Underwriters And Rock The Red Door

Thursday, October 26, was the loneliest night of the year at MySweetCharity International headquarters. No one was there. All elves, including interns and retirees, were dispensed to every ZIP code around to cover the countless events for nonprofits on this night. We are pleased to report that all elves eventually made it back, but they’re demanding that Red Bull on the go be provided in the future and Botox treatments be made available.

VNA’s Real Cooking with Kevin Gillespie

Kevin Gillespie

While some guests toured the Meal on Wheels Kitchen at the Visiting Nurse Association Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Center before noon, others stood in line. No, not for food. Rather, it was to have their copy, or rather copies, of “Fire in My Belly” by the chef/author Kevin Gillespie. Followers of Bravo’s “Top Chef” were prepared for the tattoo-decorated arms of the chef/author. Others couldn’t help their eyes making a first stop at the wild boar and copperhead snake tats. But as soon as they got past the decorative arms, they eye-locked with the young Southern chef who was the show’s fan fav.

But he wasn’t at the VNA Center to just sign autographs. Kevin was the centerpiece of a luncheon benefiting the VNA’s Meals on Wheels. Why, he was even going to demonstrate one of his recipes complete with overhead mirror, so all could see the step-by-step procedures.

Fanchon and Howard Hallam

After Luncheon Chair Sara Fraser Crismon welcomed one and all including her sis Beth Enloe, brother-in-law Ted Enloe, niece Rebecca Fletcher, Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, Lyda Hill, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Patsy Donosky, Billie Leigh Rippey, Lottye Brodsky and Suzanne McGee, it was time for the cooking lesson for the 160 guests.

And what did he cook up? Buttermilk biscuits. Oh. . . really? What’s so tricky about making biscuits? Obviously, some folks had never tried their hand only to fail, or had never had a truly memorable biscuit. Within a half hour, Kevin with his boyish charm wove tales of his life in with tricks of the trade in biscuit making, resulting in a dying desire for one of the buttery confections. For instance?

Making biscuits:

  • Use disposable gloves when working with the ingredients.
  • Always use the coldest butter and buttermilk possible.
  • Don’t chop up your butter. Grate the butter with a cheese grater. That’s why it helps to have cold bars of butter.
  • Use real, unsalted butter.
  • Beat your dough flat with your hands. In addition to prepping the dough, it helps you work out the frustrations of the day.
  • When punching the biscuit out, most people put the cutter into the dough and twist. Do NOT twist. Rather, dunk your biscuit cutter in flour and push it straight down into the dough. That’s it. You cut all of your biscuits, then pull the loose dough away leaving the cut-out biscuits. “By twisting it, what you do is you’re actually forcing the outside to close up. If you push straight down, you leave holes behind and those holes allow the air to escape and allow it to rise. If you twist the cutter, it’s like sealing it up. It’s like making a pretzel.” A manicured eyebrow salute was seen throughout the crowd.

Learning how to make biscuits

Shoot, after watching and listening to Kevin, all anyone wanted was a light, buttery biscuit. And what was the first thing to emerge from the kitchen? Platters stacked with biscuits followed by a full luncheon.

Ah, those VNA folks know how to tantalize and fulfill. They should. They provide over one million meals every year to seniors in Dallas.

15th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction

Kent Rathbun chef hugs

The day truly proved that Dallasites love to eat. However, hardly a chef was to be found that evening. It seemed like they were all down at the Omni Dallas thanks to Lead Chef Kent Rathbun. He had rounded up chefs Scott Gottlich (Bijoux), Eric Brandt (Bistro 31), Jeff Harris (Bolsa), Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fishmarket Grill), Mike Sindoni (Charlie Palmer at the Joule), David Holben (Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House), Abraham Salum (Salum and Komali), Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch (Neiman Marcus restaurants), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse), Dwight Harvey (Off the Bone Barbeque), Cameron Handler (Pyramid Restaurant & Bar), Bruno Davaillion (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek), Joel Harloff (The Second Floor Bistro & Bar), Anthony Van Camp (SET Steak + Spirits), Jim Severson with wife Amy at his side (Sevy’s Grill), Shuji Sugawara (Shinsei Restaurant), Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles Concepts), Gilbert Garza (Suze Restaurant), Jason Weaver (Texas Spice), Marcelo Vazquez (T/X Restaurant) and Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee Grill and Bar). Some of these chefs have supported Kent from the beginning and deserved a group hug.

March of Dimes lounge

This was the first time that the huge fundraising eat-athon for the March of Dimes had taken place at the Omni and it really was rather spectacular for the 850 guests including Barbara Daseke soloing it, Mark Edgar talking politics, Kathleen and Robert Gibson checking out the various stations and Nancy Gopez sans camera. From an elegant lounge with oh-so comfy couches to dramatic lighting, the mega-room seemed like a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds and “smells.”

Kent Rathbun and Max Rathbun

While Stephan Pyles himself had to bow out due to “something about opening a new restaurant,” Kent was pleased that his brother Kevin had joined him in preparing venison meatball carbonara. Of course, Kent’s son Max was on the scene better looking than ever.

But it wasn’t all chefs cooking and guests eating. The exercise of the night was auctioneering with Louis Murad and his posse ramrodding the unique live auction. Oh, and what packages they were and what they went for. Why, Kent’s “Taste of the Derby,” which included five days and four night at the Hyatt Place Louisville East Hotel for the Kentucky Derby, transportation via private aircraft catered by Kent, a reserved box at the Derby plus great food, went for a record-breaking amount of $62,500 — “the highest winning live auction bid” in the event’s history.

Then there was the Fund the Mission in which guests raised bid cards at various levels of financial support ranging from $100 to $10,000. This one brought in $129,000.

Before the night was over and the aroma had cleared from the ballroom, Event Chairs Diane Brierley, Shannon Brame, Anita Braun and Dean McSherry had raised $610,000.

One can only imagine what Kent, 2012 Event Chairs Tracy and Jay Bell and Drs. Lisa and David Genecov are planning for “sweet 16,” when the Signature Chefs will return to the Omni on Saturday , October 24, to cook, auction and raise more money for the March of Dimes 75th anniversary celebration.

The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Underwriters’ Party

Nancy Carter, T. Boone Pickens and Anne Motsenbocker

T. Boone Pickens is busier nowadays than a presidential candidate. But unlike the types looking for votes of approval, Boone is being swamped with honors. But this one is really special. On Monday, November 19, he’ll be honored at The  Senior Source‘s Spirit of Generations Awards Luncheon.

Jorge Calderón and Emilynn Wilson

To get things rolling the luncheon’s underwriter party sponsored by Capital One Bank was held at Debbie Oates‘s marvelous Preston Hollow home. Oh, so perfect for any occasion except when all the guests want to stay in the entry. That was the problem. But who was complaining when Luncheon Chair Extraordinaire Nancy Carter all in red is at the front door making “gracious” seem easy or mixing it up with Christie Carter fresh from producing the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels dinner, Lee Ann and Alan White on their way to a dinner engagement and luncheon underwriting chair Emilynn and Claude Wilson promising the final results from the Kidney Texas luncheon.

Attitudes & Attire Announcement

Lyn Berman, Michael Faircloth and Dr. Sandra Chapman*

Dr. Sandra Chapman was indeed a busy girl this week. In addition to running the Center for BrainHealth, Tuesday she oversaw the Legacy Dinner honoring Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan. But this evening the tables were turned on her at Maggiano’s at NorthPark Center by Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman. It was announced that “Sandi” would receive the Kim Dawson Award at the annual luncheon and fashion show at the Dallas TradeMart on Friday, March 1.

It was also revealed that Dallas designer Michael Faircloth would be the event’s honorary chair. Funds raised from the luncheon/show help the personal growth of women seeking self-sufficiency through traditional job training, positive self-image, appropriate workplace behavior and appearance.

Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s Rock the Red Door

The last little elf turned in this report:

Halloween came early at House of Blues Thursday night. Over 350 party goers dressed as all things 80’s–from aerobics maniacs to glam rockers–attended the Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s annual fundraiser, Rock the Red Door.

Chace Crawford and Meredith and Rand Wrighton*

Emcee Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl star — also Tony Romo‘s brother-in-law — spent the greater part of the evening graciously taking photos with guests. Stoli provided the evening’s signature drink named The Chaser after guess who… The always fun Spazmatics had the crowd of Don Johnsons and Madonnas, along with lots of leg-warmers and hair bows, dancing the night away!

Event chairmen, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, promised a “totally gnarly 8o’s Halloween bash complete with wicked tunes, righteous food and drinks and some sweet auction items” such as 2 tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, 2 tickets to NYC Fashion Week  and Tony Romo signed memorabilia.”

They delivered! The party scheduled to end at eleven — after all, it was a week night — rocked on considerably later.

Sponsors for 2012 Rock the Red Door benefiting Cancer Support Community included Steve Brown, Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation, Grant Thornton, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, SLALOM Consulting, Park Place Volvo and Starwood Motors.

* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire
** Photo provided by Cancer Support Community

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.

Heading To Arlington For Dr. Andrew Masica, T. Boone Pickens, Mary Matalin & James Carville

While MySweetCharity does not take sides when it comes to politics, MSC definitely loves a good conversation among contentious adults. So, the MSC team is headed to Arlington for the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council honoring Baylor Health Care System’s Dr. Andrew Masica.

In addition to honoring T.Boone Pickens, Mary Matalin and James Carville will talk about their favorite subject — politics.

The moderator of the talkathon will be a chap by the name of Glenn Hunter.

T. Boone Pickens’ $10M Pledge To Baylor Health Care System Commemorates A 50-Year Friendship With Harley Hotchkiss

The Baylor Health Care System folks were expecting maybe 200 for a big announcement involving the fabulous new Cancer Inpatient facility on Worth Street. But from the scene, it appeared that number might have been double. After all, if this fabulous, multimillion-dollar center weren’t incredible enough, the headliner of the day was energy billionaire T. Boone Pickens and the family of the late Canadian oilman/sportsman/businessman Harley Hotchkiss.

Harley Hotchkiss and T. Boone Pickens

But before proceeding with the festivities, it’s important to know a little background on Boone and the Hotchkiss clan. Boone met Harley in 1957, when he went to Calgary searching for cheaper oil. Not only did Boone open an office in Calgary two years later, but he and Harley became great friends, hunting around the world together and making a lot of money together. As the 84-year-young Boone recalled of his old friend, they talked almost every Sunday. When Harley was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he ended up coming to Baylor in Dallas because the right cancer treatment wasn’t available in Canada. Harley and his devoted wife Becky, who had been an RN, made the trip back and forth every four to six weeks.

Speaking of Becky, she was just 16 and Harley was 22 when they first met. Boone recalled how, back then, a fellow would get a father’s permission just to go out with his daughter. Harley arrived at Becky’s house to ask her dad’s permission. Instead, the two men ended up drinking a pot of coffee for two hours with her father inviting Harley back anytime.

Jeff Hotchkiss, T. Boone Pickens and Becky Hotchkiss

But once they decided to marry, Becky said Harley had to do two things:

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Get a college degree

He graduated from Michigan State University, they had five children and were married nearly 60 years until his death on June 22, 2011.

It was Boone’s friendship with Harley that was commemorated today with the announcement of Boone’s pledging $10 million  in support of Baylor initiatives and the naming of its new cancer hospital the “Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital.”

The Harley Hotchkiss Plaque

But before the lobby filled with guests and Baylor staff members, Boone and the Hotchkiss family gathered privately behind screens to see the unveiling of three large plaques “commemorating Pickens’ lifelong friendship with Hotchkiss.”

It was an extremely touching moment for the entire group. In the plaque, Boone called Harley “my best friend.” But leave it to Boone to come up with a question: “Do you have a date on the picture [of Harley and Boone]?” From the back of the group, a voice was heard to say, “About 2005.” Boone asked back, “Why do you think that?” The voice [belonging to Boone’s aide-de-camp Jay Rosser], without hesitation, replied, “Because I took it.”

Then they were off on a tour of the 175,000-square-foot center that is the “first dedicated cancer hospital in North Texas.” The new hospital features all private rooms, many with ICU capabilities. But the facility was built to provide healing for not just the patient but their families as well —

  • Surroundings are designed to create an environment of healing, calming and spirituality for patients and their families on the cancer journey.
  • Accommodations allow families and caregivers to stay on-site in comfort, including larger patient rooms, shower facilities and laundry facilities.
  • An Oncology Evaluation & Treatment Center enables established cancer patients to access urgent care in an environment specially-suited to these patients’ complex needs.
  • Dedicated facilities include a Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit, Apheresis Center, Oncology Pharmacy, Infusion Center and Processing Lab for stem cells and bone marrow products.

Just across the street is the 467,000-square-foot Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center for outpatients. The entire complex dedicated to cancer care represents a “$350 million investment to anchor high-caliber cancer care in North Texas — all close to home where patients can be supported by their families and loved ones.”

Joel Allison

Baylor Health Care System President/CEO Joel Allison said, “Having T. Boone Pickens’ name on the cancer hospital serves as a daily reminder to our patients, their families and Baylor caregivers that we stand for innovation and leadership in this special place of hope and healing. The men and women of Baylor Health Care System are most grateful for this very generous investment in serving the patient, which is at the center of everything we do.”

Rowland Robinson

Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson added, ““T. Boone Pickens’ gift reinforces that Baylor is a world-class health care system. It provides a valuable platform for us to talk about Baylor’s defining culture and to show the positive impact we have in our communities. We are excited and honored to have a relationship with a leader known for giving to institutions aligned with a focus on caring for the whole patient. We are proud of his endorsement.”

Jim Turner

Then it was time for the official ceremony to take place with Robin, Joel, Baylor University Medical Center of Dallas/Baylor Health Care System VP President John McWhorter III and Baylor Health Care System Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Turner at the helm.

Marti Carlin and Debbie Francis

After the cloth was pulled, officially revealing the name of the center, they closed with the Baylor tradition of ringing the bell. Ah, but before that could take place, small black pouches were handed out to guests with small bells inside. As Boone pulled the ringer of the big bell, surprising Becky and the others on stage at its sound, little bells were heard chiming throughout the SRO lobby.

Harley’s son Jeff said the day had been overwhelming for the entire family. After spending several days at Boone’s ranch in the Panhandle, where they played golf, took a helicopter tour of the place and “ate a lot,” they attended the Cowboys game Sunday in Boone’s suite. According to Jeff, “We had the full-meal deal.” Jeff went on to say that Boone reminded him of his dad and added, “I’m proud of Mr. Pickens.”

Ironically, this same morning when North Texas was officially taking a major step in helping those with cancer, the area lost Fred Meyer (sub. req.) to the disease.

T. Boone Starts Off The Week Playing Santa Claus Much To Baylor’s Delight

At 10 a.m., energy billionaire T. Boone Pickens is going to announce his pledge of $10M for cancer treatment at Baylor Health Care System. In return they’re going to name the brand new cancer center after him. But don’t tell anybody. Don’t want to spoil the surprise factor.

No, wait! It’s in this morning’s Bob Miller column (sub. req.).

Hmm. Am gonna have to check this one out with Boone. Deets to follow.

Super Bowl XLV Wrap Up: Private Party At Victory Center, Hilary Swank in Preston Hollow, Maxim Party At Fair Park And Passby At Grey Goose

It’s the final day of the media search for VIP encounters before the Super Bowl. After the Prince concert debacle, the media is a bit on edge on who is in town and who isn’t. Rumors are flying that Brad and Angelina are holed up in a Beverly Drive mansion. The thought of trick or treating along Beverly passes quickly. Am hearing that the big blowout events with mega stars are proving to be busts. Stars are showing up late and only staying for a scant few minutes, if they show at all. Makes Friday night’s Audi Forum all the more precious. But tonight’s roster is stellar. The first one is a private party given by PlainsCapital first couple Lee Ann and Alan White where no cameras are allowed. Second one is at Lillie and Phil Romanos’ estate in Preston Hollow hosted by Hilary Swank for The Giving Fund. It was ranked as #1 last Super Bowl by ESPN. The last official event of the evening is Maxim‘s Party Powered by Motorola which is considered the hot party that some media outlet claimed last year as THE party. If there are two seconds to rub together, will hit the Grey Goose Lounge where Jeremy “Entourage” Pivens is holding court. Celebrity hunting season is closing tonight with guaranteed WOW opportunities.

Follow the jump to find out how swell searching ended with frost-bitten fingers. [Read more…]

T. Boone, Emmitt And Roger Upped The Ante For Expanding Worlds With Flying Footballs And Talk

It’s challenging when your annual luncheon doubles in size and that’s what happened to LaunchAbility‘s “Expanding Worlds 2010” lunch Tuesday at the Fairmont. Last year’s event of 200, mostly gals, at the InterContinental Hotel for an onstage conversation of Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Tincy Miller, grew dramatically. Instead of being north of LBJ in the intimate Malachite Room, this year’s venue was held straight in the heart of downtown Dallas at the Fairmont’s International Ballroom. In place of three proper ladies chatting, it was guys whom other guys just wish were their best friends — T. Boone Pickens, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach (pictured right  with, from the left, T. Boone Pickens and Emmitt Smith).

The results — twice as many guests and many, many more men!

The VIP reception starting at 10:45 a.m. in a part of the International Ballroom proved to be a bit of a challenge. It appeared that everyone was a VIP and wanted to have their photos taken with Boone and Roger. Word had spread through the crowd that Emmitt “was running late” and wouldn’t be there til lunch started. Also, someone said that he would not be signing anything.

As the official event photographer hustled people through to have their official “grip and grin” photos taken with Boone and Roger, the two VIP’s cordially and good heartedly posed with one and all.  The whole scene reminded one of high school prom photos without corsages.

On the sidelines, Ebby Halliday who came up with the idea of having “the triplets” for the star attraction sat smiling gleefully at the mass that had responded to her suggestion. That gal knows how to create a winning operation.

Former KXAS-CH. 5 anchor Mike Snyder was talking with friends about his involvement with American Airlines and the veterans program.

On the other hand, across the ballroom table hostess Ruth Altshuler was masterminding the arrangement of guests at her table by placing cards at each seat. Smart move on Ruth’s part. Recently luncheon and dinner guests have been complaining that after placing their materials at a certain seat at a table, they return only to find that other table guests have moved them to another seat. It happened at this event — several times at several tables. Gee, you would have thought the guests were preparing to go on a death march instead of to eat.

But all was soon forgotten when lunch began and a video presentation about LaunchAbility was partly shown. Alas, the tape stopped midway, but adlib expert/ emcee Scott Murray picked up the story without missing a beat. Who needs a video when you have Scott?

Also helping in the communications at the luncheon was signer Connie Miller (pictured), whose hands never stopped throughout the event.

Soon it was time for the Big Three to take to the stage. Before they took their seats, Roger got his hands on the two footballs that had been autographed by the three and auctioned off. Emmitt warned the hundreds of guests, “Folks, watch out. He is going to throw it.” And Roger did just that, twice. The first time caught some off guard. The second time set a covey of guests scrambling to catch it. The fellow who caught the ball put it neatly in an empty seat next to him with pride, only to have an event staffer retrieve it for the winning bidder.

Scott quipped, “Come to think of it, the Cowboys are in the market for a quarterback, Roger.”  To which Roger responded : “I was trying to get warmed up for the Jacksonville game next week.”

The ball throwing naturally launched the conversation into the sports arena. Here are some highlights from the chat (pictured from the left, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach and T. Boone Pickens): [Read more…]

Who Is Responsible For Tuesday’s Lunch With T. Boone, Emmitt and Roger?

Last year’s LaunchAbility‘s* “Expanding Worlds 2010 Luncheon” featured a conversation with an all-star cast of gals (Elaine Agather, Linda Custard and Tincy Miller) with the late Paul Bass serving as interrogator. . . or, rather moderator. It was one of Paul’s last on-stage appearance and quite memorable as he combined humor with typical Paul Bass witticisms in chatting with the ladies.

Before the organizers had even had time to clear the tables, Ebby Halliday (pictured) asked LaunchAbility CEO Cathy Packard, “That was great. Who are you going to get for next year?” Cathy admitted that she hadn’t started that thinking process yet and asked Ebby who she would recommend. Without hesitation, the ageless Ebby with that well-known twinkle in her eye said, “T. Boone Pickens, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach.”

After Cathy got up off the floor from the suggestion of the stellar trio, she realized that Ebby was dead serious and told Ebby that it would be a killer group, but how do you get on the schedule of these three never-stop, national headline makers.

“I’ll get T. Boone and Roger,” Ebby smiled. “You get Emmitt.”

While Cathy didn’t know Emmitt, she did know former sports anchor Scott Murray, who was an old friend and had helped produce the past lunch. And Scott came through with Emmitt.

So, when you see the three chaps on stage at the Fairmont next Tuesday, just remember that it all started with the twinkle in Ebby’s eye.

* formerly known as Special Care & Career Services

Honoree T. Boone Makes A Request At the “Each Moment Matters” Luncheon

It was a sell-out crowd of 850 at the Hilton Anatole Thursday for the Each Moment Matters luncheon honoring T. Boone Pickens (pictured center with, from the left, Godwin Dixon and Mayor Tom Leppert) for his philanthropic work. Thanks to the announcement of his $18.4+ million gift for a new $48.5 million hospice facility just the day before, the accolades were flowing.

Following lunch and a video presentation, Presbyterian Communities and Services President/CEO Godwin Dixon tried to add his praise to the great feelings as Boone stood on the stage with hands in his pockets.

Perhaps he was reaching in his pocket to find some more money to give away. But Boone told the crowd in accepting the award that his philanthropy was going to have to slow down a bit since money was a bit tight nowadays. But he added that things would get better and he would be back in the giving business.

Since Boone was a man who wastes little time, he asked the crowd for a favor. Told them it wouldn’t cost anything.   He asked them to support his energy-independence efforts by visiting and, hopefully, signing up on his web site.

Following Boone, the closer for the lunch was historian/author/ teacher Rosemary Rumbley, who managed to entertain while pointing out the importance that hospice care provides to the patient as well as the family. Leave it to Rosemary to take a sensitive subject and magically weave it with both humor, love and compassion.

As part of the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center will be located at 12379 Merit Dr.

T. Boone Pickens Knows How To Get Things Going When It Comes To “Each Moment Matters”

That T. Boone Pickens really knows how to add sizzle to a celebration. On the eve of the Each Moment Matters luncheon Thursday at the Anatole honoring the 82-year old Pickens, he announced his gift of $18.4 million for a new $48.5 million hospice. The 116,000-square foot facility will be located in North Dallas and will be able to provide care for 36 patients.

Photo provided by Each Moment Matters

But back to the luncheon benefiting Faith Presbyterian Hospice, Grace Presbyterian Village and Presbyterian Village North. Event Chair Elizabeth Gambrell (pictured) and Kay Lynn Brumbaugh are just a couple of seats away from the “We’re sold out” stage with more than 850 guests with reservation. Helping them accomplish this feat are: [Read more…]