Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon Salutes Heroes And Features “Bully”‘s Cynthia Lowen

It seems like a day doesn’t go without The Family Place having another event or program taking place. The Partners Card kicked off in June with cards selling for the October 25 to November 3 spend-athon, the new ReuNight was announced in September and will take place on Thursday, November 14, and then there is the Texas Trailblazer Awards. There’s no need for a fundraising run/walk to be undertaken. This group is running all the time.

Steve and Julie Rado and Steve and Barbara Durham and Nancy Lowe

Steve and Julie Rado and Steve and Barbara Durham and Nancy Loewe

But on Thursday, September 26, it was the Trailblazer luncheon at the Omni that was in the spotlight. Established in 1996, the awards honor “those who create significant positive change in our North Texas community.” This year’s event was chaired by two generations of a family — Barbara and Steve Durham and her daughter Julie Rado and husband Steve. To add to the significance of the occasion, Sheila and Jody Grant were honorary co-chairs.

Paige Flink and Cynthia Izaguirre

Paige Flink and Cynthia Izaguirre

There was a bit of confusion about when the VIP reception was to begin. Some thought 11; others thought 11:30. But who cared? The Durhams and Rados were there at 11 to welcome all.

Following the reception, WFAA Co-Anchor Cynthia Izaguirre welcomed the sold-out crowd in the Dallas Ballroom, recognizing many in the audience including WFAA’s Co-Anchor/Awardee Gloria Campos, whom Izzy described as her mentor.

Following the invocation by Highland Park United Methodist Church Pastor Tova Side and lunch being served, The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink started the program at 12:38 p.m. with the awards being presented to

Darlene Blakey

Darlene Blakey

Gloria Campos

Gloria Campos

  • Nancy Loewe for Kimberly-Clark for the Advocacy Award,
  • Darlene Blakey for Real-Life Hero and
  • Gloria Campos for Texas Trailblazer

While it all went smoothly, the keynote speaker Cynthia Lowen didn’t begin her presentation, including clips from her documentary, “Bully,” until 12:58 p.m., resulting in some guests having to leave during her talk.

Cynthia Lowen

Cynthia Lowen

Too bad. One segment focused on Alex, a young boy regularly bullied on his school bus. When his mother confronted him about it, he confessed that he had somehow considered the bullies as his friends and had accepted that treatment as their relationship. Later his parents met with a school official, who was painfully ill-prepared and in a state of denial about the situation. Cynthia later explained that the school had not provided any programs or information on how to handle such a situation and, in fact, the head of the school was in a sense a bully in the management of the school. As distressing as this situation was, Cynthia updated the audience by reporting the boy ended up transferring to another school, where he flourished and is now an advocate against bullying.

The Family Place Partners Announce 2013 Leadership

With the new year comes new leadership. The Family Place Partners have announced the leaders of their various fundraising projects for The Family Place.

  • The 2013 Family Place Partners president will be Jennifer Burns with Jennifer Tobin serving as president-elect.
  • Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon on Thursday, September 26, will be chaired by Barbara Durham and her daughter Julie Rado.
  • Partners Card program will be chaired by Annika Cail, Katy Duvall and Sara Friedman.
  • You already know that Jenifer Strauss Dannhauser, Stacy Girard and Lindsay Jacaman are chairing the 2013 Neiman Marcus Stiletto Strut on Thursday, April 25.