JUST IN: Lynn McBee To Receive The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Of The Year Award In October

Lynn McBee (File photo)

The first weekend in October is going to have Lynn McBee busier than an Office Depot clerk on the first day of school. It was already announced that she was going to be the honorary chair for the Inaugural Jade Ball Gala benefiting the Crow Collection of Asian Art at the Belo Mansion on Saturday, October 7.

Now Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Co-Chairs Kristen Sanger and Cindy Stager just sent word that on the day before (aka Friday, October 6), Lynn will receive the Texas Trailblazer of the Year Award at The Family Place’s annual fundraising luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

According to Cindy, “Lynn has been hugely involved with The Family Place for over 20 years, so it’s a great honor to be able to recognize all she’s done for the organization at this year’s luncheon.”

Hopefully, the poor girl will be able to use Sunday to recover.

After Charming Texas Trailblazer Awards Patrons, Keynote Speaker Ronan Farrow Did Neighborhood Services With Paige Flink

Mondays are supposed to be quiet. It’s a day of the fundraising week when peeps and organizations can rest up and catch their collective breaths. But with the final quarter of 2016 in place, no day is safe. Want proof? How about Monday, October 3?

Second Thought kicked off its State of Mind fundraising at Caroline and Jim Manning’s home. Underwriting Chair Nick Even reported that the nonprofit hopes to raise funds on the Friday, November 4th event at Sammons Center with Karol Omlor as the event chair. It should be quite a night with Rob McCollum as emcee and favorite songbird Liz Mikel providing the evening’s entertainment.

While in Preston Hollow, Jennifer and Peter Altabef opened their Preston Hollow home (aka former Toni and Norman Brinker’s home) for The Family Place’s 2016 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon patron party.

Paige Flink and Marvin and Lisa Singleton

Paige Flink and Marvin and Lisa Singleton

Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton were all smiles, admitting that the move from the Anatole’s Grand Ballroom to the Chantilly was the right one for the fundraiser. According to Lisa, if they had stayed in the Grand Ballroom, the guests would have been on top of each other.

Early arrivals among the 90 or so guests included Honorary Co-Chairs Julie and Jim Turner, Lynn McBee, Brent Christopher, Barbara and Stan Levenson, Barbara Daseke, Jeff Bryon, Kevin Hurst, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Carol Seay, Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini,nd Clayton Kennington and one guest who got into “the spirits” of the occasion … or was it vice versa?

Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini, Lynn McBee and Clayton Kennington

Travis Kelly, Jess Koloini, Lynn McBee and Clayton Kennington

Arriving just in time for the evening’s remarks was luncheon keynote speaker Ronan Farrow, who proved to be as good as The Family Place staff and the Singletons had described.

Following the evening of chitchatting and cocktailing, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink took Ronan to dinner to discuss plans for the next day. Did she take him to Al’s, The Mansion, Stephan Pyles’ Flora Street Cafe? Nope. They wanted something low-key, where they could talk. The place was Neighborhood Services.

JUST IN: A Million-Dollar Challenge Was Just Served Up At The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon

One of the ultimate great dishes served up at a fundraising luncheon is a big buckaroo challenge. And that’s what just happened at The Family Place’s 21st Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon in the Hilton Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom.

Highland Capital Management’s Co-Founder/President James Dondero just announced that “the firm has awarded a $1-million challenge grant to help The Family Place raise the final $2.8 million for its Legacy Campaign in the next six months.”

Paige Flink, James Dondero and Sally Hoglund

Paige Flink, James Dondero and Sally Hoglund

The grant will match 50% of any funds raised for the capital campaign’s goal of $16.5M that The Family Place’s Paige Flink and her team have been working on.

Ah, now you know why Paige and Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa and Marvin Singleton had such happy faces at last night’s patron party.

More about that party and today’s luncheon in the days ahead. But did want you to know of about the delicious challenge that was just served up.

20th Annual Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Kicked Off Legacy Campaign With A Nice Gift From The Moody Foundation

The Family Place’s 20th Anniversary Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 1, was filled with awards, announcements and even hints about “The Empire.”

As 800+ guests like Jonathan Martin, Anne Dyer, Di Johnston, Lauren Gayle White, Kern Wildenthal, Stephanie and Travis Hollman with Carol Seay gathered in the Imperial Ballroom, the program had a slow start-out-of-the-gate. While locals were seated and chatted in overdrive, emcee Clarice Tinsley had to delay getting the program underway because keynote speaker Marisa Tomei hadn’t arrived in the ballroom.

Carol Seay and Clarice Tinsley

Carol Seay and Clarice Tinsley

Di Johnston and Lauren Gayle White

Di Johnston and Lauren Gayle White

The petite Academy Award winner had spent time posing for photos with top underwriters and sponsors. In between the photo session in the Carpenter Ballroom on the ground level and joining the hundreds in the third-level ballroom, Marisa swapped her comfy flats for highest heels.

Michaela Dyer, Marisa Tomei and Layne Pitzer

Michaela Dyer, Marisa Tomei and Layne Pitzer

Luncheon Co-Chairs Michaela Dyer and Layne Pitzer welcomed and thanked key folks like Honorary Chair Debbie Taylor and awards were presented to the following:

Nancy Nasher

Nancy Nasher

  • Nancy Nasher — Texas Trailblazer
  • Bob Miller — Real Life Hero
  • United Way — Advocacy Award
Bob Miller, Lisa Miller and Shirley Miller

Bob Miller, Lisa Miller and Shirley Miller

Unfortunately or fortunately, scholarship winners Erin Baptiste and Julissa Figueroa were not able to attend. They were at college studying.

After lunch (zucchini and saffron vichyssoise with grilled gulf shrimp, crispy chicken breast on a bed of sautéed kale with herb pistou, tricolor marble potatoes, haricot vert and roasted pearl onions and red grape tomatoes) the chat took place between Marisa and Clarice. Unfortunately, the audio in the ballroom made hearing the conversation a bit of a challenge for some in the room. In addition to talking about her stage and film projects, Marisa told of her experience in directing “Half the Sky” about a young girl working through the oppression that women face in Ethiopia.

But there was no doubt that Clarice is a fan of “Empire,” which Marisa has recently joined. Despite her best efforts, Clarice couldn’t pry plot developments out of Marisa. But she did hint that her character’s name — Mimi Whiteman — should provide food for thought and she did love Mimi’s clothes being chic.

IMG_8755 Paige FlinkBut the big news of the day was The Family Place’s launching a $13M capital campaign — The Family Place Legacy Campaign – Building Hope for the Future — for a 40,000-square-foot Central Dallas Counseling Center. The new facility “will allow The Family Place to house expanded victim counseling services and its administrative offices in a location easily accessible by bus and rail. This includes providing space for domestic violence victims and their children to receive therapeutic counseling and case management, as well as the Dignity at Work job training program that assists in financial empowerment, the Be Project youth bullying and violence prevention education program and an on-site children development center.”

With a big old smile, The Family Place’s Paige Flink then revealed The Moody Foundation was kicking in $5M to get things going. As a thank you, The Family Place will name the facility “Ann Moody Place,” after Moody Foundation Executive Director/Trustee Francie Moody-Dahlberg’s mother.

One message that got across was the importance of purple for Family Violence Month. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing purple nail polish as the color of the month on gals like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and even fellas. In a month that has traditionally been pink for breast cancer awareness, the two colors have come together for health and wellbeing.

Political Debating Didn’t Hamper The Family Place’s Partners Card South Soirée At NorthPark’s Mulberry

Event planners just thought they were safe scheduling events on Wednesday, September 16th. After all, North Texas Giving Day was the next day, so it appeared that Wednesday would be open to fundraising. Oops! The CNN Republican debate suddenly became the Super Bowl of Politics that night. Oh, dear! Debate-watching parties were popping up around town like pumpkins at Autumn at the Arboretum.

Would anyone show up for an event while the politicos were verbally sparring? Guess what? The philanthropic crowd knew how to schedule their time like a seamstress showing off the forbidden stitch.

Shivangi Pokharel, Cass Robinson and Sara Robinson

Shivangi Pokharel, Cass Robinson and Sara Robinson

While The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary sipped and shopped at the Luxury Garage Sale in Snider Plaza, The Family Place crowd shimmied their way into Mulberry for the Partners Card South Soiree in NorthPark.

Mulberry’s Matthew Minick looked right at home with the guests parading in. Family Place Development VP Melissa Sherrill was just a tad bit blown away by the turnout that included Nancy Gopez, Cass Robinson, Sara Robinson and Mulberry’s New Yawker Johanan Merino, who was just back from the Big Apple with a refreshed haircut and a review of New York’s Fashion Week.

Just as ReuNight Co-Chair Robert Weatherly arrived Family Place CEO Paige Flink reported that tickets were going lickety-split for the November 12th delicious dinner with Chef John Tesar in the kitchen.

Robert Weatherly

Robert Weatherly

Paige Flink and Paula Davis

Paige Flink and Paula Davis

Then she spotted Paula Davis and announced that Paula had been the top card seller. Her secret? She has lots of shop-loving neighbors in Lake Highlands.

Another event on The Family Place’s schedule is the 20th Anniversary Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon  on Thursday, October 1, at the Hilton Anatole.  In addition to Co-Chairs Michaela Dyer and Layne Pitzer arranging for awards being presented to Nancy Nasher, Bob Miller and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, they’re having actress Marisa Tomei as the keynote speaker.  BTW, be prepared. Paige is hoping to make an announcement to impress. She ain’t talking about it until then.

Despite The Death Of His Brother, Joe Torre Made It To The Texas Trailblazer Award Patron Party To Support The Family Place

Joe Torre

Joe Torre

Despite the death of his big brother, Frank, the previous Saturday, and the funeral Monday, Joe Torre was on hand to meet and greet the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon patrons on Tuesday, September 16.

Benefiting The Family Place, the cause was one that was very near and dear to both Joe and Frank  — domestic abuse.

The Terrace Ballroom at Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh was jammed with folks. So much so, that if you didn’t know your baseball, you would have sworn that Joe was just another guest. He melted into the crowd that included Amy Simmons, Lee Ann and Alan White, Brill Garrett, Jill Smith, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Maggie Kipp, Amanda Ward, Dawn Spalding and Ramona Jones.

Faye Briggs

Faye Briggs

Diminutive philanthropist Faye Briggs taking time out from preparationfs for Saturday’s celebration of her daughter Pebble McKenzie‘s marriage to Mike McGehee. The wedding was a family affair literally. Mike is Ralph Gorman‘s nephew. In turn, Ralph is Faye’s longtime “boyfriend.” You may need a chart to figure out the relationships.

Back to the patron party.

Luncheon organizers were whispering that the Wednesday luncheon was going to be a record breaker for the annual event “honoring those who create significant positive change in our North Texas community.”

Annette Simmons and Carol Seay

Annette Simmons and Carol Seay

This year’s event honoring the legacy of the late Harold C.  Simmons was a first for two reason: First, it was the first time that a man had been named a Texas Trailblazer. Second, it was the first time it was being given to someone posthumously.

Stephanie Seay and Stephanie and Travis Hollman

Stephanie Seay and Stephanie and Travis Hollman

After The Family Place’s Paige Flink welcomed the crowd and recognized key people like Harold’s widow Annette Simmons and daughter Amy, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Luncheon Co-Chairs Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Carol Seay and her daughter-in-law Stephanie Seay, the guests lined up to have their photos taken with Joe.