Thanks to Ted Dealey’s Grandson Rusty Dealey’s Surprise Announcement At The Fur Ball, The Family Support Of The SPCA Of Texas Continued

With loads of animals hitting the SPCA of Texas facilities thanks to hurricanes and abusive situations, a black-tie crowd of more than 800 guests rallied in the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, September 30.

But before that happened, the crowd at the “Reigning Cats and Dogs” was shoulder-to-shoulder with tiaras topping coiffured heads in the lobby. As Barbara and Jim Moroney headed to the registration table, other members of The Dallas Morning News family like longtime DMN photographer David Woo were already partying. Only seemed appropriate, as the DMN was to receive 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award.

Russell “Rusty” Dealey and Debra Burns*

But there was still more news to come during the meal. SPCA Development Director Debra Burns recalled how before moving to the state-of-the-art Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on I-30, the SPCA had occupied much smaller facilities just off of then-Irving Blvd., now known as Riverfront Blvd. It was named the G.B. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. Debra told how on her first day with the SPCA, she had discovered a photo of Joe Dealey and George Jalonick at the opening of the facilities back in the 1970s. That set her sights on continuing the family’s involvement in the 21st century SPCA. Sure, the late Betty Moroney Norsworthy’s estate had contributed a $1M gift to kick off the fundraising in 2003 for the future Rees-Jones facility. But that was more than a decade ago, and the SPCA’s programs and services had grown dramatically. She got together with Ted’s grandson Russell “Rusty” Dealey and the two of them pulled off a major surprise that was only revealed at the gala — Rusty’s gifting $1M for the 41,000 square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. According to Debra, not even the family nor Rusty’s accountant knew about his generous gift.

Amy Bailey and little fella

Lynn McBee, Joe B Clark and Paige McDaniel

But before the announcement of the gift was made at the dinner, the cocktail reception continued with Amy Bailey cuddling up with a “boy toy” looking for a permanent hug… Lynn McBee may have been solo because husband Allan McBee was out of town, but she soon ran into Paige McDaniel and Joe B ClarkKaty and Lawrence Bock reported that they were still getting rave reviews from the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction preview at their home base in Preston Center. Katy, who will be co-chairing the 2018 CBB, said things were moving along, but she sorta hated the thought of just one more year with the organization. Seems CBB bylaws require old CBB chairs to retire from hands-on involvement. Lawrence comforted Katy by saying there would probably be other organizations in her future…. Checking out the acres of silent auction items were Mary Frances Burleson and Lori Ferguson ….Alas, longtime animal-loving Diane Brierley was a no-show. But, she had a valid excuse. Earlier in the day she had hurt her paw foot and was homebound. 

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Mary Frances Burleson, James Bias and Lori Ferguson

Once the ballroom doors opened, the fundraising ramped up. Here’s a report from the field:

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous floral centerpieces complete with golden crowns thanks to Dr Delphinium. The delightful dinner included a salad of butter lettuce and seasonal greens salad with spiced pecans, goat cheese, and pancetta served with a Sherry Vinaigrette along with entrees, either Beef ‘Wellington’ petite filet and slow roasted salmon with mushroom duxelle, puff pastry, Pomme Dauphinois, green bean bundle, baby carrot, roasted radish and acorn squash bordelaise or Herb Creamed Spinach Stuffed portabella mushroom with steamed rice, green bean bundle, roasted vegetables baby carrot, acorn squash and radish in red pepper sauce. The delicious dessert was a Black Forest cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla sauce with a gold-flecked cherry garnish.

Subbing in for WFAA’s Ron Corning, who had to bail out due to a previous commitment was “Good Morning Texas’” Alanna Sarabia wearing her glittering Fiesta Queen crown. As past reigning Miss San Antonio and Fiesta Queen, her platform was the importance of responsible pet ownership as well as spaying and neutering pets to curb overpopulation for the health and safety of the community. Ms. Sarabia spoke about the importance of pets in all our lives, remembering that pets were furry siblings as she grew up and an important part of her life ever since. She thanked guests for their support and partnership to help the SPCA of Texas rescue, heal, and find homes for abandoned and abused animals.

SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias, welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas is able to perform thanks to the community’s support, such as saving animals on a cruelty case like the 100 dogs seized from a puppy mill the previous Monday, providing spay or neuter services to tens of thousands of pets in Southern Dallas and all of North Texas, and, most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. James also thanked the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets. 

Jocelyn White and Katy Murray

James and SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray presented the 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award to The Dallas Morning News for their comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas. Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Publisher/A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney accepted the award, and was joined by several members of the editorial staff. The Spencer Humanitarian Award, named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, recognizes an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. The Dallas Morning News has and continues to shine a light on the heartbreaking issue of suffering on the part of people and pets taking place in the most underserved area in Dallas. Their coverage in no small part contributed to the subsequent funding of the largest-scale spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping effort in the nation to date by many of the most prominent charities in North Texas. Their voice, calling attention to animal issues, is loud, clear and unwavering, and the pets and people of North Texas are fortunate indeed for this.

SPCA Senior VP for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, and announcing a surprise $1 million gift from Russell E. Dealey. The SPCA of Texas is grateful for Mr. Dealey’s tremendous gift, and has re-named its Animal Rescue Center in Dallas the “Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.”

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways to Telluride and New York City, a decadent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” spa and shopping package and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more. Others were a getaway to Mountain Lodge in Telluride, Colorado and a fabulous Thanksgiving Day in New York, New York.  

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied until after Midnight. 

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to Event Chair Cindy Lindsley; Event Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including 

  • Diamond sponsor: Russell E. Dealey;
  • Sapphire sponsors: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Lydia and Bill Addy, Colin and Sandra Fite, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, H/3 Foundation, Northern Trust, Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones and Sewell Automotive;
  • Ruby sponsors: Dr Delphinium and Rebecca Farris;
  • Emerald sponsors: Carla J. Brandt, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Jill Bee and Loren Glasser, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Holly and Philip Huffines, Nancy and Ty Merelli, Milagro Tequila, Thompson and Knight Foundation, Come from Away – A New Musical and Webb Family Foundation;
  • Corporate Royal Gem sponsors: AG&E Structural Engenuity, Alliance Insurance, Cityvet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hollywood Feed, Merck Animal Health, Heineken, OrangeTheory Fitness, Origin Bank, PBK, RKD Group, Swiss Avenue Women’s Guild, Tejas Ranch & Game Fence, VCA Animal Hospitals, Vinson and Elkins LLP and Whole Foods Market;
  • Media Sponsors: Modern Luxury Magazine and Slingshot.

Guests included the Rees-Jones clan (Jan and Trevor, Jenny and Trevor, Margaret and David), Sally Anne Hudnall, Stacey and Don KivowitzGwen and Leldon Echols, Gigi Potter Salley, Phillip and Holly Huffines, Beth and Steve Jarvie, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Meredith Perot, Peter Addie, Kirsten Burns, Jill Bee and Dr. Loren Glasser, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Betsy Orton and Sharon FancherJudy Davis, Gus HinojosaTeresa and Chic Henderson, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, Kelly Thompson, Dr. Rocky McKelvey, Carolyn and David KubesPam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Bill Driscoll.

* Photo credit: Brett Redman

“Dean Of Moderators” Jim Lehrer Addresses The Past And Present State Of Journalism At VNA’s Legends And Leaders Luncheon

Despite the do-si-do dance of vehicles vying for entry to the Hilton Anatole on Friday, April 14, around noontime, things were hustling inside the hotel complex. In the Chantilly Ballroom, Amal Clooney was packing the stiletto crowd in for the New Friends New Life Wings Luncheon.

At the opposite end of the building, a large group of hotel guests checked in early for their rooms. Bypassing the folks with luggage were more than 600 local familiar faces heading to the upstairs Imperial Ballroom for the VNA’s Legends and Leaders Luncheon.

Hugh Aynesworth

Hugh Aynesworth

Lottye Brodsky

Lottye Brodsky

As the luncheon guests made their way down the hallway leading to the ballroom, tales of traffic hassles seemed to rumble. So much so, that by 12:06 word was passed that the start time of high noon had been delayed because of “a 30-minute wait outside.”  But once in the ballroom guests doffed off the problems of the day and settled back into catch-up conversations like a college reunion. Perhaps the conviviality was due to the fact that everyone either knew or felt like they knew the day’s “legend” — award-winning veteran journalist Jim Lehrer. Peppered throughout the crowd were Hugh Aynesworth, Caroline Rose Hunt, Bob Brackbill, Debbie Francis, Lyda Hill, Lottye Brodsky, Janie McGarr, Regen Fearon, Ruth Buzzi and husband Kent Perkins, who had made the trek from their Stephenville ranch to Dallas.

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

By 12:11 an organizer asked if one of the production team could flash the ceiling lights to let folks know that the program was getting ready to start. Only problem was that the Imperial Ballroom lights had been flickering all morning. A member of the Murray Media called over the chap with the chimes and had him play the tune into the mic. Between the light show and the chimes, the room was starting to become a sensory experience. But it worked.

Within a couple of minutes, emcee Scott Sams introduced Rabbi Nancy Kasten who gave the invocation, and lunch was served. For this the house lights were brought up and the conversations ranged from the fact that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 daily to an Emmitt Smith party the night before. Seems the event had been scheduled to take place in the area surrounding Tony Tasset’s “Eye.” But due to the rain, it was moved across the street to The Joule’s ballroom.

Nancy Kasten

Nancy Kasten

As the ballroom’s ceiling lights flickered like a chorus of lightning bugs, one organizer’s fingers were turning blue because they were crossed so tightly. Seems the issue of the two mega-luncheon events ending at the same time had been addressed weeks earlier. The game plan was to stagger their endings with New Friends New Life finishing first. But there was now a touch of concern that perhaps the NFNL had also delayed their start time. Not to worry, though.

As it was, author/journalist Rena Pederson and Jim didn’t take their places in easy chairs on stage until a little after 1 p.m. for a chat. Before talking about his lengthy career, the 81-year-old reviewed his health experiences that included having a heart attack in 1983, cataract surgery (“I can now read agate print and see from here to the Rocky Mountains”), getting a hearing aid, lifestyles changes (“When traveling, I leave a little earlier. It’s to cut down on the stress”) and aqua jogging.

He then recalled his days in Dallas working at the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News, when he worked with then DMN Assistant City Editor Bob Miller, who was in the audience. In remarking about the differences of the days of manual typewriters and today’s high tech, Jim recalled, “Everyone was a writer. We argued about phraseology and who had the best leads.” There was also a competitive spirit between reporters at the two daily papers.

Moving on to his days at KERA, he admitted that he joined the station for “all the wrong reasons.” It seems that he and his wife/novelist Kate Lehrer had agreed that when they had enough money he would quit his job as city editor at the Times Herald. That came about when his first novel “Viva Max” provided him with a landfall of $45,000.

But a call from Robert Wilson changed those plans. When Bobby heard that he was quitting, he asked Jim to be a consultant for KERA’s start-up news program called “Newsroom.” Jim was amazed. He got “paid more for working three days a week than working at the paper.” At that time Jim had been making $82.50 a week, while Kate, who was teaching school, was making $90 a week and got three months off in the summer.

In putting together the team for the local news program, he “hired nothing but newspaper people because that’s all I knew and there was no such thing as TV journalists.”

By 1:17 p.m. Jim was recalling tales of his 37 years at PBS. One memory was his interview scheduled with President Bill Clinton. The morning of the interview, he toddled out to get the morning paper and there was the lead story about the President’s supposedly having had an affair with an intern. Jim’s comment to his wife, “Oh, golly gee, sweetheart.”

While the other national news anchors (Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings) were all in Cuba for the Pope’s visit, Jim had the story of the day. Why, ABC even wanted to air it live!

Despite the fact that “you could hear a pin drop,” the interview took place with Jim asking, “Mr. President, there’s a story in the Washington Post that said you had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Is that true?” The President responded, “There is no improper relationship.” Jim prodded. The President stayed with his statement.

Jim admitted that he was pleased with the interview, until Kate reported that their daughter Amanda had called and pointed out that Jim was talking in the past tense and Clinton was responding in present tense. “That’s an interview I’ll never forget.”

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Speaking of U.S. Presidents, Rena asked him which had inspired him the most. Jim responded, “Do you think I’m gonna answer that?” Then he added, “I never interviewed one where I walked away thinking that was an accident.”

When asked about the current presidential campaigns, Jim described them as a cross between a “game show, reality TV and second-level pep rallies.”

Having moderated 12 presidential debates, he was disappointed in the lack of civility in the most recent debates, but he admitted that it was still good to see the candidates in a comparative situation.

Regarding the media’s coverage of presidential candidate Donald Trump, he suggested that when Trump started, serious journalists reported it and didn’t take him seriously, but not Lehrer: Trump “was successful as a candidate, so he had to be covered. He said things that were newsworthy. And by then they…by that I mean us…the media were caught.”

Chuckling he admitted that “The media…it sounds like a venereal disease. ‘I’ve got the media.’”

Getting back to the state of Trump and the “media,” Jim said journalism has three sides —

  • reporting,
  • analysis and
  • opinion

In the case of Trump, Jim said the analysis and opinion parts of journalism “raked Trump over the coals. Everything he said was dissected.”

Rena asked Jim (aka the “Dean of Moderators”) if he would moderate any future debates, to which Jim said, “No,” but he was now on the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In closing, Rena asked about Jim’s next book. He opted not to answer, saying, “It’s bad luck to talk about fiction ahead of time.” But with a twinkle in his, he added, “It has to do with a gun.”

By 1:30 p.m. the luncheon was over and the guests left, satisfied that Jim was still a great interview, even if he wasn’t doing the interviewing.

Parkland Advocate Debbie Dudley Branson Is Honored With Prestigious Linz Award

Few nonprofit events in Dallas can match the annual Linz Award luncheon for the star power of its guests, and this year’s Linz—held Wednesday, April 6, at the Omni Dallas Hotel—was no exception. Everywhere you turned, it seemed, the city’s legendary movers and shakers were moving and shaking, from Frank Branson, Joel Allison, Carol Reed, Walt Humann and Luncheon Chair Patti Flowers to Doug Hawthorne, Dolores Barzune, Dale Petroskey, Ros Dawson, Gay and Bill SolomonRon Steinhart, Mary Jalonick, Sarah Losinger, Margaret Jordan, Helen Holman, Winfred Parnell, Meredith Mosely, Tom Dunning, John Scovell and Andy Stern.

Patti Flowers and Ros Dawson

Patti Flowers and Ros Dawson

Larry and Dolores Barzune

Larry and Dolores Barzune

Frank Branson

Frank Branson

Winfred Parnell

Winfred Parnell

They’d all turned out to honor Debbie Dudley Branson, recipient of the 87th annual Linz Award. Presented by Zales, a Signet Brand, and The Dallas Morning News, the Linz is given each year to the individual whose civic and humanitarian efforts over the last decade created the greatest benefit to the city, without having received monetary compensation. The luncheon is organized by the Junior League of Dallas and benefits its Community Service Fund.

This year about 500 people showed up for the event honoring Branson, a trial lawyer who served as board chair of Parkland Health and Hospital System when it had multiple complex problems. Among other things, Parkland was facing the potential loss of its accreditation, its hospital license, and its Medicare certification and funding. Branson is credited with turning around and revitalizing the system, thanks to her “grace-under-fire leadership and genuine concern for the underserved people of Dallas County.”

Jim Moroney

Jim Moroney

Debbie Branson and Sheila Grant

Debbie Branson and Sheila Grant

While guests enjoyed lunch including a mixed-green salad and braised short-ribs, they heard from Sheila and Jody Grant, last year’s Linz recipients, as well as Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The News, and Bill Luth of Signet Jewelers. Luth called Branson a “focused, dedicated and committed leader” before giving way to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who likened Branson’s 2012 challenges at Parkland to receiving a military “posting to Hawaii on December 7, 1941.”

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

Debbie Branson and Clay Jenkins

During her remarks accepting the prestigious award, Branson said her efforts to revive the system were a “true labor of love” that would not have been possible without the help of its thousands of front-line employees, doctors, and volunteers. Among the improvements she oversaw were the implementation of a more effective governance structure; the building of a new, $1.3 billion campus; and the hiring of a permanent CEO, Dr. Fred Cerise.

However, Branson cautioned in concluding her remarks, “I know the quest is not over to make Parkland better.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Initial Plans And Developments For 2016 Dallas Festival Of Ideas Revealed

Remember back in February when Dallas was frozen and events were in meltdown mode? To say the frozen tundra was a frown maker is an understatement. For the first Dallas Festival of Ideas, they soldiered on and managed to still have speakers, entertainers and guests get together with the mission to help “shape the city of the future by igniting, uniting and energizing the people of Dallas through the power of ideas.”

Festival Co-Presenters The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture were so impressed with the presentation and the feedback that they not only signed up for a 2016 encore, but they ramped things up.

Emily Hargrove (File photo)

Emily Hargrove (File photo)

First of all, they brought on board Emily Hargrove to serve as executive director of the Festival. It made perfect sense, since Emily has been director of communications and development at the Institute and was instrumental in the Festival’s coordination. Having worked with both The Morning News team and the Institute’s staff, she’ll be right at home in the newly created position.

To provide leadership among the volunteers, Dallas Museum of Art Chairman Walter Elcock and OTSL’s Albert Black will serve as honorary co-chairs.

Another development is the expansion of the Festival’s present Steering Committee (Larry Allums, Alison Draper, Emily Hargrove and Thomas Huang) to include Nicole Fain, Ana Rodriquez, Ellen Williams, Russell Bellamy, John Matthews, Byron Sanders and Mike Wilson.

On Thursday, October 29, five working committees will present “progress reports” for the Festival slated to take place February 19-20.

Stay tuned. More developments are in the future. Understand that negotiations are underway with Mother Nature to cooperate come February.

Get Serious! Robert “Bob” Miller Is Just Taking A Break

Today an amazing era for nonprofit coverage ends. It is our former city editor, who has shone the light on so many nonprofits since 1985. Yes, Dallas Morning News columnist RobertBob” Miller is supposedly retiring. That’s really a joke. He’s simply staying home side, until his adorable, “giddy” bride of 51 years Shirley wearies of him sitting on the couch.

Bob Miller (File photo)

Bob Miller (File photo)

Shirley Miller (File photo)

Shirley Miller (File photo)

Monday night The Dallas Morning News held a farewell party for Bob. Actually it was a celebration of 91-year-old Bob. Before philanthropy was cool, he crafted a column that put the spotlight on nonprofits. According to SMU’s Gerald Turner, the university has benefited from a million dollars of “OMG” awareness from Bob’s column.

It provided an outlet to let readers know of the business community’s support of nonprofits that was valued and well read. His knowledge of Dallas’ history and the people involved was invaluable.

Tomorrow a person will be named who will carry on the DMN Business Section’s tip-of-the-hat to philanthropy. That person will not replace Bob. No one ever could. They will simply be filling in until Shirley kicks Bob out of the house and he returns to his messy desk.

Bob, thank you for setting a standard and example for the rest of us to learn from and try to measure up to. We will never surpass you, but we’ll have quite a ride trying to, and the nonprofits will love our shabby attempts.

See you later, Bob.

UPDATE: Dallas Festival Of Ideas

Because the weather is challenging, the The Dallas Festival of Ideas organizers have just dropped all fees associated with today’s programming. It’s not because they’re rolling in dough. It’s because of “the generosity of our supporters.”

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

They go on to report, “To join us for Beer and BBQ, it is $20 unless you are already a ticket holder. Starting Tuesday, we will be handling refunds.”

Ah, come on. Refunds? Really? The show is still going on and the organizers are doing all they can to provide the program without endangering the safety of others. Still the costs of flying experts in and facility rentals have to be paid. So, if you want to feel like a “generous supporter,” don’t bother asking for a refund.

CHANGE OF PLANS: The Dallas Festival Of Ideas Changes Start Times

Remember yesterday how the organizers of The Dallas Festival of Ideas were committed to have it happening despite the weather. Well, they still are…only they’ve adjusted the schedule due to Mother Nature’s cold shoulder and the well being of all participants.

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

Here’s the word that just arrived:

“Tonight’s Opening Night Signature Event for The Dallas Festival of Ideas is being postponed until tomorrow, Saturday, February 28. Based on the current forecast, we have reworked the program so that doors will open at noon, with lunch concessions available.

“The Opening Signature Event will start at 1 pm in the Dallas City Performance Hall, with all panels immediately following.

“We are confident that even with the snow, The Dallas Festival of Ideas will ignite, unite, and energize the people of Dallas through the power of ideas.”

So, the good news is that the show is still on. This way, you’ll be able to stay snug tonight, sleep in Saturday morning and then head to the Dallas Arts District for idea cooking at noon.

* Graphic courtesy of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

Weather Or Not, The Dallas Festival Of Ideas Is A Definite “Go”

Snow? No snow? Ice? No ice? Mother Nature is keeping everyone on their tip toes. TV newsrooms have been slap-happy with all this weather angst taking place during their sweeps that ended Wednesday.

But the weather worries haven’t ended. There are “possibilities” of more wintry weather for the next few days. So that means kite flying fundraisers and sand sculpting competitions may be in jeopardy.

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

The Dallas Festival of Ideas*

There’s one that has raised some concern about whether it’s on or not. It’s The Dallas Festival of Ideas. The reason for the wonderment is that word “festival.” Most folks associate that with outdoor events with girls in floral frocks frivolously frolicking (don’t you just love alliteration).

Well, forget that image. This two-day event is #1 indoors at the various venues in the Dallas Arts District.

And #2 it’s about as frivolous a TED gathering. But then what would you expect when it’s being put on by The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and The Dallas Morning News? It is going to deal with Dallas’ future with a focus on the following areas:

  • The Physical City
  • The Cultural City
  • The Innovative City
  • The Political City
  • The Educated City

And to address these areas, local and national experts will be brought together to brainstorm along with live entertainment provided by singers, dancers, painters and performers.

So, the message is regardless of Ma Nature does, The Dallas Festival of Ideas is on starting Friday night at the Dallas City Performance Hall with a two-hour signature event.

All the deets including dining venues, parking, schedules, etc., can be found right here! BTW, the word free pops up in surprising places.

* Graphic courtesy of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

The Dallas Morning News Charities’ 2014-2015 Campaign To Benefit 25 Area Charities

The Dallas Morning News does more than put out a daily product. It also “pays all administration costs” of The Dallas Morning News Charities. This underwriting allows for the monies raised by DMNC to go area charities. In the past 29 years, that means nonprofits have received more than $25.8M from DMNC.

Why, last year alone $1,684,955 was raised from 1,837 donors.

This year’s campaign will run from Thursday, November 20, through Saturday, January 31, 2015.

Working with Communities Foundation of Texas, the DMNC board has selected the following 25 nonprofits to benefit from the 2014-2015 drive. They are:

  • Allen Community Outreach — Emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food and clothing for families in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Financial literacy and GED classes are also offered.
  • Arlington Life Shelter — Emergency food and shelter, employment assistance and family counseling for homeless men, women and children in eastern Tarrant County.
  • Assistance Center of Collin County — Brings carefully qualified and prompt short-term financial assistance to individuals and families in financial crisis. Works with 211 network.
  • Austin Street Centre — Food, shelter, medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment and substance abuse counseling for the homeless.
  • Brother Bill’s Helping Hand — Food, clothing, medical assistance to families in West Dallas. Job training, parenting, healthy living and ESL classes are also offered.
  • City House — Provides homeless children and young adults with emergency shelter and transitional residential services. Operates an emergency youth shelter for children ages newborn-17 and transitional living program for 18-21 year olds.
  • Crossroads Community Services — Food, nutrition, clothing and life skills education.
  • Dallas Life — Emergency short-term and long-term shelter for homeless men, women and children. Employment training, medical and dental services are also provided.
  • Duncanville Outreach Ministry — Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent, utilities and prescription medication for persons in Duncanville.
  • Family Gateway — Short-term, transitional and permanent supportive housing programs; life skills training and case management for homeless families and children.
  • Frisco Family Services Center — Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities and prescription drugs to families living in Frisco or Frisco ISD. Adult life skills workshops are also offered.
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter — Emergency shelter, transitional housing, long-term counseling, food, clothing and other necessities for battered women and their children and an on-site school for elementary aged children.
  • Lancaster Outreach Center — Emergency assistance, food, clothing and shelter. Case management, job training, counseling and school support services.
  • LifeLine Shelter for Families — Financial assistance to families who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness in the Grand Prairie ISD. Life skills training is also provided.
  • NETWORK of Community Ministries — Food, clothing, financial assistance for rent and utilities, as well as a children’s clinic and comprehensive seniors’ net program for those 60 and older.
  • North Dallas Shared Ministries — Food, financial assistance for rent and utilities, clothing, gas vouchers and bus tokens, eye exams and glasses, job counseling, ESL classes, free medical and dental clinic for the working poor and family members.
  • North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids — Food 4 Kids program provides weekend food assistance for elementary school children at risk of being chronically hungry.
  • Our Calling — Faith-based organization that specifically serves the unsheltered homeless in Dallas. Food, showers, clothing and resources.
  • Our Daily Bread — Noon day meals, weekend snack pack program, bus passes, counseling, personal care items, limited health screening and referrals, phone answering service and mailing address for homeless in Denton County.
  • Promise House — Shelter, food, clothing, counseling, educational services and transitional housing for homeless, runaway and at-risk teens.
  • Sharing the Bread Cedar Hill Food Pantry — Provides food, clothing, utility assistance and school supplies to needy families in Cedar Hill.
  • Sharing Life Community Outreach — Food, clothing and financial assistance for rent and utilities, educational programs and job skills training for low income residents in Southeastern Dallas County.
  • The Bridge — Emergency and transitional shelter, supportive housing services, meals, primary and behavioral health care services, job search and educational services for the homeless.
  • The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church — Urgent and long-term assistance to the homeless and at-risk families; meals; ID documentation; representative payee program; dental, medical and mental health services; job assistance and inner-city youth programs.
  • White Rock Center of Hope — Food, clothing, financial assistance with rent, utilities, transportation and prescriptions; school supplies for families in need in East and Northeast Dallas. Christmas toys are provided to children less than 17 years of age.

Dallas Morning News Charities Raised More than $1.68M For 25 Area Nonprofits Thanks To 1,837 Donors

The Dallas Morning News has been in the publishing business a long time. Why, when 102-year old Ebby Halliday (she turns 103 on March 9) was born in 1911, Dallas’s daily newspaper had already been around 26 years.

What’s interesting is that the paper is also in the charitable business. Through its Dallas Morning News Charities, it annually raises money to support area nonprofits.

Since it began in 1986, “The Charities has raised nearly $26 million from more than 49,000 donors. They’re doing pretty darn well, when you consider that for “the 14th year, The Charities raised more than $1 million.”

With underwriting of administrative costs provided by the Morning News, 100% of the donations go directly to recipient agencies for those in need.

This year thanks to 1,837 donors, the November 15, 2013, through January 31, 2014, campaign raised a whopping $1,684,955 and received its first $500,000 donation from Katherine Carmody Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee.

According to DMN editor/The Charities Chair Bob Mong, “This campaign ranks as one of our most successful. I am gratified by the generosity of our many donors, and thank them for their commitment to help the homeless and hungry in our midst.”

As a result, the following 25 organizations received much-needed funding:

  1. Allen Community Outreach — $50,548.65
  2. Arlington Life Shelter — $101,097.30
  3. Assistance Center of Collin County — $25,274.33
  4. Austin Street Center — $101,097.30
  5. Brother Bill’s Helping Hand — $67,398.20
  6. City House — $25,274.33
  7. Community Lifeline Center — $25,274.33
  8. Crossroad Community Services — $117,946.85
  9. Dallas Life Foundation — $33,699.10
  10. Duncanville Outreach Ministry — $42,123.88
  11. Family Gateway — $109,522.08
  12. Frisco Family Services — $58, 973.43
  13. Genesis Women’s Shelter — $126,371.63
  14. Lifeline Shelter for Families — $33,699.10
  15. Network of Community Ministries — $101,097.30
  16. North Dallas Shared Ministries — $109,522.08
  17. North Texas Food Bank — $92,672.53
  18. Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid — $16,849.55
  19. OurCalling — $25,274.33
  20. Our Daily Bread — $50,548.65
  21. Promise House — $117,946.85
  22. Sharing Life Community Outreach — $50,548.65
  23. Sharing the Bread Cedar Hill Food Pantry — $25,274.33
  24. The Stewpot — $126,371.63
  25. White Rock Center of Hope — $50, 548.65

This achievement was only made possible because of countless contributors like

  • $125,000 — J.L. Williams Charitable Foundation,
  • $100,000 — Contran Corporation,
  • $75,000 — the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas,
  • $25,000 — the Betty MacArthur Estate and
  • $10,000 — the Granville C. and Gladys H. Morton Fund, Al Hill, Maverick Capital Foundation and Jim Moroney III

And, of course, a number of members of the well-known Anonymous clan.

Symposium To Explore The Impact Of The JFK Assassination From Four Perspectives With Nationally Renowned Experts

Between now and the end of the year, there will be many activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy. They will range from the convening of conspiracy theorists to solemn memorial services.

JFK Understanding Tragedy

JFK Understanding Tragedy

One of the more intriguing will take place over a two-day period (Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2). Thanks to the partnership of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, The Dallas Morning News, KERA TV, KERA 90.1 FM, UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, the Ochberg Society and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, a day-long symposium at the Southside Ballroom on Saturday will address “Understanding Tragedy: the Impact of the JFK Assassination on Dallas.”   

Prior to this discussion will be “two preview discussion panels on Friday at the Sixth Floor Museum offered by the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism.”

What makes this discussion so fascinating is that it will focus on “the impact of the assassination from four perspectives: journalism, politics, religion and art and the humanities.

Organizers describe it as “an in-depth revisiting of what many consider to have been the most significant occurrence within the U.S. of the last half of the 20th century.”

To provide true expertise, the panel will include journalist Jim Lehrer and Lee Cullum, author Richard Rodriquez, U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and “leading political, ethics and law intellectual Stephen Carter.”

According to Dallas Institute Executive Director Dr. Larry Allums, “President Kennedy certainly had his opponents, but he was also widely regarded as a bright, young hope of the future, and his death changed the course of our city and our nation. On this anniversary, we fell it is the right time to glance back over the past 50 years and reflect together on the assassination and its aftermath, taking what we might learn into the future with us.”

While tickets don’t go on sale until September, you can make advanced reservations by calling the Institute Registrar at 214.981.8803.

Graphic courtesy of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

Tip O’ The Hat To A 60-Year-Legend — Robert “Bob” Miller

Back in 1951 on September 24, Belo Chairman of the Board/President/CEO Robert Decherd was just 5 1/2 months old and a young journalist by the name of Robert “Bob” Miller hired on at The Dallas Morning News.

Robert "Bob" Miller

Today’s readers now recognize Bob as the must-read Morning News‘ business columnist, who has covered businesses and people who have gone beyond expectations for the good of North Texas.

But it wasn’t always like that. In his earlier days, he was part of the team that covered daily news as well as the infamous assassination of Kennedy, devastating tornadoes and tragedies like Delta Flight 191. Because of his old-fashioned journalistic understanding of news coverage, he rose through the ranks in the newsroom to be city editor. With every change of technology, Miller adjusted — from manual typewriters, electric typewriters to computers. The jury is still out on iPads and blogging.

Unbeknownst to people outside the newsroom, he also took stands that at the time were hard to fathom — like having women cover hard-news stories.

Shirley Miller

This afternoon Robert Decherd, the Morning News staff and the Miller family will honor Bob and his devoted, sharper-than-a-scalpel-wife Shirley for his 60 years of being a treasure trove of knowledge on the people and history of Dallas.

Congratulations to Bob and the people whose lives have benefited from him.

Dallas Morning News Series On Pro Athletes’ Involvement in Nonprofits Is Required Reading

The Dallas Morning NewsScott Farwell does an absolute must-read series on professional athletes and their nonprofit involvement.

Part One runs today. Part Two Monday. Pop quiz on Tuesday.

UPDATE: Since the series started, the Morning News introduced its new website design which may have created the link error. Let’s see if this one works.

UPDATE ON UPDATE: The good news is the new link works! The not so good news is that the infamous “pay wall” is in place, so you’ll only get a smidgen of the story. . . unless you’re willing to pay to get past the wall.

Robert Miller Hits the 59-Year Mark At The Dallas Morning News

You might want to drop a note to Robert “Bob” Miller. Today is his 59th anniversary with The Dallas Morning News.