Texas Trailblazer Keynote Speaker Gretchen Carlson Connects The Dots Between Domestic Violence And Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Since being a little girl in Minnesota with a love of playing the violin, Gretchen Carlson has made the rounds. From being embarrassed … no, make that humiliated … when a sales clerk announced, “We need the biggest little girl bra for the chubby girl,” to taking on one of the country’s mega-media powerhouses, she’s not only rounded the track, she’s landed in the winner’s circle.

That was the feel for the Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon crowd on Friday, October 6, at the Anatole.

But first, the backstory. Gretchen, who had landed in Dallas back in the late 1990s as a reporter and anchor at KXAS, was the keynote speaker for The Family Place‘s annual fundraising luncheon that celebrated Elizabeth Grandell and Lamisa Mustafa as the 2017 Verizon Scholarship Recipients, TexProtects as Advocacy Awardee, and Lynn McBee as Trailblazer of the Year, who received a standing ovation.

Initially the day was sort low-key with the VIP meet-and-greet in the Peacock Terrace. Unlike last year’s line around the room for the grip-and-grin with Ronan Farrow, this year started off a bit slow. One guest, who arrived 10 minutes into the by-invitation event, had a touch of a shock in his/her voice, “Where are all the people?” This answer was, they were chatting it up in the opposite side of the room.

Cindy Stager, Lynn McBee, Gretchen Carlson and KJ Sanger

But Co-Chairs Kristen “KJ” Sanger and Cindy Stager and Lynn McBee as well as Nancy Gopez were on hand as well as Jan Miller in a new haircut and a touch of tear in her eye. It seems that the legendary Miller-Rich household beagle Schumacher had suffered a stroke a couple of weeks before and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Jan Miller and Gretchen Carlson

In the meantime, the Chantilly Ballroom was being set up with an open feeling. As one person pointed out, there were generous aisles between the tables. Still, the count of 680 was down from the jam-packed TFP luncheon of 2016 with Ronan. On the screen were names of sponsors including Trammel (sic) S. Crow. That second “l” in Trammell is a tricky one.

At 11:46 a.m., a big voice announced that the program was going to start. He was a man of his word. The lights dimmed and a video was shown followed by Co-Chairs KJ and Cindy welcoming the group and Rev. Susan Robb providing the invocation.

Before Gretchen talked to the crowd including Connie O’Neill, Claire Emanuelson, Joanna Clarke, Paige Flink, Jill Tananbaum, Travis Hollman, Carol Seay, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink told of “Naomi,” who just the day before had met with her for a one-on-one. It seems that Naomi’s abusive situation had driven her to the breaking point. Her suicide note was written; she was going to take her five kids to the fire station and then she was going to a bridge from which to jump. After talking with Paige and understanding that the newly opened Ann Moody Place would provide shelter for her family, Naomi and Paige finished their chat, tearing up the suicide note.   

Paige added that had it not been for Ann Moody Place, Naomi might have become part of the statistics like the 194,000 violent acts and 158 murdered last year. That latter number was an increase over the year before. On a light noted she announced that the facility had received its first dog, Buddy, with his family. She finished her report on a positive note, saying that thanks to The Family Place, more than one-half million people had been saved thanks to the community’s support.

In addition to Paige’s celebrating her 26th anniversary with The Family Place, she had another 26-year Family Place vet, Betty Regard, join her on stage. Betty issued a $25,000 match challenge at 11:58 a.m. By 12:20 p.m., the challenge had already hauled in $15,948.

At 12:38 p.m., Gretchen arrived at the podium and showed her Stanford education smarts by telling the group of her days at KXAS back in 1998 when she did a 30-part series on domestic violence. While she admitted that a lot has changed, it hasn’t been enough.

Seamlessly, she transitioned into the eye-opening connection between domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace that she knew all too well from her 20s, when a man accosted her, to her headline-making split with the Fox News network. Both domestic violence and sexual harassment continue due to fear, embarrassment, and a lack of support, she said.

Highlights of her talk included:

  • Her mother suggested that she enter the Miss America pageant. Gretchen told her mother there was no way she would win because she was short, played a violin and “Minnesota is not a pageant state.” She entered anyway and won, despite pageant judge William Goldman’s describing her as Miss Piggy and admitting that he hated the violin.
  • After winning Miss America, she was interviewed by a reporter [Editor’s note: New York reporter Penny Crone], who quizzed her with such questions as which presidents were on the $5 and $20 bills. Ten years later, Gretchen spotted the reporter and asked if she recalled her when she was Miss America. Then Gretchen gave it to her, saying, “When I was Miss American, you tried to take me down. I just want you to know I’m a correspondent for CBS and you’re not.”
  • She was stalked for four years.
  • Her first encounter with sexual harassment was when she was in her 20s, when a TV cameraman asked her if she liked it when he put her mic on her breast.
  • 70% of women never report sexual harassment.
  • Misconceptions about sexual harassment include: women can just leave; women bring it on themselves; women make it up; women who do report it are after money or fame.
  • She has become an advocate about sexual harassment because of her children — “It’s all about the next generation.”
  • All proceeds from her book — “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back,” which was coming out the following week, will go her “Gift of Courage” effort.
  • She pointed out three things that were needed to end such treatment:
    • Bystander support
    • Education
    • Government legislation

In closing, Gretchen made a surprise announcement: she was giving $10,000 to The Family Place.

But Gretchen isn’t gone. Come November, she’ll return to the area as part of the across-the-nation launch of workshops to empower women.

BTW, Gretchen didn’t talk about her headline-making situation with the late Roger Ailes. But just a few days later, women in the entertainment industry started following Gretchen’s lead, according to an article by Ronan about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual harassment. They, like Gretchen, were not going to be silenced.

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.

The Family Place’s Partners Card Program Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary With The Silver Card Launch Party At Bungalow 5

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Family Place’s Partners Card, the powers-that-be realized that they had to come up with a twist. On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Partners Card Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns revealed a double twist at the Partners Card Kick Off party at Bungalow 5 for 200 guests.

Brynn Bagot Allday, Tyler Sweatman and Jennifer Stuart

The first twist was the Silver Card. It’s a limited edition of 100 uber Partners Cards. Going for $250, the special new card provided such extras as a 25% discount at more than 80 select Silver Card retailers during Partners Card week (Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5)—plus two extra shopping days (Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 26). It will still be good for a 20% discount at other participating retailers. But due to the limited quantity, they’re gonna be gobbled up fast. While guests at the kick-off party were able to pre-order Silver Cards, here are three other ways to get ‘em:

  • Attend one of the pre-Partners Card Week events
  • Call 214.443.7754
  • Email here.

Melissa Sherrill and Mary Catherine Benavides

But if they’re already GWTW or the $250 is too hefty, the traditional Partners Card is available here for $70 plus shipping for more than 100 participating retailers.

The second twist was the talk  of an e-commerce angle to the ten-day purchase-power fundraiser. The details are being finalized, so stay tuned. Imagine shopping in your jammies, while getting a nice discount and helping The Family Place!

Initially missing when the doors opened was The Family Place CEO Paige Flink. She had to stop by her mom’s place to wish her a happy birthday.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Partners Card 2017

According to Partners Card 2017 Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns,

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

This year, we look forward to celebrating 25 years of shopping with a purpose during Partners Card 2017 presented by Bank of Texas. The annual Partners Card program is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place and over the past 24 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. The Family Place saves thousands of family violence victims each year with the help and support of our community through the Partners Card event, which would not be possible without the support of our participating retailers, sponsors, volunteers and of course, our community.

With the purchase of a $70 card, cardholders will receive a 20 percent discount at more than 750 of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place, Dallas’ largest family violence agency. One hundred percent of the proceeds from card sales directly benefit The Family Place and its programs. The purchase of a $70 Partners Card provides one night of shelter for a woman and her child escaping a violent situation.  Since the Partners Card program started, we have provided 257,511 nights of shelter to men, women and children.

As we celebrate the Partners Card 25th anniversary, we are thrilled to have longtime supporters Joanne and Charles Teichman serving as honorary chairs, and we are both honored to serve as event chairs. Excitement for this year’s Partners Card event is building quickly, and we are pleased to announce several new features this year. First, we are excited to roll out the Partners Card App, where you can buy or gift a card, view participating retailers, learn about upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Partners Card App is free and available for both iPhone and Android users. We hope having this digital option will make it easier to shop at your favorite retailers!

Partners Card*

Another new feature this year is the limited edition Silver Card, which will be sold exclusively at Partners Card pre-events or can be purchased through The Family Place for $250. Only 100 Silver Cards will be sold. The Silver Card will not only grant cardholders 20 percent off at participating retail locations, but cardholders will also receive a 25 percent discount at more than 85 select Silver Card locations. The Silver Card also grants cardholders two extra days of shopping at participating Silver Card retailers, Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 26, in addition to the standard Partners Card 10-day shopping event from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. A list of retailers that will honor the Silver Card can be found at www.partnerscard.org.

We hope you will mark your calendars, make your lists and plan to shop October 27 through November 5, 2017, with your Partners Card! For more information, visit www.partnerscard.org, contact the Partners Card Hotline at 214.443.7754, or email [email protected]. Happy shopping!

* Graphic/photo provided by The Family Place

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 ReuNight

According to 2017 ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl,

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

On Wednesday, November 8, ReuNight will be one of the first public events at the newly remodeled Statler. A modern approach to a classic icon, the Statler blends the past with the present. For this reason, ReuNight 2017 will pay homage to important Dallas icons. ReuNight has become an exclusive annual dinner and live auction that attracts respected leaders and philanthropists that raises much-needed funds for The Family Place.

The evening’s format will include cocktails in the hotels’ first-level garden and photo opportunities with the infamous Llinda Llee Llama, the hotel’s living mascot. Guests will then head upstairs for a sumptuous three-course dinner and wine pairings in the grand ballroom complete with table-side cocktail service. A limited, live auction of luxury goods and trips will be conducted during dinner. Afterward, guests will enjoy a lively after party on the pool deck overlooking the Dallas skyline.

Statler Hilton*

Founded by a group of community volunteers in 1978, The Family Place empowers victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence. As the largest and leading domestic violence service provider, the organization delivers proven programs that address emotional and physical abuse and incest. The Family Place provides free comprehensive victims’ services that prevent violence and fully support women, children and men on their path from fear to safety.

The event is limited to 175 guests so we encourage you to visit www.familyplace.org/reunight to ensure your participation in this unique event.

* Photo provided by The Family Place


JUST IN: 2017 ReuNight Co-Chairs Reveal Location, Date And Llama Of Honor For The Family Place Fundraiser

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

After weeks of begging, demanding, cajoling and stalking 2107 ReuNight Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix and Kristi and Ron Hoyl, they finally fessed up the plans for The Family Place fundraiser.

Llama (File photo)

Last year’s dinner and live auction were part of the opening festivities of  downtown’s Forty Five Ten. So what could top that?

Well, the Dixes and Hoyls have managed to do it. They’ve arranged to be “one of the first public events” at the 21st century reawakening of The Statler. The evening will start off with a cocktail reception on the ground-level garden followed by a three-course dinner upstairs in the grand ballroom. After the live auction, the celebration will continue around the pool with the Dallas skyline serving as a backdrop.

And what would an event like this be without a celebrity? Forty Five Ten had Donna Karan. The Statler will have a representative of the hotel’s original mascot, Llinda Llee Llama, at the cocktail party. It’s doubtful the llama will be able to stay for dinner.

The night of modern-day fundraising in a legendary landmark will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8.

BTW, individual tickets are gonna be extremely limited, so consider being a sponsor to guarantee your spot. Check with Mary Catherine Benavides at 214.443.7770 about the various levels of sponsorship. 

2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Came Off Flawlessly Despite Some Behind-The-Scenes Hiccups

There was the most glorious, huge orange sphere hovering over North Texas on Saturday, June 10. After days of drizzle, lighting and thunder, the skies were pristine. And this was summer!

Over at The Fairmont Dallas, it was equally perfect for the 31st  Annual La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas … except for a needle and thread situation and too many toasts.

Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning

But first the backstory. Overseeing the months of La Fiesta preparations were Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning. Among the committee heads were the Gala Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Michelle Johnson. Those four were known for running a tight ship and still maintaining a smile and cool composure. Each year one of the six flags that had been part of Texas history was selected as the theme. This year it was France, and the ladies were delighted with the theme “La Fete Royal.” They were inspired by the 2017 beneficiaries (C.A.R.E., Connecting Points of Park Cities, The Elisa Project, The Family Place, Friends of University Park Library, Highland Park Education Foundation, Highland Park Literary Festival, HP Arts, HPHS Community Service Council, HPHS Counseling Department and Student Council, HPHS Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, HPHS Science Festival, HPHS Student Emergency Fund, HPHS Youth and Government/Moody Family YMCA and Park Cities Heritage House at Dallas Heritage Village) to raise the funds.

Anne Besser and Michelle Johnson

But hiccups happen even to the best.

The first one was a real hit. The Anatole had to pull out from holding the event due to a convention or something. Anne and Michelle put out calls and locked down The Fairmont. The smiles said it turned out to work with the French theme, since The Fairmont was French-owned.

But Anne, who will be overall co-chair with Elizabeth Gambrell for 2018, reported that not only would they be returning to the Anatole, but the Anatole team came through this year with additional staging without a charge or hesitation.  

As for the relocation, it required some adjustments. The tried-and-true, 17,967-square-foot Fairmont Regency Ballroom just didn’t have as much space as the 30,360-square-foot Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. So sacrifices had to be made. The number one was the dance floor, which meant no post-presentation dance for the couples. Another issue was accommodating all who wanted to attend. The tables of black-tie guests were downright cozy.

But it was all coming together. After all, it was the first time that the Duchesses, who had just finished their freshman year in college, were able to see former high school classmate. It was like a black-tie class reunion.

However, the mammoth group pictures that were to be taken in the ballroom as parents and friends cocktailed in the adjoining lobby ran into a bump in the road. Photographer James French and his team were already with cameras in hand. The ladder was set dead center at the end of the runway. The idea of photographing 40 Duchesses in ball gowns and their escorts was a daunting challenge. But James and his folks were old hands at this situation.

2017 Duchesses and escorts waiting for the final four

However, it seemed that not all the Duchesses and escorts realized this wasn’t a casual selfie. There was a schedule to be kept. The escort group photo was delayed by five minutes due to some MIA escorts. Next, the group photo of all 40 Duchesses and their 40 escorts was on the list. Only when the headcount took place, four Duchesses were missing. It seems they were “being sewn into their gowns.” Five minutes passed, then 10. The couples that had stood so erect for the photo setup were now seated on the stage. The clock kept ticking, and still the foursome was missing. Evidently one designer was responsible for all four dresses. When James was asked if they should go ahead and shoot the photo without the four, the presentation photo vet knew just the right answer: “That’s not my call.”

Napkin with honey bee ornament

Still they waited. Finally, just minutes before the ballroom doors opened, the tardy Duchesses arrived to applause by the 76.

Quickly, the group photo and the Duchesses’-only photo were taken. James removed the ladder and just in time, as the doors to the ballroom opened and the chimes called all 900 guests to their seats, where they discovered elegant place settings with napkins tied in bows and topped off with French symbolic honey bee ornaments.

Eliza Parker, Jackson Parker and Gwen and Doug Parker

Rick and Allison Kraft and Angela and Brad Cheves

Jack Gosnell and Ellison Gosnell

Around the room were the Parker clan (Gwen and Doug Parker with their kids Eliza Parker and Jackson Parker) to see son Luke Parker escorting Lillian Cockerell, Angela and Brad Cheves were on hand for son/escort Conner Cheves, who was escorting Duchess Sarah Unkefer, Leslie and Jack Gosnell were front-rowing it for daughter/Duchess Ellison Gosnell. Was it really that long ago that Jack had been the escort pick of the debutante crowd?

Rock Le Minuette

Rock Le Minuette

The presentation started off with the escorts parading from the back of the ballroom via the runway to their places on the stage. Then a couple arrived on stage dressed in 18th century French attire and started performing “Rock Le Minuette,” starting with an elegant Baroque  with the escorts in the background. Suddenly, the mood changed with the male assisting the young woman out of her billowing skirt revealing long legs encased in fishnet stockings. The tempo picked up and so did the couple as the gent picked her up on his shoulder and whirled around. Still the escorts stood solemnly. 

2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas escorts

After a brief welcome by Rebecca and Nancy, the escorts (Nick Alexander, Paxton Baird, Grayson Borrego, Henry  Bould, Watson Brown, Christopher Buell Jr., Harrison Buford, Ty Burke Jr., William Caldwell, Kevin Cassidy, Conner Cheves, JD Cochran, Cole Ellis, Robert Farrow, Vale Fitzpatrick IV, Stanton Geyer, Thomas Glieber, Chase Govett, Garrett Hall, Bobby Hrncir, Cade Kimzey, William Kraft V, Parker Lacour, Mitchell Laughlin, Spencer Lorio, Jack Martin III, Hoyt Matise, Charles Mencke III, Wade Nicolas III, Charlie O’Brien, Austin Overton, Luke Parker, Adam Rathjen, Turner Rejebian, Barton Showalter, Benjamin Smith, Zach Snelling, Sam Stewart, Matthew Vandermeer and Hunt Wood Jr.) were individually introduced and exited. Then the formal presentation took place, with eight Duchesses being introduced on their fathers’ arm. As each of the 40 Duchesses (Emily Anwar, Clara Beecherl, Elizabeth Bradshaw, Kate Brayshaw, Laura Brayshaw, Anna Buford, Jeanne Ann Bullington, Helena Burns, Ellie Bush, Keaton Calhoun, Emily Carvell, Lillian Cockerell, Annie Combs, Elizabeth Cooper, Katie Dalton, Elizabeth DeBeer, Fields Dunston, Maddie Fehlman, Ellison Gosnell, Claire Green, Kristen Haggerty, Elizabeth Hubbard, Shanley Huckabee, Savanna Jones, Hannah Jurgensmeyer, Kendall Klingaman, Lane McCormick, Alexandra McGeoch, Caroline McGeoch, Dorothy Meachum, Clare Obenchain, Caroline Robertson, Avery Roosien, Peyton Schlachter, Madison Stuart, Madison Tedford, Madeline Toole, Sarah Unkefer, Emily Weisfeld and Erica Yaguchi) walked the runway, emcee Al Raya described her duchy.

2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Duchesses

It came off without a hitch on stage.

Jeanne Anne Bullington and Michael Bullington

Elizabeth DeBeer and Bob DeBeer

Claire Green and Arthur Green

Sam Dalton and Katie Dalton

Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the same in the audience. During the early part of the presentation, the guests were quiet to hear the narration and to watch the deep bows. However, by the fourth round of eight couples, some adults had been fueled by trips to the bar, resulting in their returning to their tables and sounding oblivious that there were still Duchesses being announced. A couple of gals were feeling no pain as they greeted friends at a nearby table loud enough that the announcer couldn’t be heard.

2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Duchesses and escorts

But the Duchesses and escorts soldiered on, concluding with all 80 on stage for a final bravo. They then joined their families and friends for a seated dinner, followed by dancing and a “late-night party” in the International Ballroom.

However, some of the honorees didn’t quite make it to the International Ballroom. It seems that the day’s activities may have gotten the best of one or two of them. It surely couldn’t have been due to imbibing, though, since organizers had stated in the program, “It is unlawful to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of twenty-one. Valid identification will be required.”

For more than 50 photos of the Duchesses and guests, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

The Family Place’s Dream Of 50,000-Square-Foot Ann Moody Place Became A Reality For Those Escaping A Nightmare Of Abuse

Paige Flink

While gobs of women gathered in the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom to learn about leadership and opportunities at the D CEO Women’s Leadership Symposium on Friday, June 2, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink was standing on a couch in the Ann Moody Place lobby. She had wanted to attend the Anatole event, but on this day her priority was leading the army of workers and staffers in preparing for the Sunday reception for the new Ann Moody Place, with an expected attendance of 300. At this moment she was personally placing the artwork so it was just right.

Major donors for Ann Moody Place

But the artwork on two other walls in the reception area were Paige’s pride and joy. They were masterpieces — simple signs with the names of the major donors who had made this remarkable place come into being.

When TFP opened in the 1970s, domestic abuse was still in the closet and remained there for a couple of decades. According to Paige, who first volunteered at TFP and then was named executive director in 1997, that all changed dramatically in the mid-1990s. When asked what the turning point was, Paige explained, “Thanks to OJ Simpson, the world changed.” It was a wake-up call that if “a celebrity, who had made a phone call and tried to get her husband arrested and couldn’t,” how could a regular human being get help? As a result, domestic violence “became a household word,” laws started to change and “then our visibility grew starting in 1996.”

The need for shelter spurred TFP to create its Safe Campus with 110 beds in the early 2000s, but more was needed as the number of clients and their needs grew. It was in the early 2010s that Paige and TFP board undertook a daunting project to build another campus — a $13M, 40,000-square-foot facility in the medical district that would provide shelter, office and programming areas and child-care facilities. In May 2015, TFP acquired the site for their 2.42-acre dream child. Then on Thursday, October 1, 2015, it was announced at the annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon that the The Moody Foundation had donated $5M for the project’s “The Legacy Campaign” chaired by Lynn McBee.

But as they delved into the effort, they realized more square footage and funding were needed. The size was increased to 50,000 square feet, and the goal was a whopping $16.5M.  And then there were construction surprises, like having to drill down 70 feet to hit bedrock. Still, TFP team and board directors not only managed to meet that goal, they raised $16.898M.

The facility is projected to handle 2,000 clients a year. Paige said that while the average age of their clients is 29, they do get seniors — “The oldest person we have ever served was 78 years old.”

But back to the tour of the three-story buildings that now make up the compound of safety and education.  On a wall there was a healthy smudge, evidently resulting from the non-stop moving of equipment and furniture. Paige was not a happy camper spying the imperfection. TFP VP of Development Melissa Sherrill understood, saying, “It’s like a new car. You don’t want to see the first imperfection.” But then she assured Paige that it would be gone with the final sweep of the touch-up crew.

Children’s pantry shelves

As busy as the move-in scene may have sounded, the years of planning, designing, discussing and fundraising were coming together, with the results being bigger and better than even Paige had first imagined. Nothing had been left out. There were various dining, food preparation, counseling, training, meeting, quiet and groups rooms, as well as a computer lab, a one-chair hair salon (“JoAnn’s Room”) and a wing for children’s needs provided by Crystal Charity Ball. Proudly, Paige pointed to a large storeroom with shelved walls for canned goods and toys. Why would canned goods be needed? Paige explained that for clients making the transition out of an abusive home life, they might have to explain their whereabouts to their abuser upon returning home and could simply say they went to the food bank.

Food pantry shelves

Thanks to a relationship with UT Southwestern Medical School, second-year residents will be brought to the Place by a doctor to see the clients at the in-house mini-clinic that includes examination and dental rooms. But, always searching for more, Paige adds, “The other volunteer opportunities here are for medical doctors to come to give me some night-time clinic. I have a pediatrician, but I could use more pediatricians and general medicine and gynecology.”

Dental facility

Examination room

Throughout the multiple levels were signs re-enforcing the purpose of TFP — “Take a breath. You are safe,” “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other” and “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” Even the pillows from the Pillow Bar are embroidered with “Dream BIG.”  

Ann Moody Place signage

Ann Moody Place bed

Bedroom suite bathroom

The residential area of apartments were painted in a blue that Paige had discovered in Charleston, South Carolina, because it was both soothing and timeless.  There are family suites and individual rooms with bathrooms and closets.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

In the center of the campus was a two-level courtyard. The upper level was the Make It Count Children’s Playground. The lower was the Paige Flink Healing Garden. When asked if the children’s area could use a misting system to combat the summer heat, Paige didn’t hesitate, “If someone would give me one, I wouldn’t hesitate!”

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

Judy Walgren’s photos

There were interior designers  like Jan Showers, Mecox, Shay Geyer, Wisteria, Christy Drew and Mary Cates, who had provided directions and resources to create a safe and nurturing environment. Utilizing art as therapy for both adults and children, Moody Place showcases local talent. In addition to encouraging artists to contribute, art-loving Joyce Goss curated “Retail is Art” for high school students to provide the collection of art showcasing food in one of the dining rooms. It turned out that all the artists were women. Rebecca Aguilar helped get Latina artists to contribute. A former client had given two sculptures. One was a woman holding an open cage in one hand and a freed bird in the other. On the wall of Paige’s corner officer overlooking the campus were photographer Judy Walgren‘s Pulitzer Prize winning photos of past TFP clients.

Lockers

Travis Hollman and his company had created walls of lockers for the clients to safe keep documents and paperwork. Paige admitted that the need was the result of client focus groups.

Melissa Sherrill in Barkingham Palace

The SPCA had been a fabulous resource on how to run the Barkingham Palace, a kennel that included a washing machine, dryer and even a quiet room for families to spend time with their pets. While that had been underwritten, Paige admitted that the food was still in need of financial support.

Looking out on the grounds from a third-level terrace, Paige limited photography of the exterior of the building or the surrounding area. No photo could be taken that might hint of Moody Place’s location. Security had been a priority in every aspect of its creation because that was the first step for her clients’ recovery from lives of fear and abuse. As Paige said, “Once you’re behind the walls, you’re totally secure.”

Ann Moody Place is breathtaking and unfortunately so needed. That’s why Paige admitted that her future will be filled with fundraising for its operation. Her hope is you will support Moody Place, but never need it.

For more photos of Ann Moody Place, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Ann Moody Place

For years, the Ann Moody Place was just a dream for those living in a nightmare. It was the hoped-for place of safety, where women could escape lives of domestic abuse and learn how to make a new and better life for themselves and their families.

Paige Flink Healing Garden in center courtyard

But thanks to The Family Place’s CEO Paige Flink, her staff, Legacy Campaign Chair Lynn McBee, TFP board and the North Texas community, Ann Moody Place became a 50,000-square-foot facility in the Medical District. Just before the Sunday, June 4th reception for supporters and the full-blown opening in July, a tour was conducted of the three-story complex with everything from an mini-clinic, kennels, a center courtyard, pillows embroidered with “Dream BIG” to artwork throughout.

Bird Flying free of a cage sculpture

While the post on the tour is being prepared, check out pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Chances are you’ll never need Moody Place, but it needs your support to provide annually for the estimated 2,000 clients.

25th Anniversary Partners Card Program Kicks Off At Highland Park Village Despite The Threat Of Stormy Weather

While some hunkered down due to threats of storms on Thursday, May 18, The Family Place folks weren’t gonna let a few drips hold them back from kicking off the 25th anniversary of its Partners Card program. Everybody from former chairs to longtime sponsors were on hand at Highland Park Village for the launch of the 2017 shopping extravaganza that will take place from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. For more deets, here’s a report from the field:

Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday*

Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village Thursday, May 18, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, Honorary Co-Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.

Joanne Teichman, Lynn McBee and Charles Teichman*

Remarks were given by Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, Beyond, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith*

“Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year,” said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. “The Family Place’s mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It’s a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it’s a reality for too many, and we’re very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people.”

Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill Martin*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20% discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

David and Sheryl Pidgeon*

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee and Diana Hamilton.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

JUST IN: Jennifer And Richard Dix And Kristi And Ron Hoyl To Co-Chair The Family Place’s 2017 ReuNight

Just when you think no more news could develop in the rising summer temperatures, The Family Place team proved they were filled with news.

But they weren’t sharing all the developments for the annual ReuNight dinner and auction just yet.

What is known is who will be co-chairing the event. It will be a couple of gals who are old hands at bringing the dough — Jennifer Dix and Kristi Hoyl.

The two ladies single-handedly made the 2010 and 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork spectacular.

Richard and Jennifer Dix (File photo)

Ron and Kristi Hoyl (File photo)

To shore up their efforts, they’re bringing along two R’s — husbands Richard Dix and Ron Hoyl.

As for when and where, the foursome won’t cough up the info yet. But stay tuned. Pressure is being applied to get the details.

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.

Kristen Sanger And Cindy Stager To Co-Chair The Family Place’s Texas Trailblazer Luncheon With Gretchen Carlson As Keynote Speaker

While all the recent headlines have been about The Family Place’s brick-and-mortar successes (the new Ann Moody Center and Texas’ first men’s shelter), behind the scenes work is continuing to raise funds for the organization’s various programs.

In addition to the Partners Card fall fundraiser celebrating its 25th anniversary from October 27-November 5, the annual Texas Trailblazer Luncheon has lined up a couple of tested fundraising co-chairs — Kristen Sanger and Cindy Stager.

Kristen Sanger (File photo)

Cindy Stager (File photo)

Between the two of ‘em, they’ve held various leadership roles for events benefiting Community Partners of Dallas, Housing Crisis Center, Heroes for Children, The Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, TACA and, of course, The Family Place, to name a few.

Interestingly, they both co-chaired the annual Cattle Baron’s Ball, but at different times. Kristen co-chaired the American Cancer Society fundraiser in 2012 and Cindy in 2014.

With all the expertise, it’s no surprise that the two ladies are co-chairing the 2017 Texas Trailblazer Luncheon on Friday, October 6, at the Hilton Anatole. For the keynote speaker, they’re having former FOX News Channel host Gretchen Carlson. In addition to being Miss America in 1989 and having recently made headlines about sexual harassment in the workplace, the 5’3” blonde used to work at KXAS-NBC from 1998-2000.

Also on the luncheon agenda will be the annual Trailblazer Awards that are presented to “those who create positive change and contribute to the quality of life in our community.” As for this year’s awardees, stay tuned.

PS — You might want to send Gretchen a birthday card on Wednesday.

The Family Place Crew Prepares 50,000-Square-Foot Ann Moody Place For Sunday’s Invitation-Only Open House

Paige Flink

It’s been years in the making, but The Family Place’s Ann Moody Place is in the final stages of preparation for its Sunday open house. Like Gen. Eisenhower preparing for D-Day, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink is managing every last minute detail for the by-invitation-only event. (You might not want to let your children see this photo because they might get the idea that it’s okay to stand on the couch.)

Thanks to women and men, companies and foundations and professionals and volunteers, this 50,000-square-foot facility is a work from the heart, mind and pocketbook .

Everything from the brilliant layout to the little touches like beds with pillows embroidered with “Dream Big” has been painstakingly created to help women and their families escaping domestic abuse and taking the journey to a safe and better life.

Perhaps it can all be summed up on a sign that welcomes clients (see last photo). 

Ann Moody Place sign

BTW, don’t get your cute nose out of joint because you didn’t score an invite to the opening. The reason for the “by-invitation-only” status is due to the need to keep the facility’s location “confidential” for the protection of its clients.

However, if you know someone in need of the services provided at The Family Place, please do not hesitate to have them contact the staff at its hotline: 214.941.1991.

The Family Place Opened Texas’ First Shelter For Male Victims Of Domestic Abuse

There’s a misconception that domestic abuse only victimizes women and children in a household. Not true. The thinking is that real men just don’t get abused. That’s not true. It’s often not reported because of the humiliation that a male victim has “not stood up for himself.”

The Family Place*

For more than 15 years, The Family Place has been working with such men on a limited basis, due to financial resources. They’ve had to resort to using hotels and apartments, and that has been costly and not the most satisfactory solution. Just last year they “provided shelter for 32 men and nonresidential services for 50 men.”

That’s why The Family Place team rolled up their sleeves and committed to creating a true facility for men and their children to seek protective shelter for healing and undertaking a better life. Their goal was to provide 21 beds and private rooms for men with children.

Construction got underway in 2016 and the house was opened this month. However, there was no grand opening due to the fact that its location must remain undisclosed.

These clients will have access to counseling, emergency relief services, case management, childcare, healthcare, legal aid, transitional housing and rental assistance.

Funding for the shelter was achieved through grants.

* Graphic courtesy of The Family Place

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Beneficiaries Celebrated Receiving Checks For More Than $5.5M

The skies were blue and the temperatures gave no sign of drizzle, let alone snow. Still, on Tuesday, April 4, it was Christmas time with 2016 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Christie Carter and her committee members handing out six-figure checks totaling $5.6M.

Anne Besser, Cordelia Boone, Kay Barry, Theresa Francis, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

Hosted by Westwood Trust at Communities Foundation of Texas, the 2016 beneficiaries were downright giddy. Some, like Hope’s Supply President Barbara Johnson and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, admitted from the stage that the last time they had been there, they had been nervous in pitching their nonprofits for CCB consideration over a year ago.

Now, they were relieved that they had passed muster and were being handed checks to help them in their missions.

Drum roll. And the happy-faced beneficiaries included:

Susan Farris, Paige McDaniel and Margo Goodwin

David Krause

Cary Wright

 

  • Community Partners of Dallas for a “forever home for Community Partners of Dallas” — $1,359.236
  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas for “STEM Center of Excellence Girl Exploration Center” — $976,000
  • Hope Supply Co. for “hope for homeless children” — $600,000
  • Notre Dame School of Dallas for “Hearts and Hammers Campaign” — $676,020
  • Parkland Foundation on behalf of Parkland Health and Hospital System for “mobile medical clinic and pediatric screenings” — $789,002
  • Teach for America for “Elementary Education Initiative” — $500,000
  • The Family Place for “Children’s Counseling Center” —$750,000

Suzy Gekiere, Jennifer Bartkowski and Tricia George

Barbara Johnson

Gregg Ballew

Paige Flink and Eric White

Also, in attendance were Westwood Trust Senior VP Gregg Ballew, Eric White, Paige Flink, Melissa Sherrill, Pam Busbee, Lisa Singleton, Margo Goodwin, Pat and John Harloe, Ola Fojtasek, Suzy Gekiere, Tricia George, Candace Winslow, Rob Snyder, Cordelia Boone, Paige McDaniel, Joanna Clarke, Vinnie Reuben, Theresa Francis, Kay Barry, David Krause, Laura and Jason Downing, Cary Wright, Rea Foster, Tucker Enthoven, Piper Wyatt, Beth Thoele, Michael Meadows, Anne Besser, Susan Farris, Elizabeth Gambrell, Greg Nieberding, 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson with husband Dwight Emanuelson, and Vin Perella with his wife/2017 CCB Chair Pam Perella, who is already managing the haul of $5.8M for the 2017 beneficiaries.

Partners Card Past Chairs, Sponsors, Retailers And Contributors Celebrated 25 Years Of Supporting The Family Place Fundraiser

For 24 years The Family Place clients have benefited from North Texas’ favorite indoor sport — shopping—thanks to the annual Partners Card. To celebrate its 25th-year anniversary, Sally Hoglund and Brenda West Cockerell had a lunch for near and dear at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, February 28. Here’s a report from the field:

Now in its 25th year, Partners Card kicked off its anniversary year with a celebratory luncheon hosted by Partners Card Co-Founder Sally Hoglund and The Family Place Board Member Brenda West Cockerell at the Dallas Country Club Tuesday, February 28. The ballroom was filled with past Partners Card chairs, sponsors, retailers and many more who contribute their time and talents to make the event a success.

Sally Johnson, Sally Hoglund and Brenda West Cockerell*

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink welcomed guests and shared how far Partners Card has come and noted that in its history, the community has helped raise more than $17 million to support victims of family violence through the Partners Card Program. Partners Card Co-Founders Sally Hoglund and Sally K. Johnson were recognized and received appreciation for believing in the Partners Card concept and establishing the program in Dallas. A video, donated by Beyond, played and featured interviews with “the Sallys” and summarized the success of the Partners Card program throughout the years.

Lynn McBee, Paige Flink and Joanne Teichman*

During lunch, Partners Card 2017 Co-Chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns graciously thanked past Partners Card chairs who are serving as committee members this year and announced this year’s “Together We Save” Partners Card will be held Friday, October 27 – Sunday, November 5. Burns offered special thanks to Partners Card retailers, many of whom have participated in the program since its inception.  For the silver anniversary, Allday and Burns shared their goal of making Partners Card 2017 bigger and better than ever with more retailers, sellers, sponsors, new technology and expanded social media campaigns.

Guests enjoyed tortilla soup, Southwest chicken chop salad and chocolate mousse prepared by the Dallas Country Club, snapped photos for social media with Partners Card props, and reminisced about the past 24 years through a montage of photos that played throughout the luncheon. Shopping bag cookies created by Kim Crigger Warren of KimCake4U were gifted to all guests, and the beautiful floral centerpieces from Branching Out Events also were available for purchase.

Ralph Prieto, Mike Meredith and Bob White*

Guests included Presenting Sponsor Bank of Texas team Bob White, Mandy Austin, Mike Meredith, Ralph Prieto, Scott Winton and Vickie Wise; The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin; 2017 Partners Card Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns; Partners Card Development Manager Heather Street Baker; and Past Partners Card Chairs Annika Cail, Gay Donnell, Susan Farris, Diane Fullingim, Suzy Gekiere, Nancy Gopez, JB Hayes, Kathryn Henry, Teffy Jacobs, Maggie Kipp, Kate Rose Marquez, Lynn McBee, Molly Nolan, Jane Rozelle, Kristen Sanger, Kelley Schadt, Nancy Scripps, Jamie Singer, Andrea Weber, Melissa Wickham, Andrea Cheek, Anne Conner, Cynthia Beaird, Dawn Spalding, Debbie Munir, Katy Duvall Olson, Lisa Rubey, Melissa Cameron, Paige Westhoff, Sally Cullum, Sue Bailey, Susan Wilson, Suzanne Crews and Samantha Wortley.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

The Family Place’s Legacy Campaign Is Within A Whisker Of Achieving Its $16.5M Goal And Needs Help To Close The Books

Paige Flink (File photo)

Was it really back on October 2015 that The Family Place’s Paige Flink announce The Family Place Legacy Campaign — Building For the Future — to build a 40,000-square foot Central Dallas Counseling Center? Her goal for the capital campaign was a whopping $13M. To get things rolling, The Moody Foundation kicked in $5M that resulted in the facility being named “Ann Moody Place.”

While the physical process of groundbreaking and building has been underway, so has the effort because the goal increased to $16.5M with good reason. According to Paige, the center is going to provide such services and offerings to “help us meet the burgeoning demand for our services. Every year there are approximately 15,000 incidents of family violence reported to the Dallas Police Department. The Family Place, which is the largest family violence shelter in our community and one of the largest service providers in Texas, shelters over 1,000 victims a year at our Safe Campus with 108 beds plus cribs. Our existing shelter is regularly full. The new facility will allow us to shelter an additional 45 women and children each night. It will also house our expanded Central Dallas counseling services for victims and their children, and a medical and dental clinic for clients.”

Ann Moody Place rendering*

To accommodate those needs, Paige and her crew recognized from experience some of the reasons people in need don’t seek help. For instance, “studies show that up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.”

Pets won’t be left behind

To ease those concerns, Ann Moody Place will have five dog kennels, five cat towers, a cuddle room where clients can visit their animals plus a dog run. Thanks to a partnership with the SPCA of Texas, a vet-tech will make sure all animals are vaccinated and care for.

But as the Monday, May 1st move-in date approaches, $220,000 is still needed to complete the fundraising. As a greater incentive to donate ASAP, Highland Capital Management has provided a $1M-challenge. For every dollar raised by Tuesday, April 4, Highland will provide 50 cents.

So, perhaps your budget can’t quite muster up a hundred thousand or two. Not to worry. There are other opportunities like

  • $500 for a 6” by 12” engraved brick
  • $1,000 for a donor to have his/her/their name(s) etched in a beautiful display in the breezeway connecting the two new buildings.
  • $7,500 for each of the two remaining outdoor seating areas in the healing garden

And wouldn’t you know that the dog kennels have all been underwritten, but the poor cats are playing second fiddle and are in need of $10,000-naming rights for each of the two remaining cat towers.

Of course, Paige has other underwriting opportunities. Why she just might arrange to have your name tattooed on her shoulder for the right price.  

* Graphic courtesy of The Family Place

2016 Partners Card Total Take Of $1,050,000 Revealed Plus Plans For The 2017 Fundraiser For The Family Place

Just a few blocks away from Communities in Schools at Samuel Lynne Galleries, The Family Place crowd was at Bungalow 5 to celebrate the year’s take of the annual Partners Card and to hear plans for the 2017 fundraiser.

As The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Melissa Sherrill in black and white scurried through the 100+ guests, Catherine New made her 2017 debut following breast cancer reconstruction surgery. While she admitted to Anne Conner and her daughter-in-law Ryan Conner that heading back to work at the Hilton Anatole that week had been a bit too much, she was better managing her return to full form for the spring season.

Ryan Conner, Anne Conner and Catherine New

In another part of Bungalow 5, Honorary Chair Lisa Cooley and Susan Farris were asking if there had been any news about new Crystal Charity Ball members. That would come later in the evening. 

Lisa’s escort for the evening, Larry Hackett, told how he had lost 150 pounds due to a gluten-free diet and twice-a-day exercise program.

Lisa Cooley, Larry Hackett and Susan Farris

Joyce Fox arrived with Doris Jacobs on the scene just before the reveal of the final total earned. Doris reported that husband Jack Jacobs was on the mend from surgery.

With 2016 Partners Card Co-Chairs Elizabeth Dacus, Jane Rozelle and Samantha Wortley smiling, Paige revealed that $1,050,000 had been provided for the organization thanks to the annual spend-around-town fundraiser.

Paige added, “These funds are critical and will provide over 15,000 nights of shelter and support to the women, men and children who come to The Family Place to escape a violent situation.”

The amount was thanks to presenting sponsor Bank of Texas, 2016 top sellers Sara Robinson and Cass Robinson, who sold 162 Partners Cards; Paula Davis, who sold 155 Partners Cards; and Nancy Scripps, who sold 130 Partners Cards.

It was also revealed that plans for the upcoming 25th anniversary of Partners Card are already locked down. According to Bank of Texas Market President Ryan Suchala, the bank will once again be the presenting sponsor with Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns serving as co-chairs with the help of “other past Partners Card chairs, who are joining together to make the anniversary year the best yet.”

Thanks To CNM Connect’s “A Night Of Light,” The Awards Kept Being Handed Out On Thursday, November 17

And the awards just kept being given out on Thursday, November 17. Tis the season, don’t you know! Following the Dallas Historical Society‘s Awards of Excellence at lunchtime, the CNM Connect presented by Atmos Energy held forth in the evening at the George W. Bush Presidential Institute with WFAA’s Ron Corning doing the emceeing for “A Night of Light”.

According to CNM President/CEO Tina Weinfurther, individuals and organization within the North Texas nonprofit world were chosen by an independent panel of judges, who based their selection on the winners being “at the forefront of driving positive impact in our community.” In addition to learning the results and receiving their awards, the recipients were given a $5,000 cash grant for their organization as well as a $2,500 scholarship toward CNM services such as training or consulting.

The Family Place CEO Paige Flink admitted that 2016 was a competitive year, with the Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas being a finalist in a number of the categories. While Paige was right on target about the Scouts, her concerns were for naught when it came to her own chances.

Lori Ross, Don Ferrier, Donna Van Ness, Tina K. Weinfurther, Kit Addleman, Jennifer Bartkowski and Paige Flink*

Here is the list of the happy folks/organization that received the awards:

  • Nonprofit of the Year presented by Frost — Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas accepted by GSN CEO Jennifer Bartkowski
  • Nonprofit CEO of the Year presented by Bank of America — Paige Flink of The Family Place
  • Nonprofit Board Leader of the Year presented by Fidelity Investments — Kit Addleman of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
  • Nonprofit Partner of the Year presented by Southwest Airlines — Tarrant County Housing Partnership accepted by TCHP President Donna Van Ness and Ferrier Companies accepted by Ferrier Companies President Don Ferrier
  • Robert Miller Nonprofit Communicator of the Year presented by Communities Foundation of Texas — First Liberty Institute accepted by FLI Human Resources Director Lori Ross
* Photo provided by CNM Connect

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Circle Of Angels Dinner

Jerry Fronterhouse and Annette Simmons, Christie Carter, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson

For a second time within a week, Dallas’ newest fashion showcase Forty Five Ten was the scene of a fundraiser. Unlike the ReuNight dinner benefiting The Family Place with the adjoining tent filled to the max, the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels seated supper was limited but just as splendiferous.

Forty Five Ten fashions

Tanya Foster and Eric and Elizabeth Gambrell

As fabulous and eye-catching as the dressed mannequins were, the guests held their own from hairline to heel.

Christie Carter and Brian Bolke

While the post is being prepared, check out the photos of the crowd on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Fabulous Faces, Fashions And Food Came Together At Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten To Net $400K For The Family Place’s 2016 ReuNight

After years of planning, praying and preparing, Brian Bolke’s Forty Five Ten in downtown Dallas was ready to greet the world of fashion. This four-story, 37,000-square-foot jewel box designed by Dallas architect David Droese was nearly five times the size of its 8,000-square-foot McKinney Avenue predecessor. No longer the quaint and cozy cottage nestled in the Knox/Henderson neighborhood, the new Forty Five Ten was a palace in heady company across Main Street from The Joule hotel and the Neiman Marcus flagship store.

Forty Five Ten men’s fashions

Forty Five Ten fashion

Forty Five Ten footwear

But before its official open-to-the-public debut on Saturday, November 12, Forty Five Ten proprietor Brian had arranged for a benefit supper for The Family Place’s 2016 ReuNight.

Originally, the event was to be a cocktail party at the store and a seated dinner across the street at The Joule. But that would have made for limited attendance. So, just a few weeks beforehand, the decision was made to have the dinner in an adjoining see-through enclosed tent fronting Main Street, with Tony Tasset’s Eye sculpture looking on from the opposite end. The view through the tent couldn’t have been more perfect with the surrounding downtown forest of skyscrapers sparkling.

Brian Bolke

Katherine and Eric Reeves

Candace and Jim Krause

Since the Elm Street auto courtyard was still a work-in-progress, the 160 or so guests (Karen and Stephen Jones, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Michal Powell, Candace and Jim Krause, Sue Gragg, Georgina Hartland, Kristi Hoyl, Linda and Steve Ivy, Connie and Denny Carreker, Meghan Looney and Niven Morgan and Shelby Wagner) arrived via the Main Street entrance. There they were greeted by co-hosts Brian and Faisal Halum and Shelle and Michael Sills.

Nick Wooster, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Faisal Halum

With staffers like Creative VP/Fashion Director Taylor Tomasi Hill and Men’s Fashion Director Nick Wooster on hand to guide the guests through the fashion extravaganza, it was like a glorious feast for the eyes.

Claire Emanuelson, Reed Robertson and Piper Wyatt

On the first level, Honorary Chair Mary Clare Finney and Jan Miller were found checking out the goodies in the jewelry salon. Across the way Pat McEvoy, Piper Wyatt and Claire Emanuelson were in the shoe department. Upstairs were Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Tucker Enthoven, Kathy Kincaid, Catherine Howell and Heather and Billy Esping checking out the third level, along with architect David Droese and wife Suzanne Droese, Tim Headington, Diamond Mahone, Jeny Bania, Anais Assoun and Sabrina Dee.

Suzanne and David Droese

Billy and Heather Esping

Kathy Kincaid and Catherine Howell, Brad Kelly, Nancy Dedman and Tucker Enthoven

Diamond Mahone, Jeny Bania, Tim Headington, Anais Assoun and Sabrina Dee

But even ultra-sophisticated fashion lovers were impressed by the price tags, like a nifty crop jacket going for $2,300. Still others, like bearded Allan McBee, chuckled that he had found a pair of socks that were pocketbook-friendly.

And speaking of the men, the larger accommodations had allowed Brian to broaden his collection of exquisite taste to include a larger array of men’s clothing, home furnishings, jewelry and all types of luxurious goodies. 

But all too soon, the guests were directed from the brightly lit store to the walkway leading up to Todd Fiscus‘ equally dazzling tent with its black carpeting, candles, mirrored table tops and Lucite chairs.

ReuNight dining tent

Making the stroll a bit of a challenge was the black carpeting, with one poor chap tripping on a step but luckily catching himself at the last minute.

The tent’s flooring added an interesting element to the scene. As guests wandered through the glittering dining room, the towering stemmed candle-holders began wobbling. Despite the flames in motion, nary a one even came close to toppling.  

Sharon Young

Tim Blanks

Niven Morgan and Donna Karan

Todd Fiscus and Ceron

For the first time during the evening, it was an opportunity to see the entire assembled supporters of The Family Place and Forty Five Ten. It was if Brian had curated the best of fashion and fundraising. In front of the mini-stage, with its two leather easy chairs, there was a table with designer/special guest Donna Karan seated next to Tim Headington and across the table from Brian and fashion scribe Tim Blanks. At the other end of the table were Faisal with Nancy Rogers on one side and Shelle and Sharon Young on the other.  At another table to the right of the stage were Mary Clare with Chris Branscun and The Family Place CEO Paige Flink.

Mary Clare Finney and Chris Branscun

Josh Sutcliff

With all the beautiful people in such an elegant surrounding, it was perfectly understandable that dinner missed its start time of 7:45 p.m. After all, who wanted to stop chatting and taking selfies with the other guests? But it was a school night, and the dinner prepared by Joule Chef Josh Sutcliff was all ready to go. Following a first course of a scallop crudo, huckleberries, confit onion and ponzu, the entrée of wagyu beef short rib, crispy potato, spinach and green tomato was served. Finishing off the meal was a trio of hand-painted, rose gold truffles that would have been right at home in the Forty Five Ten jewelry counter.

In an unusual switch from the norm, the live auction did not take place immediately after dinner. Fundraisers tend to hold those bidding competitions when folks are still starry-eyed and receptive to upping the ante. However, this was not your typical affair.

Instead, just past 9 p.m., the conversation between emcee Kim Schlegel Whitman and designer Karan took place on the stage. Donna’s presence was a very special and personal one for both Paige and Brian.

Earlier in the evening, Brian had told guests that Donna had been one of his late mother’s favorite designers.

Paige told the crowd that before joining The Family Place 25 years ago, one of her first jobs was at the late Sanger Harris store as a buyer involved in carrying Donna’s clothing line.

She went on to tell of the 114 families that were being housed at The Family Place, the five men and three moms with kids who were being put up in hotels due to lack of space. She concluded by saying, “You’ll probably never get to meet them, but what we do tonight is going to save their lives. We have to think about that.”

Kim Schlegel Whitman and Donna Karan

As Kim and Donna took their places on stage to talk, a helicopter hovered over the tent with a spotlight. One almost suspected that Brian had arranged to have faux snowflakes flutter down from the chopper. But soon it buzzed off to another part of downtown.

However, it was soon noted that police cars with flashing lights and sirens were screaming down Main Street in the same direction as the helicopter. One guest, upon returning from the restroom, said that she and her husband were leaving because of protesters who were marching in downtown Dallas due to the recent election.

The couple was followed by another agitated twosome who admitted that they were concerned after the July police shootings downtown. However, the departures were unnecessary. Not only were the protestors orderly, they never came near the fundraiser.

Ironically, Donna talked about how she had expanded her focus from dressing to reducing stress for people. While looking good on the outside was well and it good, she felt it was all for naught if one was not well and good on the inside as well.

She also told of her early days working with the American designer Anne Klein as an associate designer. It was when she was in the hospital having her first baby that she learned that Klein was also in the hospital dying of breast cancer. With a new collection due to be completed, it fell upon Donna to produce. But the doctor told her that there was no way she was going to return to the office. So, they brought the entire company to Donna and her newborn daughter, Gabby, named after Donna’s father who had died when Donna was just 3 years old.

After taking over the Klein collection and Anne Klein II, Donna decided that she needed some clothes for herself and friends. The result: she was was unceremoniously fired but, in 1985, went on to launch her Seven Easy Pieces line with her now-legendary black tights, the bodysuit, a versatile skirt, a pair of loose trousers, a tailored jacket, a cashmere sweater and a white shirt.

Shifting directions, Kim asked Donna about her passion today. After having so many of her friends and family suffering from AIDs, cancer and other health issues, she realized that the focus had been on “disease care, not health care.”

Before dying, her late husband Stephen Weiss told her that she must “take care of the nurses” as well as the patients.

It seemed a bit ironic that a fundraiser to prevent violence nearly became the victim of feared violence. But, luckily, the vast majority of generous folks stayed put and helped net $400K to support The Family Place’s efforts to protect families.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 ReuNight

Forty Five Ten fashion

Nick Wooster, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Faisal Halum

It was just this side of glorious. The ultimate sneak preview of Forty Five Ten benefiting The Family Place on Thursday, November 10.

Brian Bolke and Shelle Sills

Diamond Mahone, Jeny Bania, Tim Headington, Anais Assoun and Sabrina Dee

As fabulouso as the peeps were  dressed to the nines, the collection of fashions for both men and women plus dazzling home-sweet-home accessories assembeler by retailing wizard Brian Bolke had even the most brilliant dressers becoming wide-eyed tourists.

And to add to the splendiferous factor were legendary designer Donna Karan and fashion scribe Tim Blanks.

Niven Morgan and Donna Karan

Tim Blanks

While the post is being prepared, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for the looks and the lookies at the debut of Dallas’ newest chic showplace.

According To Lisa Singleton, “The Nonprofit Life Is No Party”

Nonprofits deserve respect. Some out-of-touch types still consider the fundraising sector as goody-two-shoe people who use guilt and pity to get a donation. Those unknowing ones probably still think the buggy whip will make a comeback.

A remarkable article was recently written by Dallas volunteer fundraiser/ Brunswick Group Director Lisa Singleton for the Brunswick Review about the professionalism of nonprofits especially in North Texas. It’s an easy read and reveals how area nonprofits, like any for-profit corporation, applied practices and strategy to not just rebound but to tackle the growing needs of the 21st century.    

By Lisa Singleton*

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

As the economy tightened after 2008 and corporate boards came under intense pressure to deliver for shareholders, the nonprofit world was also struggling. Charitable giving dwindled, straining the ability of organizations to fulfill their missions, and more donors sought closer accountability for their contributions.

Nonprofit boards were forced to evolve. Once considered pastimes for the leisure class, today they operate much more as for-profits do, with strong business people at the helm and rigorous expectations for members. No longer can they afford to be seen as volunteer opportunities or social stepping stones – the purview of those who want to use the board to broaden their network or increase their standing in the community. Donors who want to have their name on the board but do little else are finding few open doors.

“It’s not just well-intentioned people running these organizations, as in the past,” says Paige Flink, Executive Director of The Family Place, the largest service provider for victims of family violence in the Dallas area. “What we are seeing now are nonprofit leaders with distinct skills suited to advancing the organization.”

Paige Flink (File photo)

Rowland “Robin” Robinson (File photo)

Rowland K. Robinson, President of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation in Dallas, says expectations are changing. “The nonprofit business is extremely competitive,” he says, “and the board needs to reflect the environment where dollars are under pressure.”

Robinson looks for directors who can offer an exact mix of resources and skills to best support fundraising efforts.

“I look for three characteristics: a connection with my organization; passion for what we do; and resources – either their own or from elsewhere, but they need access to the means to give. I need all three from my members.”

Mary Anne Alhadeff (File photo)

Mary Anne Alhadeff, CEO of North Texas Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit media organization, agrees: “If someone is searching for a board seat to raise their profile or for personal gain, we are not the right fit. I need business people who are passionate advocates for what we do. My donors are my shareholders, and I need to keep them happy. The right board can make that happen.”

The professionalization of the nonprofit board brings inherent challenges that would seem familiar to any publicly traded corporation, such as succession planning, term limits and director evaluation. Putting best practices into place can make all the difference.

“The term for a board chair can have a significant impact on an organization,” says Alhadeff. Term limits and other structural parameters need to be balanced to deliver the organization’s vision, she says. Board member responsibilities and measures of effectiveness need to be spelled out for the relationship with management to be successful.

“At The Family Place, in vetting potential board members, we communicate the expectations clearly, up front,” says Flink. “Then, a board ‘report card’ is compiled at the start of each year – did they do what was outlined? Did they deliver against expectations? There is very real accountability.”

Both Robinson and Alhadeff stress that effective executive or advisory committees are critically important. While the full board can be effective as ambassadors for an organization, these smaller panels function as advisers for the CEO and management staff and are often where the real work gets done.

In the end, getting board dynamics right is critical to the ability of any nonprofit to fulfill its mission.

“The board of directors can be the single biggest threat to a nonprofit,” says Alhadeff, “but also its single biggest opportunity to achieve its goals.”

– See more at: https://www.brunswickgroup.com/publications/brunswick-review/boardroom-issue-10/nonprofit-boards/#sthash.wyvDFNIi.dpuf

* Reprinted courtesy of Brunswick Group