2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Is Presented With The Former Chair Bracelet

The makeup from Halloween’s haunting had hardly been scrubbed off than news of 2017’s final fundraising push as underway. Over at the Dallas Country Club Founder’s Room, the Callier Center’s Callier Care Luncheon leadership was doing double duty at noon on Wednesday, November 1.

Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Libby Hunt

Launched last year, the past luncheon chairs come together to present the recent chair with a bracelet. This year past luncheon chairs Libby Hunt (2012),  Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014) and  Angie Kadesky (2016), Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Dr. Tom Campbell and Jennifer Fowler were on hand to present 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson with the Tiffany sack containing her new trinket.

Angie Kadesky and John and Barbara Stuart

The gathering was also the official handing over of the baton to 2018 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele fresh from her chairing the Equest Luncheon and Style Show in October.

Emilynn Wilson, Tom Campbell and Beth Thoele

Joining Beth for the Callier Center for Communications Disorders fundraiser on Tuesday, April 17, at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Co-Chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte. Receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award will be The Meadows Foundation.

As for Emilynn, she’s still recovering from the record-breaker fundraiser and a nasty cough, as well as preparing to chair The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon on Monday, May 7, at Dallas Country Club.

JUST IN: Joyce And Larry Lacerte To Serve As Callier Cares Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs For Fundraiser Honoring The Meadows Foundation

John Stuart, Beth Thoele and Tom Campbell*

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele is in the final weeks of preparing for the Equest fundraiser at Brook Hollow and she’s already tackling her next project — chairing the 2018 Callier Cares Luncheon.

Larry and Joyce Lacerte*

Joined by Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, she just announced the details of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders including the honorary chairs — Joyce and Larry Lacerte!

The recipient of the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award will presented to The Meadows Foundation.

The luncheon will return to the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, April 17, with proceeds benefiting the Callier Care Fund that provides for patients in need.

Check out sponsorship and patron opportunities with Jennifer Fowler at 214.905.3025 because the patron party is going to a must-attend.

* Photo credit: Melissa Macatee

2016 Crystal Charity Ball Members Kick Off Fundraising Program At Charity Selection Orientation Meeting

With the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball hardly a month gone, the 2016 charge was already marching. To kick things off, 2016 CCB Chair Christie Carter commenced the CCB Charity Selection Orientation meeting at The Meadows Foundation in the 22-acre Wilson Historic District on Thursday, January 7.

Helen Holman, Linda Evans, Christie Carter and Elizabeth Chandler

Helen Holman, Linda Evans, Christie Carter and Elizabeth Chandler

The purpose was to set the pace for the membership to embrace the importance of their mission — provide funding for area children’s nonprofits.

Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson and Leigh Anne Haugh

Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson and Leigh Anne Haugh

As the membership took their assigned sets in the conference room, Charity Selection Chair Helen Holman thanked the various members, like her co-chairs Delilah Boyd, Carole Lou Bruton, Knoxie Edmondson, Leigh Anne Haugh, Sally Johnson, Ann Lardner and Mary Meier.who had already been hard at work processing beneficiary proposals.

Linda Secrest and Sally Johnson

Linda Secrest and Sally Johnson

The Meadows Foundation President/CEO Linda Evans welcomed the group and very briefly told about the Meadows Campus. She also apologized for the black walking cast. Seems it was not just a daytime wear. She was even having to sleep in the contraption for the next month.

Charity Selection Orientation

Charity Selection Orientation

But that fact was just in passing. The day’s purpose was to focus on the issues facing Dallas kids and that was succinctly explained by Amy Desler and Jenny Eyer of Children’s at Risk.

For the next 11 months, the 100 members will vet potential beneficiaries like IRS agents and seek underwriters to benefit those organizations that make the grade.

As 2015 beneficiary North Texas Food Bank’s Executive Director Jan Pruitt explained, as incredible as receiving the funding is, the validation by this group is priceless, regardless of the nonprofit’s size.

LaunchAbility Clients And Friends Kick Off “Dance And Donate” Video On Labor Day

Today is Labor Day when the nation honors “the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Some folks have understood this to be muscle-bulging laborers, but it actually means anyone who has held a job, earned an honest living and contributed to their family and society. But there is a segment in society that is too often overlooked when it comes to holding a job, bringing home a paycheck and being a vital party of the community — people with disabilities.

In a report conducted by Control Data Corporation, the research reveals that “If we convert one person into a contributing member of society through a full-time job, it provides a stimulus of $128,000 to the American economy every year. That’s $1.28M per decade. (1982, adjusted for inflation in 2014).”

Luckily, Dallas’ own LaunchAbility has adopted the attitude of “We acknowledge disabilities. But emphasize possibilities.” To achieve this goal, the nonprofit “finds that hidden ability in a client and aligns it with an employer to create a perfect symbiotic work relationship.”

LaunchAbility client*

LaunchAbility client*

In addition to being a responsible member of a company’s workforce, there’s also the human element. According to Alliance Data’s Rodney Swift, “Managing my LaunchAbility clients has made me a better supervisor. I dare say, even a better man.”

LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parson acknowledges Rodney’s comments by adding, “One of the most inspiring quality of our clients is their loyalty to their employer and commitment to doing a good job — despite overcoming challenges and struggles on a daily basis. Our clients are proud to be a part of the businesses that hire them. They are happy and grateful for the employment opportunity. And, that helps make everyone around them feel the same.”

So, it is only right that today LaunchAbility is launching a video — Dance and Donate — promoting its challenge grant from The Meadows Foundation to prepare those with disabilities to join the work force.

Kathryn explained, “This video was so much fun to make – a labor of love. And, we need to remember why we did it. Alliance Data and LaunchAbility want all of our supporters, friends, families and sponsors to take our challenge. Dance and Donate. Show the world what our clients say: ‘You Can’t Hold Us!’ And, what better time than in celebration of North Texas Giving Day on September 17.”

LaunchAbility’s incoming President Sharon Herrin added, “As our funding from the government continues to get cut, we are challenging our supporters to Dance and Donate and help us meet the Meadows Foundation $25,000 matching grant so that the great work of this agency will continue for another 50 years.”

* Photo provided by LaunchAbility

JUST IN: The Meadows Foundation Comes Through With A Grant For LaunchAbility

The stock market and oil prices are creating migraines. So, let’s have some good news. Of course, it comes from the ever-loving Meadows Foundation. It was just revealed that the Foundation has “awarded a grant to LaunchAbility to fill a gap in critical funding.”

Yup, you read it. How much? It’s up to $75K of which $25K is a dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity.

According to Meadow Foundation Senior VP for Strategic Initiatives and Grants Bruce Esterline, “The Meadows Foundation is very pleased to support Launchability’s focus on job training, education and support for adults with disabilities.  We hope many others will assist their efforts to enhance employment services for all who seek to improve their lives.”

This funding will help area folks “with disabilities and the families who care for them” in a variety of ways. It will allow LaunchAbility to jump start some new programs like:

  • Transition Services – expanding fee-for-service offerings to support stronger transition from high school to post-secondary education, training and employment
  • Direct Hire – initiating feasibility studies on building employment opportunities to direct hire 100’s of people with disabilities as well as veterans
  • Technology Skill-building for Autism – bringing a global technology training program for adults with Autism who excel at pattern recognition, are detail-minded and have super-focus abilities.
Kathryn Parsons (File photo)

Kathryn Parsons (File photo)

LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parson admits, “The timing on this grant is perfect for us as we are joining other non-profits throughout the community for North Texas Giving Day on September 17th. We are looking forward to challenging our donors with the $25,000 matching grant. As government funding continues to get cut, The Meadows Foundation is a leader not only in Texas but is a model nationally who proves the incredibly powerful force philanthropy has in impacting lives of people in our community.”

This announcement is grand all the way around. When fundraisers are feeling queasy about the international economy, the Meadows Foundation is continuing to support programs that make a difference for those who probably don’t have an oil well or have a stockbroker on speed dial. So, if you were planning on donating some dough on North Texas Giving Day, LaunchAbility would appreciate a consideration to achievement that matching goal.

Under A Bright Sunshiny Sky, Hope Cottage Groundbreaking Was A Heart Warmer In The Wilson Historic District

The Meadows Foundation President/CEO Linda Perryman Evans looked over the bare parking lot in the Wilson Historic District the morning of Thursday, June 25. Despite the heat already rising from the pavement, she was very pleased. It was the morning of the groundbreaking for the newest members of the Meadows Foundation community of nearly 40 nonprofits — Hope Cottage.

Hope Cottage groundbreaking shovels

Hope Cottage groundbreaking shovels

For her, having the adoption facility located here had a bit of irony attached to it. Then she smiled and recalled that “Uncle Al’s” (the late Algur Meadows) son, Robert Meadows, had been adopted. Rob is now Chairman of The Meadows Foundation’s board of trustees.

While a small sandbox with small shovels with brightly colored ribbons was placed in the center of the parking lot, the majority of Hope Cottage staffers, board members, friends and families gathered under the nearby trees and some were smart enough to bring umbrellas. It was obvious that even the summer heat was not going to discourage this official start for the 8,500 square-foot center designed by Gensler.

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel

Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel

Kathleen LaValle

Kathleen LaValle

As time drew near for the official program to begin, Wilson District “residents” like Community Partners of Dallas’ Paige McDaniel and Joanna Clarke and soon-to-be next door neighbor Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle joined the crowd of adults and kiddos.

Kathleen had a special interest in the arrival of Hope Cottage to the “hood.” It seems that more than 25 years ago Hope Cottage had been “our foundation in the adoption process” of their children from Edna Gladney in Fort Worth. She had been told that it would be six months before their adoption would go through. Six days later the call came. She laughed and admitted that she wasn’t prepared for the early arrival and had “to borrow my neighbor’s car seat.”

Shannon Hills-Cline

Shannon Hills-Cline

John Dickey

John Dickey

As some of the guests took seats under a white tent, most stood to the side as Hope Cottage President of the Board John Dickey, Gensler architect Barry Hand and adoptive mom Shannon Hills-Cline spoke.

Barry Hand

Barry Hand

Shannon told the crowd in the blinding sunlight that, as a single mother, she thought the odds were against her. Then a call came after office hours. She feared it was a turn down call. Nope, they had a baby girl. After meeting with the mother and baby, the connection was a done deal. Only, like Kathleen, Shannon had no car seat. But that wasn’t going to hold her back. She found one and fell in love with motherhood.

Cassidy Seikaly and Omar Seikaly

Cassidy Seikaly and Omar Seikaly

Behind the tent Omar Seikaly was helping his daughter Cassidy Seikaly, who was having a shoe issue. Later when Omar was joined by Hope Cottage’s Amy Broussard, he told how she had been the one who had worked with his family in making the love connection for adopting both of their children.

After all the presentations were over, the group moved to the sandbox, where Hope Cottage graduates and foster kids took charge of the shovels and dug. And when the photos were finished and the grownups sought the comfort of the shade to chat, the kids kept digging. After all, that’s what a sandbox is all about.

The Nature Conservancy Presents The Meadows Foundation With The 2015 Lone Star Conservation Award

Over at the Dallas Arboretum on Wednesday, May 13, The Nature Conservancy wasn’t taking any chances. The dinner was set to be indoor at Rosine Hall to honor The Meadows Foundation for its work in conservation. Here’s a report from the field:

Approximately 325 guests arrived in spring attire in the suggested colors bluebonnet blue, khaki and white for for The Nature Conservancy’s Dallas Spring Party: Tour of Texas: Transforming Conservation in the Lone Star State. With music by country musician “Red” playing in the background, patrons mingled on the Ginsburg Plaza enjoying wine, cocktails, including the evening’s signature drinks, the Davis Mountains Prickly Pear Margarita and Sandyland Sweet Tea, and delicious hors d’oeuvres stations, themed around areas of the state preserved by the Conservancy during its 51-year history in Texas.

David and Suzanne Holl*

David and Suzanne Holl*

At 7:00 p.m., the doors opened to Rosine Hall where the dining tables were adorned with linens in bluebonnet blue and khaki with centerpieces featuring Texas flowers and greenery, such as piney greens, manzanita branch, white wax flowers, blue thistle and bear grass. As patrons enjoyed the first course of organic field greens with Dallas blue cheese, pears, spicy walnuts and dried cherry vinaigrette, David Holl, president and CEO of Mary Kay, Inc., this year’s Statewide Sponsor of The Nature Conservancy in Texas’ events, welcomed everyone and recognized members of the Texas Board of Trustees and the Dallas Advisory Board in attendance.

Bob Thornton and Linda Evans*

Bob Thornton and Linda Perryman Evans*

He then introduced Bob Thornton, an honorary trustee of the Conservancy’s Texas Board of Trustees and a longtime partner, with his wife Vera, of The Nature Conservancy in Texas, who presented the 2015 Lone Star Conservation Award to The Meadows Foundation. Accepting the award on the Foundation’s behalf, Linda Perryman Evans spoke briefly about the importance of The Nature Conservancy in Texas and The Meadows Foundation’s support of their ongoing conservation efforts throughout the state of Texas.

Dinner convened with a second course of tenderloin with wild mushroom demi-glace, crab cake with lemon aioli, whipped potatoes and grilled vegetables, followed by a dessert trio including a mini molten chocolate cake, mini crème brûlée ginger cookie and mini apple walnut torte.

Laura Huffman*

Laura Huffman*

Following dinner, Mr. Holl returned to the stage to introduce the featured speaker for the evening, Laura J. Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas and head of the Conservancy’s Urban Strategies Initiative. Ms. Huffman added her thanks to The Meadows Foundation for their outstanding commitment to conservation in Texas, citing areas throughout the state where their support has been instrumental, including in the Davis Mountains and in freshwater protection across the state. She also extended her gratitude to Statewide Sponsor, Mary Kay, Inc., in addition to other generous sponsors, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., Barbara and Steve Durham and the Durham Family Foundation and Trisha Wilson.

With the evening’s theme, Tour of Texas: Transforming Conservation in the Lone Star State, in mind, Ms. Huffman shared with the audience the history of the organization, as well as highlights of the agency’s successes over the last 51 years in Texas. She then spoke about challenges that lie ahead and how The Nature Conservancy, with the support of those in the room, is facing these challenges with practical solutions focused around central pillars of work: freshwater, marine, and land conservation, as well as urban initiatives.

Citing examples of successes in Texas that serve as microcosms for the entire country and a living laboratory of these pillars of work, Ms. Huffman touted successful partnerships and projects such as Powderhorn Ranch, Bracken Bat Cave and the creation of resilient cities through projects such as the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and Proposition 6.

Richard and Tracy Cheatham*

Richard and Tracy Cheatham*

As Ms. Huffman concluded her remarks with optimism on the future of Texas conservation, Mr. Holl returned to the stage to extend his thanks again to those in attendance before the evening came to a close. As patrons departed, they received a trio of postcards featuring images of some of the agency’s projects in Texas and pecans from the Fredericksburg Pecan Company.

Bruce and Emily Robson, Trisha Wilson and Jeb Terry*

Bruce and Emily Robson, Trisha Wilson and Jeb Terry*

Dallas Spring Party attendees included Richard and Tracy Cheatham, Trisha Wilson, Jeb Terry, Bobby Lyle, Barbara and Steve Durham, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ann and Charles Kight, Susan and Jim Baldwin, Angela and Brad Cheves, Nancy and Rod Sanders, Honorable Jeanne Phillips, Beth and Paul Salvodelli, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Cecilia and Garrett Boone, Emily and David Corrigan, Elizabeth Boeckman, Emily and Bruce Robson, Peggy Dear, Ann and Matt Schooler and Holly and Doug Deason.

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee

The Meadows Foundation Passes Neighbor Test With Flying Colors

While many faced the devastating aftermath of yesterday’s tornadic destruction, The Meadows Foundation staffers (wo)manned the phones this morning to learn “how the Foundation could help.”

Without hesitation, an emergency grant of $50,000 was made to the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross “to provide food and shelter to those displaced by the storms in affected communities across the region.”

Once again The Meadows Foundation has risen to the occasion to comfort and help members of the community.

Class, The Meadows Foundation gets an A+ on its “Neighbor Test.”

Area Foundations Get A Pat On The Back From Dallas County Commissioners for “Emergency Heat Relief” Efforts

Old timers are recalling the past heat waves of the 50’s and 80’s. Yup, it was pretty darn hot back then. But it’s the 21st century and the fact that there are those without air conditioning is an unbelievable nightmare. Just to experience a 45-minute brown out is excruciating.

The reality is that there are many among us that have no type of cooling for their homes. So often they are the ones who need it the most — the low-income, the elderly and shut-ins.

Monica Egert Smith, Mary Jalonick, Dr. Elba Garcia, Zachary Thompson, Linda Evans, Kathy Smith

To help these folks in this killer summer, the Meadows Foundation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation have pooled their resources and purchased air conditioners for installation by the Dallas County Health and Human Services personnel for those “suffering from the extreme heat in our community.”

It all began in 1999 when DCHHS approached The Meadows Foundation for assistance. That first year the Foundation awarded $5,376 for the purchase and installation of 22 A/C’s. Fast forward to 2003 when the Foundation provided $50,000  resulting in 200 air-conditioning units.

“Every summer, people suffer from the extreme Texas heat,” said Meadows Foundation President and CEO Linda Perryman Evans.  “We realized that the best way to help the citizens of our community was through a collaborative effort that would bring more resources to focus on heat relief.”

Through her relationships with the area’s finest foundations, she created a partnership to collaborate on this situation.  Through this team of foundations, $766,726 has been raised to support the heat-relief effort. That’s 4,273 A/C units!

This month an Emergency Heat Relief Fund has officially been established at The Dallas Foundation starting with a $10,000 seed grant from Meadows.

“Our goal is to have $100,000 per year in the fund to enable DCHHS to purchase and install at least 500 air-conditioning units per year to address needs,” said Dallas Foundation President Mary Jalonick.  “We invite individuals, corporations, and foundations to join us in this life-saving effort and encourage everyone to contribute to the fund.”

Tuesday the Dallas County Commissioners Court recognized these outstanding foundations for their working together with the DCHHS. How right that was.

Photo provided by The Meadows Foundation