Can Do Luncheon Patron Party Brought Out Guests In Spring Colors And Honorees Ashlee And Chris Kleinert And Texas Real Estate Council

With winds blowing skirts and leaves every which way as a norther trumpeted it the weekend nearing on Thursday, March 23, The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do Luncheon Patron Party wasn’t ruffled at all at Tootsies.

Chris and Ashlee Kleinert and Helen Hunt and Harville Hendrix

As Luncheon honorees Ashlee and Chris Kleinert received a bouquet of flowers from Ashlee’s aunt Helen Hunt and her husband Harville Hendrix, other family get-togethers were taking place.

Kristi Francis, Chris and Ashlee, Beth, Kelcey Hamilton and Anne Reeder

In another part of Tootsies, Kelcey Hamilton, who was repping honoree the The Real Estate Council, was being congratulated by Can Do Underwriting Chair Kristi Francis.

Chuck and Beth Thoele

Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele greeted husband Chuck Thoele and admitted that she was torn between going bright or black. Evidently bright won out, since she was wearing a turquoise jacket.

The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder’s daughter Laura Reeder reported that the EarthxGlobal Gala had had a change of plans. Originally, organizers had scheduled the gala for Saturday, April 22 at the Women’s Center at Fair Park. Then they discovered that the Art Ball was taking place on that Saturday. So, they moved both the date and the location to Friday April 21, to the Texas Discovery Garden.

Laura Reeder and Dana Fay

But on this evening the Kleinerts were receiving congrats from Chela Moros, Dana Fry, Missy Quintana, Linda Secrest, Heidi Meier, Annie Wang, Kay Weil, Meridith Myers, Angela Jones, Ann Francis, Chrystie Trimmell, Melanie Myers, Darlene Ellison, Tucker Enthoven, Bianca Sterling and Dorothy Amin Modabberi.

Tickets for the luncheon honoring the “can-do” spirit on Tuesday, May 9, at the Dallas Country Club can be gotten here. This event is one that runs right on schedule and leaves guests smiling about the accomplishments of both friends and strangers who have experienced the Wilkinson Center program.

With Loads Of Turquoise And Stars Above, Spirit Of Taos Sparkled At The Lot Resulting In More Than $141K For The Wilkinson Center

The night couldn’t have been more perfect for a fundraiser at The Lot in East Dallas, just across the street from White Rock Lake. And as luck would have it, The Wilkinson Center‘s Spirit of Taos took full advantage of the perfect conditions on Friday, October 28. While others were in black tie and diamonds over at the Dallas Opera’s First Night, the Wilkinson crowd donned bolo ties and turquoise to net $141,061.80. (Who says every penny doesn’t count?) BTW, it was a darn purty group of folks. Here’s a report from the field:

The Lot*

The Lot*

Hosted by the Friends of Wilkinson Center, the Spirit of Taos took place on Friday, October 28, at The Lot in Lakewood with a sellout crowd of 300 millennials and baby-boomers, who dusted off their cowboy boots to show their support for Wilkinson Center.

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Dier s, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim, Tia Williams, Kay Weir

From the left: Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Kelli Mansfield, Hunter Heres, Kay Weir, OJ DeSouza, Tia Williams and Jenn Dolim and Tia Williams*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Jeremy Zidell and Mark and Sloane Simon*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

Will Walters and Joe Acosta*

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour from 7-8pm that featured margaritas and hors d’oeuvres like quesadillas, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, tostadas and chicken flautas.  Guests like Daniella Giglio, Will Waters, Joe Acosta, Jeremy Zidell, Sloane and Mark Simon, Matt Muckleroy, Nick Higdem, Liz Stutts, Laura Ailshire, Kristen Johnson, Michael Graska, Meredith Diers, Kendall Angela, Hunter Heres, Kelli Mansfield, OJ DeSouza, Jenn Dolim,Tia Williams and Kay Weir were welcomed by Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder and Spirit of Taos Event Co-Chairs Stephanie Taylor, Sloan Looney Dix and Meridith Zidell

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Sloan Looney Dix, Meridith Zidell and Stephanie Taylor*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Steve and Cathy Saxon*

Matt Thornton*

Matt Thornton*

A seated dinner followed with southwest-flavored food from The Lot and dessert by Emporium Pies. Special remarks were made by our guest emcee Matt Thornton, who is the Cross Sports Talk Radio host, and Honorary Co-Chairs Cathy and Steve Saxon, long time Wilkinson Center supporters. Guests listened and danced throughout the evening to tunes from Frank in the Middle and Downtown Fever.

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Anthony Contreras and Daniella Giglio*

Babo Crain*

Babo Crain*

Raffle and Silent Auction Co-Chairs Anthony Contreras and Babo Crain did a fantastic job collecting one of the kind items and unique experiences. The silent auction featured items like sports memorabilia with an autographed shoe by the one and only Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and a Florida Beach vacation getaway including airfare. The raffle included dining extravaganza package with gift certificates to dine at some of the best restaurants and a cooking collaboration at the Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Farms in Blanco. If you weren’t interested in what the silent auction or raffle had to offer, there was also a Kendra Scott station set up where mystery jewelry boxes were sold for $60/per box. Each box contained a piece of jewelry that ranged in value from $60-$250. Flashbox Photobooth Dallas was set up to commemorate the evening with photos.

Walk in Dirk's Shoe*

Walk in Dirk’s Shoe*

We are so grateful for everyone who came out, supported and had a great time!  We could not have done it without our loyal constituents and our corporate and individual sponsors which included: Avison Young, Robert Baird, Marsha and Craig Innes, Paper City, The Retail Connection, Sewell Lexus, The T Shop, Veritex Bank and David Weekly Homes.

The night resulted in a total net amount of $141,061.80 that allow us to continue to provide pathways out of poverty for our clients. Until next year….

* Photo credit: Eric Priddy

Sold-Out 2016 Can Do! Luncheon Celebrated Food For Thought And Stories Of Success By Wilkinson Center Clients

Can Do! Luncheon

Can Do! Luncheon

Those Melnick sisters must have a great relationship with Mother Nature. Last year Leslie (Melnick) Diers chaired The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon under clear skies. This was a first for the annual Wilkinson Center fundraiser that had previously had all types of thunder-bumper creating issues. This year Leslie’s sister Sara (Melnick) Albert chaired the 2016 Can Do! Luncheon and despite endless days of rain and storms, Tuesday, May 10, was clear, at least at noontime at the Dallas Country Club.

Sara Melnick Albert

Sara Melnick Albert

And the crowd of nearly 250 validated the theory that good weather turns out loads of folks. Luckily, the Wilkinson team was prepared with a game plan that was designed to run like an atomic clock. It was to officially start at 11 .m. and close at 1 p.m. That’s one of the perks of the Can Do! Luncheon. It appreciates guests and their time commitments.

Cynthia Melnick

Cynthia Melnick

Ellen McStay and Craig Innes

Ellen McStay and Craig Innes

Even before the official registration table was to open, guests were already in the club’s reception area “registering and mingling.” Within a half hour, the place was jammed with the likes of Melnick parents (Cynthia and Lester), Ellen and John McStay, Linda Perryman Evans, Nancy Gopez, Marsha and Craig Innes, Brett Gray, Kristina Whitcomb, Christi Carter, Jill Smith, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Susan Farris, Tori Mannes, Laura Reeder, Katherine Coker and Tucker Enthoven, who had hosted the patron party.

Regina Montoya and Brett Gray

Regina Montoya and Brett Gray

Linda Perryman Evans

Linda Perryman Evans

As if the guests knew the schedule, they took their places at tables in the ballroom. While officially a sell-out, the tables weren’t jammed together in the ballroom due to the fact that a couple of table sponsors donated their tables at the last minute.

Joe Acosta

Joe Acosta

Wilkinson Center Board of Directors President Joe Acosta welcomed the group and thanked Sara and the committee and introduced Hannah Buchanan, who provided the invocation. There was then a 20-minute break for lunch (cucumber soup, pan seared herb chicken with roasted fingerling mashed potatoes, baby carrots, broccolini and asparagus and apple pecan gastrique followed by salted caramel cheesecake topped with fudge sauce and whipped cream) to be served.

At noon Sara was at the podium thanking her committee, showing the inaugural issue of the Wilkinson newsletter and reminding folks that the centerpieces could be had for $20. She then turned to a key subject of the day — the Center’s food pantry. If everyone in the room texted “Pathways” to 24700 with a $75 donation, it would stock the Wilkinson’s pantry for the summer. Cellphones were seen being put to use.

Anne Reeder

Anne Reeder

Following a video on the Wilkinson Center, the Center’s Executive Director Anne Reeder introduced another video about the clients who are served by the Center that started off in 1983  as a neighborhood resource for food and clothing. Today it has expanded to include programs for family enhancement and work education like its newly established GED testing center.

Christina Parks

Christina Parks

Seamlessly, the first two awards of the day were presented to Wilkinson Center clients. First was Christina Parks, who had emerged from a childhood of neglect and abuse. Despite her rough start, she married “Joe,” had a daughter, Alexis, and “settled down to being a new life as a family.” But Christina, Joe and Alexis were “in a horrible accident,” resulting in the death of Alexis. Life became a “day by day” process. with no plans for the future. Years passed and eventually Christina and Joe had other children, and that’s what made her want to change her life. It was in September 2010 that Christina turned to the Wilkinson Center’s Food Pantry to help her feed her family. But she found more than food. Thanks to Wilkinson Center caseworker Sonja Wright, Christina learned about the possibility of earning her GED. The only problem was childcare. But thanks to the Center’s working with Workforce Solutions, “she was eligible for supportive services including childcare.” The results? Not only was she able to enroll in GED classes in September 2015, she moved quickly to the advance program.

It was noted that Wilkinson had 15 of its clients earn their GED this past December. This Saturday Christina would be one of 50 to earn their GED.

Next up was Marilu Rodriquez, who came with her parents from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the States in 1998 looking for a better life. But that also meant challenges, like learning English, earning her GED and becoming a citizen. Due to complications, she found herself being the sole support of her family. In tackling the language barrier, she was advised to go to the Wilkinson Center to learn interviewing skills. It was here that she met Wilkinson Center’s Veronica Tobias, who through the Career Works program, helped Marilu in taking the steps to reach her career path. Yes, her language skills were challenging, but Marilu saw it as an opportunity to improve. As for her advancing from working in a restaurant, she started volunteering at Children’s Health. “In less than a year she was able to turn that volunteer position into a full-time job with benefit as a Patient Care Technician” at Children’s.

Marilu Rodriguez and Veronica Tobias

Marilu Rodriguez and Veronica Tobias

The Wilkinson Center Food Pantry Manager Steve Thompson told how the North Texas Food Bank and the Center had worked side-by-side for more than 30 years. During that time he estimated that the NTFB has distributed more than 1,250 tons of food through the pantry in the past ten years. In addition to providing food, NTFB has also taught clients how to cook and prepare healthy meals for the Center’s clients.

Katherine Perot Reeves

Katherine Perot Reeves

Following a video, Anne told how the first person who took her to lunch when she became the Center’s executive director was NTFB’s Jan Pruitt. Representing Jan in accepting the Can Do! Award was NTFB Board Member Katherine Perot Reeves, who told how last year NTFB provided 63M meals. Yup, that’s right 63,000,000 meals! The plan calls for that number to rise to 92M by 2025.

Sara then introduced a video featuring County Commissioner Elba Garcia, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas City Councilman Mark Clayton on the day’s final recipient Regina Montoya, who besides her many accomplishments is chairing the Mayor’s committee on Task Force on Poverty.

Regina Montoya

Regina Montoya

Upon accepting the award, she thanked a number of people and organizations. Then Regina told of a play she had seen that made quite an impression on her — “All The Way” — about LBJ. Early in his career he had been a schoolteacher in one of the poorest parts of Texas, where a lot of the students’ parents were migrant workers. During his presidency, he recalled that “he could see these kids coming to his classroom at the very beginning of the school year. But slowly, slowly, he would see the fire that had been in their eyes extinguish as the school year went on because of the struggle that they had to go through realizing that their parents were working as hard as they could to try to put food on their table.” That served as the impetus for Johnson to start the war on poverty.

Regina then told that in today’s Dallas,

  • 38% of kids live in poverty,
  • 90% of children are eligible for free lunches,
  • 70% of those that are poor are working and
  • 41% of the very poor have jobs.

She pointed out Carlin Morris, who was last year’s Can Do! recipient, had started the Center’s shoe drive.

In conclusion, Regina pointed out that her grandparents had come to this country with their children, who” probably had some of those days when they weren’t sure where the next meal was going to come from.” On this day Regina’s 92-year-old father and 85-year-old mother were seated at the front row table watching their Harvard Law School graduate daughter being recognized for their—and her—“can do” spirit.

For more photos from the Can Do! Luncheon, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Can Do! Luncheon

Can Do! Luncheon

Can Do! Luncheon

As the spring season of luncheon fundraisers was starting to calm down, one of the annual favorites took place on Tuesday, May 10, at the Dallas Country Club — Can Do! Luncheon. Is it because it is timed down to the second, so guests don’t feel like they should have brought their jammies? Is it because it recognizes people and organizations that have a “can-do” spirit? Is it because it benefits The Wilkinson Center and its “little-train-that-could” attitude? Is it because the food’s pretty darn good?

Cynthia Melnick

Cynthia Melnick

Regina Montoya and Brett Gray

Regina Montoya and Brett Gray

Perhaps it’s all those reasons why this relatively new event was once again a sell-out with multi-generations in attendance. While the post is being prepped, there are pics at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery with some familiar and new faces.

Can Do Luncheon Patrons Enjoyed A Beautiful Evening At Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s Preston Hollow Estate

The skies were clear, but the local eyes weren’t so lucky. With all types of pollen filling the air, eyes were bloodshot, noses were runny and achoos were the song of the day. Welcome to North Texas. As one doctor once claimed, “If I were starting out, I would have been an allergist in North Texas.” Then doc admitted that the only busier practitioner would have been an allergy specialist in Houston — “Boy have they got their work cut out!”

But on Wednesday, April 27, there was not a cloud in the flawless blue sky. OK, there was a Southwest jet crossing the sky, but still.

Tucker and Rich Enthoven's backyard

Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s backyard

Just the night before the area community had been on standby for all types of scary weather stuff. But on this evening, Tucker and Rich Enthoven’s home-sweet-home and its fabulous grounds could not have been more spectacularly perfect with the tennis court, the pool and elevated terraces.

Sara Melnick Albert, Tucker Enthoven, Regina Montoya and Anne Reeder

Sara Melnick Albert, Tucker Enthoven, Regina Montoya and Anne Reeder

Anne Conner and Susan Phillips

Anne Conner and Susan Phillips

The gathering, which included Anne Conner, Debbie Oates, Linda Perryman Evans and Sara Martineau, was for The Wilkinson Center’s “Can Do Luncheon” patron party. Leslie Diers was doing front door greeting of guests as her mom Cynthia Melnick chatted with guests in the mansion and Leslie’s sister/Luncheon Chair Sara Melnick Alberts was on the terrace talking with Can Do award recipient Regina Montoya and her husband Paul Coggins… Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder was chatting with Susan Phillips about her Shih Tzu’s reactions to the previous night’s thunder and lightning.

But the real subject of the night was the luncheon on Tuesday, May 10, at the Dallas Country Club that will recognize Regina and the North Texas Food Bank that has been such a vital part of The Wilkinson Center’s efforts to help families in need. This luncheon will be the fourth year that The Wilkinson Center has recognized those with the “can-do” spirit.

Sold-Out Alert!: The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon

Can Do Luncheon*

Can Do Luncheon*

It’s too late. Those Wilkinson Center folks just gobbled up the tickets for Tuesday’s Can Do! Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. Now, it’s in a sold-out state of mind.

But never fear. You know the drill. Perhaps a nice donation could open up a seat or two or three.

Insider tip: The registration is closed, but try contacting The Wilkinson Center Director of Development Dana Fay at 972.284.0389. You’ll have to scurry hurry, though.

* Graphic courtesy of The Wilkinson Center

Grovel Alert: 4th Annual Can Do Luncheon

With the 4th Annual Can Do Luncheon just days away, Event Chair Sara Melnick Albert is reporting that there are just a few seats left to make it a sell-out. This year’s fundraiser for The Wilkinson Center at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, May 10, is honoring North Texas Food Bank, Regina Montoya, Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty, Marilu Rodriquez and Christina Park.

Sara Melnick Albert (File photo)

Sara Melnick Albert (File photo)

Regina Montoya (File photo)

Regina Montoya (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

The luncheon is a marvelous introduction for folks to learn about one of East Dallas’ little-known organizations that successfully supports people and families in becoming healthier, smarter and more productive.

Thanks to Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder, this luncheon runs on schedule, so guests aren’t late to their next appointments. But they do leave with better knowledge how they can contribute to their neighbors thanks to the services (adult education, family enhancement and food and emergency services) provided by the Center.

Tickets are still available to help Sara cross the finish line of a sellout.

The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon Kicks Off At Kendra Scott

There are problems when your fav nonprofit hosts an event. But then there are perks.

Anne Reeder

Anne Reeder

The latter was the case for The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder at the Thursday, February 25, kick-off for The Wilkinson Center’s 4th Annual Can Do! Luncheon. Sure, Anne was surrounded with all types of Kendra Scott goodies, but there was a certain necklace that caught her eye. Perhaps it was its versatility. It could go casual or spiffy uptown classy. Or, perhaps the cast of colors that just mesmerized and seemed to go with everything in her wardrobe? And it certainly didn’t hurt that a portion of the evening’s purchases benefited The Wilkinson Center.

Whatever, Anne was pretty well hooked. But when Marketing/Events Manager Vodi Cook whispered a reminder that a percentage of the evening’s sales went to the Center, the deal was pretty much sealed.

Meredith Zidell, Sloan Looney Dix, Stephanie Taylor and Amy Parker

Meredith Zidell, Sloan Looney Dix, Stephanie Taylor and Amy Parker

Others checking out the goodies were Cynthia Melnick, Meredith Zidell, Sloan Looney Dix, Stephanie Taylor, Amy Parker and Anne Conner, who was helping husband Terry Conner transition into retirement.

The annual Wilkinson Center’s fundraising luncheon on Tuesday, May 10, at the Dallas Country Club is being chaired by Sara Melnick Albert. This year’s awards will be presented to Regina Montoya and North Texas Food Bank.

Regina Montoya, Cynthia Melnick and Sara Melnick Albert

Regina Montoya, Cynthia Melnick and Sara Melnick Albert

Wonder if Anne will be wearing a new necklace from Kendra Scott?

MySweet2016Goals: Anne Reeder

According to The Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder,

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

“My goal for 2016 is to recruit additional members for the Wilkinson Center Board of Directors. We are looking for experienced and strategic community leaders who have a passion for our mission and are willing to lend their time and talents to protect and promote our crucial work.

The mission of Wilkinson Center is to transform the lives of Dallas families by creating pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. New board members will join the all-star members of the current Board.”

Despite The Rains Pouring, The Spirit of Taos Partied On At The Lot For The Friends Of Wilkinson Center

Nothing can keep the Friends of Wilkinson Center home when it comes to fundraising for The Wilkinson Center. And their annual Spirit of Taos was a perfect example. Here’s a report from the field:

The Spirit of Taos partying

The Spirit of Taos partying*

Hosted by the Friends of Wilkinson Center, The Spirit of Taos took place at The Lot in Lakewood. This event sold out despite the earlier torrential downpour that swept Dallas and took out several power lines leaving many without electricity. More than 200 millennials and baby-boomers needed to escape their cabin fever so they dusted off their Taos chic attire and braved the weather to support Wilkinson Center.

David and Sloan Looney Dix, Stephanie Taylor and Matt Muckleroy*

David and Sloan Looney Dix, Stephanie Taylor and Matt Muckleroy*

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour from 7-8pm that featured margaritas and hors d’oeuvres like quesadillas, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, tostadas and chicken flautas. Guests were welcomed by Anne Reeder, Executive Director of Wilkinson Center and Spirit of Taos event chairs, Sloan Looney Dix and Stephanie Taylor.

Jack and Emily Dunn, Anne Reeder and Cindy and Gary Weed*

Jack and Emily Dunn, Anne Reeder and Cindy and Gary Weed*

A seated dinner followed with southwest-flavored food from The Lot and dessert by Emporium Pies. Special remarks were made by Honorary Co-Chairs and long-time Wilkinson Center supporters Emily and Jack Dunn and Cindy and Gary Weed. Guests like Sherry and Gary Stevener, Anne and Terry Connor, Laura Reeder and Andrew Johnson listened and danced throughout the evening to tunes from Frank in the Middle and Downtown Fever.

Sherry and Gary Stevener*

Sherry and Gary Stevener*

Laura Reeder and Andrew Johnson*

Laura Reeder and Andrew Johnson*

Terry and Anne Connor*

Terry and Anne Connor*

Missy Huber and Cathy Brittingham Saxon*

Missy Huber and Cathy Brittingham Saxon*

The silent auction featured unique items like a weekend at a luxury resort in Taos, New Mexico and a Matthew Trent tourmaline necklace. The raffle put together by Missy Huber and Cathy Brittingham Saxon  included custom made Olsen-Stelzer boots and a cooking collaboration at the Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Farms in Blanco, Texas.

If you weren’t interested in what the silent auction or raffle had to offer, there was also a Kendra Scott station set up where mystery jewelry boxes were sold for $50/per box. Each box contained a piece of jewelry that ranged in value from $50-$120.  KeoPix Photobooth was set up to commemorate the evening with photos and funny props.

We are so grateful for everyone who came out, supported and had a great time! We could not have done it without our loyal constituents. The money raised from this event allows us to continue to provide pathways out of poverty for our clients. Until next year….

* Photo credit: Lisa Means

SOLD-OUT ALERT!: The Spirit Of Taos

The Wilkinson Center folks just know how to put the “fun” into fundraising. Perhaps that’s why The Spirit of Taos Co-Chairs Sloan Looney Dix and Stephanie Taylor just sent word that Friday night’s event at The Lot is more than sold out. Adding to the happy faces is the fact that they’ve already taken in more than $60,000. And they still have a silent auction and a raffle to hold!

Emily Dunn, Cindy Zahn Weed, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix (File photo)

Emily Dunn, Cindy Zahn Weed, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix (File photo)

With weather predictions saying rain is due Friday, The Lot is the perfect spot to feel comfy with good food, music just perfect for dancing and a lot of great people like Honorary Co-Chairs Emily and Jack Dunn and Cindy and Gary Weed. If you haven’t been to The Lot, it’s just across the road from White Rock and down the road from the Dallas Arboretum.

But let’s be honest. For a nice contribution, who knows? Perhaps they could squeeze a couple of more folks in.

Young Friends Of Wilkinson Center Danced Without A Sound Heard At The Second Annual Silent Disco

Hate loud music? Don’t always like the tune that the DJ is playing? Well, the Young Friends of Wilkinson Center came up with the perfect solution on Friday, September 11, at Candleroom. Here’s a report from the field about the second annual Silent Disco:

This event was the second annual Silent Disco event hosted by the Young Friends of Wilkinson Center.

We had 6 different DJ’s playing in two sets of three.  From 10 p.m. -12 a.m. we had Bryan Turner, Eric Bodiwala and Shawn Prestridge and from 12 a.m. – 2 a.m. we had the following DJ’s: Luis Sanchez, DJ Feezy and Brady Urrunaga.

Silent Disco*

Silent Disco*

Each patron was given a set of headphones with three different frequencies and depending what frequency you picked the headphones would light up different colors. Each color corresponded to a DJ that was DJ-ing at that particular time. The reason it is called a Silent Disco is because there is no music playing in the background when you take your headphones off. We sold “Neon Gift bags” for $10 which most people bought upon entry. Each bag included two pairs of light up glow glasses, two glow necklaces, two glow bracelets and one glow cup to go with our theme “Neon Silent Disco.” There were neon fluorescent lights and neon colored tape decorating the venue. The Butchers Son food truck was also at our event just in case anyone got hungry and wanted to grab a quick bite.

Kary Brittingham, Chela Moros and Mackenzie Brittingham*

Kary Brittingham, Chela Moros and Mackenzie Brittingham*

Grafton Ifill III and Amber James*

Grafton Ifill III and Amber James*

Lauren Mason and Zach Lamp*

Lauren Mason and Zach Lamp*

Jenn Dolim, OJ DeSouza and Baylea Wood*

Jenn Dolim, OJ DeSouza and Baylea Wood*

Sponsors for this event included

  • Yoozy, Dallas Executive Club, The Ailshire Family, Signature Baking Company, OJ DeSouza, Roberto Quiroz Mata, Candleroom and Full Spectrum Diagnostics.
  • Photobooth Sponsor: KEOPIX
  • Transportation Sponsor: OneRide

The evening’s 11 raffle items were:

  1. Beyond the Velvet Rope – Private Event at Candleroom (Value: $7,500) Package includes Free Rental of the Entire Venue, Complimentary Valet and VIP table with complimentary Bottle of Premium Liquor and House Champagne for the host. Minimum 50 guests.  Reservations required in advance. Not valid during Special Events or Holidays. No cash value.  Does not include gratuity. Expires March 30th, 2015.
  2. Beyond the Velvet Rope – VIP Table Reservation at Candleroom (Value: $750) Package includes Free VIP Table Reservation, Complimentary Valet and a complimentary Bottle of Premium Liquor and House Champagne. Minimum 8 Guests.  Reservations required in advance. Not valid during Special Events or Holidays. No cash value.  Does not include gratuity. Expires December 30th, 2014.
  3. Custom-made sport coat from Knot Standard. (Donation value: $700.00)
  4. Yves Delorme for a mohair throw. (Value: $480)
  5. Gift basket from Chocolate Secrets filled with chocolate, wine and champagne. (Value: $250)
  6. Package from BeGlammed. Gift card redeemable for one Glam Package, which includes a full-face makeup application and either a blowout or an updo from one of our expert stylists, who come directly to you! (Value: $150)
  7. Two $50-cards to Chamberlains steak house, two $50-cards to Chamberlains Seafood, $100-gift-card to The Woolworth and $100-gift-card to So&So’s
  8. Shinola Women’s Runwell watch with a blue face. (Value: $550)
  9. Mug Mule Package — Two copper mugs, two copper shot glasses, ginger beer and vodka
  10. Two Dallas Cowboys tickets to the game Dallas Cowboys-Giants
  11. Dinner for two people at Twenty Seven with Chef Dat. (Value: $200)

Tickets were $35 for Young Friend members and $45 for non-members. Each ticket included one complimentary drink ticket, one complimentary raffle ticket and headphones. Candleroom graciously donated their venue for us to host the event.

* Photo credit: George Fiala

Melissa Benge Sets The Mood For Spirit Of Taos Kick-Off Party With Cactus Cupcakes And Fashionable Goodies

Melissa Benge, Missy Huber Hall and Anne Reeder

Melissa Benge, Missy Huber Hall and Anne Reeder

The North Henderson neighborhood on a Thursday is the place not to be if you’re in a rush. The popularity of the restaurants, bars and stores is pretty darn overwhelming. That’s why some might have questioned having a kick-off party on that particular day of the week.

Cactus cupcakes

Cactus cupcakes

But the draw of The Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos at Melissa Benge Collection on Thursday, September 10, was just too great. Their reward was multiple.

For the evening owner Melissa Benge had parking spaces aside the shop and valets to handle any parking trepidations.

Inside, the 50 guests discovered wonderful things. From the “cactus” looking cupcakes on a tiered tray to the vintage collectibles and chic western attire, it was eye candy for shoppers.

In fact Wilkinson Center CEO Anne Reeder questioned Wilkinson Center Vodi Cook on why it was every time she turned around Vodi was in a different attire. Vodi’s answer was, people kept buying the Melissa Benge clothes off her back.

Emily Dunn, Cindy Zahn Weed, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix

Emily Dunn, Cindy Zahn Weed, Stephanie Taylor and Sloan Looney Dix

Among those checking out the merchandise were Event Co-Chairs Sloan Looney Dix and Stephanie Taylor and Honorary Co-Chairs Emily Dunn and Cindy Weed.

When asked about the annual Can Do! Lunch, Anne fessed up that it was still in the planning stage. But before decisions were made, The Wilkinson Center had to focus on the Silent Disco the next night and the Spirit of Taos that will be held on Friday, October 23, at The Lot.

If you’re interested in a casual Taos-feel evening and haven’t been to The Lot across from White Rock, get your ticket. Course, it doesn’t hurt that it benefits one of East Dallas’ treasures — The Wilkinson Center.

The Young Friends Of The Wilkinson Center Kicked Off Plans For The Second Annual Silent Disco

Ooh, those Wilkinson Center folks are at it again. Like others are trying so hard, they’re nurturing the very cool generation of millennials to discover the fun and “Gee Whiz” of fundraising. And leave it to them to come up with Silent Disco. Hmm, let’s think about that one. No! Better yet, let’s check out how they kicked off the event at the DEC on Thursday, August 13. Here’s a report from the field with beautiful faces:

Aaron Liverpool, Austyn Vietor, Chris Chadwick and Amber Monter*

Aaron Liverpool, Austyn Vietor, Chris Chadwick and Amber Monter*

“The Young Friends of the Wilkinson Center hosted its second annual Silent Disco kick-off event at DEC on Dragon. The event benefited Wilkinson Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. This was a free happy hour to attend but patrons could purchase Young Friend Memberships and Silent Disco tickets to the main event that will take place on Friday, September 11, at Candleroom from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. Tickets for Young Friends Members were $35 each and $45 each for nonmembers. This event was a kickoff party to gear up for the Silent Disco event and to raise money for Wilkinson Center and spread awareness about our Young Friend professional group.

Natalie Diaz, Erica Ruiz and Sondos Brennan*

Natalie Diaz, Erica Ruiz and Sondos Brennan*

Ryan Hoopes and Rodney Moore*

Ryan Hoopes and Rodney Moore*

“The Silent Disco will feature great drinks, music, fun and friends at one of the hottest night spots in Dallas. What is a Silent Disco? Each guest receives headphones with three different frequencies; depending on the frequency the guest chooses, the headphones light up in the color that corresponds to a DJ spinning at that moment.  It is called a silent disco because there is no music playing in the background when people take off their headphones.

Jackie Kim, OJ DeSouza, Baylea Wood and Chrystie Trimmell*

Jackie Kim, OJ DeSouza, Baylea Wood and Chrystie Trimmell*

“The Young Friends of The Wilkinson Center are a group of dynamic young millennials who are creating pathways out of poverty for the working poor in Dallas.  These young professionals offer hope and inspiration. They are committed to building sustainable resources which empower Wilkinson Center clients to become self-sufficient and improve their lives.  Our Young Friends are business and civic leaders who have dedicated their creativity and resources to making Dallas a prosperous city for all who call it home.

* Photos provided by The Young Friends of The Wilkinson Center

Despite Threats Of Storms, More Than A Thousand Celebrated The White Party For The Wilkinson Center

Those folks at The Wilkinson Center always seem to miss the weather bullet. Its Can Do! Luncheon has succeeded despite tornado warnings in the area. The White Party has lucked out thanks to the usual no-rain summertime conditions. However, this year’s non-stop storms did not bode good news to the Saturday, June 13th event at Saint Ann. Organizers “had to change the set-up three separate times and pushed the start time of the party by 20 minutes, just so we could finish arranging the furniture cause the last time I checked the radar finally showed clear skies! It sure made for a hot and humid evening, though. The party gods were in our favor and it didn’t rain at the all during the event!”

The White Party*

The White Party*

Here’s a report from the field about the doings that included the likes of Reese Threadgill, Jessica Clark, Janet Courtney, Ann Barbier-Mueller, Lainie Kritser, Eric Shute, Sarah McIntosh, Christie Allardyce, Marian Booth, Holly Rodriguez, Olivia Lowery, John McCarley, Sammey Mihos, Jessica Lewis and Matt Smith to mention a few:

Olivia Lowrey, John McCarley, Sammey Mihos, Jessica Lewis and Matt Smith*

Olivia Lowrey, John McCarley, Sammey Mihos, Jessica Lewis and Matt Smith*

With more than 1,000 people in attendance the event included a step and repeat that featured our top sponsor logos where patrons and sponsors took photographs on the black carpet by Insta Photobooth. The entrance was lined with over 50 vases of floating candles and a large floral arrangements before entering the main portion of the event.  Once patrons walked into the tent the side patio was set up with 32 Silent Auction items that included: trips to Cancun and Steamboat Colorado, Sports Packages (Dallas Stars and Texas Ranger packages), Restaurant packages, jewelry packages, home décor packages, fitness packages, Diamond Doctor Tacori Ring and many more! The Silent Auction alone raised $14,480 dollars!

Janet Courtney and Ann Barbier-Mueller*

Janet Courtney and Ann Barbier-Mueller*

Lainie Kritser and Eric Shute*

Lainie Kritser and Eric Shute*

There was also a Kendra Scott booth set up where patrons could buy mystery boxes for $60. Boxes contained jewelry that varied in price from $60-$200 so you had the chance to get lucky and receive a higher priced item.

There were over 28 VIP Sponsor tables located inside the restaurant and around the white acrylic dance floor under the tent. We even had risers built to make an elevated area that was draped with crystal chandeliers through the trees and white modular furniture.  Each table was topped with a beautiful floral arrangement from Gro Designs.

Sarah McIntosh, Christie Allardyce, Maria  Booth, Holly Rodriquez, Reese Threadgill and Jessica Clark*

Sarah McIntosh, Christie Allardyce, Maria Booth, Holly Rodriquez, Reese Threadgill and Jessica Clark*

Top Sponsors for the event included Yoozy, Hartman Investments, The Rosewood Corporation, Elite Dental Associates, Dallas Executive Club, DeLeon Tequila, Diamond Doctor, Gemelli Jewelry, Dent Zone Companies Inc., Gro Designs and Code Blue Sound and Entertainment.

There were two moments during the night which included a few surprised for our guests:

Illumination Fireworks provided confetti cannons, cryo machines and fireworks and Eclipse Entertainment provided feathered samba dancers and bongo drum players.  At 11:30pm and 12:15am the dancers and bongo drum players entered the party and danced throughout the crowd while the fireworks, confetti cannons and cryo machines went off. The crowd event participated by banging on the drums and ringing the tambourines!

Confetti canon*

Confetti canon*

Saint Ann provided a complimentary taco and hummus station and there was also a free Ketel One tasting bar for all patrons.

Liquor Sponsor for the evening was DeLeon Tequila and Glaciers.

After dancing the night away from tunes from DJ Steffi Burns patrons were given a swag bag that included all kinds of goodies such as: koozies, Chap Stick, free pedicures to Bellacures, mouse pads, tons of discount cards, complimentary passes to The Barre Code and Vital Fitness, sunglasses, etc.

The Saint Ann space was transformed by the great dynamic duo: Gro Designs and Code Blue Sound & Entertainment which took the décor of the party to another level!

* Photos provided by Texas Media Consulting

Can Do Patron Party Guests Dined On Central Market Feast At Joyce And Larry Lacertes’ Home Sweetest Home

Tornadoes were tipping through Oklahoma. Once again North Texas lucked out and avoided the hit while the folks north of the Red River took it. But nonprofit fundraising continued in North Texas with The Wilkinson Center’s Can Do! Luncheon taking place at Joyce and Larry Lacerte’s home that blends eye-popping splendor with family comfort including the children’s dining room table and the outdoor furniture. As Joyce put it, she wanted a home that grand kiddos would seek.

Hunter Sullivan, Roxann Vyazmensky and Alice Wright

Hunter Sullivan, Roxann Vyazmensky and Alice Wright

Keeping such a household ready for any occasion, the Lacertes have a brain trust for a house manager — Roxann Vyazmensky. In addition to exemplifying the Lacertes’ hospitality and being an Energizer Bunny Rabbit in making things happen, she’s Joyce’s sister.

The Lacerte library/family room

The Lacerte library/family room

Needless to say, the Can Do patrons were like kids discovering the two-story library/family room highlighted by a mammoth portrait of the Lacerte family over the fireplace across the way from the covered terrace overlooking Prather Park. For the keen of eye, there was even a huge chandelier in the entry hall with the names of the Lacerte children’s names.

Larry Lacerte

Larry Lacerte

Debbie Oates

Debbie Oates

Joyce Lacerte, Carol Seay and Anne Dyer

Joyce Lacerte, Carol Seay and Anne Dyer

As Hunter Sullivan crooned on the terrace before ducking out for a gig at the Dallas County Club, and guests like Pam and Vin Perella, Christie Carter, Carol Seay, Anne and Bob Dyer, Sara Martineau, Steve Saxon, Jane Murray, Jennifer Chandler, Sara Albert, Debbie Oates, Nancy Bierman, Linda Secrest and Alice Wright discovered a Central Market feast. In the dining room, the table was filled with charred baby lamb chops, fennel-citrus grilled prawns, baby spinach and strawberry salad tossed in citrus-herb vinaigrette, grilled verlasso salmon and assorted mini pastries, cookies and tarts. In the family room there was a table filled with assorted breads, crackers a chutney to complement the fruit and cheese with assorted dips and spreads.

Dining room table

Dining room table

Even the most dedicated dieters put swimsuit plans on a backburner as they filled plates.

Sara Martineau, Cynthia Melnick and Leslie Diers

Sara Martineau, Cynthia Melnick and Leslie Diers

Just before 7 p.m., Luncheon Chair Leslie Diers welcomed the guests including her mom Cynthia Melnick and her husband Bryan Diers and daughters Meredith Diers and Tracy Diers and recognized luncheon honorees — Communities Foundation of Texas, Carlin Morris and Tonya Howard, who wasn’t able to attend. Leslie also told of the support that U.S. Trust had provided as the presenting sponsor for the May 12th luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.

Carlin Morris, Anne Reeder and Brent Christopher

Carlin Morris, Anne Reeder and Brent Christopher

In addition to the seated luncheon, the Wilkinson Center will also be holding The White Party on Saturday, June 13, at Saint Ann. Each year this party provides that there are plenty of folks in town who want to fundraise and raise fun. According to Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder*  this year’s White Party kickoff at Hotel Zaza had around 1,000 and was spectacular.

* Editor's note: Anne's birthday is today - June 1!

Grovel Alert: Can Do! Luncheon

Meredith Diers, Leslie Diers and Tracy Diers

Meredith Diers, Leslie Diers and Tracy Diers

Can Do! Luncheon Chair Leslie Diers failed to mention one thing last night at the  patron party in Joyce and Larry Lacerte‘s library — there just aren’t that many tickets left.

The goal was 300 for the  Wilkinson Center fundraiser on Tuesday, May 12, at the Dallas Country Club and they’re just 18 tickets away.

This year the luncheon will honor Communities Foundation of Texas and Carlin Morris.

BTW, it’s definitely a feel-good event, so if you are little weary of the weather and feeling guilty because you haven’t done enough, grab a ticket now. You’ll be glad you did.

MySweetWishList: The Wilkinson Center

According to Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder,

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

“The holidays can be so joyful but also a stressful time for everyone. They can be particularly difficult for families who experience food insecurity.

“My immediate wish is for turkeys and hams to stretch food donations at the Wilkinson Center Food Pantry, or if you prefer, just a donation check with the notation ‘Turkey/Ham Bucks,’ so that Wilkinson Center can purchase these items.

“Please share the joy of this blessed time with families that need your help. Thank you!”

-Anne Reeder, Wilkinson Center Executive Director

The Spirit Of Taos Filled The Lot Thanks To The Friends Of Wilkinson

Many Dallas folks either have a second home in Taos or wish they did. The New Mexico town has the charm of Santa Fe without the hype. The nearby mountains also provide just enough chill to make chimineas with pinion, sweaters, boots and turquoise simply perfect any evening by moonlight.

On Friday, November 7, the Friends of Wilkinson Center transported that feel for a sold-out crowd at The Lot for The Spirit of Taos benefiting the The Wilkinson Center. The slight dip in the temperature made it ideal to bust out those cashmere and leathers. Even the moon cooperated, peeking through the trees.

Haley Dugas, Caroline Atkins and Beth Tomlin

Haley Dugas, Caroline Atkins and Beth Tomlin

However, instead of snow bunnies greeting you, Haley Dugas, Caroline Atkins and Beth Tomlin were right at the front door to check guests in.

Ann Dyer and Anne Reeder

Ann Dyer and Anne Reeder

The three Ann’s (Honorary Co-Chair Ann Dyer, Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder and Anne Conner) seemed to have gotten the memo proclaiming black leather and turquoise were the look of the night. Co-Chair Bob Dyer was late in arriving. Traffic was murder, but Ann carried on without a hiccup.

On the other hand, Pat McEvoy, just back from France, admitted that the only thing in her closet that was near western were her boots.

Charles and Pat McEvoy

Charles and Pat McEvoy

Liz Mayo and John Hansen

Liz Mayo and John Hansen

The sold-out event for 210 had guests all over the place. While Liz Mayo and John Hansen took to the dance floor, Rose Farley and Tom Korosec joined Sara and Gary Ahr in a nearby booth. Outside in the beer garden, Terry Conner caught up with Holly and Stormy Greef.

Anne and Terry Conner and Holly and Stormy Greef

Anne and Terry Conner and Holly and Stormy Greef

Rose Farley, Tom Korosec and Sara and Gary Ahr

Rose Farley, Tom Korosec and Sara and Gary Ahr

Co-Chairs Missy Huber and Cathy Saxon arranged for Frank in the Middle to start off the entertainment for the evening. Eventually Taos fav/former Dallasite Michael Hearne took over, including “Spirit of Taos” in his repertoire.

Even the list of raffle items had that Sangre de Cristo flavor with trips to Taos, turquoise jewelry and fashions.

Spirit of Taos in some ways was better than being in Taos. You didn’t have to waste time getting there. You had great food, music and friends. And you helped the Friends raise funds for The Wilkinson Center.

Heard About The Young Friends Of The Wilkinson Center’s “Silent Disco”?

Ran into The Wilkinson Center’s Anne Reeder who was raving about attending the “First Annual Silent Disco” hosted by the Young Friends of The Wilkins Center. There was a pause. A silent disco? Come again. Here’s a report from the field on the event and an explanation of this dancing in silence. You just might like the sound of this one:

Silent Disco*

Silent Disco*

“We pre-sold event tickets for $35 and $40 at the door. Each ticket included two complimentary tickets that could be used for complimentary drinks or for the raffle. Our venue sponsor was Candleroom and liquor sponsor was Belvedere.

“We had six different DJ’s playing in two sets of three.  From 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. we had: Bryan Turner, DJ Inski and Black Market Pharmacy and from 12 a.m. -2 a.m. we had the following DJ’s: Luis Sanchez, DJ Soulja and Fitz Lauder.

Julie Ellis and Laura Ailshire*

Julie Ellis and Laura Ailshire**

Bryn Burchfield and Allison Johnston*

Bryn Burchfield and Allison Johnston**

“Each patron was given a set of headphones with three different frequencies and depending what frequency you picked the headphones would light up different colors. Each color corresponded to a DJ that was DJ-ing at that particular time. The reason it is called a Silent Disco is because there is no music playing in the background when you take your headphones off. We sold ‘Neon Gift bags’ for $5 which most people bought upon entry. Each bag included light up glow glasses, glow necklaces and glow bracelets to go with our theme Neon Silent Disco. There were neon fluorescent lights and neon colored tape decorating the venue.

Amanda Fuller and Danielle Bakken*

Amanda Fuller and Danielle Bakken**

Chris McColpin and Jennifer Bell*

Chris McColpin and Jennifer Bell**

“The three raffle items were:

  1. “Beyond the Velvet Rope – Private Event at Candleroom (Value: $7,500) “Enjoy a Private Party for you and your friends at Dallas’s Premier Upscale Lounge.” Package includes Free Rental of the Entire Venue, complimentary valet and VIP table with complimentary bottle of premium liquor and house champagne for the host. Minimum 50 guests.  Reservations required in advance. Not valid during special events or holidays. No cash value. Does not include gratuity. Expires Monday, March 30, 2015.
  2. “Beyond the Velvet Rope – VIP Table Reservation at Candleroom (Value: $750) “Enjoy a VIP Table Reservation for you and your friends at Dallas’s Premier Upscale Lounge on any Friday or Saturday night.” Package includes Free VIP Table Reservation, complimentary valet and a complimentary bottle of premium liquor and house champagne. Minimum eight guests. Reservations required in advance. Not valid during special events or holidays. No cash value. Does not include gratuity. Expires Tuesday, December 30, 2014.
  3. “Custom-made sport coat and shirt from Knot Standard. (Donation value: $750.00)

“This party made a little over $7,000 and we had about 300 people in attendance.  Overall, it was a successful first time event!”

* Graphic provided by The Young Friends of Wilkinson Center
** Photo credit: George Fiala

Grovel Alert: The Spirit Of Taos

The Spirit of Taos*

The Spirit of Taos*

It’s nippy outside today and everyone is drying out from the past couple of days of rain. According to weather guessers, the upcoming weekend is supposed to be a sweetheart — temps in the upper 60’s, sunshine and zero chance of rain.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Friday night’s The Spirit of Taos for the Wilkinson Center at The Lot. It will be just cool enough to sit by the fire pit with good friends and soon-to-be friends, Michael Hearne on stage singing and food and beverages to ward off any type of blues or chill.

Unfortunately, word has just arrived that only 15 tickets are left. Even if you can’t get one of the few remaining tickets or are bed bound nursing a head cold, you can still buy a raffle ticket for one of the trips, jewelry, designer clothes or other hot items.

After you get your ticket, go out and buy a new Taos-ish something to wear, or dig through that closet to resurrect that fav item that got all the raves last time you wore it. In other words, give the pearls and tuxedos the night off.

* Graphic provided by The Wilkinson Center

October 7 Round Robin: Spirit Of Taos Kick-Off Party And Corporate Cup

Hope's Door*

Hope’s Door*

With Texas-OU weekend on the horizon, the nonprofits were trying to get as much partying in as possible. Tuesday, October 7, was an example. While Hope’s Door was holding its patron party at Mercedes-Benz in Plano, others were being held at a Knox Henderson boutique and a golf club in southwest Dallas:

Spirit Of Taos Kick-Off Party

They’re known as the Friends of Wilkinson Center, but they’re actually hardworking volunteers of the Center that has grown so much since its inception in 1982 to “assist families with food and clothing.” Just a part of the Friends’ modus operandi is fundraising for the Center’s efforts. As mentioned before, this year they’ve decided to let their tuxedos and gowns take a night off. Instead of doing the Young Friend of Wilkinson’s “White Party,” the Friends and their friends are headed to New Mexico. Well, not literally, but it just may seem that way. The event is called Spirit of Taos.

Melissa Benge Collection**

Melissa Benge Collection**

And where would be a more perfect place to hold the kick-off party? Why Melissa Benge Collection on the corner of Henderson and Milam. You know — where the old Alamo Glass building used to be. The place is just filled with all types of jewelry, hats and clothing from “sassy Bohemian cowgirl to vintage French romantic to modern urban eclectic.”

Laura Reeder, Horacio Moros and Chela Moros**

Laura Reeder, Horacio Moros and Chela Moros**

Bob and Ann Dyer and Di and David Johnston**

Bob and Ann Dyer and Di and David Johnston**

But on this evening it also had the likes of Spirit of Taos Honorary Co-Chairs Ann and Bob Dyer, Di and David Johnston, Anne Conner, Joyce Shoop, Vicki Squires, Melanie Myers, Cindy Week, Sandi Paron, Jillian Wood, Carlin Morris, Vickie Thompson, Marjorie Craft, Lucy Livingston, Carol Riddle, Deborah Hawkins, Fred Duffy, Milagros Moros with kiddos Chela Moros and Horacio Moros, Susan Hardie and Laura Reeder with her mom/Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder.

Anne Conner, Joyce Shoop and Anne Reeder**

Anne Conner, Joyce Shoop and Anne Reeder**

With wines of all colors filling glasses, chicken and beef taquitos, queso, guacamole, wings, vegetable platters and brownies were covering plates.

Taos Event Co-Chairs Missy Huber and Cathy Brittingham Saxon updated the crowd on plans for the Friday, November 7th fundraiser at The Lot.

Cathy Brittingham Saxon and Missy Huber**

Cathy Brittingham Saxon and Missy Huber**

Where’s The Lot? Oh, come on. It’s that restaurant/neighborhood beer garden in Lakewood, just off the Santa Fe Trail. Translation: Attire will be Sangre de Cristo casual; atmosphere will be festive and food/beverages will be plentiful.

As for the sound in the air, that will be handled by Southwest Americana singer Michael Hearne, who hails from Big D but is well known to the residents of Taos.

The raffle items will cover the page with a trip to Taos, jewelry, boots and even guesting with three friends on Norm Hitzges radio show at Victory Plaza. You don’t have to be present to win, but you do have to buy a raffle ticket.

So, pull out those turquoise accessories, those suede vests and those killer boots that you’ve dying to wear. You’ve now the occasion to wear them without heading to New Mexico and tickets start at just $175!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas’ Annual Corporate Cup

Way across Dallas over at the Dallas National Golf Club, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas was just winding down from a day of golfing and partying at the 9th Annual Corporate Cup golf tournament. Here’s a report from the course, of course:

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD) hosted its 9th Annual Corporate Cup golf tournament, presented by Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The event was held at Dallas National Golf Club and raised more than $194,459. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit BGCD, which strives to impact the lives of its members through after-school programming.

Cool Kids with Marty Ellen

Cool Kids with Marty Ellen***

“The day included an 18-hole traditional golf tournament, and at the conclusion of the tournament, “Cool Kids,” which are Boys & Girls Club members, greeted the players with many thanks for their support and handed them cold water and towels. Following the tournament, golfers enjoyed a cocktail hour and dinner while the judges tallied up the winners.

“Winning teams included:

  • 1st Place: KPMG
  • 2nd Place: VMG Health
  • 3rd Place: Fluor Corporation

“Individual winners included:

  • Ladies Longest Drive: Nancy Loewe of Kimberly Clark Team Two
  • Men’s Longest Drive: Garrett Loftin of Kimberly Clark Team Two
  • Closest to the Pin: Todd Onderdonk of ExxonMobil
David Feherty and Scott Murray***

David Feherty and Scott Murray***

Scott Murray, chairman and CEO of Murray Media and host of Conversations with Scott Murray and Texas Daily, took the stage as he thanked all of the sponsors who made the tournament possible. President of BGCD Charles English then joined him to talk about the upcoming BGCD Inaugural Great Futures Luncheon, which will introduce Center for a New Generation, an innovative academic and enrichment after-school and summer program founded by Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Murray then led a lively Q&A session with Golf Channel Personality and CBS Sports Analyst David Feherty, which kept the crowd laughing as they talked about golf and Feherty’s charity work.

Tom Falk, Joe Falk, John Falk and Bob Falk***

Tom Falk, Joe Falk, John Falk and Bob Falk***

“Other guests included Chairman of the Board of BGCD Chris Trowbridge, Tom Falk, Joe Falk, John Falk, Bob Falk, Manny Fernandez, Marty Ellen, Gerald Louviere, Paul Gendron, Matt McCann, Martin Moad, John Wesley, Mike Azbell, Nancy Loewe, Jenny Lewis and more.

Gerald Louviere, Paul Gendron, Matt McCann and Martin Moad

Gerald Louviere, Paul Gendron, Matt McCann and Martin Moad***

“Due to its success, Corporate Cup is able to provide funding to further BGCD’s effective and impactful programs, such as Academic Success and Collegiate STEPS.

Charles English and Chris Trowbridge***

Charles English and Chris Trowbridge***

“The Academic Success program reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge that young people learn at school. The success of this program has been exceptional. The 2012-2013 school year resulted in 98 percent of all BGCD youth progressing to the next grade level and 69 percent maintained an A/B grade average. Individuals with below a B grade received Sylvan Tutoring.

“Collegiate STEPS prepares high school students for higher education and is also producing extraordinary results. BGCD partners with the Junior League of Dallas, which provides a comprehensive program for students to complete the required applications for admission and scholarships. During the 2012-2013 school year, 100 percent of Collegiate STEPS seniors graduated high school and went on to higher education.

“2014 Corporate Cup Sponsors include:

  • Presenting Sponsor ($35,000): Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Lunch Sponsor ($15,000): Fluor Corporation
  • Reception Sponsor ($15,000): Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • Team Sponsor ($10,000): 10-2-4 Hunting Ranch, Albertsons, Baker Botts LLP, Buthman/Smith, Ernst and Young, ExxonMobil, Flowserve, Greenberg Traurig/Victor Vital, KPMG, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP/Stout Risius Ross, Morgan Stanley, Norton Rose Fulbright, Pat and Jim Stanton, PwC, The Chenequans, United Surgical Partners, VMG and The Ryan Foundation
  • Youth Sponsor ($5,000): Amsted Rail
  • Hole Sponsor ($1,000): D CEO and RR Donnelley
  • Sunshine Sponsor ($1,000): Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP
* Graphic courtesy of Hope's Door
** Photo credit: Payne Wingate
*** Photo credit: Rhiannon Lee

Friends Of Wilkinson Center Are Trading In Hifalutin Black Tie For Taos Chic With Native Son Michael Hearne

Bob and Ann Dyer (File photo)

Bob and Ann Dyer (File photo)

Those great Friends of Wilkinson Center have “reinvented the wheel.” Instead of doing their tradition gala, they’ve decided go a little more laid back. Instead of fancy duds and la-di-da glitter, Event Co-Chairs: Cathy Brittingham Saxon and Missy Huber and Honorary Co-Chairs Ann and Bob Dyer are opting for Taos chic wear and turquoise finery.

Anne Reeder (File photo)

Anne Reeder (File photo)

As for the entertainment, they’ve arranged for Dallas native Southwest Americana singer/songwriter Michael Hearne to perform at The Lot in Lakewood.

So, mark your calendar for Friday, November 7, to spend the evening with “friends.” All proceeds will go to The Wilkinson Center.

BTW, if you get a chance, send a get-well note to Wilkinson Center Executive Director Anne Reeder. She now has matching state-of-the-art hips. As her Wilkinson munchkins say, “Hip, hip, hurray!”

The Young Friends Of The Wilkinson Center Were So Cool At The White Party

Summer isn’t even official and already the humidity is making the temperatures feel like a Tennessee Williams play. This time of year is just plain sweaty. The very idea of a cashmere sweater makes one break out in perspiration.

That’s why the experienced and savvy types recognize the benefits of white clothing. No matter if it’s silk or cotton, white not only feels cooler, it makes complexions look healthier and hair glossier.

How smart The Young Friends of the Wilkinson Center were three years ago to take absolutely full advantage of the color, the time and their cohorts. Thus, they launched The White Party. Sure, there were naysayers who claimed no one was left in Dallas after school was out. And others swore that the “younger generation” wasn’t into supporting an organization like The Wilkinson Center that aids families and individuals with basic human necessities, education and employment.

Kristen Johnson and Lauren Mason*

Kristen Johnson and Lauren Mason*

Ha-ha! How wrong those boo-hoo folks were. The first itty-bitty effort proved to be so successful, it made a repeat performance last year and returned to the multi-terraced garden at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar on Saturday, May 31, this year with Laura Reeder, Kristen Johnson and Lauren Mason heading up the arrangements.

Laura Reeder, Caroline Harrison, Medley Turner, Lindsay Goodier, Lauren Anne Johnson, Megan Looney and Nina Tollet*

Laura Reeder, Caroline Harrison, Medley Turner, Lindsay Goodier, Lauren Anne Johnson, Megan Looney and Nina Tollet*

There was absolutely no truth that you had to be gorgeous to be part of the gathering. They all just happened to be in whiter-than-white sundresses, blouses, shirts, slacks, shorts and shoes. Like who, for instance? Well, how about Tierney Kaufman, Jared Hutchins, Mackenzie Sumrall, Adam Sumrall, Wilson Bethel, Cole Suttle, Clayton Floyd, Sal Jafar, Christina Notzon, Francis Harrison, Caroline Harrison, Hassie Harrison, Joseph Robertson, Julie Robertson, Matthew Prescott, Marvi Juno, Alana Buenrostro, Chelsea Green, Megan Rutherford, Natalie Vesti, Ali Pickens, Tyler Gattis, Rachel Hutchinson, Maggie Vandiver Parks and Angela Inks.

Front row: Joseph and Julie Robertson and Matthew Prescott; Middle row: Sal Jafar, Christina Notzon, Francis Harrison, Caroline Harrison and Hassie Harrison; Top row: Mackenzie and Adam Sumrall, Wilson Bethel, Cole Suttle and Clayton Floyd*

Front row: Joseph and Julie Robertson and Matthew Prescott; Middle row: Sal Jafar, Christina Notzon, Francis Harrison, Caroline Harrison and Hassie Harrison; Top row: Mackenzie and Adam Sumrall, Wilson Bethel, Cole Suttle and Clayton Floyd*

In keeping with the white theme, Gro Designs provided an entry arch of white flowers, and glass lanterns with candles and rows of white balloons overhead.

The White Party 2014*

The White Party 2014*

While fire dancers, aerialists and performers from The Yoga Movement performed in the open air with DJ Elizabeth Farrell in charge of the music, most of the guests charmed and were charmed in the tent around the bar. But lucky were those who were part of corporate sponsor Hublot’s VIP lounge with its cushy lawn couches, buffet and space to spread out.

Hublot VIP Lounge*

Hublot VIP Lounge*

And speaking of sponsors, along with the growing popularity of The White Party have come more and more sponsors like:

  • Corporate sponsors — Rosewood Corporation, Harwood International, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, Reeder Energy, Level Properties, Quantum Holistic Health Center, Herbalife, Prestige Worldwide Investments LLC, Boardwalk Ferrari and Uber
  • Individual sponsors — Adam and McKenzie Sumrall, Laura and Lloyd Pierson, Brad Clark, Eric Rosiak, Russell Lam, OJ DeSouza, Hunter Heres, Scott Quigley, Anish Jain, Horacio Moros and Rachel Rogers Arrieta
* Photos provided by The Young Friends of The Wilkinson Center