Awardee Kern Wildenthal Highlights A ‘Perfect’ Callier Cares Luncheon At The Dallas Country Club

Even before the doors opened to the Dallas Country Club ballroom, the Callier Cares Luncheon VIP reception filled the Founders Room on Thursday, April 20. Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson was with husband Claude Wilson and Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and all smiles over the sold-out Callier Care Fund fundraiser.

Kern Wildenthall, Emilynn and Claude Wilson

In another part of the room, Beth Layton was sporting a new haircut and talking with Chick Lit Co-Chair Tricia George.

Beth Layton and Tricia George

Barbara and John Stuart

Dee Wyly and Jill Rowlett

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

Others in the crowd were Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and his wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, Dan Branch, Angie Kadesky, Brent Christopher, Heidi Cannella, Lindalyn Adams, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Dee Collins and Kern’s wife Marnie Wildenthal and longtime assistant Cyndi Bassel.

Callier Cares Luncheon table

When the doors did open to the ballroom, it was pretty obvious that Emilynn had definitely filled the room to capacity. It was surprising that she didn’t try to put a table on the stage.

As guests like Keith Cerny, Caren Prothro,  Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Lynn McBee, and Dr. Lynn Markle made their way into the room for lunch—Southwest Roasted Chicken Chop Salad and Chocolate Caramel Cake were on the menu—Tom welcomed everyone and kicked off the program. The annual Callier Prize in Communication Disorders Award, it was announced right off the bat, would go to Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa, an associate professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kujawa graciously accepted the award, which came for her groundbreaking work that has instigated a paradigm shift in the way researchers and health workers think about noise-induced and age-related hearing loss and inner ear injury. She gave way to luncheon Chair Emilynn and then to Stuart Bumpas and Dr. Ken Altshuler, who presented the annual Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award to Kern.

During his many years as president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Kern had helped nourish a relationship between UT Southwestern and the Callier Center that resulted in the Callier Child Development Program, the Cochlear Implant Program, and a joint program to evaluate and treat children with autism.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased, knowing that Emilynn Wilson would chair this event, because I knew it would be perfect in all regards,” Kern told the guests. “Callier is an organization I heard about many years ago. It epitomizes the best of what all academic institutions try to do … and it does so in an impeccable manner, and in collaboration with other institutions.

“For four decades I’ve wanted to add Ken and Ruth Altshuler’s name to my name,” Kern concluded with a smile. “And, now I can!”

Then, following an informative video and just before keynote speaker Richard Neely was to deliver his remarks, the podium microphone went dead for some reason. That gave Richard—an emeritus trustee of the Callier foundation and a profoundly deaf person who has cochlear implants—the perfect opening to begin his talk. “When the mic went out, I thought, to the people who could hear: welcome to my world!” Richard joked.

The former CFO for a local real estate investment company and a former SMU football star, Richard recounted his struggles with hearing loss and, ultimately, how he overcame them—with no small thanks to the cochlear implants. After he got his “first one in 2008,” he laughed, he complained to his wife that “she was crinkling the newspaper!” 

According to Emilynn, the 2017 luncheon will provide a whopping $278,450 for the Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas. 2018 Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele was already making plans for her effort to help “ensure that resources are available for patients and families” in need of financial assistance for speech, language and hearing disorders..

Callier Cares Luncheon Patrons Gather At Honorary Co-Chairs Michal And Lloyd Powell’s Home To Hear About Plans

The sky was blue without a cloud in the sky on Tuesday, March 1. While primary voting was ending, guests were gathering at Michal and Lloyd Powell’s too-comfy home. The occasion was the Callier Cares Luncheon patron party. Thanks to the perfect weather, the terrace with the outdoor bar was as inviting as the Powell dining room with a table set with sliders, stuffed tomatoes, mini-ice cream cones and a centerpiece from Garden Gate.

Caleb Powell, Stuart Bumpass, Michal and Lloyd Powell

Caleb Powell, Stuart Bumpass, Michal and Lloyd Powell

On the terrace, Powell son Caleb Powell joined his parents as they talked with Callier Cares Honoree Stuart Bumpas, who explained that wife Diane Bumpas was on her way. No sooner had he said that than Diane arrived at the doorway.

Diane Bumpas and Lynn McBee

Diane Bumpas and Lynn McBee

Ruth and Ken Altshuler

Ruth and Ken Altshuler

Other arrivals who appeared right on time were Ruth and Ken Altshuler, who found themselves merrily on the couch talking to Pat Harloe and Lynn McBee.

But eventually the crowd, including University of Texas at Dallas Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Interim President of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Dr. James Bartlett, Carol and Don Glendenning and Cece Smith and Ford Lacy, gathered to hear about plans for the upcoming Callier Cares Luncheon at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, April 19.

Barbara and John Stuart and Angie Kadesky

Barbara and John Stuart and Angie Kadesky

Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart did the official welcome. thanking Michal and Lloyd for hosting the party, and then introduced Luncheon Chair Angie Kadesky.

As Angie pointed out, it was “especially meaningful” to have Michael and Lloyd serve as the honorary chairs, since Michal chaired the 2015 Crystal Charity Ball and Callier was one of its beneficiaries.

On a personal note, Angie told how her personal connection with the Center was due to one of her children benefiting from its services.

She thanked her committee and reported that tickets were moving briskly before turning the program over to Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, who acknowledged Ruth and Ken’s establishing the Callier Care Fund that benefits “children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Tom Campbell, Hobson Wildenthal and James Bartlett

Tom Campbell, Hobson Wildenthal and James Bartlett

Seamlessly, he went on to explain how fitting it was that Stuart Bumpas would receive the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award, which is annually presented to “an individual or group who has contributed significantly to advancing care of patients with communication disorder.”

For the past 30 years, “Stuart has influenced and contributed to the Callier Center’s growth through his service on the board of trustees of the Foundation for the Callier Center.”

After reminding guests of Callier’s unique, three-part mission — treatment, training and research — he told of future projects that would help the mission including the the new autism center that opened in May, the Crystal Charity Ball’s providing funds to provide hearing aids and services to children of poverty, and the groundbreaking of the new 50,000-square-foot Callier Richardson Expansion with its state-of-the-art clinic and training facility scheduled to open in the fall.

With ticket sales moving along, Tom broke the news that the luncheon speaker would be Highland Park honors graduate/University of North Texas freshman Bailey Turfitt, who “will share the challenges she faced and the victories she celebrated growing up with severe hearing impairment.”