JUST IN: Candice Romo And Hollie Siglin To Co-Chair Children’s Cancer Fund’s “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years” Fashion Show

News just arrived about the Children’s Cancer Fund’s annual fundraiser gala. Hold on to your football helmets! In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the fashion show will have the theme “Celebrating 30 Sweet Years.”

Candice Romo*

Hollie Siglin*

And to make a really sweet deal, the co-chairs will be Candice Romo and her longtime buddy Hollie Siglin. In addition to both being moms, the gals are also partners in Hawk and Sloane.

To add some muscle to their team, they’ve drafted Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as honorary co-chairs. Talk about star power!

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman (File photo)

The ladies have already locked down the Hyatt Regency Dallas for Friday, April 27.

This anniversary already has all the signs of being a sweetheart of a fundraiser. Sponsorships are available now!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

TACA Custom Auction Gala Item #6 — An Unforgettable Evening With The Dallas Cowboys And Dean Fearing

TACA Custom Auction Gala Co-Chair Wanda Gierhart has connections and great taste, don’t you know. She’s managed to get one of country’s best known culinary kings to come on board as part of this auction item. And adding some muscle to it, she’s scored some additional heavyweights for this delicious package that will be auctioned off by auctioneer Louis Murad on Friday, September 8, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

An Unforgettable Evening With The Dallas Cowboys And Dean Fearing* (Value: Priceless)

Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Troy Aikman (File photo)

Daryl Johnston (File photo)

Emmitt Smith (File photo)

He’s known for many things. Dean Fearing has been cowboy boot-wearing chef at both the Mansion and now The Ritz Carlton. He’s part of “The Lost Coyote Band. He’s given loads of time and talent to countless area nonprofits. He’s TACA Custom Auction Gala co-chair. And he just happens to be engaged to his Co-Chair Wanda. Told you that Wanda had “connections and great taste.”

The winner of the sweet deal will have Dean having the time of his life creating a three-course Southwestern dinner in the winner’s home-sweet-home for a dozen folks.

As for those serving up the courses, Wanda and Dean tapped a trio of cowboys… well, former cowboys like Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Daryl Johnston. But don’t get your hopes up for a speedy meal. After all, selfies do slow things down when “the help” is this crew. Just imagine Troy throwing a platter to Daryl to hands off to Emmitt. Oops! Better keep the good china locked up in the pantry.

BTW, since the meal is based on the foursome’s availability, football season is likely to be out of the question.

*Courtesy of Dean Fearing, Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston and Emmitt Smith

JUST IN: Dallas Cowboys’ Wunderkind Dak Prescott And Coach Of The Year Jason Garrett To Walk The Children’s Cancer Fund’s Runway

Children’s Cancer Fund‘s Executive Director Jennifer Arthur is whooping it up. She just revealed that Honorary Co-Chairs/former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach will be joined at the Friday, April 21st fundraiser — Broadway Nights and Runway Lights — by the new Cowboys starting quarterback/cutie pie Dak Prescott.

Dak Prescott*

Jason Garrett*

Also, escorting Children’s Medical Center pediatric oncology patients on the runway will be Cowboys coach/Coach of the Year Jason Garrett, plus a heck of a lot of other well-known and photographed folks.

Tickets are available for the dinner, applauding and dancing at the Hilton Anatole here!

* Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund

Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening In Oz” Broke All Previous Records With Cancer-Fighting Kids And Celebrity Escorts

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Unlike years past, this year’s Children’s Cancer Fund annual fundraiser for Children’s Health took on a different spin on Friday, April 22. Instead of a luncheon, Event Co-Chairs Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley moved it to nighttime with “An Evening In Oz” as the theme. And the only thing missing was the horse of a different color! And the decision to move it worked, because the evening’s net … oops, can’t reveal it because the board is keeping that number under wraps. Still word has it that it was a record breaker.

But from the beginning of the night, it was obvious that more than Dorothy’s red slippers had been clicking for wishes to come true. As the girl from Kansas and her pals welcomed more than 900 guests at the Anatole, the munchkin artists and models were hunkered down in the Wedgwood Room with makeup being applied, hair curled and partying. In the meantime, the older high-paying kids were in the Peacock Room for the VIP meet-and-greet with Honorary Co-Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Over to the side, Marianne Staubach reported that they had just returned from Disneyland with daughter Amy Mentgen and her kids. She admitted that after making the rounds of the park with the grand-kids, the adults were worn out.

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

Bela Pjetrovic and Chase Cooley

In another part of the room Bela Pjetrovic and mustachioed Chase Cooley were being congratulated on their recent engagement. Has a date been set? Nothing definite yet, but April 2017 is looking good. And speaking of mustaches, Cooley dad Clay recalled that when he and wife Lisa met, he also had a mustache and long hair.

Another dad in the crowd was Ben Lange, sans son/T-shirt entrepreneur Luke Lange, who was at Benihana for a birthday. The mention of Benihana set off a memory for Clay, who remembered how in the early days, Chase’s birthdays were celebrated there.

All too soon the VIPs adjourned to join the hundreds of others checking out the silent auction in the Chantilly Ballroom reception area just as the ballroom doors were opened.

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Missy Chami and Anne Davidson

Inside the ballroom, it appeared as if the Emerald City of Oz had indeed taken up residence, with a stage for the Emerald City band at one end and the presentation stage with runway at the other. All around were tables with folks like presenting sponsor Anne Davidson, Cindy Turner, Suzy Gekiere, Patti Flowers, Tanya and Pete Foster, Mary Meier, Betty Turner and Mary Poss.

Serving as background for the stage were mega scenes straight from “The Wizard of Oz,” including the yellow brick road leading through the field of poppies to the city of Oz.

First on stage were Roger and Troy, joined by Lisa with Emme Nees and Giora with son Jack Barker. The exchange between Rog (this was his 28th CCF appearance) and Troy (it was his 20th) proved their ongoing commitment to battling children’s cancer as well as their mutual respect and friendship for each other.

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Following Lisa’s and Giora’s personal testimonials about each of their reasons for undertaking the fundraiser, Tom Gilchrist sang a capella the Lord’s Prayer. (Quipped Roger afterward: “I’d trade my Heisman for a voice like that.”)

Under the direction of special events producer Rhonda Sargent Chambers, not a moment was lost for the fashion show of Dillard’s kiddo clothes. As Rog, Troy et al left the stage, emcee Scott Murray arrived at the podium to introduce the Children’s Cancer Fund artists and their celebrity escorts including

  • 6-year-old Cooper Dorr with Roger
  • 10-year-old Hayden Ritchie with Troy
  • 12-year-old Mercedes Howdeshell with Tara Pavlock and Ashleigh Panelli
  • 9-year-old Myles Allison with Jason Garrett
  • 13-year-old Carsyn Sapp with Sunny Malouf
  • 7-year-old Corbin Glasscock with Terrance Williams
  • 5-year-old Kamryn Rakestraw with Jim Stroud
  • 11-year-old Maxwell Matlock with members of the Dallas SWAT
  • 5-year-old Reese Skelte with “Dorothy”
  • 11-year-old Keamus Bryant with Medieval Times Red Knight
  • 8-year-old Trip Rowley with Brandon Carr

Unfortunately, 5-year-old Flick Blevins was under the weather and couldn’t make the event. In his stead, Dallas Fire Department #19’s Jerry Hooker, Michael Wolfe, Derrick Brouhard and John Keeler walked the runway holding his photo.

At this point, Scott introduced KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley to introduce the other cancer-surviving children and their celebrity escorts, including:

  • 13-year-old Andrew Russell with Kaitlyn Wade
  • 16-year-old Sabeen Wazir with Jake Pavelka
  • 6-year-old Jackson Houser with Morris Claiborne
  • 6-year-old Rina Cantrell with Jane McGarry
  • 15-year-old Saket Ashar with Dr. Ted Laetsch
  • 9-year-old Laura Beth Rote with Brianna Kiesel
  • 10-year-old Brady Pampilonia with Kliff Kingsbury
  • 9-year-old Julissa Garcia with Jocelyn White
  • 11-year-old Juan Lopez with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Rowdy
  • 7-year-old Jordan McDowell with Miss Texas America
  • 16-year-old Averi Moya with Mitch Gaylord
  • 10-year-old Julia Brown with Amy Vanderoef
  • 12-year-old Christian Arroyo with Byron Jones
  • 9-year-old Lynette Quintana with the Pink Heals Firefighters
Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

Andrew Russell and Kaitlyn Wade

As 18-year-old Kaitlyn Wade escorted child artist Andrew Russell, Marianne recalled how, years ago, Rog had escorted the pretty blonde on the runway when she was presented. Yes, she had conquered leukemia, but her story of challenges hadn’t end there. After winning the battle, she was the victim of a drunk driver. As the result of the horrendous car accident, 9-year-old Kaitlyn “spent two months in a coma and six months at Cook Children’s before she could return home.”

But on this evening, the emphasis was on the current crop of cancer-conquering kids as they mugged, twirled and charmed their way on the catwalk. Blonde Brill Garrett cheered each one like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Okay, so maybe she had an extra whoop when husband Jason took his turn in the spotlight with Myles Allison.

All of this was building up to the live auction. Troy won the trip to the Masters and learned from Rog all the perks associated with the package. Jana and Mike Brosin won the artwork created by CCF Gala artists and Christopher Martin.

To the delight of many of the ladies in the audience, Jake “The Bachelor” Pavelka was doing double duty. In addition to walking the runway, he also was part of the “Dancing With The Stars” package. Shoot! They could have auctioned off pictures with Jake and won a passel of dough, as lady after lady wanted a quick cell-snap with the cutie. But it was Tracy and Ben Lange who won the package. So, watch for them during Season 23 that is scheduled to air this fall.

As soon as the live auction ended, the focus shifted to the other end of the ballroom, where Emerald City took over to get guests on their feet and dancing the night away.

For more pictures from “An Evening in Oz,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 Children’s Cancer Fund’s “An Evening In Oz”

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman

The annual Children’s Cancer Fund’s super-duper fashion show with celebrities escorting cancer-surviving children on the runway in Dillard’s clothes took a turn on Friday, April 22. Co-Chairs Giora Barker and Lisa Cooley shifted the usual luncheon fundraiser to “An Evening In Oz” at the Hilton Anatole.

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Tin Man

Joining Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man were Honorary Co-Chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach and nearly 900 other pals.

While the post is being finalized, check out the scenes at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Troy Aikman Dissolves His Foundation And Redirects Funds To United Way Campaign

Editor’s Note: This news was embargoed until 7:00 p.m. tonight. Unfortunately, somebody didn’t get the message. The results: the embargo is broken, so here is the news.

Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman is dissolving his foundation and committing $1M from it to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Unite Forever campaign. The campaign, an effort launched 14 months ago to bolster North Texas education, income, and health, has attracted more than $35M toward its $100M goal so far.

Troy Aikman (File photo)

Troy Aikman (File photo)

The money from Troy’s foundation will establish United Way’s first-ever donor-advised fund, the Troy Aikman Foundation Fund in the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas. With donor-advised funds, donors are able to make irrevocable contributions and then recommend grants from the fund to qualified charities over time.

“The world is changing rapidly. And so are we,” said Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Providing more, and more meaningful, opportunities for donor engagement for social impact is [United Way’s] mission. Donor-advised funds are a promising vehicle for us. We are in conversation with others and hope this effort … will inspire more.”

Troy echoed Jennifer, saying, “I’m proud of this partnership, and hope my commitment will be a catalyst for others to invest in brighter futures for the next generation.”

An NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Emmy-nominated broadcaster, Troy established The Troy Aikman Foundation for Children in 1992. Its activities over the years have included creating colorful recreation areas in children’s hospitals called Aikman’s End Zones. These interactive playrooms feature state-of-the-art home theaters and computers networked to other children’s hospitals. In 1997 Troy won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, in part for his support of children’s causes.

Jennifer Sampson and Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

Jennifer Sampson and Charlotte Jones Anderson (File photo)

Troy has a long history with United Way, having appeared in a public service announcement for the agency during his playing days with the Cowboys. He joined the United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas board of directors this year, after serving on the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas board from 2012-2015. He’s also served as co-chair of the $25,000 Aikman/Staubach level of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society, and as co-chair of the United Way’s 90th Anniversary Celebration alongside Charlotte Jones Anderson.

“Troy is one of the nation’s most respected figures in the business of sports, and certainly one of Dallas’ most beloved citizens,” said Jennifer. “He is actively committed to the causes he champions, and his catalytic gift will unite this community in creating secure futures for generations to come.”

Roger Staubach And Troy Aikman Get Together With Children’s Cancer Fund Kiddos For Photo Session At Children’s Medical Center

So, the Dallas Cowboys may be staying put for the upcoming Super Bowl. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the team has a pretty nice spot in the upcoming draft. They also still have Cowboys legends like Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman living in the hood and supporting the North Texas community. One of their favs is the Children’s Cancer Fund.

As a matter of fact, the two Super Bowl quarterbacks were at Children’s Medical Center on Tuesday, January 12, just after lunch. The reason wasn’t to talk sports. As co-chairs of the 2016 Children’s Cancer Fund Gala, Rog and Troy were there for a photo session with some of the CCF children to promote the Friday, April 22, fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole.

Lisa Cooley, Roger Staubach and Giora Barker

Lisa Cooley, Roger Staubach and Giora Barker

While Event Co-Chairs Lisa Cooley and Giora Barker looked quite adorable in their Louboutins, the boys were equally fashionable. Roger noted Troy’s “new look suit.” Troy responded that it was indeed a new suit. In his navy blue suit, Rog shrugged, admitting that wife Marianne had “wanted me to get a new suit.” Still a Heisman trophy and Super Bowl ring trumps any fashion trends.

Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman

In a wink Troy had been herded to the corral of sports photographers and KDFW’s Mike Doocy to give his opinion on the upcoming Super Bowl, while Roger happily stayed put with Lisa and Giorga. Across the room from the lights and cameras, the CCF kids were busily at a table with crayons and paper. They seemed sorta nonplussed by all the commotion. Perhaps they knew their moment in the spotlight was just minutes away. Besides, they were the heroes for all those in the room. They were the ones battling cancer.

For Lisa and Giora, the evening fundraiser is very personal. Giora’s son Jack Barker had conquered T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia thanks to Children’s. It was back in 2010 that Jack had been one of the CCF kids.

On the other hand, while none of Lisa’s three kids had had cancer, Children’s resources and compassion had seen the Cooley family through life-threatening issues with each of the now-healthy children. As she watched the CCF children at the table drawing, she shook her head imagining what the kids and their families had been going through.

Maxwell Matlock, Kern Wildenthal, Trip Rowley and Stephen Skapek

Maxwell Matlock, Kern Wildenthal, Trip Rowley and Stephen Skapek

In the middle of the room, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Chief of the Pediatric Hematology-oncology Division at UT Southwestern Dr. Stephen Skapek were chatting. Stephen admitted that thanks to fundraising efforts like CCF, incredible developments had taken place in cancer research. Having studied at Duke and Harvard, he seemed a bit humbled by the developments in battling cancer. He attributed it ti the combination of funding, technology, research and dedicated professionals.

Children's Cancer Fund group photo

Children’s Cancer Fund group photo

Someone directed Troy and the videographers that the CCF kids had finished their drawings, and it was time for the photo session to take place. Photo setups were created with all types of combinationa — Roger and Troy; Roger, Troy, Lisa and Giora; Roger, Troy, Lisa, Giora and the kids; Roger, Troy, Lisa, Giora, the kids, Kern and Steve; etc. By the final round, the kids were ranging between blasé to scene stealing.

Hayden Ritchie and Troy Aikman

Hayden Ritchie and Troy Aikman

It was then that the duo were able to have some one-on-one conversations with the kids.

Next Roger and Troy took their places at a table to sign all types of paraphernalia. An old hand at autographing footballs, Roger suggested that the supplied pens were not quite meeting the need. Immediately a search was out to find just the thing—a Sharpie.

BTW, with the theme for the evening fundraiser being “An Evening In Oz,” guess what will be the featured entertainment. Yup, Emerald City. Natch!

Tickets for the event are $300 per person, but a table of ten can be had for $2,750!

National Football Foundation’s Hall Of Fame Dinner Honoring Dr. Kenneth Cooper Proved Ideal For Roasting And Toasting

Starting Thursday, January 8, Dallas was being invaded by folks from Ohio and Oregon for the College Football Playoff at AT&T Stadium. And while thousands were attending concerts with Sting, Lady Antebellum and Lenny Kravitz, a very special dinner took place at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Thursday.

Ken Cooper

Ken Cooper

The occasion was the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame in which Father of Aerobics Dr. Kenneth “Ken” Cooper was to be inducted. It turned out to be a twofer event. Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Brad Sham was to be presented with the Blackie Sherrod Award during the weekend’s festivities. But due to a date in Green Bay to announce the Cowboys-Packers game, it was decided to move up the presentation to Cooper’s induction dinner.

Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek

Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek

Limited to 300, the evening was heavy on all-star athletes and light on body fat. Former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek with his wife Amy by his side and his cowboy hat firmly in place opened arms and embraced his old quarterback/buzz haircut partner Troy Aikman.

Dang! Why do Troy and Jay look taller and cuter in person?

A handler pointed to the far back of the reception lobby and said, “They’re back there.”

They turned out to be Roger Staubach, Archie Manning and Brad with Dr. Ken nearby.

From the left (seated): Kristi Scales, Kyla Brinkley, Chick Sham and Peggy Sham; (standing) Bob Thomas, Eric Sham, Paul Sham, Brad Sham and Marla Thomas.

From the left (seated): Kristi Scales, Kyla Brinkley, Chick Sham and Peggy Sham; (standing) Bob Thomas, Eric Sham, Paul Sham, Brad Sham and Marla Thomas.

In other parts of the lobby were a herd of Sham family and friends like Kristi Scales, Peggy Sham, Chick Sham, Kyla Brinkley, Bob Thomas, Eric Sham, Paul Sham and Marla Sham.

At 7, key folks were directed to the private meet-and-greet with Staubach, Aikman, Manning, Cooper and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Roger Staubach and Lyda Hill

Roger Staubach and Lyda Hill

Standing nearby was Lyda Hill, who recalled a dance that she once had shared with Staubach. Was he any good? Sure! And Lyda should know, since she “taught dance lessons at the Air Force Academy.” Her favorite dance? A cha-cha.

Stan Richards and Carol Murphy

Stan Richards and Carol Murphy

At another place in the room, Carol Murphy and Stan Richards revealed that The Richards Group was making the old-heave-ho move from its Northwest Highway-Central headquarters to its new digs on Central between Lemmon and North Haskell the next week.

Veteran football widow Marianne Staubach greeted one and all like a homecoming queen. Everyone was being so copacetic and proper.

But then the Dallas Ballroom doors opened and the guests entered for an evening of toasting and roasting by the super hero types. But it didn’t started until after Daniel Rodriguez sang a stirring “God Bless America” causing the guests to rise from their chairs.

Former journalist/National Football Foundation Executive Director

presented the Sherrod Award to Sham. Brad promised to keep his comments brief since the evening really belonged to Cooper, but in graciously accepting the award, he surprised some and didn’t others by saying the person who had most influenced him in loving sports was his mother Chick.

Bobby Brown and Ken Cooper

Dr. Bobby Brown and Ken Cooper

While some then dined, others like Jennifer Sampson, Tony Fay with daughter Katie Fay, Tommy Bain, Steve Hatchell and Margo and Jim Keyes table-hopped like Easter bunnies. Dinner Co-Chair Laura Leppert was spouseless. Seems husband Tom’s plane was late. The 83-year-old Cooper made his way through the room, finally catching up to 90-year-old cardiologist Dr. Bobby Brown, who was a four-time World Series winner for the New York Yankees. Living in Fort Worth, he was with his daughter Beverley Dale and her husband Larry. Roy Sheldon told a story that has made the rounds about Bobby when he roomed with Yogi Berra. One night while Bobby was studying one of his medical books, Yogi was reading a comic books. When Berra finished his, he asked Brown, “How does yours end?”

Lynne and Roy Sheldon and Marianne Staubach

Lynne and Roy Sheldon and Marianne Staubach

It almost seemed like Roy’s tale was just a prelude of what was about to take place on stage.

It seemed rather proper at first. With Brad as emcee, Foundation Chair Archie introduced a video about Cooper’s amazing work in the area of preventive healthcare from his days as an Air Force doctor. It was followed by a video tribute by former President George W. Bush, who happens to be one of Cooper’s patients. Then Manning invited Staubach and Aikman to the stage to present the Hall of Fame ring to the father of aerobics.

Archie Manning

Archie Manning

That’s when the team of Staubach-Aikman proved to be as sharp at the podium as they were on the football field. Whoever writes their stuff earned their keep.

With Manning to the side, Staubach led off telling the guests that earlier in the evening Manning had ribbed him, asking, “How many Super Bowls have your kids won?” referencing Archie’s sons Eli and Peyton’s two Super Bowl wins. Staubach claimed that he responded, “How many Heismans have you won?”

Then feigning humility, Staubach reported that Ken’s wife Millie had indicated that he had been replaced by Aikman as the No. 1 quarterback in her life. The reason she was supposed to have given? “Well, he’s won more Super Bowls. He’s younger. And he’s better looking.”

But rising above the indignity, Staubach then introduced “my favorite quarterback,” Troy Aikman.

Sauntering up to the podium with a smirk, Aikman added to Staubach’s dilemma, telling him that Millie had told him that Tony Romo was now vying for the No. 1 spot.

Poor Millie without even appearing on stage had become the scene stealer of the night, as Aikman finished up saying that she didn’t approve of his being a part owner in Dunkin’ Donuts (not healthy enough, you know).

Now it appeared to be time for all the antics to end and for the formal induction to take place. As Troy read the official words and Roger flashed the ring for the hundreds to see, Ken stood and received his ring.

Admitting that he was a bit overwhelmed by the recognition, Cooper recalled the early days championing his theory on health. From his days with the Air Force, working with professional football players to going international in Brazil, he proved why the tribute was obviously deserving.

However, even the dedicated physician couldn’t resist having the final laugh of the night, upstaging all the legendary jocks. He told of a competition that had developed between Staubach and former NFL referee Jim “The Dean of NFL Referees” Tunney for a treadmill record. The battle went on and on. Finally, Cooper had to call Staubach and notify him that Tunney had won the competition. Staubach’s comeback? “I knew he was blind, but I didn’t think he could run!”

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: National Football Foundation Hall Of Fame Dinner

Ken Cooper

Ken Cooper

Sham family and friends

Sham family and friends

Some of the world’s top jocks were breaking bread and taking gentle kidding at the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner on Thursday, January 8. The inductee was none other than Dallas’ own Dr. Kenneth “Ken” Cooper.

No one… not Staubach, Aikman, Manning nor even Millie Cooper… was spared from the sparring of tales.

And since the Dallas Cowboys had a date in Green Bay during the weekend’s College Football Playoff, the dinner provided a perfect opportunity for Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Brad Sham to receive the Blackie Sherrod Award. Actually, at times it appeared to be more of a Sham family reunion.

After the laughs stop at the MSC headquarters, the post will finally be posted. Until then, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.


United Way’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Was A Touchdown Success With Staubach, Aikman And Laufenberg

There were still a heck of a lot of people in town on Tuesday, June 17. And hundreds of them were at the Hilton Anatole for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas‘ Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Of course, it didn’t hurt to also present the J. Erik Jonsson Award to Roger “The Dodger” Staubach and to hear about plans for United Way’s 90th anniversary’s “Live Forever Gala.” Here’s a report from the field:

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

“On Tuesday, June 17, friends, colleagues and family members gathered at the Hilton Anatole Hotel to honor Roger Staubach as he was presented with the prestigious J. Erik Jonsson Award. United Way’s highest volunteer honor was presented to Roger by the 2012 recipient, Caroline Rose Hunt. Wife, Marianne Staubach, and daughters, Stephanie Phillips, Michelle Grimes and Jennifer Staubach Gates and husband John Gates were also on hand to support their deserving father. Other award winners were also recognized for their outstanding volunteer service to United Way this year.

Troy Aikman and Babe Laufenberg

Troy Aikman and Babe Laufenberg

Babe Laufenberg moderated the award presentation and asked Troy Aikman, Jennifer Staubach Gates and Texas Instruments CEO Rich Templeton to ‘dish’ on Roger Staubach. Jennifer Staubach Gates admitted to the crowd that her father was not the first to learn of her decision to run for City Council. In fact, she said that Mayor Mike Rawlings told her dad of her decision before she had a chance to. Babe Laufenberg commented to an amused crowd ‘that must of made for an interesting dinner conversation.’ Long-time friend, Troy Aikman, publicly acknowledged his admiration and respect of Roger, not only on the field, but most importantly what he has accomplished since his days as a Dallas Cowboy quarterback and said that Roger had been a great mentor to him in his public and private life. Rich Templeton, explained that Roger Staubach is the definition of the J. Erik Jonsson Award, named for president and co-founder of Texas Instruments, who also served four terms as Mayor of Dallas and co-founded United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

“As Roger came up to accept the award, there were hugs all around. Babe Laufenberg passed out hugs to Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, proving these football players have a soft side. In his acceptance speech, Roger explained to the crowd that he first became involved with United Way over 40 years ago through the encouragement of Charles Sharp, the late husband of former J. Erik Jonsson winner Ruth Sharp Altshuler who was in attendance to honor Roger. Roger acknowledged Ruth and her involvement in United Way as she founded the 25k Circle of Tocqueville Society. He now co-leads the 25k Circle of Tocqueville Society and is serving as an honorary chair of United Way’s 90th Anniversary LIVE FOREVER GALA, on February 7th, 2015, at AT&T Stadium. Roger also thanked his wife, Marianne and daughters, Stephanie Phillips, Jennifer Staubach Gates and Michelle Grimes, for their continued love and support.

Stephanie Phillips, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Staubach Gates

Stephanie Phillips, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Staubach Gates

Jennifer Hilton Sampson, CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, gave Roger a bear hug and thanked him for his wisdom and inspiration. She remarked that ‘United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is changing lives forever because of Roger’s leadership and service. And, because EVERBODY wants to be in the house when Roger’s in the house!’ She said, ‘Roger brings so much more than star power to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ work—Roger brings heart-power, a moral center, and leadership that is synonymous with caring, for the very least among us.’

“She noted that the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas—at 90 years—is older than Roger Staubach. And, she could also not resist mentioning the organization’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, culminating with an evening nine decades in the making! The ‘Live United. Forever.’ Gala will take place in AT&T Stadium on Saturday, February 7, 2015. The event will combine a private dinner with a public concert, celebrating the 90 years of service United Way volunteers have provided to the citizens of North Texas.

“Troy Aikman and Charlotte Jones Anderson are co-chairs of the 90th Anniversary Celebration, and UWMD is privileged to be joined by a team that can fairly be described as a national powerhouse, including Honorary Chairs, Ruth Altshuler, Ebby Halliday Acers, Lyda Hill, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Caroline Rose Hunt, Margot and Ross Perot and Marianne and Roger Staubach.

“The ‘Live United. Forever.’ Gala is co-chaired by three of the world’s most influential CEOs: Chairman and CEO of AT&T Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark Corporation Tom Falk and Chairman, President and CEO of Texas Instruments Rich Templeton.

“The Gala Chairs will join United Way’s 2015 annual campaign Chairman Tom Greco—president of PepsiCo’s Frito Lay North America division supported by the full marketing muscle of PepsiCo’s chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. And David Seaton—president and CEO of Fluor Corporation—is already committed to serving as the 2016 annual campaign Chairman.

“’Talk about good company. It doesn’t get much better than this,’ Sampson quipped.

“Other guests in attendance:

  • “Past J. Erik Jonsson Award winners: Caroline Rose Hunt with granddaughter Haven Sands Heinrichs, Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Liz Minyard and Becky Bright
  • “United Way Supporters: Millie Cooper and Caroline Disney
  • “UWMD Board Chair Clint McDonnough of EY
  • “Board Members: Troy Aikman, Marvin Sweetin of Atmos Energy and J. Patrick Faubion of Comerica Bank, Bill Morrison of Haynes and Boone LLP, Manny Fernandez of KPMG, Rick Bridwell of Bank of America, Jason Downing of Deloitte, Susan Campbell with Campbell Consulting, Randy Tomlin of AT&T and Debra von Storch of EY

Volunteer winners included:

  • “Advocate Award – Neena Newberry (An advocate inspires others in his or her community to speak up and be informed, often working beyond his or her own organization to create a conversation that leads to lasting change in our community.)
  • “Give Award – Tom Mielke, Kimberly-Clark Corporation (A giver inspires others to contribute resources to the people and programs of United Way, transforming volunteers to funders and funders to supporters for life.)
  • “Live United Award – Debra von Storch, EY (A Live United winner embodies the action-oriented change model of United Way, urging others to give, advocate and volunteer. These people and organizations are an unstoppable force!)
  • “Innovator Award – Kristy Faus, Community Volunteer(An innovator shows courage by bringing new ideas and new ways of working together into an established system, changing the future of volunteerism for the betterment of those we serve.)
  • “Public Servant Award – Councilmember Jerry Allen (This elected official exemplifies “leading from every chair” by using his or her influence to instill a commitment to volunteerism within entire communities, as part of the cultural DNA.)
  • “The Groundwork Award – Julie Thomas, Luminant (This leader helps lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning through volunteerism, instilling the value of education in the next generation of leaders and preparing them to succeed in school or life.)
  • “The Pathway provider Award – Harold Menzel, Community Volunteer (These individuals are passionate about providing North Texans pathways out of poverty-avenues to secure financially secure lives with a peace of mind that is truly priceless.)
  • “The Heartbeat Award -Nexus Recovery Center (This individual or organizational leader is driven by the idea that good health is a human right, and works with all their heart to build communities where we all enjoy our lives, provide for our families, realize our dreams, and contribute to society.)
  • “The LINC Award – Kristi Navarro, TXU Energy (This person or organization embodies the potential of our future generation to lead, impact, network and change. #changinglives #WhenUVolunteer)
  • “Ambassador – Keith Evans, Train Dynamic Systems (Displays strong leadership skills and an unwavering commitment to all three focus areas of education, health and income, naturally inspiring others to give, advocate and volunteer.)
  • “The Social Media Award (online) – Larry James, CitySquare (This influencer engages new audiences in resourceful ways and uses his or her social clout to give good ideas the chance to grow and spread.)
  • “The Collaborator Award – Christie Myers, Dallas ISD (The collaborator connects with multiple audiences to recruit more volunteers and supporters, slaying big social problems through the power of partnership.)”

With Troy Aikman Out With The Flu, Roger Staubach Does Double Duty At Children’s Cancer Fund Shoot

Queenie really wanted to attend the annual photo shoot Tuesday afternoon for the Children’s Cancer Fund with Honorary Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Alas, Queenie wasn’t able to because of a nasty head cold. With watery eyes and a runny proboscis, she appeared to need a plumber more than a doctor. Evidently Troy was in worse shape. He was the latest victim of the flu that’s been making the rounds.

Luckily, a MySweetCharity stringer filed this report on great kids meeting with a great, healthy quarterback:

“Children’s Cancer Fund held its annual photo shoot for the 25th Annual Luncheon & Fashion Show. The annual luncheon, which will take place on May 3, serves as Children’s Cancer Fund’s largest fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center. 

Children's Cancer Fund group shot

Children’s Cancer Fund group shot

“Twenty-two children, who are being treated for cancer at Children’s Medical Center and will serve as featured runway models and artists for the spring luncheon, were excited to have their pictures taken and meet long-time Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.  With Troy out sick with the flu (Roger suggested that he could be airbrushed into the group shot), Roger went solo with the kids who brought footballs, helmets, books, cards, glasses and even cowboy boots for him to sign. 

Roger Staubach and Margaret Strand

Roger Staubach and Margaret Strand

“As he signed a ball for 5-year-old Margaret Strand, he told her he was sorry he wasn’t Justin Beiber. But she didn’t seem to mind.   After signing her football, he had her back up a bit across the room and proved to the crowd that he still has “the arm” as she victoriously caught his pass …as did every other child who brought a football for him to sign! There was no shortage of smiles throughout the room.

Jennifer DeLaughter, Elizabeth Farr and Camille Cain

Jennifer DeLaughter, Elizabeth Farr and Camille Cain

“The photo shoot also included Luncheon Co-Chairs Jennifer DeLaughter and Elizabeth Farr, Camille Cain of Children’s Cancer Fund, and physicians from the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center also attended the photo shoot.

 Dr. Patrick Leavey and Paige Boutilier

Dr. Patrick Leavey and Paige Boutilier

Each child’s individual portrait and work of art will be featured in the Inspiration Book, which will be unveiled and sold at the luncheon.  Proceeds will support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern.

The 2013 luncheon is slated to raise over $300,000 for pediatric cancer research.Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated over $7 million to the childhood cancer cause. The luncheon will be at the Hilton Anatole.  Tickets are $150 each or $1,250 for a table of ten.  Visit www.childrenscancerfund.com or call 972.664.1450.

Photos provided by Children's Cancer Fund


Todd Wagner Recruited Nonprofit Support With Faces, Food And Fun At Cowboys Stadium With The Terminator And ZZ Top

Todd Wagner

Todd Wagner is a man with a mission. Yes, as he’ll be the first to admit, he and Mark Cuban captured lightning in a bottle with their sale of Broadcast.com to Yahoo. And, yes, he does live a life that youngsters and grownups fantasize about — jetting to meet up with headline makers, dining with the international set, being married to a gorgeous and charming woman. Why he even confesses that as a child, his household was pretty All-American without fear of neglect, poverty or ignorance.

Perhaps it’s that latter point that caused him to realize the importance of saving today’s youth from a downward spiral and the need for caring and responsible adults to step forward and to make a difference for good. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that he had friends who shared similar feelings, like former California Arnold Schwarzenegger, founder of the After-School All-Stars program. All of this added up to more than, “Gee, I’ll write a check,” from Todd. He doesn’t work that way. Instead he created the Todd Wagner Foundation in 2000 to provide funding for nonprofits in need of support.

Still even that wasn’t enough for the former Akin Gump attorney. Like a devoted preacher, he wanted others to be inspired to personally get involved with money and (wo)manpower.

Sure, Todd could have written a letter to friends and associates or twisted some arms over lunch, but Todd doesn’t do anything the way the average Joe does. Instead he decided to throw a big old fundraising bash, “Change: Making a Difference for our Youth,”  to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the foundation. Thanks to his underwriting the May 10th event, 100% of the ticket prices and contributions would be “donated directly to our three charity partners [After-School All-Stars, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and KIPP — Knowledge is Power Program] to help propel them forward and reach even more young people.”

And while Todd was eager to raise funds and awareness for his night, he wasn’t going to pick pockets to do it. For instance, there was to be no silent or live auction. Todd admitted that auctions make him feel uncomfortable and, besides, his guests had already forked out a chunk of change just to be there. No, his next goal was to get hold of their minds, hearts and souls. To do that he was going to use food, faces, facts and fun.

But where to do this. A hotel just wouldn’t do for the “WOW!” factor that Todd wanted. Where else would you find such a venue to impress locals and out-of-towners? Well, where else but Cowboys Stadium.

Troy Aikman

As for the faces, such famous names as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Rather, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith were dropped, with possible others to be added.

Emmitt Smith

And what about the fun? Well, just dining on the field at Cowboys Stadium ain’t shabby, but Todd wanted folks to party hearty, so he got ZZ Top. Remember, this is Todd.

The top-tier guests arrived for a locker room get-together to rub shoulders, elbows and hands with Todd’s star lineup. As they awaited the VIPs’ arrival, a staging area was set up for official grip-and-grin photos to be taken. Event organizers scurried around with headsets trying to manage the locker room, the reception in the Miller Lite Club, on the field and everywhere else in the Wagner World.

Local favorites Troy and Emmitt were first to arrive. They’ve gotten to be such old hands at the celeb deal that they made everyone feel right at home.

Emily Eisenhauer

While waiting for others to show up, Emily Eisenhauer looked around, “I really don’t think there’s a women’s restroom in the locker room.” And, Emily, despite the strides women’s lib has made, it’s doubtful there will ever be a need for one!

Dan Rather

At 6:45 p.m. broadcast legend/evening  Dan Rather moseyed on in and immediately ran into Teri and Scott O’Glee. After chatting a bit, Dan realized that duty called and he headed over to the photo zone. Were the O’Glees old buddies with Dan? Nope, but they were from Austin and had mutual friends.

Nicholas Sparks

While Troy, Emmitt and Dan were very accommodating with photos and chats, eyes were still wandering around the room looking for the Terminator. No sign. But wait! Over at that cafe table with the blonde. It looked like. . . could it be? . . . by golly, it was Nicholas “The Notebook” Sparks with his wife Cathy. Should he have been in the meet-and-greet VIP lineup? Heck, no! According to Nicholas, who was just in town a month ago for New Friends New Life, he was just a paying guest like everyone else. Was he just here for the party? Nope, again. He was meeting with Ray Hunt the next day and then for dinner with Todd at Reunion Tower.

Aaron Brenner, Mike Feinberg, April Allen and Richard Barth

At another table were a threesome that looked like just nice guys. It turned out they were from KIPP —  Founder Michael Feinberg, Richard Barth and Aaron Brenner up from Houston for the event and to spread the word.

Darcie and Brett Hull

OMG! Who else was just hanging out in the locker room under the star-radar? Near the entrance was a couple that seemed like the kind you’d like to settle back on a Sunday afternoon and watch a football game with. Turns out they might be better to watch a hockey game. They were Darcie and Brett Hull.

Now, the crowd was growing and it was getting a tad bit crowded. A photographer asked Gina Ginsburg which of the Cowboys’ lockers she would like to be shot next to. No problem finding one. But there was a slight problem. The nameplates were at the top of the lockers . . . about two feet higher than Gina. Hey, that’s no problem. Gina just hopped up on the wooden bench in front of the locker for the photo. She invited husband Scott to join her, but he took a pass.

Still no Arnold. Oh, well, there was still the big show to come. Perhaps he would appear on the field.

At 7:19 a line of student mariachi violinists and guitarists paraded in and out of the locker room.

Just 11 minutes later, the event wranglers were starting to show signs of “head ’em up and move ’em out” time.   But before they could rustle their herd of guests through the passage to the hallway, a big old traffic jam stopped all motion. It was a bewhiskered, smiling Arnold. Immediately like a queen bee surrounded by drones, he was three-deep in middle-aged guys. Guess it was all the locker room testosterone in the air.

Holly and Stubbs Davis

Eventually, the guests made their way to the big reception in the Miller Lite Club, where the partying was showing signs of launching thanks to Holly and Stubbs Davis, Tanya and Pete Foster, Ginger and Kent Porter, and Kandis and Bill Hutchinson.

Pete and Tanya Foster and Ginger and Kent Porter

But the reception was just a waiting room. Soon the guests were ushered on to the field through a drum line complete with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Emerging from the dark club, they were a bit blinded by not only the bright lights on the field but also seeing their images on the Jumbotron overhead. One fellow was so busy taking pictures of the Jumbotron with his face on it that another log jam stopped the action.

With very little direction, guests figured out where to head — toward the end zone with stages and tables all set up.

Molly and Doug Barnes and Lee Bailey

A bit dwarfed by the immense size of the stadium, the party set up seemed cozy. Three stages stood where the goal posts usually were. On either side of the main stage were two mega stars from which fireballs were shot in the air. With her back to the stage and chatting with friends, Lee Bailey said, “I didn’t see them (fireballs), but I felt them.”

A head table that was as long as an 18-wheeler was placed perpendicular to the main stage and surrounded by dozens and dozens of round tables with fiesta salads in place. Beyond the side stages were buffets . .  not two, not three, but four. . .  with southwest Caesar salad, chef-carved bent buckle smoke house brisket, slow roasted pulled pork, and signature BBQ sauce, roasted chicken enchiladas with house-made sour cream sauce, chipotle grilled chicken with Mexican-style rice, roasted yellow squash, red peppers and zucchini, southern green beans, traditional mac and cheese and jalapeno cornbread muffins with creamery butter. Just beyond were dessert tables with mini-candy bar cupcakes (Snickers, Heath Bar, Almond Joy and Junior Mints), mini-sweet treats (strawberry balsamic macaroons, chocolate raspberry and cappuccino cookie pops), fruit and assorted mini-cookies.

Late arrivals Lynn and Allan McBee and Anne and Steve Stodghill slipped in late. They had been at Tom Hicks’ for the kick-off of the Boots and Bling weekend.

Kari Wagner

As the 450 guests started making their way to their tables, they were greeted by a spectacular-looking blonde wearing a black Stetson with rhinestone longhorn, a black sleeveless turtleneck and fringe skirt. Was she a Victoria Secret model? Nope. She was Kari Wagner (aka Mrs. Todd Wagner). She graciously posed for photos with guests.

Finally, everyone was seated with some diving into their pre-set salads and others waiting for a “We’re off and running” announcement. Dan opened with some opening jokes. He must have heard from Toastmasters that a joke should be inserted. Uh, Dan must have had the late Andy Rooney write his jokes. Bless his heart. They were so grandfatherly but flat.

Todd then spoke and opened with it’s “just another average Thursday night in Dallas.” He must have had Jon Stewart writers working on his lines. Then he got down to business announcing that thanks to the group gathered, $1.1 million had been raised thanks to their involvement. He shared the idea of holding the event with Kari, who “nudged me to have the event.” He then endeared all by emphasizing, “There is no live auction or anything to pull money out of your pockets.” You could hear blood pressures lowering throughout the crowd. Later Todd admitted that, “When I’m pushed or pressured, I’m not interested.”

Then he revealed facts and numbers that may have raised those same blood pressures:

“I view that we are at a crossroads in this country. To highlight this, I am going to trot out some statistics for us all to chew on during our dinner.

  1. Youth in the U.S., about 7 out of 10 graduate from high school
  2. 5 out of 10 minorities graduate from high school
  3. More than 1/3 drop out in 9th Grade.  That’s right let’s say that again, 1/3 never finish 9th grade.   What are your job and life prospects then?
  4. America ranks 12th among nations in percentage of college graduates among our young population.
  5. America ranks 14th among nations in reading; 17th in science, 25th in math. AND we are supposed to be the world’s superpower (at least for now)?
  6. 75% of young Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are unable to enlist in the military today because they have either failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record or are physically unfit.

“What does this mean? Well, it certainly puts our future work force at risk—remember, folks can’t get meaningful jobs if they aren’t properly educated. And that high national unemployment rate of over 8-9% is nearly 20% for those without a high school diploma. Puts our global competitiveness at risk. Puts our national security at risk.”

Bill Hutchinson and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Like attentive St. Marks and Hockadaisies, the audience sat in their places and paid attention because this information was daunting. But just as tummies were starting to grumble, Todd turned things over to Dan who announced, “It’s time to eat.” Like Babe heading to the trough, most guests hit the buffets, but for others it was a perfect time to check it out with the VIP crowd. Anne Stodghill, who had known Don Henley from years past, sidled up to him at the head table and talked about their mutual challenges of home renovations. Bill Hutchinson with an arm around Arnold whipped out his iPhone for a self portrait. Alas, Pat and Emmitt Smith exited quietly into the night. No excuses needed. Everyone in the know knew that the Smiths were chairing the 1992 Dallas Cowboys reunion the next night. Troy chatted it up with guests and fawning wait staff.

Emmitt and Pat Smith

With wine flowing, guests enjoyed seconds and thirds until a video was introduced revealing the message of the night. Todd didn’t look all that happy. People were too busy chatting and not paying attention to the video. He made a mental note that a follow-up was needed with copies of the video being sent to guests like mints on a pillow in a fine hotel.

It was then followed by immediate past president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Roxanne Spillett on the stage to the left and national youth of the year Nicholas Foley on the right. Back to the left stage the KIPP Austin Steel Drum Band performed. Heads shifted to the right stage, where an animated Michael Feinberg and Richard Barth talked about KIPP. From the back of the venue, the After-School All-Stars San Antonio Mariachi Band paraded once again.


They were indeed getting Todd’s message across, but it was getting a bit wearing with heads swiveling like center court at Wimbleton.

In between presentations, emcee Dan sat on a stool to the side of the main stage. It was now time for the grand finale. Dan introduced Arnold, who unlike the other speakers, strode straight from his seat at the head table to the podium. Without notes he told of his admiration for Todd and the success of After-School All-Stars. He was the perfect closing act and Todd looked pleased.

It was now time for recess. . . uh, partying, as ZZ Top took to the stage, living up to their reputation for simply fine music. The audience responded but not with a mosh pit. They didn’t hesitate, but instead of thrashing about with bodies, they saluted with cell phones to send photos back home to friends, families and babysitters with the note, “We’ll be late getting home.”

ZZ Top

But it wasn’t as if everyone was so prim and proper. Thank heaven, Kandis Hutchinson popped up on stage for a dance alongside Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.

ZZ Top

While it’s not surprising for guests to send thank-you notes to the host in the days following, a hoarse-throated Todd was in high gear to follow up. Yes, he had raised $1.1M for the three nonprofits, but he still wanted guests to sign up for board positions and to get involved. To gently remind them of his wish, he had copies of the video sent to guests as he and Kari flew off to Cannes and the Prague to take care of other business demands.

Troy Aikman, Cooper Institute And United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas Partner Up To Fight Childhood Obesity

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Jennifer Sampson, Troy Aikman

Wednesday, healthy types like football star Troy Aikman, Dr. Kenneth Cooper and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ newly-named President/CEO Jennifer Sampson were at James Bowie Elementary School announcing the 13 schools that have been recognized in the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program.  

No, it doesn’t mean that the schools had the least number of casualties in school-crossing-zones. The program is a “collaborative health initiative offering training and financial assistance to schools to create healthier environments and recognizing schools that have already become healthy zones.”

Aikman, Cooper’s Institute and the United Way have partnered up to fight the growing problem of childhood obesity.

Of the 13 local schools receiving program honors,  Nell Burks Elementary, McKinney; Bethany Elementary, Plano; and Carlena Chandler Elementary, Allen, received program honors for healthy practices for 2011-t012.

The 10 remaining schools (McLaughlin/Strickland Elementary, Carrollton/Farmers Branch; Bonham Elementary, Dallas; Malvern Elementary, McKinney; James Bowie Elementary, Dallas; Jackson Elementary, Plano; Rasor Elementary, Plano; Anderson Elementary, Frisco; Arapaho Classical Magnet, Richardson; George Bannerman Dealey Montessori, Dallas; and Caldwell Elementary, McKinney) were designated as Healthy Zone Schools In-Training.

Photo by Winn Fuqua provided by Healthy  Zone School Recognition Program

Dr. Ken Cooper and Troy Aikman Are In The Healthy Zone For Teaming Up For Healthy Kids With United Way

It’s not a pretty picture that Dr. Ken Cooper and Troy Aikman brought to light Tuesday at a press conference at the Hyatt Regency — almost 40% of Dallas high school students are overweight or obese.

Healthy Zone poster

With this situation in mind, the two very healthy type fellows announced that the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Cooper Institute announced the selection of Nell Burks Elementary in McKinney as the first school to become part of the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program.

What’s the Healthy Zone. . .  Program? Good question. Better answer.

“The Healthy Zone School Recognition program offers training and financial assistance to schools to create healthier environments and recognizes schools that have already become healthy zones. As the first Healthy Zone School, Burks will receive funding and support to fully implement healthy practices on its campus and engage the surrounding community.  The school will receive teacher fitness and nutrition training along with funding for physical education equipment, health promotions and parent education tools.”

Garry Gorman and Pam Bendorf

On hand to accept the award were Burks Elementary Principal Pam Bendorf and Assistant Principal Garry Gorman.

Jennifer Sampson

As United Way COO Jennifer Sampson looked proud as punch, it was announced that the six-year initiative will eventually effect more than 25,000 students and their families associated with 70 schools.

Dr. Ken Cooper and Troy Aikman

After the press conference was done and all the official photos were taken, the munchkins who had been present in Healthy Zone T-shirts got to have Dr. Cooper and Troy autograph their T-shirts.

Then the grownups headed into the VIP reception for the Teaming up for Healthy Kids luncheon benefiting The Cooper Institute. It was a repeat for some, who had attended the sponsors’ party Monday night at Gerald Turner‘s home.

Lee Roy Jordan, Archie Manning, Dr. Ken Cooper, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach

But who cared when you have healthy types like Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, keynote speaker Archie Manning and emcee Randy Galloway joining Dr. C and Troy.

Carol Seay and Stephanie Oakes

Luncheon co-chairs Edie Lycke and Stephanie Oakes set a mighty healthy and tasty table for the luncheon crowd. Spinach salad, with strawberries, grapes, feta cheese and toasted almonds topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. Then the entrée

Edie Lycke

included artichoke stuffed breast of chicken with a tasty lemon thyme demi glace and onthe side cheddar mashed potatoes and

broccollini flowers. For dessert, it was a trilogy of chocolate set off with wild berry glace. Who knows? If they served that kind of lunch at schools, obesity might be history.