Guests Came From Near And Far For The Sweet Sounds At The Sapphire Gala For Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra

It takes more than talent to perform at such venues at the Meyerson. It takes money to fine tune that talent. So The Sapphire Gala under the leadership of Venise Stuart did just that for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra on Sunday, May 18. Guests came from as far away as Colorado for the evening of dining, bidding and listening to young musicians at the Meyerson. Here’s a report from the field:

Through the ages, sapphires have been treasured for their sparkle, romance and beauty. The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) glittered with brilliance at the Sapphire Anniversary’s Spring Gala and Season Finale celebrating 45 years in the community. It was held on Sunday, May 21, at the Meyerson Symphony Center and is the only fundraising event for the youth orchestra.

Dallas Jazz Institute*

The shimmering Gala included a silent auction and buffet dinner with music featuring performers from the GDYO Jazz Institute. It was followed by a full concert of the top ensemble featuring guest violinist Chee-Yun, and ended with post-concert desserts.

Dolores Barzune, Venise Stuart, Larry Barzune and Larry Stuart*

Venise Stuart was extremely proud and honored to be chairing the Gala.

“The young talent the Metroplex has is amazing,” said Venise. “It takes a true passion and commitment from everyone involved to deliver the amazing experience you will have this evening. The GDYO is a hidden gem in the city and these young musicians soar under the direction of Maestro Rick Giangiulio.”

Cynthia and Brice Beaird*

Honorary Co-Chairs were Cynthia and Brice Beaird, longtime supporters of the Dallas community. Cynthia is a founding Partner/Executive VP with Allie Beth Allman and Associates. Brice is the owner of the Beaird Agency, Inc. and also a singer/songwriter. 

GDYO provides DFW’s most talented young musicians with high quality instruction, challenging repertoire and the opportunity to come together and perform at world class venues like the Meyerson Symphony Center. It was founded in 1972 by parents, educators, and members of the Dallas music community to provide music education and performance opportunities for youth with demonstrated musical ability. The program includes over 450 talented musicians, ages 8 to 18, performing in two full orchestras, three string orchestras, a wind ensemble, a flute choir, and eight jazz combos, and socializing with a diverse group of highly talented peers from more than 50 communities.

Sherwood Wagner and Marena Gault*

“Many GDYO alums continue to study music at schools like Julliard, Cleveland Conservatory and others,” said GDYO Board Member Sherwood Wagner. “Regardless of the path they choose for their career, the students receive a world class music education/performance experience and a lifelong appreciation for arts.” 

There are a few notable alumni of the orchestra. Cathy Hernandez, the recently appointed Executive Director of GDYO, has come full circle by having been a musician with the orchestra while in high school, and now many years later, she heads the organization. Another familiar alumna from the program is Denise McGovern, who is currently Vice President of Communications at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Cathy Hernandez and Don Nebhan*

Gerald and Dana Sampson*

Attendees included Marena Gault, Delores and Larry Barzune, Dana and Gerald Sampson, Norma and Don Stone, Heather and Jerry Moore, Doug Haloftis, Becky and Brad Todd and Sharon and Maurice Ballew.

Gerry and Dana Sampson moved to Colorado nearly two years ago, but flew back for the event. They were both wearing purple because Gerald is on the National Board of Alzheimer’s Association. Even his shoes were purple.

The proceeds from the evening will benefit the GDYO Scholarship Fund and the GDYO Tour Fund, allowing deserving students a chance to not only experience the GDYO Program, but to be further enriched by experiencing new cultures while traveling and preforming with their peers. Each year, young musicians in GDYO receive $20,000 in scholarships, and that number doubles in a tour year.

For more information:  www.gdyo.org

* Photo credit: Chuck Clark

JUST IN: Returning Aware President Venise Stuart Reveals The Grant Recipients And Board Members For 2017-2018

Venise Stuart (File photo)

Venise Stuart’s dance card is getting full. Not only is she chairing the 2018 Mad Hatter’s Tea for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, she is once again going to serve as president for Aware .

Venise just revealed the following ten organizations have been named Aware grant recipients for 2017-2018:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Support for the salary of a Ph.D. Neuropsychology Intern for Baylor AT&T Memory Center.
  • Center for BrainHealth – Discovery Group – Support for the Discovery Group, a program designed to help individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias focus on preserving abilities and tapping strengths to promote meaningful engagement and slow the progression of the disease
  • Dallas Museum of Art – Memory Moments – Support for teaching honorariums, supplies, and staffing for Memory Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias ways to engage in art that are revitalizing and gratifying.
  • Jewish Family Service – Support for the salary of a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families/caregivers.
  • Juliette Fowler Communities – Support for group and individual therapy sessions with a Certified Music Therapist for memory care residents, and to help purchase additional instruments and therapeutic tools.
  • NorthPark Presbyterian Church – Casa de Vida – Support the Casa de Vida program, which gives relief to families/caregivers by providing one-on-one care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the church for programs involving art, music, games, and lunch one day per week from 9:30 until 1:30.
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – Support for two concerts by professional musicians in 87 nursing homes and adult daycare facilities that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation – Broad Strokes – Support for the Broad Strokes program at Grace Presbyterian Village that provides music and art therapy to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • The Senior Source – Senior Companions – Support for the Senior Companion Program matching volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and companionship.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center – Support to advance Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research and clinical trials on a DNA Vaccine to clear amyloid plaques in the brain to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship awardees will be Baylor University’s Nora Drutz-Rogney and TCU’s Lindsay Ross.

Part of the grant funding is achieved from proceeds from the annual Aware Affair. This year’s event — Celebrate the Moments — will take place on Friday the 13th of April with a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing. Wondering where it’s gonna be held? And who’s chairing the event? Good questions! That information is coming in the weeks ahead.

Joining Venise on the 2017-2018 Aware board will be Carol Stabler, secretary; Sue John, treasurer; Stacey Angel, membership; Myrna Schlegel, Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship Fund and Janet Broyles, past president. 

MySweet2017Goals: Venise Stuart

According to AWARE Dallas President Venise Stuart,

Venise Stuart (File photo)

“’Americans whisper the word “Alzheimer’s” because their government whispers the word “Alzheimer’s.” And although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.’ – Seth Rogen

“I love this quote – it says so much – we need to yell at the top of our lungs – we have to get the funding and the research done, so we can overcome this horrible and extremely sad disease.

“Our goal is to do just that and we can do it with your help. Become part of the solution and join AWARE in our fight against Alzheimer’s. Since 1989 we have raised over $12,000,000 towards this cause. Membership is open to the public. Our fundraiser, AWARE Affair – Celebrate the Moments, is Saturday, April 8. We’d love to have you join us! Learn more at AWAREDallas.org.”

Myrna And Bob Schlegel, Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund And Pam And Dan Busbee To Be Honored At Celebrate The Moments

Myrna and Bob Schlegel (File photo)

Aware really knows how to show the love. Just last month it was announced that Myrna and Bob Schlegel had re-energized the Myrna D. Schlegel/Aware Scholarship Fund to support those specializing in gerontology nursing.

Now, Aware President Venise Stuart and 2017 Aware Affair Celebrate the Moments Co-Chairs Angela Fontana and Andrew Szuwalski and Penny Reid and Thomas Nolan have revealed that the Saturday, April 8th fundraiser will honor Myrna and Bob and the Scholarship Fund at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, April 8.

But there’s more news. In addition to the Schlegels and the Fund, community leaders Pam and Dan Busbee will also be honored.

Pam Busbee (File photo)

Dan Busbee (File photo)

Greg and Amy Osler (File photo)

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the evening of cocktails, silent and live auction, three-course dinner and dancing to Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra will be Amy and Greg Osler, who amazed last year’s gathering with their story about Amy’s being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 51.

This year’s beneficiaries will include the Center for BrainHealth, Juliette Fowler Homes Inc., NorthPark Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, The Senior Source, Texas Winds Musical Outreach and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society Has Expanded Home Tour And Distinguished Speaker Luncheon To Include Vintage Cars

Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society President Cynthia Beaird just announced that the 2016 Historic Home Tour and Distinguished Speaker Luncheon has been expanded. The society has added the First Annual Classic and Antique Car show to the fundraising program.

The trio of events kicks off with the luncheon presented by Doris Jacobs Real Estate on Wednesday, March 30, at the Dallas Country Club with Doris Jacobs and her daughters Kim Jacobs Callow and Teffy Jacobs co-chairing the event. Luncheon tickets range from $125 to $1,000 and may be purchased here.

The following Saturday (aka April 2), Classic and Antique Car Show Chair Dan McKeithen has arranged for the vehicles to be lined up at Burleson Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. But if you’ve got a vintage car and would like to have it on display and compete for a trophy, then it’s $25 per car in advance and $35 at the door. If Mother Nature decides to throw a temper tantrum, then the back-up plan calls for the show to take place the following Saturday (aka April 9) in the same place.

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart (File photo)

Cynthia Beaird and Venise Stuart (File photo)

The final event will be the home tour that is being chaired by Venise Stuart, who has arranged for a killer lineup including homes belonging to Patty and Price Pritchett (3432 Bryn Mawr), Cynthia and Brice Beaird (4339 Potomac), Margaret and Robert Cowan (3640 Maplewood) and Jana and Hadley Paul (3429 Cornell). Advance tickets for the Home Tour are available at the Park Cities Tom Thumbs for $20. The day of the tour, tickets will cost $25.

Pulling double duty will be Jan and Fred Hegi, who will be the honorary co-chairs for both the luncheon and the home tour.