MySweetCharity Opportunity: Power Of Pie

Meaders Ozarow (File photo)

According to Power of Pie Co-Founder Meaders Ozarow,

A couple of us started Power of Pie as a way to add an accessible opportunity for charitable giving to the VNA fund raising effort.  We have so many volunteers and supporters that would like to give at the $25 or $50 level and this gives them something in return. Power of Pie, the fundraising campaign benefiting VNA Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care, is back for its 5th year!  Pumpkin and pecan pies are sold for $25 each, and thanks to the generosity of many of Dallas’ best bakers, 100% of the money comes to VNA.  It allows people to feed more than just their own family at Thanksgiving.

From Thursday, September 7, through Monday, November 13, supporters can log on to and purchase pumpkin or pecan pies and pick up Tuesday, November 21-Wednesday, November 22—just in time for Thanksgiving.

The official listing of chefs for 2017 will be released in October. Participating chefs in 2016 included Jill Bates of Fearing’s, Gianni Santin of Haute Sweets, Chad Houser at Cafe Momentum, Danyele McPherson at Remedy and HG Supply, Nicolas Blouin at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, John Tesar of Knife and Anastacia Quiñones of Oddfellows. Additionally, Dallas treasures such as Abacus, The Anatole, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Central Market, Collin College, Empire Baking Company, Experimental Catering, The Fairmont, The Gaylord, Hattie’s, The Joule, Lakewood Country Club, The Ritz-Carlton, as well as well-known Dallas pie institutions, Norma’s and Uncle Willie’s, have also participated.  We are spending the summer adding more notable chefs and restaurants to the list!

VNA pecan pie*

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

If you are out of town for Thanksgiving, we also have an option. Our Zero Calorie Pie gives donors the opportunity to support the campaign without receiving an actual pie. Over the past four years, Power of Pie has raised more than $125,000 for VNA! And we hope to make 2017 the biggest year yet!

We love it since we love feeding people and a good pie really shows the love! 

* Graphics provided by VNA

Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton Brought “Zest” To Sold-Out Lunch Fundraiser For VNA Programs

Nancy Silverton

There’s just something about the creation of a meal that is both soothing and magical. At the Haggerty Kitchen Center on Mockingbird, it came together for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon Tuesday, February 28. As Los Angeles-based James Beard Foundation 2014 Outstanding Chef Awardee Nancy Silverton prepared for a demonstration, the sold-out crowd including Honorary Chair Sara Fraser CrismonPaula Lambert, Rena Pederson, Caren Prothro, Mary Martha Pickens, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Anne Leary, Cathy Buckner and Lucian LaBarba with Christina LaBarba gathered. Paige McDaniel proclaimed, “This is one of my favorite events.”

Sara Fraser Crismon

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

Lucian LaBarba, Jennifer Atwood and Christina LaBarba

But before things got started and folks checked out the silent auction items, Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow recalled her childhood with her creative mother. The twosome would drive in from Abilene and visit NorthPark Center with its Magic Pan, Carriage Shop and Neiman’s. It was her mother’s creative spirit that both baffled Meadows and planted the seeds for her own talents.

Janet Ryan

But all too soon, the program was underway with VNA Board Chair Janet Ryan revealing that it was also President/CEO Katherine Krause’s birthday. Instead of blowing out candles on a cake, Katherine focused on the importance of the fundraiser that would provide funding for the Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

Katherine Krause

Katherine told of heart-wrenching numbers and stories about the people served by VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. For instance, 65% of the 4,600 home-bound and in need of the service are women. Of that number, 14 are more than 100 years old. The oldest is 105. Katherine shared the story about hospice-client Priscilla Hartman, who had just recently died at the age of 107. She had started using Meals on Wheels in her 90s. While others her age had found a comfy couch to retire to, she had discovered a new life literally by volunteering at Parkland holding newborn babies until her retirement at the age of 92.

Speaking of hospice, Katherine reminded the guests that Medicare covers hospice care for those over 65 years of age. On the other hand, VNA’s Hospice Care is able to step up and help those under 65 in need of hospice care.

VNA kettle

Chris Culak and Paige McDaniels

Next up was VNA Director of Development Chris Culak, who reported that each year VNA has to spend about $300,000 to replace the kitchen equipment that provides 6,000 meals daily. He then directed the attention to a kettle displayed on the terrace that was the size of a small car. It carried with it a price tag of a SUV — $40,000. But it alone can produce 1,800 meals. Chris then made the request that people donate to the Kitchen Fund to help replace the equipment.

But the day’s program wasn’t to focus on the deeds achieved daily by VNA. Its focus was Nancy, who had also been heavily involved with Meals on Wheels in LA.

Kale salad with zest grater

Despite having more experience and credentials than could be put into that kettle, Nancy walked the room through the creation of her Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pine Nuts and Anchovies. She emphasized the fact that despite 21st century techie tools found in many kitchens, she still prefers some old favorites like her zest grater. She also stressed the importance of fresh ingredients. Despite the initial eye shifting by some members of the audience at the thought of kale and anchovies being tasty, they changed their tunes when a parade of servers presented plates with the salad to kick off their family-style meal made up of recipes (Flattened Chicken Thigh with Charred Lemon Salsa Verde; Pasta Salad with Bitter Greens, Parmigiano Cream and Guanciale; Oily Galicky Spinach; Glazed Onions Agrodolce; Bean Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto; Marinated Lentils; Slow-roasted Roma Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme; Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers; and Four-layer Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart) from Nancy’s recently published cookbook, “Mozza At Home.” Organizers were so smart. In listing the various items on the menu, they also included the page on which the recipe could be found.

One guest later admitted that she went home and tried the recipe, only to discover that it was just as good as what had been served at the luncheon.

In between stages of preparation, Nancy provided anecdotes like the fact that the VNA’s purchase of 400 copies of her new cookbook “Mozza At Home” as favors had turned out to be a record-breaker for her. The book was the result of Nancy’s realizing that after rising up the food chain and running six restaurants in the U.S. and Singapore, she had gotten sidetracked from her original love of cooking for friends. During a restful trip to Italy, she started rediscovering the joy of food, friends and fresh ingredients. She also realized that other hosts/hostesses found themselves in similar situations. So, she put together 19 menus with easy-to-follow recipes that could be prepared in advance and interchanged.

But her work wasn’t done. Later she would do another demonstration for the sold-out Celebrity Chef Dinner.

For more pictures from the food-fest fundraiser, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: VNA’s 2017 Celebrity Chef Luncheon

Nancy Silverton

Each day VNA turns out thousands of meals for those in need through its Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

But on Tuesday, February 28, the Haggerty Kitchen Center added a couple of additional feedings — VNA Celebrity Chef Lunch and VNA Celebrity Dinner — to provide $400,000 to support its programs.

Both events were sold out thanks to longtime supporters and food-lovers, and author/award-winning Chef Nancy Silverton demonstrating how to make a kale salad complete with anchovies yummy.

Kale salad with zest grater

While the post on the lunch is being cooked up, pictures are available over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

VNA’s Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton’s Lunch And Dinner Resulted In Gang-Buster $400,000 With Kale And Anchovies For The Hungry

Just as predicted, the VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon/Dinner proved to be money makers. And why not? Supreme Chefist Nancy Silverton was a major-league hit making kale and anchovies seem downright tasty and healthy.

Meaders Moore Ozarow and Nancy Silverton

While coverage is yet to come, the accountants’ tally is already in. For the two events combined, a whopping $400,000 was provided, not just raised.

That means more seniors and others lacking meals will have folks providing food and friendship.

How yummy that Nancy, VNA and supporters were able to pull together for those in need and also provide two fun events.

Responsible for the success were Honorary Chair  Sara Fraser Crismon and Event Co-Chairs Becky and Mike Casey.

There will be more in the days to come about the event, but just wanted to share the great “net” results.

BTW, sponsors who made this happen included

  • Presenting Sponsor ($50,000) — Valley Services Inc.
  • Platinum Sponsor ($30,000) — Lyda Hill
  • Gold Sponsor ($15,000) — Sara Fraser Crismon and Peggy Dear
  • Silver Sponsor ($10,000) — Linda and Jay Barlow, Jill Bee, Ben E. Keith Company, Becky and Mike Casey, Energy Transfer Partners, Katherine Krause and Warren Zahler/Nichole and Chris Culak, Astrid Merriman and Bob and Janet Ryan Stegall
  • Bronze Sponsor ($5,000) — Lydia and Bill Addy, Susie and Steve Anderson, Bank of America/U.S. Trust, Suzanne and Enrico Bartolucci, Mary Frances and Timothy Bellman, Della and Bob Best, Kathy and Gene Bishop, Jan Hart Black/Rena Pederson, Angie and Marshall Brackbill, Neva and Don Cochran, Bess and Ted Enloe, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jan and Al McClendon/Kate McClendon/Brooke and Jason Villalba, Susan and Bill Montgomery, Meaders and Robert Ozarow, Katherine and Bob Penn, Property Advisers Realty, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Texas Instruments Incorporated and Cathy and Ike Vanden Eykel
  • Apron Sponsor — Central Market
  • Floral Sponsor — Astrid Merriman
  • Tent Sponsor — Grand Bank

Sold-Out Alert!: VNA’s Celebrity Chef Lunch And Dinner

In the past VNA has limited its annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon to a noontime fundraiser. This year they decided to expand to have a dinner as well on Tuesday, February 28. The hope was “to double the funds raised to serve Meals on Wheels clients and patients in need of charitable hospice care.”

The results? They both sold out!

Nancy Silverton*

No wonder, since the celebrity chef will be Chef Nancy Silverton, who “is the only chef to be awarded both the Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Pastry chef awards from the James Beard Foundation. Nancy is co-owner at Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, Chi Spacca, and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, Singapore, and Newport Beach.”

It’s interesting to also note that VNA’s team has adjusted their marketing strategy. They’ve done away with their Legends And Leaders luncheon and created the VNA Chairman’s Society, which is a giving society “with a minimum annual donation of $15,000, and every dollar going to the programs.” So far, the Society has been a big hit. According to VNA Director of Community Engagement Cara Mendelsohn, “the Chairman’s Society has completely replaced the income from Legends & Leaders and has the potential to be an important source of funding for Meals on Wheels and charitable hospice care in the future.”

Sponsors for the Celebrity Chef include the following:

  • Presenting — Valley Services Inc.
  • Platinum — Lyda Hill
  • Gold — Sara Fraser Crisman and Peggy Dear
  • Silver — Linda and Jay Barlow, Jill Bee, Ben E. Keith Company, Becky and Mike Casey, Energy Transfer Partners, Katherine Krause and Warren Zahler and Nichole and Chris Culak, Astrid Merriman and Bob and Janet Ryan Stegall
  • Bronze — Lydia and Bill Addy, Susie and Steve Anderson, Bank of America/U.S. Trust, Suzanne and Enrico Bartolucci, Mary Frances and Timothy Bellman, Della and Bob Best, Kathy and Gene Bishop, Jan Hart Black and Rena Pederson, Angie and Marshall Brackbill, Neva and Don Cochran, Bess and Ted Enloe, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Brooke and Jason Villalba, Susan and Bill Montgomery, Meaders and Robert Ozarow, Katherine and Bob Penn, Property Advisors Realty, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Cathy and Ike Vanden Eykel and Paula and Charles Wills.
* Photo courtesy of VNA

VNA To Launch “Society 34” At Top Knot For Young Professionals

Summer may be officially firing up, but fundraising news hasn’t chilled one bit. Instead of events taking place hourly, news is pouring in nonstop.

The VNA is the latest to report an undertaking. It’s the launch of a “young professionals group to carry on Dallas’ strong tradition of community service caring for seniors.”

The new group will be officially called Society ’34. Interesting name, but what does it mean? Well, membership will be open to anyone between the ages of 24 and 44 and 34 is smack, dab in the middle of that range. Now you know!

The organization will provide an opportunity for members “to learn, serve and enjoy leadership and networking opportunities” that include volunteering and social activities. There will also be  benefits like

  • Invitations to educational and networking events
  • Participation in volunteer activities
  • Discounts to special VNA events

To build its membership, a kick-off event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, at Top Knot, where “charter memberships will be offered at a discounted rate of only $34.”

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause, the plan calls for “Society ’34 to engage today’s young professionals who will be the leaders and caregivers of tomorrow.”

“Dean Of Moderators” Jim Lehrer Addresses The Past And Present State Of Journalism At VNA’s Legends And Leaders Luncheon

Despite the do-si-do dance of vehicles vying for entry to the Hilton Anatole on Friday, April 14, around noontime, things were hustling inside the hotel complex. In the Chantilly Ballroom, Amal Clooney was packing the stiletto crowd in for the New Friends New Life Wings Luncheon.

At the opposite end of the building, a large group of hotel guests checked in early for their rooms. Bypassing the folks with luggage were more than 600 local familiar faces heading to the upstairs Imperial Ballroom for the VNA’s Legends and Leaders Luncheon.

Hugh Aynesworth

Hugh Aynesworth

Lottye Brodsky

Lottye Brodsky

As the luncheon guests made their way down the hallway leading to the ballroom, tales of traffic hassles seemed to rumble. So much so, that by 12:06 word was passed that the start time of high noon had been delayed because of “a 30-minute wait outside.”  But once in the ballroom guests doffed off the problems of the day and settled back into catch-up conversations like a college reunion. Perhaps the conviviality was due to the fact that everyone either knew or felt like they knew the day’s “legend” — award-winning veteran journalist Jim Lehrer. Peppered throughout the crowd were Hugh Aynesworth, Caroline Rose Hunt, Bob Brackbill, Debbie Francis, Lyda Hill, Lottye Brodsky, Janie McGarr, Regen Fearon, Ruth Buzzi and husband Kent Perkins, who had made the trek from their Stephenville ranch to Dallas.

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Kent Perkins and Caroline Rose Hunt

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Ruth Buzzi and Bob Brackbill

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

Jan and Al McClendon, Kate McClendon and Debbie Francis

By 12:11 an organizer asked if one of the production team could flash the ceiling lights to let folks know that the program was getting ready to start. Only problem was that the Imperial Ballroom lights had been flickering all morning. A member of the Murray Media called over the chap with the chimes and had him play the tune into the mic. Between the light show and the chimes, the room was starting to become a sensory experience. But it worked.

Within a couple of minutes, emcee Scott Sams introduced Rabbi Nancy Kasten who gave the invocation, and lunch was served. For this the house lights were brought up and the conversations ranged from the fact that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 daily to an Emmitt Smith party the night before. Seems the event had been scheduled to take place in the area surrounding Tony Tasset’s “Eye.” But due to the rain, it was moved across the street to The Joule’s ballroom.

Nancy Kasten

Nancy Kasten

As the ballroom’s ceiling lights flickered like a chorus of lightning bugs, one organizer’s fingers were turning blue because they were crossed so tightly. Seems the issue of the two mega-luncheon events ending at the same time had been addressed weeks earlier. The game plan was to stagger their endings with New Friends New Life finishing first. But there was now a touch of concern that perhaps the NFNL had also delayed their start time. Not to worry, though.

As it was, author/journalist Rena Pederson and Jim didn’t take their places in easy chairs on stage until a little after 1 p.m. for a chat. Before talking about his lengthy career, the 81-year-old reviewed his health experiences that included having a heart attack in 1983, cataract surgery (“I can now read agate print and see from here to the Rocky Mountains”), getting a hearing aid, lifestyles changes (“When traveling, I leave a little earlier. It’s to cut down on the stress”) and aqua jogging.

He then recalled his days in Dallas working at the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News, when he worked with then DMN Assistant City Editor Bob Miller, who was in the audience. In remarking about the differences of the days of manual typewriters and today’s high tech, Jim recalled, “Everyone was a writer. We argued about phraseology and who had the best leads.” There was also a competitive spirit between reporters at the two daily papers.

Moving on to his days at KERA, he admitted that he joined the station for “all the wrong reasons.” It seems that he and his wife/novelist Kate Lehrer had agreed that when they had enough money he would quit his job as city editor at the Times Herald. That came about when his first novel “Viva Max” provided him with a landfall of $45,000.

But a call from Robert Wilson changed those plans. When Bobby heard that he was quitting, he asked Jim to be a consultant for KERA’s start-up news program called “Newsroom.” Jim was amazed. He got “paid more for working three days a week than working at the paper.” At that time Jim had been making $82.50 a week, while Kate, who was teaching school, was making $90 a week and got three months off in the summer.

In putting together the team for the local news program, he “hired nothing but newspaper people because that’s all I knew and there was no such thing as TV journalists.”

By 1:17 p.m. Jim was recalling tales of his 37 years at PBS. One memory was his interview scheduled with President Bill Clinton. The morning of the interview, he toddled out to get the morning paper and there was the lead story about the President’s supposedly having had an affair with an intern. Jim’s comment to his wife, “Oh, golly gee, sweetheart.”

While the other national news anchors (Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings) were all in Cuba for the Pope’s visit, Jim had the story of the day. Why, ABC even wanted to air it live!

Despite the fact that “you could hear a pin drop,” the interview took place with Jim asking, “Mr. President, there’s a story in the Washington Post that said you had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Is that true?” The President responded, “There is no improper relationship.” Jim prodded. The President stayed with his statement.

Jim admitted that he was pleased with the interview, until Kate reported that their daughter Amanda had called and pointed out that Jim was talking in the past tense and Clinton was responding in present tense. “That’s an interview I’ll never forget.”

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Jim Lehrer and Rena Pedersen

Speaking of U.S. Presidents, Rena asked him which had inspired him the most. Jim responded, “Do you think I’m gonna answer that?” Then he added, “I never interviewed one where I walked away thinking that was an accident.”

When asked about the current presidential campaigns, Jim described them as a cross between a “game show, reality TV and second-level pep rallies.”

Having moderated 12 presidential debates, he was disappointed in the lack of civility in the most recent debates, but he admitted that it was still good to see the candidates in a comparative situation.

Regarding the media’s coverage of presidential candidate Donald Trump, he suggested that when Trump started, serious journalists reported it and didn’t take him seriously, but not Lehrer: Trump “was successful as a candidate, so he had to be covered. He said things that were newsworthy. And by then they…by that I mean us…the media were caught.”

Chuckling he admitted that “The media…it sounds like a venereal disease. ‘I’ve got the media.’”

Getting back to the state of Trump and the “media,” Jim said journalism has three sides —

  • reporting,
  • analysis and
  • opinion

In the case of Trump, Jim said the analysis and opinion parts of journalism “raked Trump over the coals. Everything he said was dissected.”

Rena asked Jim (aka the “Dean of Moderators”) if he would moderate any future debates, to which Jim said, “No,” but he was now on the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In closing, Rena asked about Jim’s next book. He opted not to answer, saying, “It’s bad luck to talk about fiction ahead of time.” But with a twinkle in his, he added, “It has to do with a gun.”

By 1:30 p.m. the luncheon was over and the guests left, satisfied that Jim was still a great interview, even if he wasn’t doing the interviewing.

VNA’s March For Meals Had Some Interesting Food Delivery Folks At Seniors’ Doors

Everyone knows that one of VNA leading programs is its Meals on Wheels that provides meals for seniors. But to stir up the “issues of senior hunger and celebrate the work and impact” of the program, VNA held “March for Meals” last month.

In addition to Pi Day Pie Contest held on Monday, March 14, and the launching of “Text GIVE2VNA to 20222 to donate $5,” the organizers managed to have some impressive types deliver 469 meals during the month. Imagine having one of these folks show up at your door with a meal:

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

  • Pete Sessions, U.S. Congressman
  • Marc Veasey, U.S. Congressman
  • Royce West, Texas Senator
  • Jason Villalba, Texas State Representative
  • Mike Garcia, District Manager for Texas State Representative Jeb Hensarling
  • Susan Hawk, Dallas County District Attorney
  • Elba Garcia, Dallas County Commissioner
  • Sandy Greyson, City of Dallas Councilwoman
  • Jim Phaup, Mayor of Sunnyvale
  • Fernanda Gray, Dallas Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief
  • Heather Hays, Anchor, Fox 4
  • Sparky the Fire Dog, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Susan Hawk (File photo)

Susan Hawk (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

There was also the 3650 Days of Caring, where organizations took place in a three-hour team-building opportunity” while they delivered meal to homebound, hungry seniors.” During March the following groups were able to help feed seniors and bond with their fellow associates:

  • Dallas Fire-Rescue
  • Remax
  • Texas Instruments

But these activities aren’t limited to March. Heck, no! This month-long effort was just to spread the word that volunteers, as well as funds, are needed to take care of seniors.

But if you just don’t have time to volunteer, you can still sign up for the Legends and Leaders Luncheon with Jim Lehrer being served up as the feature speaker. Funds raised at the event will benefit the VNA Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels programs. It’s Thursday, April, at the Hilton Anatole, and tickets are available here!

JUST IN: Jim Lehrer To Be Guest Speaker For VNA Legends And Leaders Luncheon

Jim Lehrer (File photo)

Jim Lehrer (File photo)

For oldtime locals the name Jim Lehrer brings back thoughts of the early ’70s, when he headed up KERA’s “Newsroom” surrounded by the likes of Billy Porterfield, A.C. Greene, Lee Cullum, John Anders, John Merwin, Jim Atkinson and Bob Ray Sanders. Airing weekday evenings, it was a different type of news program. Instead of a couple of anchors reading prepared scripts, it was more of a discussion-in-the-round of the day’s activities and issues.

After a couple of years, Jim headed up north to Washington D.C., where he eventually joined “Robert MacNeil for PBS’s ‘The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,’ which later evolved into ‘The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.'”

Rena Pederson (File photo)

Rena Pederson (File photo)

But over the years Jim never lost touch with his Dallas connections, which included his early reporting days for The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald.

That’s why the VNA’s Leaders And Legends Luncheon will be like a homecoming of sorts with Jim chatting on stage with former Dallas Morning News editorial page editor  Rena Pederson on Thursday, April 14, at the Hilton Anatole.

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause, “We’re very proud to welcome Mr. Lehrer back to Dallas for this event. His illustrious career began in Dallas newsrooms, and he is a former member of the VNA Board of Directors, making him a perfect speaker for the Legends & Leaders Luncheon.”

Chairing the event will be Lynn and John Sears, Jacky and Bob Spears and Paula and Charles Wills with Claire Dewar serving as honorary chair.

Proceeds from the annual luncheon will provide funding for the VNA Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels programs. Ticket and sponsorship information is available here.

MySweetWishList: VNA

According to VNA’s President/CEO Katherine Krause,

Katherine Krause*

Katherine Krause*

“What is a memory?

“Sometimes it’s the most important thing we have.

“The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but for many, the emotions run much deeper. Every year at VNA, the oldest and most experienced hospice provider in North Texas, we see families facing their first holiday season without a special loved one — a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend. It’s a tremendous adjustment. The loss of a loved one can turn treasured family traditions upside-down.

“At VNA, we recommend a new family tradition to honor the one you lost. Every year, VNA hosts Light Up a Life trees at locations around North Texas. For a suggested donation of $10, you can honor the memory of your loved one with a paper dove to display on a community tree. The money raised will go to help VNA fulfill its mission of providing compassionate end-of-life care for patients, caregivers and loved ones, no matter their ability to pay. Doves can also be purchased directly through our website at

VNA Hospice Care is there when traditional medical treatments no longer offer the hope of a cure. VNA Hospice Care focuses on living life to its fullest and treating our patients and families with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our highly qualified and experienced doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement coordinators and volunteers work as a team with the patient’s current doctor to provide care that meets the medical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical needs of patients and families. Terminally ill patients often feel like they are losing control — VNA helps give them back the control they need by providing the necessary freedom to age their final days as they wish in a pain-free, loving environment.

“My wish this holiday season would be for people throughout North Texas to make their memories part of their holiday tradition, to donate to VNA by purchasing a Light Up a Life dove to honor those they have lost and help raise the funds VNA needs to provide quality, compassionate end-of-life care for all who need it.”

-By Katherine Krause, VNA president/CEO

* Photo provided by VNA

Round Robin October 7: International Pop And Meet Me On Continental

It appears that Wednesdays are giving Thursdays a run for their money to become the busiest weekday in North Texas fundraising. Wednesday, October 7, just hinted at what was to come. At noon the VNA hosted its annual Celebrity Chef luncheon with Anne Willan providing demonstrations on the right way to prepare traditional French sauces at the VNA Haggerty Center. Later that day The Slipper Club gals held their fall members meeting at Board Member Carrie Patterson’s family home.

International Pop

At the Dallas Museum of Art, an experiment was going a bit too successfully. Instead of doing the traditional members-only opening reception, DMA folks decided to open International Pop up to the public for a fee. The idea went over big with loads of folks arriving. And that became the problem. When a couple of loyal DMA members pulled up at the entrance, they were asked how much they had donated to the museum. When they didn’t have an immediate number, they were directed to go to self-parking. When they explained that they were supposed to valet, they were told to scoot. Not happy, one of the rejected patrons went on Facebook with an unhappy post. Evidently the DMA got wind of it and the next morning did a mea culpa, explaining that its rep had indeed erred and they hoped the patrons would accept their sincere apologies. The DMA mind trust is rethinking the way to handle success.

Meet Me On Continental

Over at the Continental Bridge, The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rats were partying. Here’s a report from the field:

Richard Palomino*

Richard Palomino*

“The sultry notes of a saxophone danced across Continental Avenue Bridge as The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rat members gathered for an evening over the Trinity. The membership event – “Meet Me On Continental” – brought out 85 guests, who enjoyed perfect fall weather to stroll the active pedestrian bridge while mingling, sipping drinks, munching on gourmet popcorn and enjoying the live music.

“’There is no magical formula to what makes a great city; it takes having places where people of all backgrounds come together and engage with one another,’ said Gail Thomas, President and CEO of The Trinity Trust, as she addressed the group with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge glowing in the background. ‘Continental Avenue Bridge is a perfect example of this and there is so much more of it coming with the Trinity project.’

Joe Mannes, Sarah Mannes, Elizabeth Ygartua, Tori Mannes*

Joe Mannes, Sarah Mannes, Elizabeth Ygartua, Tori Mannes*

“Guests including The Trinity Trust board member Jim Bass, Tori and Joe Mannes, Dana Juett, Judy and Patrick Kelly, Vicki Briley-White and Jim White, Bob Thomas, Steve Smith, Jill Crow, Jean Bateman, Annie and Bud Melton, Sarah Mannes, and Elizabeth Ygartua strolled the bridge and watched families playing in the splash park and enjoying a lively Zumba class.

Jill Crow and Jean Bateman*

Jill Crow and Jean Bateman*

“The event encouraged members and guests to explore the new pedestrian bridge, which opened in June 2014 and connects West Dallas to Downtown Dallas. The Trinity Trust raised the private funds to convert Continental Avenue Bridge from a vehicular bridge to a pedestrian and bike bridge. These funds were given by an anonymous donor in honor of The Trinity Trust board chair Mary McDermott Cook. The City of Dallas runs programs throughout the week on the bridge including Zumba, yoga, nature fairs and family days.

“The evening was hosted by The Trinity Trust, which raises private funds for the Trinity River Corridor Project amenities, and sponsored by Smith Group Asset Management and Texas Capital Bank. Join the Rat Pack or River Rats today to participate in upcoming cocktail events, grand openings, private paddling adventures on the Trinity River, Trails & Ales parties in the corridor and more.”

* Photo credit: Jerry McClure

JUST IN: VNA 6th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon To Tantalize French Tastebuds With Anne Willan In The Kitchen

Delicious decadence is French food. With all those super-duper, fattening sauces, croissants and those eclairs, brulees and mille-feuille! No wonder the French prefer le dejeuner to a quick drive-thru lunch.

Alas, preparing a French feast can be a bit daunting. If you don’t get it just right, you end up with a cuisine Waterloo on your hands.

VNA Celebrity Chef Anne Willan*

VNA Celebrity Chef Anne Willan*

That situation is going to be remedied on Wednesday, October 7, thanks to the VNA’s 6th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon at VNA Haggerty Center. This year’s chef du jour will be Anne Willan, who founded the acclaimed French cooking school Ecole de Cuisine la Varenne. With more than 50 years of teaching writing and serving as a culinary historian, she was “inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Hall of Fame for her body of work in May 2013.”

Just a year ago this month Anne was “awarded the rank of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for her accomplishments in promoting the gastronomy of France.”

Thanks to the annual VNA fundraiser that will be co-chaired this year by Margaret Collins and Catherine Hallam Sweet, more than 146,500 hot nutritious home-delivered meals to elderly neighbors in Dallas” have been provided.

And don’t worry about studying up on your high school French lessons. Anne was born in Newcastle, England, and splits her time nowadays between Santa Monica, California, and France.

Why not put a table of buds together and get your reservations in now?

* Graphic provided by VNA

Tom Brokaw’s “Lucky Life Interrupted” And The Approaching Silver Tsunami Were Food For Thought At VNA Luncheon

More than 700 gathered in the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom for the Legends And Leaders Luncheon benefiting VNA. Early guests were photographed against the VNA backdrop. Event Co-Chairs Linda and Jay Barlow, Angie and Marshall Brackbill and Jan and Al McClendon had arranged for the big draws to be journalist/author/former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw plus Honorary Co-Chairs Sally and Forrest Hoglund.

By 11:30, the crowd that tended nearer to AARP age, as opposed to Instagram vintage, had grown. The reason for the guests skewing more toward the Baby Boomer demographic was that they were more aware of the important role that the VNA plays with its services like Meals on Wheels, VNA Hospice Care, Aging Resources and VNA Private Care. The challenge facing VNA is growing rapidly, with 10,000 Baby Boomers during 65 daily.

Or, perhaps they still consider Brokaw as their generation’s Walter Cronkite for integrity, professionalism and appreciation for the greatest generation.

Ted and Bess Enloe, Tom Brokaw and Rena Pederson

Ted and Bess Enloe, Tom Brokaw and Rena Pederson

At 11:45, Brokaw was seen being escorted to his table. Once there he talked with Bess and Ted Enloe and Rena Pederson about her book, “The Burma Spring.” Soon a line formed waiting for a chance to shake his hand or have a brief chat.

Following lunch, Rena introduced Brokaw by going off-script, revealing such factoids as:

  • After a year of partying at the University of Iowa, he left the university.
  • His partying ways earned him a booth at the local bar named after him.
  • He and his wife Meredith have been married 52 years, have three daughters and five granddaughters. (Tom later added that they’ve added a grandson to the mix and it was well worth the wait.)

Brokaw shunned the podium claiming that it looked a bit funereal. His talk was a mix of telling of his “lucky life,” his views on issues facing today’s world, and his upcoming book about his recent, successful battle with cancer.

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

No, there was no mention of Brian Williams. Rather, Tom focused on his own days of reporting. Regarding his being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2013, he spoke of the dramatic developments that were taking place in research. He added that his newest book, “A Lucky Life Interrupted,” was being released on May 12.

On the topic of public service, he suggested people who have served their country should be tapped and valued by corporations.

Brokaw also agreed with the concern voiced by VNA CEO Katherine Krause about the silver tsunami of Baby Boomers that was on the horizon.

Round Robin April 22: Callier Cares, Cherish The Children And Legends And Leaders Patron Parties

Once again North Texas was being threatened with all types of storms on Wednesday, April 22. Gee. This is getting old. Still, the Heroes and Handbags held a wrap-up party at Alexander McQueen in Highland Park Village; Battle of the Chefs was waging a foodie fight at Frontiers of Flight Museum for the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation; and AWARE patrons were OMG-ing at Margaret McDermott’s home-sweet-home with Barbara Sypult chairing. Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave Margaret’s “cottage.”

Other patron parties taking place throughout the area included:

Callier Cares Patron Reception

Over at Libby and David Hunt’s home in Volk Estates, it was a family affair. The occasion was the Callier luncheon’s Callier Cares patron party for the fundraiser luncheon on Thursday, April 30, at Brook Hollow.

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

The family angle was Mike McCullough, who would receive the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Award for his years of advising Callier. If you’re brand new on the subject or are just having a momentarily “Can’t remember” second, Mike is the dad of Libby Hunt. See the connection?

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Another connection for the night was the gathering of past and present Callier Cares chairs Barbara Stuart, Libby, Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Tiffany Divis (2015).

Bob and Ann Dyer

Bob and Ann Dyer

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

As Ruth and Ken arrived, Carol Seay, Patricia Meadows, Richard Neely, Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Paul Divis, Dr. Tom Campbell and John Stuart were already in place to learn that Angie Kadesky has agreed to chair the 2016 luncheon benefiting Callier.

Cherish The Children Patron Party

Dallas CASA was just plain being adorable with acclaimed impressionist-expressionist artist Leoma Lovegrove at the still-new Dallas CASA headquarters. Leoma’s work of art will be auctioned off at the Cherish The Children Luncheon on Thursday, May 7, at the Dallas Country Club.

You can expect a lot of Thetas in the room. The reason? They’ll be the honorees for their work in raising funds for Dallas CASA.

Legends And Leaders Patron Party

While mom Margaret McDermott was hosting the AWARE patrons at her home, daughter Mary McDermott Cook was having a party for the VNA‘s Legends and Leaders Luncheon patrons.

Perhaps it was ironic that the party was being held on Earth Day at Mary’s “Dump Top,” a home that’s set atop a blend of glorified recycling items.

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Still the glorious Bill Booziotis-designed creation continues to be jaw dropping. Some may not know that Mary and VNA featured speaker Tom Brokaw share a wrist-twisting interest — fly fishing. While some waited in line to have photos taken with Brokaw or have their books signed by the noted journalist/author, Mary and Tom compared wrist techniques.

 John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Before discussing fishy ways with Tom, Mary was recalling school days at Dallas Country Day School on Lomo Alto with fellow grad John Sears. She told how her dad (Eugene McDermott) and John’s lawyer grandfather had been great friends. They never mentioned the fact that both men were outstanding leaders in 20th century Dallas.

Rena Pederson

Rena Pederson

Mary recalled how Sundays had the kids lined up and asked what they had learned during the week by John’s grandfather. If their answers were right, he rewarded them with a dollar. Mary lived to collect those dollars.

Others in the crowd included Lyda Hill fresh from receiving the 2015 Mary Harriman Award. She didn’t have much time to kick back and enjoy the accolades. She was headed to South Africa in connection with the National Geographic project that she’s supporting…Rena Pederson blushing over the accolades that she’s been receiving about her book, “The Burma Spring.”

As for Tom, he looked a bit weary, and why not. The man, who just turned 75, had just announced in December that he was in remission from his battle with cancer.

MySweet2015Goals: Chris Culak



Chris Culak*

Chris Culak*

According to VNA VP of Development Chris Culak,

“I’m the new VP of Development at VNA. On the first day of my new job, my wonderful new boss Katherine Krause charged me to meet the ever-growing need for our Hospice Care, Meals On Wheels, and Private Care services.

“To do that, we must raise an additional $5 million in annual operating revenue in the coming years.

“So my goal in 2015 is to encourage, engage and ask for support from our great North Texas Community to help the new guy look good.

“Please donate to VNA today!”

* Graphic and 
photo provided 
by VNA

MySweetWishList: VNA

According to VNA President/CEO Katherine Krause,

Katherine Krause*

Katherine Krause*

“Sometimes a small wish can make a huge difference. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to change a life.

“Every day, there are thousands of seniors going hungry in Dallas County. Every weekday, VNA Meals on Wheels provides fresh, nutritious meals to 4,000 seniors or disabled, but there are another 2,800 seniors waiting on the list to begin service. The VNA Haggerty Kitchen has the capacity to feed all of them, but a lack of resources prevents us from doing it.

“My first wish this holiday season is for $1,500. That’s what it costs to feed one hungry, homebound senior for an entire year. Helping seniors stay in their homes not only lets them continue living with dignity and independence, it is far less expensive than alternatives such as nursing homes. For example, one day in a nursing home costs – on average – $151 and one day in a hospital costs $2,126 or more. A recent study showed that every $1 invested in a program like VNA Meals on Wheels resulted in a Medicaid savings of up to $50.

“As vital as meals are, life is filled with other necessities we sometimes take for granted, simple things like toothpaste and shampoo. That’s why my second wish this season is for $1,600 to make the holidays bright for 200 homebound seniors. That money will cover the cost of 200 holiday gift bags filled with full-size toiletry items including shampoo, lotion, soap, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste and tube socks. These items will be festively gift-wrapped by our volunteers and distributed to our clients on Christmas Day morning along with their hot holiday meal.

“So there it is. My wishes this season are to feed one homebound senior and provide basic toiletries for 200 more. It’s tempting to ask for the moon, to wish for the funding to provide for every one of the 2,800 qualified seniors waiting to begin service. That would be a dream come true, and it’s something we strive for every day at VNA Meals on Wheels. But for now, we’ll start with a small wish and know it will make a huge difference.

“I hope Dallas County can make my wish come true. It’s a small price to change a life.”

-Katherine Krause, VNA President/CEO

* Photo provided by VNA

JUST IN: VNA’s 2015 Legends And Leaders Luncheon To Spotlight Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw*

Tom Brokaw*

It seems like ages and ages since former NBC anchor/author of The Greatest Generation Tom Brokaw was in town. After a bit of head scratching, it seems that the last time he was in these here parts was back in 2010 to interview Bob Schieffer for the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “A Conversation with a Living Legend.” And even then he wasn’t the center of attention.

Leave it to the VNA to change that. The 2015 Legends & Leaders Luncheon Co-Chairs Linda and Jay Barlow, Angie and Marshall Brackbill and Jan and Al McClendon just revealed they’ve locked down Tom for the Thursday, April 23, fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole.

Forrest and Sally Hoglund (File photo)

Forrest and Sally Hoglund (File photo)

Not only that but the honorary co-chairs are Sally and Forrest Hoglund!

It benefits the VNA that is busier than ever. Most folks know about their Meals on Wheels program, but there’s so much more (Hospice Care, Private Car, Pet Care Program, Senior Resources, etc.).

Just in case, you need to brush up on your Tom Brokaw file…after all, it is pretty lengthy, follow the jump for his bio.

* Photo provided 
by VNA

[Read more…]

VNA Has “Pie-erful” Answer For Thanksgiving Dessert

In the world of desserts, Thanksgiving is the World Series for pies. While there are those who love the pie with the fluffy, puffy meringue top, there are others who feel the crusty top with delicious fruity filling is totally the only way. But this time of year, the seasonal favs are pumpkin and pecan.

VNA pumpkin pie*

VNA pumpkin pie*

VNA pecan pie*

VNA pecan pie*

Why this pie-in-the-sky debate? Because the VNA is offering a two-fer pie. No, it’s not two pies for the price of one. Oh, please! Rather, for $25 you can have a pumpkin or pecan pie for turkey day and help VNA’s VNA Hospice Care, Meals on Wheels and Private Call programs.

It’s simple to get your pie. Just go to Power of Pie and purchase the VNA pie of your choice for $25. On the Tuesday, November 25, or Wednesday, November 26, “pick up your VNA pie from your preferred Power of Pie pick up location.” Those locations are:

  • VNA Haggerty Center (1440 W. Mockingbird Lane) — Pick up from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on November 25 or 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • Spring Valley United Methodist Church (7700 Spring Valley) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • Saint Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church (8011 Douglas Avenue) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.
  • 3015 @ Trinity Groves (3015 Gulden Lane) — Pick up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 26.

What’s that? Are these recycled frozen pies? Ah, come on. You know better. The pies are being donated by the following bakers and restaurants: Empire Baking Company, Central Market, Hilton Anatole, Abacus, Kent Rathbun Concepts- 40, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Norma’s Café, Spoon Bar and Kitchen, Knife Modern Steak, Front Room Tavern, Brook Hollow Golf Club, Lakewood Country Club, Café Momentum, 3015 @ Trinity Groves, Bark Chocolate, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Haute Sweets Patisserie, Parigi, Collin County Community College, Susie’s Cuisine, Uncle Willie’s Pies, Pie Flutin Pastries, Cydonia, Dessert Dreams Inc. and Karen Cassady.

You just gotta love the foodies, who are donating their time and ingredients for this program, when they’re in overdrive trying to meet their own customers’ needs.

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

VNA Zero Calorie pie*

Here’s an idea. Why not buy a couple or three or four pieces and share them with friends, neighbors and office buddies. They’ll love you more than ever for your good taste and they won’t even need a corkscrew for this all-age-friendly gift.

And for those who aren’t pie oriented but want to support VNA, there’s the  Zero Calorie Pie for $25. Actually, it’s a non-pie, but it allows you to support VNA and it ain’t fattening.

Now, you just have to decide on whether you’re going to top your pie off with whipped cream or ice cream. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

*Graphics courtesy of VNA

Uchi Chef Tyson Cole Tastefully Took VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheoners’ Palates To The Land Of The Rising Sun

On Wednesday, October 15, North Texas continued its march to fundraising ecstasy. In the evening, St. Philip’s School and Community Center was honoring Jan Miller and Jeff Rich. Over at Charlotte and Shy Anderson’s United Way was kicking off its plans for its 90th anniversary celebration concert, “Unite Forever Gala”, at AT&T Stadium in February featuring Blake Shelton and Usher. To warm up the announcement dinner, they had Christopher Cross on stage to the delight of all ages.

Earlier in the day the Consumer Credit Counseling Service held its  Fifth Annual Purses With A Purpose at  Frontiers of Flight Museum with Laura Estrada chairing the event and Michelle Singeltary speaking.

Still another lunch just down the road was the VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon with Uchi Chef/Owner Tyson Cole. Here’s a report from the field.

Chef Tyson Cole*

Chef Tyson Cole*

VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon featuring Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole was held at the VNA Haggerty Center, benefiting the VNA Meals on Wheels program.

“The generosity of the table hosts, underwriters and attendees raised more than $220,000 for VNA Meals on Wheels. This will allow VNA to immediately provide hot, nutritious meals to 145 new clients in our community. VNA Meals on Wheels currently provides weekday meals for about 4,000 homebound clients, but there are still 2,800 eligible seniors waiting to be placed on a delivery route. VNA Meals on Wheels has the capacity to feed them all, but lacks the funding.

Gayle Sands and Caroline Rose Hunt*

Gayle Sands and Caroline Rose Hunt*

“The Celebrity Chef Luncheon not only raised money for a great cause, but also brought the artistry and tradition of Japanese cooking to Big D. It began at 11 a.m. with a wine cork pull, a meet and greet with Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole, and tour of the Beatrice Haggerty Kitchen – the country’s largest single-site provider of meals to homebound seniors. VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon guests partook in a meal stretching far beyond the borders of traditional Japanese sushi as they indulged in Tyson’s inventive dishes. Event Co-Chair Katie Johnson recognized Honorary Chair Caroline Rose Hunt for her long-standing support of VNA. Then Event Co-Chair Francie Mancillas shared background on Chef Tyson Cole before he delighted the crowd with stories from his culinary journey and hopes for the new Uchi Dallas, set to open winter 2015. VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon concluded with a raffle.

Katie Johnson, Katherine Krause, Astrid Merriman, Francie Mancillas, Sara Fraser Crismon and Lori Whitlow*

Katie Johnson, Katherine Krause, Astrid Merriman, Francie Mancillas, Sara Fraser Crismon and Lori Whitlow*

“VNA Celebrity Chef raffle prizes included a $5,000 pre-paid credit card; a three-night Spa Refresher Package at Lake Austin Spa for two; a couple’s shopping package at Highland Park Village; two Southwest Airlines ticket vouchers; a Michael Kors trench coat with sable fur lining and a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry by Victor Velyan; and an incredible 10-course tasting menu complete the new Uchi Dallas for six friends as well as a limited edition woodblock print “To Walk Where Footsteps Have No Sound” by artist Daryl Howard.

“For more information about VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon featuring Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole and how it benefited VNA Meals on Wheels, please contact VNA’s Annual Giving and Special Events Manager Laura Muñiz at [email protected] or 214.689.3484.”

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

Round Robin Sept. 18: Too Many To List

Every now and then, there are “go-figure moments” in fundraising scheduling. Thursday, September 18, was such a day. Here it was the tsunami of nonprofits emailing, calling and tapping sources to donate to the North Texas Giving Day. Last year most groups went dark to allow the big day to take place uninterrupted. This year the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with receptions, parties and announcements taking place all over the place. The AT&T Chairman’s dinner was being held at the Winspear and Dallas Opera’s First Sight was filling Roberto Cavalli with beautiful people including First Sight/First Night Co-Chairs Nick Even and Lynn McBee.

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Nick Even, Cristiano Mancini and Lynn McBee*

Here are just a smattering of the multitude of things that were going on from field reports:

Art For Advocacy Kick-Off Party

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke*

Greg Lauren and Brian Bolke**

“Art and fashion enthusiasts gathered at Forty Five Ten for a special event to kick off the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s upcoming fundraiser, Art for Advocacy. Special guest and fashion designer, Greg Lauren, showcased his newest collection while guests sipped on Austin Cocktails. DJ Lucy Wrubel kept the party going with beats that pulsed throughout the store. In support of the event, Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke offered 10% of the evening’s proceeds to benefit DCAC and will extend 10% of sales from the Greg Lauren collection to the agency through Nov. 1.

“Art for Advocacy celebrates the transformative power of art therapy in helping children process trauma and heal emotional scars as a result of abuse. Proceeds support DCAC’s work in improving the lives of abused children in Dallas County and providing national leadership on child abuse issues. The event draws community and business leaders, young professionals, local arts organizations, artists and gallerists, art collectors, and art patrons.

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts*

Lynn M. Davis, Chad and Judee Barrett, Randall and Kara Goss, Stephanie and John Roberts**

“Guests included DCAC CEO Lynn Davis, Underwriting Co-Chairs Judee and Chad Barrett, Honorary Co-Chairs Kara and Randall Goss, Event Co-Chairs Stephanie and John Roberts, Helena and Doug Wall, Lee McGuire, Allyson Cooke, Leisa Street, Cile McCorlek, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Muffin Lemak, Shelby Wagner, Jamie and Jeremy Saylor, Christine and Mark Danuser, Susan and David Brown, Camille McMakin and Kelly Moser.

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown*

Mark and Christine Danuser and Susan and David Brown**

“This year’s Art for Advocacy event will feature 100 local and regional artists in a silent and live art auction. The 8th annual event makes a departure to a Saturday night featuring tequila, Texas tapas, and desert vacation packages guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. The Art for Advocacy auction party will take place at 7 p.m. on November 1, at F.I.G. to raise funds to aid the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in its mission to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County. An Art Preview will be held at 6 p.m. for $2500+ sponsors offering the first opportunity to buy-it-now. DCAC coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in the community and provides national leadership on child abuse issues. For more information email [email protected].”

Capital for Kids Anniversary Party

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Ann and Lee Hobson***

Capital for Kids kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration last night in the Highland Park home of Ann and Lee Hobson. Celebrating 10 years of changing lives in North Texas, the invitation-only sponsor party featured a special presentation by children from the Trinity River Mission of West Dallas – a Capital for Kids grant recipient.

Scott and Amy Houdek***

Scott and Amy Houdek***

“Among the guests were Rob Hayes, Reid Walker, Amy and Capital for Kids 2014 Co-Chair Scott Houdek, Katy and Lawrence Bock (who donated an emerald-cut 10-carat aquamarine surrounded by 66 dimaonds to celebrate CFK’s 10th anniversary), Carroll Watson, Reed Carroll, Rachel and Brad Stephens, Allison Carlisle, Susan Nichol, Dawn Blankenship Hennessey, Michael Watson, Michael Massad, Jason Hill, Lucas Legera, David Smith and Gentry Beach.

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

Lawrence and Katy Bock***

“Capital for Kids is a network of individuals in the asset management community dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Through the partnership of our sponsors and grant recipients over the last 10 years, Capital for Kids has supported organizations that educate, protect and encourage at-risk children. They provide financial support to organizations that help break the cycle of child abuse, poverty and neglect through education, advocacy and emergency resources.

“Since inception, Capital for Kids has donated $8.7 million to more than 50 different charitable organizations in North Texas. They have a goal to give $10 million in 10 years to North Texas children’s charities. 100% of sponsorship and donation dollars go directly to the charities they support. Capital for Kids will be hosting its main event on Thursday, November 20, at the FIG. Tickets can be purchased at

KidneyTexas Patron Party

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

Linda Dodd, Ola Fojtasek and Lissie Donosky****

KidneyTexas, Inc. patrons of The Runway Report Luncheon and Style Show gathered at the Highland Park home of Ola and Randall Fojtasek and had much to celebrate!

“As the evening began, the verandah was bathed in soft lighting opening into the expansive courtyard. Guests enjoyed wines donated by Barbara and David Farmer as M3Trio serenaded them into the evening, under the stars. Sumptuous hors d’oeuvres donated and catered by Angela Gordon of Angela’s Catering filled the formal dining table and were passed inside and out. Valet parking was generously donated by Gold Crown Parking.

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

Anna Bland Aston and Scott Aston****

“Guests included patron party chair Anna Bland Aston, her husband Scott and daughter, Annalee; Jolie Humphrey, president of KidneyTexas, Inc. and her husband, Bart, and Lezlie and Bill Noble, who donated a strand of South Sea pearls valued at $32,000 to the live auction.

“The buzz was about the upcoming The Runway Report luncheon and fashion show at the Brook Hollow Golf Club, which presents Faye C. Briggs as honorary chair and honors Janelle Friedman with the Goodnight Service Award. The Goodnight award is named in honor of Sue Goodnight, a founding KidneyTexas, Inc. member and longtime volunteer and supporter of the organization, who attended with her sister, Faye Wheeler.

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

Janelle Friedman and Sue Goodnight****

“Tooties fashions will rule the runway in a fashion show produced by Jan Strimple and also feature fashions from KidBiz and Pockets.

“The live auction also features a Santa Fe, New Mexico vacation package valued at $10,000 which includes a 5-bedroom house and other delights! It is all topped off with a delicious luncheon.

“The luncheon, chaired by Karen Settle, benefits KidneyTexas, Inc. beneficiaries: Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney Foundation – Camp Reynal, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

VNA Kick-Off Party

“The VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon Committee held a kick-off celebration Thursday that brought together sponsors, board members and VNA executives. Some 30 guests joined the event at Molto Formaggio in Highland Park Village to sample fine wines and cheeses. Michael Perlmeter and Christy Martinez, the owners of Molto Formaggio, hosted the event and are donating a portion of all proceeds to VNA.

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

Katherine Krause, Lori Whitlow and Ryan Stegall*****

“The 5th Annual VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon will be held on October 15 at VNA’s Haggerty Center in Dallas, benefiting VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. This year’s Celebrity Chef is Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole.

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

Francie Mancillas and Katie Johnson*****

“Among those attending the kick-off celebration were: 2014 Celebrity Chef Luncheon Co-Chairs Katie Johnson and Francie Mancillas, VNA Board Development Chair Lori Whitlow, VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause, VNA Board Chair Sara Fraser Crismon, VNA Board Vice-Chair Janet Ryan Stegall, VNA Board Members Jay Oppenheimer, Catherine Sweet, John Sears and Cathy Vanden Eykel. Many of those attending are sponsors for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon, including Sara Fraser Crismon, Ike Vanden Eykel, Lynn Sears, Mike Sweet and Janet Ryan Stegall.

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

Ike and Cathy Vanden Eykel*****

For more information about VNA’s 5th Annual Celebrity Chef Luncheon and how it will benefit VNA Meals on Wheels, please contact VNA’s Annual Giving and Special Events Manager Laura Muñiz at [email protected] or 214.689.3484.

Slipper Club Announcement

Over at Trinity Groves, the Slipper Club gals gathered for the announcement of the 2015 gala plans. According to Slipper Club President Susan Deasy and Gala Chair Erika Burton, the annual party will benefit Camp John Marc. It will take place at Belo Mansion on Friday, February 27.

Junior League Announcement

The Junior Leaguers and their fans assembled at the Galleria’s Belk to hear deets about the 53rd annual fundraising ball. Ball Chair Beverly Cahill revealed the theme will be “The Magnolia Ball.” Why, oh, why does one suspect that magnolias will be abundant that night?

Beverly explained the thinking behind the theme, “This year’s theme will embrace the elegant heritage of our great city of Dallas with a classic, yet stylish twist,” said Cahill. “The Magnolia Ball will be the Southern Chic dinner and dancing event of the season!”

Then she added another twist to the annual gala. Instead of an entertainer, she’s arranged to have two — jazz singer/songwriter Gabbie McGee to set the mood for the evening and Emerald City for post-dinner dancing and gyrating. Okay, so maybe one doesn’t necessarily gyrate in formal wear, but a whole lot shaking and dancing usually takes place when Emerald City is on stage.

The black-tie fundraiser will take place in the Chantilly Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole on Saturday, February 21.

Lynn McBee will serve as honorary chair. At the rate Lynn is going, she’ll probably end up chairing the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.

* Photo provided by First Sight/First Night 
** Photos provided by Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
*** Photos provided by Capital for Kids
**** Photo credit: Daniel Driensky
***** Photos provided by VNA

Tyson Cole To Headline VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon

The VNA “crowd has already gotten the headliner chef in place for their fundraiser, “VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon on Wednesday, October 15.

VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon*

VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon*

If you’re expecting a herd of thousands squeezed in a grand ballroom, put your minds to rest. Instead the VNA luncheon is intimate and hands-on. Held at the VNA’s Patrick and Bea Haggerty Center on West Mockingbird, the guest count will be limited to a mere 200.

That’s such a tight figure when the chef du jour is going to be Uchi Chef/Owner Tyson Cole.

Tyson Cole*

Tyson Cole*

And don’t think he’s going to pull out iron skillets to make Mama’s fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. Nope, Tyson is “a passionate student of the Japanese tradition. He has trained for more than 10 years in Tokyo, New York, and Austin, under two different sushi masters. He continues his path of study and experimentation at Uchi, developing unprecedented, multi-cultural combinations using his impeccable knowledge of technique. Cole’s gift of marrying global ingredients and flavors with traditional Japanese flavors quickly garnered him local as well as national attention and Uchi became one of the top fine dining restaurants in Austin. The accolades continued when he was awarded a coveted spot on Food and Wine Magazine‘s Best New Chefs of 2005 list. In May 2011, Cole received a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest. Cole opened his second restaurant in Austin, Uchiko, in July 2010, celebrated the release of Uchi the Cookbook in March 2011 and commemorated the opening of Uchi Houston in February 2012.”

Word has it that Tyson is looking “forward to opening Uchi Dallas in late 2014,” so why not be part of the welcoming committee?

VNA board members Katie Johnson and Francie Mancillas have arranged to have Caroline Rose Hunt as honorary chair.

Best to get your reservations in because that 200 number is a going to dwindle. But thanks to that number, VNA will be able to “help older adults live with dignity and independence at home.”

* Graphic and photo provided by VNA

Dallas Legends And Leaders Chowed Down To Fundraise For VNA

On Thursday, March 27, more than 400 people gathered in the Hilton Anatole’s Khmer Pavilion for the VNA’s 2014 Legends & Leaders fundraiser. A truly unique event giving attendees a chance to enjoy dinner and conversation with some of Dallas’ most fascinating personalities, this year’s version was chaired by the incomparable Lynn McBee, with the Roger Horchow family serving as honorary chairs. All that firepower didn’t disappoint, as the evening’s final take would hit $1 million for the nonprofit agency, best known for its Meals on Wheels program and VNA Hospice Care.

Helping achieve the fundraising milestone were the dozens of Legends and Leaders, who ranged from Mary Anne Alhadeff, Norm Bagwell and Lyda Hill to Paula Lambert, Stan Richards, Roger Staubach and Gerald Turner. This year, students from several local universities participated in the program as well.

At the reception before the dinner, Kent Rathbun joked, “I’m a legend—or a leader. I’m not sure which.” Tom Dunning said he was there “because [VNA Chairman] Ted Enloe asked me to, and you don’t turn down your friends.” Meantime, Eddie Vasquez from Paul Quinn College was telling Mike Rawlings how much he’d enjoyed the mayor’s talk about Dallas history at Paul Quinn last year. Just then Ron Kirk got in on the conversation and laughed, “Did you fact-check it, Eddie? He makes that stuff up!”

Typical of what took place next, at dozens of dinner tables around the room, was one table presided over by Robyn Flatt, longtime executive artistic director at the Dallas Children’s Theater. Flatt’s table included Wilson Tarver, a retired electrical engineer who’s also Robyn’s fiancé (they’re both from Waco); husband and wife Francie and Steven Mancillas; VNA communications director Natalie Martin; and Mitchell Towne, a sophomore and “distance freestyle swimmer” at SMU.

One by one the diners shared their individual stories: How Mitchell eventually wants to teach Greek and Roman classics, for example. How Robyn’s theater-oriented father wound up in Dallas after an attempt to censor one of his plays in Waco. How Natalie recently did the VNA’s rebranding campaign. How Francie drives for Meals on Wheels and also volunteers with groups like Genesis Women’s Shelter and Community Partners of Dallas. By dessert everyone knew each other much better—which is exactly the point of VNA’s innovative Legends & Leaders.

VNA Kicks Off Legends & Leaders Dinner Plans At Trina Turk

Highland Park Village has spent the month of February spreading the love for non-profits. Tuesday, February 18, the VNA crew felt the love at Trina Turk for their Legends & Leaders Kick-Off/Sponsor event. And, yes, love filled the place. One reason may have been the day being simply spectacular with temperatures hitting the 80-degree mark. It was just perfect for trying on those spring frocks that were filling the boutique. Oh, what a memory-making day that was, now that Dallas is back in the chill zone.

Carol Seay and Anne Leary

Carol Seay and Anne Leary

Another reason for the good feelings was the list of “leaders,” who will be hosting tables at the March 26th dinner in Khmer Pavilion at the Hilton Anatole.

Ann Margolin and Meaders Ozarow

Ann Margolin and Meaders Ozarow

But it wasn’t all about future plans. New grandmas Carol Seay and Anne Leary were comparing glows about their new grandbabies. . . . Former Dallas City Councilperson Ann Margolin and Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow were talking about last Thanksgiving Power of the Pie program that surprised one and all with its success. Each pie cost $25, which translated into providing a week’s worth of meals for a senior citizen. And these were “half-baked” pies. Such local groups as The Joule Hotel, Four Season, Anatole, Spoon and Empire Baking Company and others provided the pumpkin and pecan pies. Don’t be surprised if the “power” returns this fall. . .  Some of the L&L table hosts like Lyda Hill and Brent Christopher even showed up to promote the dinner.

Brent Christopher, Katherine Krause, Lyda Hill and Sara Fraser Crismon

Brent Christopher, Katherine Krause, Lyda Hill and Sara Fraser Crismon

L&L Event Chair Lynn McBee reported that tickets are now on sale. Last year’s dinner raised a whopping $600,000.

Organizers want to emphasize, “This fun gala is NOT black tie and there will be no long speeches, no silent or live auction and no loud music or dancing. It is designed to be an evening of conversation about Dallas and leadership.”

If anybody knows about those two subjects, this cast of table hosts certainly does.

VNA Reveals A Top-Drawer List of Legends & Leaders Table Hosts

The VNA Presents: Legends & Leaders 2014 folks just whispered the list of ultra-bold facers who will be hosting tables at the Wednesday, March 26th dinner at Hilton Anatole’s Khmer Pavilion. Well, oh my goodness! Any of these folks would be stellar to grab for a gab for just a minute or two. But imagine an entire, seated dinner!

Here’s the list and here’s the way you can lock on to a seat at one of their tables limited to eight. Think of it as a yum-and-chat event.

  • Mary Anne Alhadeff
  • Ruth Altshuler
  • Norman P. Bagwell
  • Colleen Barrett (File photo)

    Colleen Barrett (File photo)

    Colleen Barrett

  • Krys Boyd
  • Nancy and Clint Carlson
  • Brent Christopher
  • Donald Clampitt
  • Nita and Cullum Clark
  • Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH
  • Doug Curtis
  • Nancy Dedman (File photo)

    Nancy Dedman (File photo)

    Nancy M. Dedman

  • Sally & Tom Dunning
  • Richard W. Fisher
  • Robyn Flatt
  • Rebecca and Barron Fletcher
  • Kathryn & Craig Hall
  • Howard Hallam
  • Ralph Hawkins
  • Lyda Hill
  • Clara Hinojosa
  • Norm Hitzges
  • Walter Humann
  • Mary Jalonick
  • Ron Kirk
  • Ashlee and Chris Kleinert
  • Paula Lambert
  • Tom Luce
  • Sharon Lyle
  • Morton H. Meyerson
  • David Miller
  • Kevin Moriarty
  • Rena Pederson
  • Dr. Dan Podolsky
  • Kent Rathbun
  • Micki and Mike Rawlings
  • Stan Richards
  • Frank Risch (File photo)

    Frank Risch (File photo)

    Frank Risch

  • Ken Schnitzer
  • Scott D. Sheffield
  • Nicole Small
  • Gay & Bill Solomon
  • Marianne & Roger Staubach
  • Jeremy Strick
  • Mary Suhm
  • Dr. Gail Thomas
  • Gerald Turner

Just imagine talking with

  • Ruth Altshuler about her bucket list;
  • Ken Cooper about your work-out regime;
  • Richard Fisher about Bitcoins;
  • Craig and Kathryn Hall (File photo)

    Craig and Kathryn Hall (File photo)

    Kathryn and Craig Hall about California vs. French wines;

  • Lyda Hill about the thrill of giving $$ away;
  • Norm Hitzges about his book of poetry;
  • Rena Pederson about Aung San Suu Kyi;
  • Kent Rathbun about his new home;
  • Micki Rawlings about Mike Rawlings:
  • Mike Rawlings about his running for mayor again:
  • Stan Richards about his toughest assignment; and
  • Ken Schnitzer about anything involving luxury cars.

As if that wasn’t enough, each table will also have young leaders from the following institutions:

  • SMU Hunt Scholars
  • SMU President’s Scholars
  • SMU Student Athletes
  • SMU Lyle School of Engineering
  • SMU Meadows School of the Arts
  • SMU Cox School of Business
  • UTSW Medical School

BTW, “this fun gala is NOT black tie and there will be no long speeches, no silent or live auction and no loud music or dancing,” as deemed by Event Chair Lynn McBee and Honorary Chairs Roger Horchow, Regen and Jeff Fearon, Lizzie and Dan Routman and Sally Horchow.  Love that POA.