WFAA Provides $46,000 With Melted Crayons And Ringing Phones For Community Partners Of Dallas’ “Back To School Drive”

WFAA was on a tear the past week. Last Thursday they wanted to do something different to showcase North Texas three-digit weather. Sure, they could have tried cooking some food product on the sidewalk, but that’s been so overdone (no pun intended). Somebody got the bright idea of positioning a 22” by 28” white canvas against a wall in the afternoon sun between a clock and a thermometer. At the top of the board were 64 crayons pointed downward. As the clock ticked and the mercury rose, the crayons drooled down the board creating a waterfall of rainbow colors.

So, that was nice, but what do you do with this hot (okay, so this pun was intended) artwork? The WFAA brain trust decided to auction off the artwork with the proceeds going to help Community Partners of Dallas’ Back to School Program that provides school supplies for children who are in the Dallas County Child Protective Services.

WFAA’s melted crayons masterpiece*

The winning bid of $3,150 came from Create Church, but when they arrived to pick up their new masterpiece, they pumped the number up to $5,150!

Then word arrived that the Friends of Wednesday’s Children was shutting down operation on Monday. The folks at WFAA realized that the timing was right to rally viewers to pick up where the Friends had left off in providing for children in need. So, they held a phone bank on Monday at their 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to start the wheels turning for the CPD drive that would officially start on Friday, August 4. The receivers rang off the hooks to the tune of $40,850!

Cynthia Izaguirre (File photo)

Those two undertakings brought in a total of $46,000, all of which will be used to provide backpacks, construction and manila paper, colored pencils, folders, pencil sharpeners, block erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, markers, pencil pouches, red pens and scissors.

According to CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel, “We are so grateful to WFAA, and especially to Cynthia Izaguirre, for their longtime commitment to and tireless advocacy on behalf of the foster children in our community. Additionally, to everyone who called in with their generous donations, thank you! We had so many wonderful donors support this cause — with gifts from a grandmother on a fixed income to people with charitable foundations. Dallas really stepped up to help children in foster care and we are appreciative!”

Congratulations to WFAA for connecting the dots to provide assistance for children in need. In the wake of the Friends closing, WFAA managed to help fill a void financially and spread the word.

If you would like to join the supply-the-kids program, here is a list of what they need. But if you don’t have time to shop, you can always donate money.

* Photo courtesy of WFAA

 

Friends Of Wednesday’s Child Is Closing

Sorry to start the week off with some sad news, but The Friends of Wednesday’s Child is ceasing operation.

Whoa! Before you go thinking that WFAA’s Cynthia Izaguirre won’t be doing her “Wednesday’s Child” segments, stop thinking that. These are two separate organizations dedicated to supporting foster children in need of permanent homes.

Friends of Wednesday’s Child (File photo)

Founded by a couple in 1985, Friends of Wednesday’s Child “provided for all their unmet needs while they are in foster care. These unmet needs include many of the things that establish a healthy, productive childhood; from tutoring to medical/dental care to summer camp to birthday gifts.”

According to the Friends of Wednesday’s Child’s website,

“It is with heavy hearts we write that Friends of Wednesday’s Child is closing its doors. We do not have the financial support to continue. The good news is North Texas has some outstanding allies in the community of people who serve children living in foster care. We are in discussion with these great groups who are interested in absorbing Friends of Wednesday’s Child programs and services. We hope to announce something in the coming weeks and months. An education can transform the lives of these children and put them on a path to success in school and life. Thank you for your support in making it possible. It is an honor and a privilege. Please continue supporting them. You are the difference.”

It must have come as a surprise for the staff, since they had just recently submitted a MySweetCharity Opportunity about its Top Kids at TopGolf fundraiser in November.

On the other hand, WFAA’s Wednesday’s Child program is still in operation finding adoptive parents for foster children. As a matter of fact, WFAA will be holding a phone-bank drive today at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. to raise money for Community Partners of Dallas’ annual “Back to School Drive.”

News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos May Be Leaving WFAA And News 8 Daybreak But Not The Nonprofits

Alexa Conomos (File photo)

For those nonprofits who worried their botoxed brows about word that WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos was leaving WFAA’s morning show, take a chill pill.

It was 16 or so years ago that Alexa’s journey from California brought her to North Texas and TXCN. Then, as TXCN went bye-bye in 2002, Alexa transitioned to co-anchoring with Ron Corning to wake folks up from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Over the years, Alexa personally went from adorable single girl to glowing married lady to multi-tasking mama of three. In recent months, Alexa realized that her priorities needed a revisit and that making breakfast for her kidlets and having date nights with her hubby Bradley trumped all.

Luckily knowing Alexa, her support of the North Texas nonprofit world will continue beyond her days at the conclusion of her contract with WFAA in June.

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

JUST IN: Media Panel For Nonprofits Is Nearing Done-Deal Status

MySweetCharity

MySweetCharity

Oh, dear! With such short notice, the prediction for the nonprofits’ media panel on Friday, August 19, was that perhaps a baker’s dozen would sign up. But, oh, no! So very wrong.

Understand that the sign-ins are coming in nonstop. Guess word has gotten out that PaperCity’s Jane Rozelle is gonna have all the scoop about the new format that the monthly publication will be introducing in September. Or, maybe it’s WFAA’s Ron Corning’s additional duties as commentator and doing lengthier interviews with the likes of Tyler Perry. Or, perhaps it’s photographer Kristina Bowman’s fessing up on how to work with photographers and what types of photos to submit.  Everyone is hoping that MySweetCharity’s Jeanne Prejean will take her friendly medication and explain the easiest way to get coverage on MSC and answer any questions about the lifestyle of elves.

Since one of the most popular parts of the past panels has been the Q&A, it will be nicely in place and open to all questions. One surprising development that took place at the last panel was the nonprofit representatives networking and exchanging ideas with each other afterwards.

The conversation will once again be an honest effort to help those working with nonprofits to get their message across to both established and potential fans.

One nonprofit marketing staffer is even bringing along her CEO to help her boss better understand why their stories aren’t on CNN. Another PR firm that doesn’t normally deal with nonprofits is sending a couple of their associates to learn the unique issues facing nonprofit media pitching.

PlainsCapital Bank*

PlainsCapital Bank*

And, thanks to PlainsCapital Bank, the whole morning of chatting is free. They’re even gonna provide a great view of Victory plus a continental breakfast!

But there is a catch. You’ve got to register here and do it pronto. All you have to do is provide your name, the nonprofit that you work with and a phone number. (BTW, your information will NOT be used for any solicitation by anyone or any group.) Then mark down August 19 for an 8:30 check-in at PlainsCapitals headquarters. After the panel, go have a leisurely lunch and take a nap with visions of headlines promoting your nonprofit!

* Graphic provided by PlainsCapital

WFAA’s Jason Wheeler Needs To Be Shot

Last night on WFAA the new kid-on-the-block anchor Jason Wheeler confessed he still hadn’t gotten his flu shot. Thought medical reporter Janet St. James was going to collapse on the floor. Did you see how big her eyes got?

This year’s flu is as deadly as the summer’s West Nile Virus, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the threat.

First, if you just think you’re coming down with the flu or even a cold, stay home. Love ya, but don’t need you around to share.

Second, get in bed, drink lots of liquids (we’re not talking alcohol and you know that), sleep and have a humidifier going full “steam ahead.” (First pun of the day.) One friend even suggested sleeping with a moist heating pad on the chest.

Third, love ya, but let’s cut down on the kisses. . . even the air kisses and the hugs and even handshakes. Like the late Larry Hagman, just use a simple knuckle knock or  elbow nudge.

Fourth, wash your hands and follow it up with a nice hand lotion. You don’t want to ruin your nice silky skin!

Fifth, if you’re really starting to feel it’s going beyond normal “yucks,” call your doctor and be “patient.” (Sorry, there goes another pun.) There are a lot of folks calling, but do call.

Finally, if you haven’t gotten your flu shot, stop reading, get in your car and drive to Tom Thumb, Walgreens, your doctor’s office or anywhere that’s providing shots.

Let’s hope that tonight Jason reports that he was a big boy, rolled up his sleeve and got “needled.” (Final pun)

UPDATE:

1. Jason got shot this evening and admitted it didn’t hurt at all. He didn’t even feel it.

2. It was the first time he had gotten a flu shot.

Oops Alert: Mother Nature Rains On WFAA-CH. 8’s Showing of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Program

Know exactly what you’re thinking. Planned to watch the program on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at 6:30 p.m. on WFAA-CH. 8 and all you saw was a brief slice of bridge experts in-between warnings about the hail storm in the area and the possible funnel cloud forming near Baylor Medical Center. Oh, and don’t forget all those shots of the photos of hail sent in by viewers.

Yes, once again Mother Nature forced WFAA-CH. 8 weather fella Pete Delkus to interrupt programming, but let’s face it — she’s a tough old broad who loves to surprise folks with her input. Who would have ever imagined a storm with hail, funnels, rain and locusts in June. . . oh, no locusts?

If and when the show is going to have a second showing, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, let’s all remember that come August, this surprise rainstorm will be considered a blessing. Right.

Why Go Out When The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Will Come To You For One Night

If you’re suffering from “Dancing With The Stars” withdrawal, you’re not alone. If you’re already burnt to a crisp from sitting by the pool, you need to spend some time chilling indoors. If  you just want to retreat to your (wo)man cave and watch TV, do it. If you fit one or all the above categories, have we got a deal for you.

All you have to do is have a television and be at home on Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. Even if you can’t be home, you can set your DVR to tape this show.

Why?

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Man in the Moon (File photo)

Because instead of “Entertainment Tonight,” WFAA-CH. 8 will air “Bridging The Trinity For The Love Of The City,” a 30-minute film illustrating “the building of the cable-stayed bridge beginning with the first announcements in 2001 and completing with the opening celebrations in 2012.”

Good buddy/producer/writer Judy Kelly and photographer/editor Ginny Martin have created this documentary that spans the decade of the bridge’s creation. From former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk‘s “appeal to the community” to get the private and public partnership going to the fireworks and celebration of the official celebration of the bridge, the film hits all the points. Well, maybe it doesn’t include spunky Mary McDermott Cook notifying a security supervisor that she wasn’t budging from Continental Bridge or Mary Ellen and Fred Holt suffering through the heat of the occasion when the topping took place in June 2010.

Dr. Gail Thomas, president and CEO of The Trinity Trust, said, “In March, more than 40,000 people attended the opening celebration of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. With this film, we can relive that celebratory moment and all of the dramatic moments leading up to it. On June 13, we will watch how this bridge was built, from the groundbreaking and topping off of the arch to the stringing of cables and three-day opening celebration.”