As hot as it has been in recent days, the Communities Foundation of Texas team has been firing up plans for the 18-hour North Texas Giving Day that has amazed the world of fundraising! Why, within the past 10 years, this amazing undertaken has provided more than $240M for thousands of North Texas nonprofits. They’ve come a long way from the $4M hauled in for 345 nonprofits in 2009 thanks to 6.5K gifts. Just last year 157K gifts provided $48M for 2,690 beneficiaries!
In addition to growing the funding, they’ve created more activities and ways for the nonprofits to rally their supporters.
Returning to the mega-fundraiser buildup will be the MySweetCharity’s North Texas Giving Day Booster, thanks to NorthPark Center. On Monday the series countdown starts. There will be more than 35 North Texas organizations telling their stories over the next month.
The posts will include well-known organizations with new projects, as well as under-the-radar nonprofits that have been working tirelessly for their neighbors. And there are thousands more with stories that can be found on the North Texas Giving Day website.
If you see one that hits a chord with your heart strings, consider opening up your purse strings to benefit them on Thursday, September 19.
* Graphic courtesy of North Texas Giving Day
Children’s Medical Center’s Butterfly Atrium was turned into a Dog Park on the afternoon of Thursday, August 1. No, it hadn’t become a free-running playground for pooches. Rather it was the Dog Days Of Summer, the annual get-together thanks to the partnership of Children’s Child Life and PetSmart Charities programs.
This year’s theme of baseball resulted in two- and four-legged hot dogs, former Texas Rangers like David Hulse and Justin Ruggiano and little patients making the rounds collecting stuffed animals and posing for photos with therapy dogs Van, Badger, Cookie and rookie Jake.
While the post is headed for home plate, check out the pooches, patients and partying at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
According to Friends of Wilkinson Center President Meridith Zidell,
Please join the Friends of Wilkinson Center for our Sixth Annual Spirit of Taos on Saturday, September 14, from 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. at The Hall on Dragon, located at 1500 Dragon Street in the heart of the Design District.
This fabulous evening, inspired by Taos, New Mexico, will include cocktails, a seated dinner, silent and live auctions, and live entertainment by Special Edition Band along with emcee Jenny Anchondo.
A highlight is this year’s raffle featuring four amazing prizes:
- The Spirit of Taos weekend getaway including a luxurious one-night stay at the Blake Hotel in Taos Ski Valley and 50,000 American Airlines miles for travel;
- a custom men’s suit from Q Clothier;
- a gorgeous 14 karat Art Deco-inspired gold and diamond ring by Halo Jewelry;
- a Los Angeles getaway complete with two VIP green room passes to a live taping of Jimmy Kimmel! Live! as well as 50,000 American Airlines miles for travel, and
- gift cards to Mendocino Farms Restaurant and Salt and Straw Restaurant.
Raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100 and available now.
The Spirit of Taos also celebrates the two -generational support of the Friends of Wilkinson Center who volunteer and donate to Wilkinson Center and are passionate about the mission to transform the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect.
I am honored to serve as president of the Friends of Wilkinson Center, following in the footsteps of my mom, past president of the Friends and of the Wilkinson Center Board of Directors, Melanie Myers, who is honorary chair this year with my dad Jim, as well as former Friends president and the co-founder of The Spirit of Taos, Missy Huber.
Event chair Ellen Estee represents a new generation committed to continuing to serve and support Wilkinson Center programs and clients. We are so grateful to Ellen and our entire committee for their tireless work to ensure that this year’s event is a success.
So trade your tuxes and stilettos for boots and casual attire for what promises to be a sell-out event once again. Sponsorships from $750 to $10,000 and tables of eight for $2,000, $4,000 and $8,000 are available now, as well as patron tickets at $250 each and individual tickets at $200 and raffle tickets. For information contact Wilkinson Center Event Manager Andrea Jones or visit https://www.thewilkinsoncenter.org/events/category/the-spirit-of-taos/.
The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek has been buzzing with construction for eons. And it was well worth the wait. If you haven’t been to the Mansion recently, then prepare yourself for new additions and experiences.
In addition to Chef Sebastian Archambault impressing diners, there is a totally new venue for partying.
It’s The Mansion Lawn behind the “hotel’s signature peach stucco walls.” Within its 7,885 square feet, it can neatly handle everything from weddings under the stars to tented dining affairs. It even has a separate valet entrance off of Gillespie.
And speaking of dining, the 2019 ReuNight will be doing just that on Wednesday, November 6. No surprise. The Family Place has earned a reputation for holding its annual live auction fundraiser at such unique spots as The Haas Moto Museum, The Statler, Forty Five Ten across from The Joule, Oak Restaurant and Place at Perry’s. And there always seemed to be surprises, like Donna Karan, Los Lonely Boys and Llinda Llee Llama.
And this year will be no different. Co-Chairs Melinda Bell, Catherine Cox and Natalie Lorio are planning the menu complete with wine pairings with Chef Sebastian, as well as assembling a precious lineup of live auction items that will be revealed in the weeks ahead.
In the meantime, they’ve already arranged for The Hallam Family and Ben E. Keith to serve as honorary co-chairs, so you just know that the dining and wining are going to be tiptop.
Sponsorships are available now starting at $5,000. Individual tickets are $1,500 and won’t be available until Sunday, September 15.
* Photo provided by The Family Place
By Glenn Hunter
“No way!” Daniel Patyrak cried out excitedly. Daniel’s wife, Staci Patyrak, had just been announced as the winner of the Imaginasium playhouse, one of 17 playhouses being raffled off at NorthPark Center on Sunday, July 28, to benefit Dallas CASA. The Patyraks had snapped up $40 worth of raffle tickets earlier in the day. And the fanciful toy house by Ridgmont Commercial Construction and Gensler was just what their daughters Lyla Patyrak, 7, and Hayli Patyrak, 6, had been hoping for.
As the raffle was about to get underway a little earlier—tickets had been sold for $5 apiece, or five for $20—Dallas CASA CEO Kathleen LaValle said she was very pleased, since ticket sales had been high this year and there was “a lot more buzz, because the top builders and contractors in the city got involved.” Firms like HKS, Balfour Beatty and KDC energized their employees on behalf of the cause, Kathleen said, resulting in more playhouses and greater ticket sales this year than in 2018.
With that, Kathleen’s husband Michael LaValle began calling out the name of each playhouse up for grabs, a short drum roll was heard, and then Mike announced the winner’s name with a flourish. One by one, the little houses with playful names like CASA Critter, She Shed and Jumpin’ Gym Jamboree were awarded to the lucky ticket-holders, most of whom were not present in the throng stretched out in front of Mike.
Alas, not everyone could be a winner. Seven-year-old Nolan Brown had strategically planned which house his family had the best chance to win. Not only had it been a little off the beaten path, it was the Browns’ favorite and, after examining the raffle drum, Nolan believed it had a smidge fewer tickets in it than the others. But, unfortunately for the Browns, their name was not announced as the winner. Nolan, naturally disappointed, nonetheless bravely stood his ground while mom Jennifer Brown consoled three-year-old Ryder Brown. Instead of heading right home, though, the Browns stayed — and Nolan and Ryder even stepped up to help pull chances for the other playhouses.
Standing to one side with her cellphone recording the action was CEO of the Dallas Mavericks Cynt Marshall, wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. Cynt has been a member of the Dallas CASA board since 2014. Her timing was perfect. She had intended to just get a photo of all the playhouses and hadn’t realized that the raffle pull was taking place.
The next morning, the little mansions were loaded onto flatbed trucks and taken to their new home grounds.
All proceeds from the playhouse raffle are designated for the support of Dallas CASA, which is short for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The nonprofit provides volunteer advocates to help abused children have safe, permanent homes where they can thrive. More than 1,300 Dallas CASA volunteers served more than 3,100 children in Dallas County last year.
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