With COVID-19 cases passing the 1,000 mark for the sixth day, North Texas nonprofits are adjusting upcoming fundraising events mindful of the social distancing restrictions. Unfortunately, a couple had to cancel their activities resulting in hits to their income.
Here is today’s updates:
- The Family Place’s Sneaker Soiree scheduled for Friday, August 7
- The Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos scheduled for Saturday, September 19
- Resource Center’s 22nd Annual Toast To Life Sequins and Saddles scheduled for Saturday, July 25
* Graphic courtesy of The Wilkinson Center ** Graphic courtesy of Resource Center
Ka Cotter announced that after two years of chairing the Center for BrainHealth Advisory Board, she’ll be turning over the reins of leadership to Roger Gault on Tuesday, September 1. Another change of the Board’s leadership is David Jacobs’ taking over the vice chair position that has been held by Eric Bennett.
According to Roger, “I am honored and proud to serve the Center for BrainHealth and support the much-needed research they are doing to help preserve and restore brain health. As chair of the advisory board, it is my hope that I can help further their mission and bring more awareness to the many programs and services the Center offers to help empower people of all ages to unlock their brain potential.”
Roger will be only the fourth Board chair. In addition to Ka, the previous chairs have been Debbie Francis and founding chair Shelia Schlosberg.
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman
What had been the tennis court was now a ballroom with strings of fairy lights and chandeliers hovering above. At the far end of the court was a stage for musicians, a lot more than the usual Billy and The Boys operation. Floating on one side of the stage was a 72″ helium filled white balloon with the word “Shen” on it. Across the way was another similar balloon, but it read “Billy.”
Bars were set up on three sides of the court, which had been covered by a green carpeted wooden deck. Around the floor were large round tables covered with white tableclothes, white padded Chiavari chairs and mammoth floral centerpieces of white and red roses and pink peonies.
Billy escorted Shen onstage and with mic in hand told the crowd that, following custom, he and Shen would kick off the evening with the first dance. Out of the corner of his eye, Billy spied Shen starting to unbutton her coat. He stopped talking and all eyes were directed at the removal of the coat that revealed a beautiful dress with an off-the-shoulder, rose crystal-dipped bodice and pink tulle midi skirt with tiered handkerchief-hem. Reaching up with one hand, she pulled a comb from her hair freeing it to fall down to her shoulders.
“Shall we dance?” Shen asked.
Billy just stared. How could she be even more beautiful?
Over the PA a voice was heard. He sounded so familiar. Shen looked at Billy.
“Hey, Shen, it’s Tony Bennett here. Billy invited me to the wedding and I’m afraid that due to the virus restrictions here, I wasn’t able to make it. So, I hope you’ll accept this song for your first dance with your husband as my wedding gift.”
Over the system, Bennett sang “Time After Time.” In the distance, a fireworks display got underway. Like two swirling parallel universes coming together, Shen and Billy danced mesmerized in each other, oblivious of the crowd watching.
As others stood in awe of the magic on the stage, Hannah couldn’t help herself, asking Ham how Billy had made that happen. “Billy’s agent is friends with Tony’s agent.”
Upon finishing the song, Bennett said, “I hope you’ll have many years of happiness together, kids. Thank you for including me on your big day.”
Shen hugged Billy: “I can’t believe you made this happen!” She then looked over at Riley and winked. He nodded. Something was up that wasn’t part of Billy’s plans.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Boys found themselves being joined by some of the country’s leading musicians. Ham looked at Joey and Riley, messaging, “What’s the hell is up?”
Just then, from the back of the stage, Dolly Parton sauntered onstage with a mic in her hand.
Billy couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He’d only seen Dolly from a distance at concerts, and here she was on stage. How did it happen? He looked at Shen, who was smiling like a Cheshire cat. She pulled him close to her and whispered in his ear, “Surprise!”
It seems that it was Dolly whom Shen had texted the request to join the party. Riley had helped by flying Dolly and her crew with their equipment in, just minutes before the wedding began.
Addressing the bridegroom, Dolly said, “Billy, I understand that you’re quite a catch. But trust me — you’ve met your match with my pal Shen. When I heard how you’d swept Shen off her feet, I wanted to see you for myself and be part of your celebration. And I have to say that with all that’s going on in the world, it’s about time we had something to celebrate.”
She then told Billy she wanted to sing something tailor-made for him. With that, Shen unlocked her arms around Billy and gestured for him to go to Dolly, saying, “Dolly, he’s all yours. But I only hope you’ll give him back.”
Dolly had Billy sit on a stool so she could a better look at him. “My, but you are a tall drink of water. I think I picked the right song for you,” as she started singing, “Here You Come Again” to the still-in-shock bridegroom.
Dolly started laughing. “Billy, you look a little surprised. Son, you’d better get used to that with Shen in your life.”
Then she invited Billy and the Boys to join her crew to serenade Shen with “Islands in the Stream.”
While Billy got his guitar, Dolly motioned for Shen to take a seat on the stool.
Despite the shock of being on stage and performing with a legend, Billy couldn’t keep his eyes off Shen.
Then Dolly thanked the crowd and said, “I hate to sing and run, but I’m afraid it’s past my bedtime and don’t you know a girl needs her beauty sleep.”
As she walked past the newlyweds, Dolly said, “Shen, I think you’ve got yourself a real keeper.”
With that, she and her crew were headed back to Nashville, with Riley smiling all the way.
The local backup band took over so the Boys could party with the rest of the guests. Seeing Billy and Shen sneaking off, Jeff hollered, “Where are you going for your honeymoon?” Billy looked over his shoulder and shouted back: “Upstairs. See you in a week… no, make that a couple of weeks. And, Jeff, I got my birthday wish granted.”
Looking at thunder clouds forming in the west, Bertie shook her head. Hannah asked her what was wrong. Bertie smiled, “Nothing. I’m just a superstitious old fool. It’s nothing.”
… to be continued on Friday, July 10
New Friends New Life Luncheon’s Cyntoia Brown-Long To Shine The Light On Sex Trafficking And Criminal Justice Reform
Looking to better times, New Friends New Life Luncheon Co-Chairs Jane A. Rose and Jessica Turner-Waugh and Honorary Co-Chairs Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell have just announced the speaker for the fundraiser on Friday, September 18, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
It is a woman who has suffered through the repercussions of sex trafficking and the need for criminal justice reform. Her name is Cyntoia Brown-Long. Like too many, her story starts when she was just a teenager. Being forced into prostitution, she was arrested at the age of 16 for killing Johnny Michael Allen, who had paid $150 to have sex with him. Despite being a juvenile, she was “sentenced as an adult to life in prison” for robbing and killing him. She wouldn’t be up for parole until the age of 67.
During her tenure in the Tennessee Prison for Women, Cyntoia earned her GED, an associate degree in Liberal Arts and Bachelors of Professional Studies in Organization Leaders from Lipscomb University. She also married musician and entrepreneur Jaime Long.
Thanks to celebrities like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dog and LeBron James, Cyntoia’s story went viral resulting in Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granting her full clemency, and she was released from prison last August. Two months later her book, “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System,” was released.
In announcing his decision, Haslam said, “After careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case … imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh.”[
According to NFNL CEO Kim Robinson, “While we have made great strides in the way lawmakers and society view those forced into modern-day slavery, there is much work to be done, and it is critical that we continue having these conversations.”
Tickets for the luncheon are available here!
* Photo credit: Flip Holsinger
Just days before COVID-19 started impacting area fundraisers, the American Heart Association of Dallas was carrying on with it 2020 Côtes Du Coeur pre-event activities. On Sunday, March 1, an invitation-only crowd gathered at the Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove Showroom Cotes to hear Lead Chef Richard Chamberlain and some of the participating chefs announce their menus for the graze-athon originally scheduled for Saturday, April 18, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Here’s a report from the field:
The American Heart Association welcomed chefs, donors and sponsors to the 2020 Côtes du Coeur Chef Announcement Party on Sunday, March 1, at the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Showroom. Guests, including Côtes du Coeur Co-Chairs Jennifer and Mark Sanders, Lisa and Chef Richard Chamberlain, Chef Jim Severson, Chef Kent Rathbun, Hazel and John Clendening, Bridget Blaise-Shamai and Kerry and Dimitry Philipovitch, enjoyed food catered by Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill.
As guests viewed the awe-inspiring showroom, they enjoyed wine by Luna Vineyards and Whitehall Lane Winery and Vineyards, provided Intervine. During the evening, sponsored by American Airlines, Dr. Joshua Rutland, a cardiology fellow specializing in electrophysiology at Baylor Scott and White Heart and Vascular Hospital, spoke about the evolution of the pacemaker.
The 100+ guests in attendance received a sneak peek of two incredible experiences that will be a part of this year’s live auction, including an 8-night South African safari excursion and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to blend your own barrel of wine with this year’s Tête du Cuvee, Torii Mor Winery.
Lead Chef Richard Chamberlain shared the exquisite dishes that will be offered at Côtes du Coeur on April 18, 2020 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. For those who were not at the event, American Heart Association has provided the 2020 Center of Plate menu to feast your eyes on.
For more information on Dallas’ premiere fine wine and celebrity chef experience visit cotesducoeur.heart.org.
Follow the jump for a look at the participating chefs and their Center of Plate plans.
Follow the jump for the planned menus.
* Photo credit: Wayland Scogin Mayo [Read More...]
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