Thursday, September 27, was non-stop all over the area. The non-profits were busting at the seams with activities including:
NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK
Everyone including Mayor “Big Mike” Rawlings found traffic slowed their heading to the North Texas Food Bank to celebrate its 30th anniversary. But it was a struggle. Once at the massive warehouse from which tons of food is provided for many, NTFB Jan Pruitt and her crew really put on a party. Adjacent to the warehouse was a mammoth tent, where area restaurants served up tasties. Leave it to La Madeleine’s to pass around mini-strawberries Romanoff with a wink when asked about the calorie count.
Speaking of La Madeleine, La Mad founder Patrick Esquerre was talking about Essilor Vision Foundation’s growth in the past couple of years, and about the impact that providing glasses for school children has made in classrooms as well as homes. From 2008 through July 2012, 22,596 pairs of glasses were provided as well as 87,512 screenings.
In the warehouse, sky-high shelves were stocked with food. However, as overwhelming as the amount of food stored was, the reality was that the food would all too soon be on its way to those in need, and the shelves would need to be replenished. Since its beginning 30 years ago, NTFB has provided 575 million tons of food for the North Texas area.
But on this day, the shelves were full but still, as tables, chairs and orange balloon columns filled the floor. Sandra Lewis reported how she had one of the best Korean tacos just the day before at Thanks-Giving Square’s food truck project benefiting NTFB. . . Colleen Brinkman was on hand, despite having just become a grandmother an hour before.
NTFB founders Liz Minyard and Kathryn Hall told how they had hoped to have wiped out hunger 30 years ago. Their failure wasn’t due to lack of effort or support. For instance, thanks to Bette Perot, the warehouse was made available. Such amazing people as Lorraine and Joe Curtis, Lori Palmer, Jan and other have built NTFB into one of the nation’s model agencies for feeding the hungry.
However, they were unable to achieve their goal because as great as their efforts, the demands were greater and growing. Hunger is not limited to “the other part of town.” It seeps into households in all neighborhoods. Kathryn told of a boy who, following breakfast at school, snuck out to a car and gave his breakfast to a little girl. When confronted, he revealed, “That’s my sister. My mother didn’t have the money to pay for immunization for both of us, so only one of us could start school today and that’s me.” Kathryn went on and told the rest of the story, “And that’s why he had access to food and he took it out to share it with his sister.”
Despite being a few minutes late, Mayor Mike was easily forgiven, thanks to his eloquence. Simply said, he reminded the guests, “We (Dallas) have to be young and smart. You cannot do that on an empty stomach.”
Topping off the evening of music and food was the unveiling of the donor wall by Jer Giles. As Jan said, the names on the wall represented people who had made donations ranging from $30,000-$100,000 and “there is room for more names to be added.”
Remember when only a handful of kids played soceer? Ah, come one. Football, basketball and baseball ruled. Soccer? Wasn’t that a game played in Europe and South America? Don’t tell anyone, but soccer was way more popular than America’s football. Since those days of yore, it has literally taken off.
Now there’s a new kid sorta on the sports block making major headways — lacrosse.
It’s like soccer and polo without the horses. And you don’t have to wear all the equipment that you do in football.
And according to sources, lacrosse players are pretty darn cute and smart. Think George Clooney and Brad Pitt types, only better.
While the game has really started to swell in the North Dallas area, it has also been making inroads in South Dallas thanks to Bridge Lacrosse. It was just eight years ago that a team was formed at St. Philip’s School. Over the years it has grown to include three urban schools with six teams. The program also works with more than 600 youngsters in community centers.
According to Bridge Lacrosse Executive Director David Higbee, Bridge Lacrosse connects “boys and girls with the larger lacrosse community,” thereby teaching “values like commitment, teamwork, respect and responsibility.”
In the future, Bridge Lacrosse plans to “make great strides both in South Dallas as well as a push into West Dallas.”
In order to do that, funds are needed. To achieve those goals, the third annual “Going for the Goal” dinner was held at Northwood Club with Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk as honorary chair. Instead of the usual nice and proper adults in best bib-and-tucker to greet guests, organizers had some very OMG adorable local high school lacrosse players (Will Carney from Jesuit, Jack Hitzelberger from Highland Park, Mikey Murphy from St. Marks, Drew Kaplan from Greenhill, Preston Crow from ESD and Jack Crow from St. Marks) with sticks in hand to pose with. If these chaps are typical of lacrosse players, everyone needs to be very, very nice to them. Lacrosse players are future presidents, CEO’s and nighttime talk show hosts. Oh, to be that cool!
Once past the gauntlet of guys, there was a room of silent auction items that ranged from sports to movie memorabilia as well as a bunch of services.
In charge of the event for the first time, David was a bit concerned. He had hoped for maybe 100 to attend, but it turned out to be nearly twice that number.
Following dinner Heritage Auctions’ Mike Sadler sold a pizza party and lacrosse clinic, dinner with Dale Hansen and Pete Delkus, a Fiesta Bowl package and vacations in Florida, St. John, Beaver Creek, Grand Cayman, New York and Paris.
Suggestion: Next year instead of the having the boys at the front, have them on stage entertaining.
NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER
Over at the Nasher Sculpture Center, meanwhile, a crowd gathered for a “totally sold-out” patron dinner and preview of the Nasher’s new exhibition, “Rediscoveries: Modes of Making in Modern Sculpture.” The sculpture center’s downstairs auditorium was beautifully decked out for the dinner with flickering candles, grey linen tablecloths and seemingly thousands of white hydrangeas. Among the evening’s 160 or so guests were Kelli and Allen Questrom, Margaret McDermott, Jennifer and John Eagle, Kathleen Gibson, Marnie and Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Kenny Goss.
The “Rediscoveries” show, which runs through Jan. 13, 2013, consists of masterworks from the collection of sculpture center founder Raymond and Patsy Nasher, including pieces by Alberto Giacometti and Richard Serra. Serra’s “Inverted House of Cards,” for instance, had been displayed in the Nashers’ home, but never before at the sculpture center.
Meantime, another exhibition downstairs, titled “Sculpture in So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960-1980,” highlighted a number of Conceptual art pieces popularized beginning in the 1960s. Several of those pieces were done by the evening’s honored guest, Lawrence Weiner. Weiner, whose typographic texts have helped make him a leading figure in Postminimalism’s Conceptual school, knew Nasher director Jeremy Strick from Strick’s time as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Craggy-faced, with a long shaggy beard, the artist said he’d just flown in from a “two-week road trip” that included showings of his work in Berlin and Vienna. Accompanied by Alice Zimmerman—“I live with him,” she explained—Weiner chatted happily with guests at the pre-dinner reception. Among them: a reporter who asked what he’s been up to lately, and whether his work might be headed in any new directions. “I don’t know what you mean by ‘new directions,’” the artist replied. As to his current activities, he said, “I’m on the cover of ArtForum magazine, if you want to look me up.”