Wednesday was a busy evening for Dallas nonprofits, with gatherings held for causes ranging from improving city parks to helping children in need.
At the NYLO Dallas South Side hotel, more than 150 people turned up to hear plans outlined for the new Connected City Design Challenge. A joint project of the City of Dallas’ CityDesign Studio and the Trinity Trust Foundation, the challenge is an open call for urban design strategies to connect downtown Dallas with the Trinity River Corridor Project.
With attendees ranging from foundation CEO Dr. Gail Thomas and Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm to businessmen like Garrett Boone and John Scovell, the event celebrated a process that will include two idea streams: a professional stream and an “open” stream.
According to CityDesign’s Brent Brown, each of three professional design streams will be awarded $50,000 for their ideas, while four finalists in the open stream will receive $5,000 each. Larry Beasley, a top urban planner, will serve as chief curator for the competition, whose deadline for submissions is Sept. 19.
Said Thomas: “This is the most important project Dallas has ever attempted to return the city of Dallas to the river.”
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Over at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, meanwhile, Trammell S. Crow was hosting a reception for Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star. Lone Star is the nation’s largest BBBS agency, with operations stretching from Abilene and Dallas to Houston and San Angelo. Tammy L. Richards, who was about to mark her 6-month anniversary as president and CEO, said Lone Star serves 10,000 children with one-to-mentoring.
One of them—Reuben Howard, the agency’s Little Brother of the Year—told about 50 attendees how he had been inspired by his Big Brother, Drew Swedlund, to become more active at school and to apply to Harvard, which has now accepted him. Drew spoke next—“I should have gone first, because Reuben was so good,” he joked—and explained that he and his wife came to love Reuben “just like he was my real brother.”
The agency also presented awards to longtime BBBS supporters Donna and Herb Weitzman and Ana and Don Carty. Don, a former chairman of the BBBS national board, said, “It’s hard not to have passion for this cause when you hear stories like” Reuben’s and Drew’s. Donna told how Herb had procured and donated office space for the group locally, and now is looking to do the same in Houston.
Among those attending the reception were Ed Okpa, Marti Carlin, Dr. Joy Macci and Bill Wallace, and Carmaleta Whiteley and James Schackelford.
Day At The Races
Across town at the beautiful home of Laurie Sands Harrison, more than 100 people showed up for the patron party for the fifth annual Day at the Races benefiting the Lee Park Junior Conservancy.
Honorary chair for the May 4 Kentucky Derby event is Laurie’s mother, Caroline Rose Hunt, while Michelle Scott and Jose Reyes are co-chairs. Gay Waltrip Donnell, president and CEO of the Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy, explained that funds raised will go to develop Lee Park and for the conservation and preservation of Arlington Hall. According to Reyes the event’s fundraising goal is $50,000, and “it looks good right now.”
This year the organizers are expecting 500 people for the party at Lee Park and Arlington Hall. It will feature a Derby Hat contest, entertainment by lounge singer Ricki Derek, and a silent auction. Several of the auction items were on display Wednesday night, including six Baccarat Vega Martini Glasses and eight Pickard Signature Monogram Dinner Plates.