Lindalyn Adams was a very busy lady the week of October 21. Tuesday she attended the Celebrating Women patron party at Lisa and Kenny Troutt‘s estate. Wednesday at the Celebrating Women luncheon at the Hilton Anatole she was recognized by her Baylor Health Care System Foundation boss Robin Robinson at being responsible for naming the Celebrating Women lunch, which she denied. Thursday she was back at the Anatole, where she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas at the annual Women of Distinction luncheon. And each day her faithful hairdresser, Fred Stucke, refreshed her hair. They’ve been together longer than most marriages, so he wasn’t going to let Lindalyn look less than perfect.
It was truly a three-day Dallas lovefest for the 83-year-young lady, who is embarrassed by all the attention. But before she received her award, there were others who were being honored at the luncheon chaired by the Kadesky gals (Angie, Ann and Kimber) and the room filled with area leaders including the Perot ladies (Margot, Suzanne, Katherine and Carolyn), Fredye Factor, Jennifer Sampson, Robyn Conlon, Gillian Breidenbach, Sally Hoglund, Kelly Compton, Paige Baden Locke and Karen Shuford).
First up for accolades were the two Young Women of Distinction — Grace Charlotte Cooper and Alexandra Villareal, who showed through their brief talks how Girl Scouts has already instilled the ability to talk to a large crowd as well as accomplishment.
Next up was Nicole Ginsburg Small, who accepted the Women of Distinction Award with daughter Sadie wearing her Girl Scouts sash over her dress, seated proudly at her table. Former Brownie Nicole told how her mother advised “to pick out what you love and go for it.” She led the audience in a pledge: “Being a girl is great! Girls are good at math! And being a Girl Scout is awesome!” They dutifully complied. In concluding her talk, Nicole emphasized the importance of young women focusing on math. That comment got a “thumbs up” from Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’s Colleen Walker.
Then it was time for Lindalyn to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. With cane in her right hand and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Eddie Mullens escorting her on the left, she entered the stage to a standing room only. Shoot! Most folks would have just taken a bow, grabbed the award, posed for a photo and been off. Not Lindalyn. With the graciousness and self-deprecating humor that have made her one of Dallas’ great ladies, she acknowledged that she hadn’t been a Girl Scout, but wondered if it was too late to join up. Then the diminutive fundraiser proceeded to thank and recognize the many great organizations and people that have made Dallas outstanding —Baylor Health Care System, the Sixth Floor, the Dallas Historical Society, Old City Park, Friends of Fair Park, Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, Ruth Altshuler, the medical wives and many others, including her sons and her late husband, Reuben, who “wore out two tuxedos in my chairman charity ball days.”
She concluded telling the group that she was pleased to learn that the lunch’s proceeds would benefit 35,000 girls in the program.
Colleen then announced that the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas were on a campaign to raise $13M and had already achieved $3.7M. In addition, thanks to the Perot Foundation, the girls at the 1,400-acre Camp Bette Perot in Athens will have a new aquatic center this summer.
As a teaser, AT&T’s Cynthia Malone revealed that in the future there would be more news about the partnership between luncheon presenting sponsor AT&T and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.
The luncheon itself raised more than $300K. They were still counting the donations.
That would have been enough for most luncheons, but Colleen had arranged to have one of the country’s most outstanding Girl Scouts to top off the day — Talia Leman, CEO of RandomKid. If her name doesn’t quite hit the right brain cell, her accomplishments will. Thanks to her efforts as a 10-year-old in Waukee, Iowa, to rally young people, she raised more than $10M for Hurricane Katrina victims. While she collected recognition and awards, she wasn’t stopping with that project. In the years since, she has expanded RandomKid to assist 12M youths around the world in raising funds.
From her talk, it was obvious that she was an articulate and dynamic leader who did not recognize coming up short. Despite her youthful appearance with her green scarf, her voice conveyed a feeling of confidence. She told how the creation of RandomKid had allowed her to be a “witness to this greatness in others that I never could have foreseen. It just happened. Which is a very scary realization. Because that greatness happened by accident. It happened by surprise. Its greatness was not a carefully orchestrated sequence of events.”
So, she discussed “how can we do something greater than we know how to do and become something greater than we know how to be.”
First off, she surprised some by saying that “luck” was an important factor. Then Talia launched into a story about 9-year-old Katie Stagliano, who grew a 40-pound cabbage and fed 275 people in a homeless shelter. That project grew into Katie’s coordinating organic gardens in 21 states for homeless shelters and her becoming the youngest recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award.
Then she told about 15-year-old Travis Price, who “learned about the power of belief.” It seems that on his first day of high school he noticed a boy being bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt. So the next day Travis not only wore a pink shirt, he and a friend went to a thrift shop and bought 50 and gave them to his friends. Then he texted friends and put it on his Facebook page. The following day Travis showed up at school and 700 kids were wearing pink. The bully was never heard from again. However, Travis’s project turned into “Pink Shirt Day” that now takes place on six continents to take a stand against bullying.
The third story involved a 21-year-old Waleed Rashed, who wanted to start a revolution in his country. Step one — he gathered a dozen friends to help him out. Step two — get people to protest at the same place at the same time. Since it was a poor area, getting the word out was going to be difficult, so he and his friends “decided to pull a little prank.” In public places they got on their cell phones, just loud enough for others to overhear about a stealth project — a revolution in the city that was going to take place on January 25. People overheard and shared the supposed not-to-be shared news. When the date occurred, 2 million people showed up. “They came to see the revolution and in turn became the revolution.” It was January 25, 2011, in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
According to Talia, the common thread in all three stories was, “Luck is everywhere that we are. Belief doesn’t require a rhyme or a reason. That everything begins with nothing. And listen carefully, that we don’t need to line up our ducks because the best plans actually emerge. That square peg can fit in a round hole because its flexibility that makes things happen. And the best place for any cart is ahead of the horse, because your dreams should always lead you.”
* Graphic provided by the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas