November has a tendency to have spectacular weather and Thursday, November 6, was a masterpiece. As the cars strove to drive home, the most perfect ball glowed in the sky. It was the moon that had that special glow that seems to only seen highlighting crows or on the wings of fireflies. The evening was the perfect kiss by Mother Nature on her sister Mother Earth.
Ellen and Clayton Kershaw prepared for thousands to attend their first Dallas Kershaw’s Challenge at The Rustic. Over at the Angelika, the Stars and Stripe Film Festival was kicking off its two-day run of movies honoring vets with a red carpet and Lynn and Allan McBee as co-chairs and benefiting the Sons of the Flag. Other happenings taking place throughout the area included:
Attitudes and Attire
Some may dismiss Attitudes and Attire as an outlet for gently experienced fashions to find new homes with those in needs of assistance. But there’s so much more like its “Boots to Heels” program the helps female vets adjust to civilian life thanks to the efforts of A&A Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman. In preparation for their 18th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show, they held their kick-off party at Bachendorf’s.
The big news revealed were two-fold. First the recipient of the Kim Dawson Award that “honors a woman whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the full potential of all women. For 2015 the honor will go to Ret. Brig. Gen. Robin Akin, who spoke so eloquently at the 2014 luncheon.
Also, announced was the honorary chair for the Friday, February 27th luncheon at the Dallas Trade Mart will be Ellen Terry.
With former ESPN’s Kelly Webster serving as the evening’s emcee, one of the evening’s highlights was a former A&A client, “who credited the agency with teaching her how to set boundaries and short-term and long-term goals as well as the importance attire can play in your self-esteem.”
The Flora Award
A black tie crowd of nearly 200 filled the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park for the annual Flora Awards dinner chaired by Stacey Beck. Honorees Suzy and Tom Rhodes were surrounded during the reception by the likes of Myriam and Randall Graham, Debbie and Nickey Oates, Billie Leigh Rippey, Cindy and Charlie Feld, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Denis Boulle, Bobbie Sue and Phil Williams and past honorees Caroline Rose Hunt and Barbara Hunt Crow. Honorary Chair Jan Pickens was unable to attend.
Once the reception was just about to bust at the seams, the doors to the Grand Hall with its wall of floor-to-ceiling windows were opened and a glorious dinner prepared by Cassandra. And, of course, the tables were fabulous with floral creations by Junior Villanueva’s Garden Gate.
The Champion Of Children Award Dinner
Since its establishment in 1998, Dallas CASA’s Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award has been presented to individual except for 2006, 2011 and 2012. Those years the award named after the late Judge was given to Archon Group L.P., Southwest Airlines and ExxonMobil and its employees and retirees, respectively.
On this evening, a fourth company was recognized along with its employees — Pioneer Natural Resources.
Named after the late Judge Barefoot Sanders, “the award is given annually to recognize community leaders, who significantly improve the lives of children in our community, particularly those who young lives have been marked by abuse, neglect or other adversity.”
Representing Pioneer was its Chairman of the Board/CEO Scott Sheffield and his wife Kimberley.
Dallas CASA Executive Director/President/longtime volunteer Kathleen LaValle and the staff were thrilled when Barefoot’s widow Jan Sanders said she was interested in becoming an Advocate herself.
It turned out that Jan wasn’t the only ones, as other guests were inspired by the event chaired by Linda and Rob Swartz and Honorary Chair Frank Risch.
In addition to former foster child Joseph Head’s giving a moving talk about how CASA had been life-changing for him, a powerful video was shown with Co-Chair Linda telling about growing up in poverty and her own experience as a teenager growing up in Georgia as a foster child.
No wonder it was a record-breaking night with more than $600,000 raised with nearly 500 attendance.
Yup, it was a beautiful night for the moon and the Dallas fundraisers.
* Photo credit: Marcus Lopez