As folks were starting to hit the groceries looking for the right items to fill the Thursday Thanksgiving feast, The Senior Source held its 8th annual Spirit of Generations Luncheon on Monday, November 24, at the Anatole.
The timing of the annual luncheon is absolutely perfect. With the season’s focus on family and community, the fundraiser celebrates those who have been part of North Texas’ history and have created the foundation for the future.
As for the event itself, it seemed more like a gathering of the yet-to-be-tapped AARP types. The VIP reception in the Plum Blossom Room was bustling with energy. Co-Chair Lydia Novakov had her clan in attendance including husband Dan Novakov (he’s chairing the Cotton Bowl Classic), cousin Patti Jo Turner and husband John Turner and mom Isabell Haggar with Lydia’s sister, Marian Bryan, who was talking with Co-Chair Sarah Losinger and her husband Alan. The only one missing was the Novakov daughter Isabell, who was in Singapore visiting her old roommate.
Honoree Kay Bailey Hutchison was surrounded like a queen with well-wishers Gail and Gerald Turner, George Schrader, Caren Prothro, Angie Kadesky, Ruth Altshuler, Helen Storey, Nancy Halbreich, Becky Bright, Dee Collins, Sara Martineau, Barbara Stuart, Ros Dawson, Brent Christopher, Cyndi Bassel and a slim-trim Marnie and Kern Wildenthal.
Eventually the VIP’s ambled over to the Grand Ballroom that was already filling up with Robin Robinson, Courtney Rottman, Sparkey Beckham, David Burgher, Susan McSherry, Tim Moore, Angela Randall, Caren Kline, Pam Perella, Margo Goodwin, Pam Busbee, Pam McCallum and Susan Wells Jenevein. Like watchful parents, The Senior
Source Chair of the Board Debbie Oates at the head table and husband Nickey Oates at a table in the room kept an eye open for their late-arriving daughter
Kay entered the room to trumpeter Howard Kennedy playing “Eyes of Texas” with Longhorn loyalists raising the UT salute and all rising to their feet. After she took her place at the head table and everyone settled back in their seats, they were asked to stand for Tom Gilchrist’s singing “God Bless America.”
Keeping to their schedule, Debbie welcomed the group, Rev. Anthony Burton gave the invocation, Sarah and Lydia extended their thanks to all who had contributed to the event, and Baylor Scott &White Health Senior VP John McWhorter told of the foster grandparents program at Baylor’s Children’s House.
Following luncheon, The Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen introduced the agency video that showcased the numerous programs and services provided by “seniors,” like Elder Financial Safety Cennter, Elder Support Program, ElderCare Partners, Guardianship and Money Management Program, Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, Senior Employment Program, AGE (Advocacy Group for Elders), Senior Companion Program, Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP.
It was then time to honor Kay, but before the award could be presented, a woman entered the room looking for Kay. It was Kay’s “cousin Lavelle Bates” who had just arrived via the bus from North Carolina. It was amazing how under the makeup and outfit, she looked more like Peggy Carr.
Bravely Kay sat smiling as fact and fiction played out to a room full of laughter. Following the roasting toasting, Kay graciously accepted her award and in true Kay B.H. fashion. Ever the polished speaker, Kay kept her remarks short. After all, she had learned after years of speech-making that a good speaker keeps their remarks short and sincere.
She immediately extolled the importance and value of The Senior Source. Then she spoke of how she was proud of serving the country as a U.S. Senator and the people she represented. She closed by saying that during this week of Thanksgiving, she was most grateful for being an American.