As 800+ guests like Jonathan Martin, Anne Dyer, Di Johnston, Lauren Gayle White, Kern Wildenthal, Stephanie and Travis Hollman with Carol Seay gathered in the Imperial Ballroom, the program had a slow start-out-of-the-gate. While locals were seated and chatted in overdrive, emcee Clarice Tinsley had to delay getting the program underway because keynote speaker Marisa Tomei hadn’t arrived in the ballroom.
The petite Academy Award winner had spent time posing for photos with top underwriters and sponsors. In between the photo session in the Carpenter Ballroom on the ground level and joining the hundreds in the third-level ballroom, Marisa swapped her comfy flats for highest heels.
Luncheon Co-Chairs Michaela Dyer and Layne Pitzer welcomed and thanked key folks like Honorary Chair Debbie Taylor and awards were presented to the following:
- Nancy Nasher — Texas Trailblazer
- Bob Miller — Real Life Hero
- United Way — Advocacy Award
Unfortunately or fortunately, scholarship winners Erin Baptiste and Julissa Figueroa were not able to attend. They were at college studying.
After lunch (zucchini and saffron vichyssoise with grilled gulf shrimp, crispy chicken breast on a bed of sautéed kale with herb pistou, tricolor marble potatoes, haricot vert and roasted pearl onions and red grape tomatoes) the chat took place between Marisa and Clarice. Unfortunately, the audio in the ballroom made hearing the conversation a bit of a challenge for some in the room. In addition to talking about her stage and film projects, Marisa told of her experience in directing “Half the Sky” about a young girl working through the oppression that women face in Ethiopia.
But there was no doubt that Clarice is a fan of “Empire,” which Marisa has recently joined. Despite her best efforts, Clarice couldn’t pry plot developments out of Marisa. But she did hint that her character’s name — Mimi Whiteman — should provide food for thought and she did love Mimi’s clothes being chic.
But the big news of the day was The Family Place’s launching a $13M capital campaign — The Family Place Legacy Campaign – Building Hope for the Future — for a 40,000-square-foot Central Dallas Counseling Center. The new facility “will allow The Family Place to house expanded victim counseling services and its administrative offices in a location easily accessible by bus and rail. This includes providing space for domestic violence victims and their children to receive therapeutic counseling and case management, as well as the Dignity at Work job training program that assists in financial empowerment, the Be Project youth bullying and violence prevention education program and an on-site children development center.”
With a big old smile, The Family Place’s Paige Flink then revealed The Moody Foundation was kicking in $5M to get things going. As a thank you, The Family Place will name the facility “Ann Moody Place,” after Moody Foundation Executive Director/Trustee Francie Moody-Dahlberg’s mother.
One message that got across was the importance of purple for Family Violence Month. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing purple nail polish as the color of the month on gals like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and even fellas. In a month that has traditionally been pink for breast cancer awareness, the two colors have come together for health and wellbeing.