Brook Hollow was jammed on Tuesday, April 19, for the Callier Center’s Callier Cares. In the Oak Room, where the VIP reception was being held, a lucky few were telling tales of the Sweetheart Ball chaired by Perot sisters Nancy Perot, Suzanne McGee, Carolyn Rathjen and Katherine Reeves the previous Saturday at Brook Hollow. It was one of those nights when the younger members headed home early perhaps to relieve babysitters. But the older set like Ross Perot took the mic while Roger Horchow donned a top hat and tickled the ivories in the Oak Room. Just in case, Margot Perot had songbooks printed for the sing-a-long. There was even a rumor that a cigar was seen being lit up.
But back to the luncheon’s VIP reception. Looking around the room, it was pretty much even-steven gals vs. guys thanks to honoree Stuart Bumpas and Honorary Co-Chairs Michal and Lloyd Powell.
Eventually the crowd including Mike McCullough, Libby Hunt, Beth Thoele, Di Johnston, Kevin Kadesky, Tricia George, Kristina Whitcomb, Hobson Wildenthal, Lisa Cooley, Debbie Oates, Shelle Sills, Ann Dyer, Don Glendenning, Robyn Conlon, Jill Rowlett, Tiffany Divis, Christie Carter, Louise Griffeth, Kern Wildenthal, Lisa Longino, Barbara Stuart and Stuart’s wife Diane Bumpas and son Joe Bumpas heard the chimes and made their way to the ballroom. Now to get them in their chairs? That was a challenge. One person suggested starting a prayer and another recommended drafting Melissa Macatee do her call-to-order whistle. Luckily, neither was necessary as the guests took their seats.
With Callier Center Executive Director Tom Campbell serving as emcee and videos briefly and beautifully showcasing Callier’s services and accomplishments, the rest of the luncheon continued hitting home runs.
This luncheon was a very personal one, as was proven by Luncheon Chair/mother of six Angie Kadesky. With her daughter Erin Kadesky at her side, Angie told how Callier had been instrumental in Erin’s adapting and overcoming the challenges of hearing loss. The results have been Erin’s flourishing in school.
And then there was Mandy and Jaime Palmer, whose infant son Howard Palmer was diagnosed with hearing loss. A video proved the success of Howard’s cochlear implants showing the moment when toddler Howard heard sound for the first time.
To back up the testimonials, Ruth Altshuler took the podium to present Stuart with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. She admitted that she had risen from her sick bed to celebrate honoree Stuart Bumpas, who had once been the kid next door. Thanks to Ruth’s off-the-cuff remarks, everyone felt as if they had lived next door to Stuart and bought Cutco products from him when the Locke Lord attorney was a 13-year-old.
Stuart in accepting the award tapped the knowledge and experiences of the late actor Lon Chaney, whose parents were deaf, and Academy Award winning/hearing impaired Marlee Matlin. Ever gracious, he thanked everyone associate with Callier.
The final testimonial was presented by a Callier hero, Bailey Turfitt, who told how her loss of hearing hadn’t held her back from her love of music. The Highland Park graduate recalled how she had played the clarinet and flute, earning awards and graduating with honors and being inducted as a National Merit Scholar.
Following Bailey, Foundation of Callier Center President John Stuart proved a charming and talented closer. He applauded the Callier staff for their support, especially after he initially pointed folks in the wrong direction to pick up their cars. With humor, he corrected the error. But before dispatching guests, he revealed that Emilynn Wilson would chair the 2017 luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.