The Senior Source’s annual Spirit of Generations Luncheon entered a new era on Monday, November 14, at the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. It would be the first under the leadership of TSS President/CEO Cortney Nicolato, who had succeeded longtime TSS President/CEO Molly Bogen, who retired this past year after 40 years.
A new development was the VIP reception preceding the main event that evidently was not that important as media and official photographers weren’t put on call.
Luckily, honorees Jan and Fred Hegi provided enough of the warmth factor to shout-out the importance of the organization for the AARP-ers. Why, just having the Hegi clan there was enough to make it a true family affair: Amy and Peter Hegi and Libby and Brian Hegi with all their kids (Lila, Hunter, Mary Allison, Anna and Katherine).
After Board Chair Kathy Helm welcomed the group including Luncheon Chair Marilyn Weber, Ruth Altshuler, Margaret and Lester Keliher, Lydia Novakov, Sarah Losinger, Connie Yates, Marsha and Craig Innes, Kelly Compton and Carolyn Miller, a touching video showcased Miss Julie, who had benefited from the The Senior Source. She told how Warren had been the champion for her having a life-changing home despite his battling pancreatic cancer. As the guests watched Miss Julie at her sewing machine tell lovingly of her gratitude for The Senior Source and Warren, it was noted that the video was in memory of Warren.
Following lunch, Cortney announced the creation of the Molly Bogen Services Award, named after her predecessor.
The first Molly Award was presented to KTCK “The Ticket’”s George Dunham, who, despite being a jock-type guy, showed all the compassion of a loving son. Following his father’s death, he visited with Molly to see how he could help; that resulted in raising more than $200K. He addressed two of his sons who were in the audience that he hoped that they would remember their grandparents. Having lost both of his parents, George announced that he would share the award with his sister.
Then it was on to the salute to the Hegis. With Jan and Fred in easy chairs on stage, they settled down for a Jimmy Fallon “Thank you” presentation. Only this one featured Hegi longtime “friends.” With the honorees watching, the signers lined up verbalizing what they were signing.
First up were Hegi sons Brian and Peter, who recalled life with the perfect parents who had met the first week of entering SMU. One of the highlights was the boys’ recalling how they would show up at neighbors’ homes on Friday nights asking to spend the night, so they wouldn’t have to wake up to Saturday-morning chores.
Others lining up providing thanks were Mike and Marla Boone, Brad Cheves, Sherry Wilson, Highland Park Police Lt. Lance Koppa as well as other Hegi friends who got into the act.
Even a member of the audience got into the tributes, admitting that the Hegis probably didn’t recognize him but, years ago, when he was going door-to-door selling knives, Fred talked with him for 20 minutes and Jan invited him to their annual homecoming party that weekend. Despite not attending SMU and even living out of state, he brought his wife and five kids every year, declaring it was the “greatest thing ever.” Did somebody say, “Ringer”?
After the ribbing and kidding was done, Former TSS Chair/Spirit of Generations Awardee David Miller presented the couple with the Spirit of Generations Award for their contributions in “thoughts, words and deeds to all generations of the greater Dallas community past, present and future…who have helped build the foundation that supports our community and the bridges that connect ages.”