Hyatt Regency Dallas guests probably thought that Halloween was getting an early start on Tuesday, October 31. Passing them by were a blonde in black attire topped off with a black cowboy hat and red cape, a person in oversized cowboy costume, cheerleaders and munchkins in red T-shirts reading 2027 Panthers.
Actually, all these characters were on site as part of The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Luncheon honoring longtime Texas Tech loyalists Diane and John Scovell, as well as present the 2017 Molly H. Bogen Service Award to Lori Daniels.
As the Landmark Circle filled to capacity for the VIP reception with Gail and Gerald Turner, 2016 Spirit Awardees Jan and Fred Hegi, 2011 Spirit Awardee Carolyn Miller, 2010 Spirit Awardees Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Caren Kline, Kristen and Jim Hinton, Tucker Enthoven with her mom Julie Ford, John and Betty Crawford, Debbie Oates, Brent Christopher, Robin Robinson and Margo Goodwin, The Senior Source President/CEO Cortney Nicolato and Bank of Texas Dallas Market Executive Bob White welcomed the crowd.
One or two of the group admitted that they had headed to the Anatole, where the event had been held in the past. But since John had built the Hyatt along with the world-renowned tower, it was only right to honor him in his hotel.
One guest was huffing as she arrived after parking her car in the satellite parking lot. She admitted that the lunch was just the second time that she had been to the Hyatt and climbing the hill in high heels for John was a labor of love. The next time she was gonna valet.
At 11:30 the Landmark Ballroom was filling with longtime friends of the Scovells like Texas Tech buddy Alan White was tableside with Pat Schenkel… Kristi Hoyl and Mary Montgomery spied each other across the way. They were both in similar dresses… Alan Walne was still sporting a sling due to surgery…Former Senior Source President/CEO Molly Bogen arrived to hugs from Lindalyn Adams …’nother former Senior Sourcer Betty Houser reported that after a year off for “temporary retirement,” she was considering a return to the nonprofit sector… and Pat McCallum, Barbara Stuart, County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, District Attorney Faith Johnson and Brad Cheves.
Just past noon Senior Source Board Chair John Taylor III got things started by introducing Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Matthew Ruffiner, who gave the invocation, and Luncheon Chair Carol Lupton Huckin and Diamond Underwriter Baylor Scott And White Health CEO Jim Hinton addressed the crowd as lunch was served.
In presenting the Bogen Service Award with Molly to Lori, Cortney told how Lori had served in various capacities to help the elderly. Lori even created an underwear donation drive called “The Reverse Panty Raid” and a gift drive for the holidays. That first year, “ten seniors were adopted.” Last year 200 personalized gifts were delivered to clients.
Lori recalled how she had joined The Senior Source after seeing a notice in The Dallas Morning News for a volunteer opportunity. That was 20 years ago. Since that time, she has involved friends, family and especially her husband, Jim Daniels.
A video was shown detailing the countless programs that The Senior Source provides. Just last year they accommodated 33,000 “older adults.”
As the lights came up, a couple of white rocking chairs were now on the left side of the stage in front of a row of faux hedges with twinkling lights. In the back of the ballroom, cheerleaders and other characters waited.
Following the video, Cortney asked that guests visit a senior and text donations. She then explained that while the fundraiser often took place around Thanksgiving, this year “We’re just trying to mess with you today and do it on Halloween.”
As Cortney left the stage and Diane and John took their places in the rocking chairs. A voice over the PA revealed how it was a Scovell tradition at Halloween that trick or treaters must do a trick before getting a treat. In keeping with that idea, it was announced that Stage Fright Events had been hired to screen the masses who seek their 15 minutes of fame “on the Scovells’ front porch.
The skit provided laughs as one of the screeners proved not to be the sharpest tack in the box saying that
- John had met Diane when she was a traveling rodeo clown. No, Diane had been a rodeo queen in Brady. And they met in college — Texas Tech, of course.
- John’s dad, Field Scovell, had been “Mr. Spandex Bowl.” No, Field had been Mr. Cotton Bowl.
- John had built the Eiffel Tower. No, he had built Reunion Tower.
- In college, Diane and John were named Mr. and Miss Texas A and …. No, they were named Mr. and Miss Texas Tech.
The first to tryout were future Hillcrest Panthers/third graders from Preston Hollow Elementary, who sang “Skin and Bones.” [Editor’s note: It was pretty darn adorable.]
Next up was the Reunion Tower Ball that texted via the big screen that it and the Scovells go back 39 years. For its trick, the revolving ball displayed a lit pumpkin.
The final tryout on stage was the Texas Tech crew including the cheerleaders shouting “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for seniors stand up and holler.” With that the Tech fight song played, Masked Rider and Raider Red arrived on stage and the guests stood.
With the Diane and John still rocking, Underwriting Chair John Crawford replaced the Stage Fright team and told how the Scovells had made a dynamic impact on Dallas education, business, health and environment by looking “to the future with a reverence for the past.” In the Scovell world, “Success is a team sport.”
John Taylor and Carol joined John Crawford in presenting the award to the Scovells.
After receiving the award, John Scovell retired to his chair and Diane admitted, “I want to shut the doors and get around to everybody…We’re appreciative and so very uncomfortable. It’s kinda not our style.” She asked everyone who had been involved with any of the Scovell projects for the betterment of Dallas. It seemed like all but a handful stood. At one point she told how their sons had been such troopers even when John coached them in soccer but knew nothing about the sport.
It was now time for John to address the group by defending his soccer skills. “My father told me early on. He said, ‘Son, if you can’t use your hands, it must be a communist sport.’ That was my introduction to soccer.” He then had Diane join him at the podium. Once again he recalled something his father had told him, “He had spent a lot of time at events like this and he said, ‘Son, if you’re to speak and have a nice audience, here’s what you tell them. You stand up to be seen. You speak up to be heard. You sit down to be appreciated.”
And from the audience’s response, the Scovells were truly appreciated.
For more photos of the day’s activities, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.