Leading up to the Aware Affair on Friday, April 13, at The Statler, Co-Chairs Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington are setting quite a standard. Just for their launch party on Monday, December 4, they commandeered The Statler’s Bourbon And Banter and recommended that the guests wear appropriate for the heyday of the speakeasy era. And along with Aware President Venise Stuart, they announced tidbits about the Aware fundraiser including the honorees. But more about that later. Here’s a report from the field:
As guests arrived on Monday, December 4, at The Statler for the Launch Party for Aware Affair Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Celebration – they were greeted by two modern American icons: A 1946 Lincoln and a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, all decked out for the soirée in accordance with the dress code Speakeasy Chic Attire.
An intriguing setting, Bourbon And Banter is accessed by going through a small series of hallways, down some stairs and a few more stairs, passing through a glass door where a code had to be called in from, guess what, a very chic telephone booth. As the heavily paneled wooden door slowly slides open, oohs -and-aahs were heard throughout the crowd. Welcome to the party!
“This setting is the perfect choice for our launch party,” said Aware Affair Co-Chair Jolie Humphrey. “Just look at the outfits! Everyone got in the mood.”
Jolie and Aware Affair Co-Chair Josey Kennington were chatting up the 75+ supporters and member of the host committee including Honorary Co-Chairs Kim McDavid, dressed in sequins and sparkles and her husband, David McDavid, Jr., who was dressed to the nines in 1930s-inspired wide pin-striped slacks, white shirt and tie with suspenders and topped with a fedora.
Addressing the group, Aware President Venise Stuart thanked everyone and gave a brief history of Aware’s history, which began in 1989 when five very involved and powerful Dallas women — Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Cyndy Hudgins, Nancy Nelson, Evelyn Ponder, Billie Leigh Rippey and Anita Sampels –founded the organization in support of their good friend who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. These ladies asked their friends to help begin Aware and at least 100 women stepped up to become Charter Members, many of whom were in attendance this evening.
In the almost 30 years since Aware has been in existence, more than $12.5 million have been raised. This money has been given back to the community in the form of support for education, research, and caregiving using a thorough grant review process under the administration of The Dallas Foundation. The process includes financial analysis and on-site visits to applying organizations.
Venise then announced the two honorees.
- BvB Dallas is a Dallas-based charity organization that hosts a powder-puff football game and other fundraisers as a way of raising money for Alzheimer’s Disease research and awareness. Founded locally by a group of young women driven to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, BvB Dallas is a personal way for young professionals across DFW to raise awareness, funds and support to tackle Alzheimer’s forever. Raising more than $3.5 million and recruiting over 1,000 volunteers for the cause, BvB Dallas has made a huge impact in the Metroplex over the past 10 years.
- The Chantilis Family, in honor of their mother, Frances Chantilis. Frances was one of the original charter members of Aware. Frances was a kind, gentle, woman, who gave to everyone in the community. Unfortunately, Frances lost her own battle of Alzheimer’s in 2013.
In Frances’ memory, her children, Sam Chantilis, M.D. and Stephanie Bray and her husband Bennie Bray have continued to support the Aware mission. In 2015 Stephanie and Bennie served as the 2015 Aware Affair co-chairs.
Jolie and Josey also thanked media sponsors PaperCity Magazine, The Park Cities News/The Waters Family, MySweetCharity and Downtown Business News, along with in-kind sponsors to date: Matthew Shelley Photography, Glass Vodka, Roxor Gin, JR Ewing Bourbon, Lakewood Brewing Co. and Pratiksha Jewelry, which donated a most beautiful set of a diamond necklace and earrings co-designed by Kim McDavid. Topping off the sweet evening were chocolates from Chocolate Secrets as favors.
The event will be held on Friday, April 13, at The Statler, the newly-renovated, historic hotel. The original Statler Hilton, an iconic building of mid-twentieth century design, was heralded as the first and finest hotel of the modern era and established Dallas as the business and entertainment center of the Southwest.
The newly renovated hotel is the perfect setting for Aware’s new event format designed to entice party-goers of all ages: a cocktail reception, dancing to favorite tunes spanning the decades, silent auction with select wonderful finds for everyone, and a spirited live auction with WFAA’s Ron Corning as emcee.
The three-course, seated dinner will showcase gourmet selections by Director of Culinary Events Justo Blanco, formerly executive chef and director of operations at Bolsa Mercado.
2018 AWARE Grant Recipients are:
- Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Support for the salary of a Ph.D. Neuropsychology Intern for Baylor ATandT Memory Center.
- Center for BrainHealth – Discovery Group – Support for the Discovery Group, a program designed to help individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias focus on preserving abilities and tapping strengths to promote meaningful engagement and slow the progression of the disease.
- Dallas Museum of Art – Memory Moments – Support for teaching honorariums, supplies, and staffing for Memory Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias ways to engage in art that are revitalizing and gratifying.
- Jewish Family Service – Support for the salary of a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families/caregivers.
- Juliette Fowler Communities – Support for group and individual therapy sessions with a Certified Music Therapist for memory care residents, and to help purchase additional instruments and therapeutic tools.
- NorthPark Presbyterian Church – Casa de Vida – Support the Casa de Vida program, which gives relief to families/caregivers by providing one-on-one care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the church for programs involving art, music, games, and lunch one day per week from 9:30 until 1:30.
- Texas Winds Musical Outreach – Support for two concerts by professional musicians in 87 nursing homes and adult daycare facilities that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
- Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation – Broad Strokes – Support for the Broad Strokes program at Grace Presbyterian Village that provides music and art therapy to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
- The Senior Source – Senior Companions – Support for the Senior Companion Program matching volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and companionship.
- UT Southwestern Medical Center – Support to advance Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research and clinical trials on a DNA Vaccine to clear amyloid plaques in the brain to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The Myrna D. Schlegel Aware Scholarship Fund – Recipients are Nora Drutz-Rogney of Baylor University and Lindsay Ross of Texas Christian University.
The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, is the fiscal sponsor of Aware. For more information please visit the website at Aware.or
*Photo credit: Matthew Shelley